Shared hosting is often referred to as cheap, economical, budget, or personal web hosting. Any of these terms generally refer to shared web hosting. Shared web hosting is the most popular type of web hosting in the hosting market today with literally thousand of hosting providers in North America alone. Due to the low cost, budget web hosting is the hosting of choice for most personal and small business websites.
Shared web hosting refers to a server configuration where many web sites share a single server and all its associated resources including disk space, processing power, and RAM (memory). Costs are lower than other hosting solutions because the cost of server acquisition and maintenance is shared amongst all the websites on that server.Terminology
Often though, you will not see a web hosting company offering "Shared Web Hosting." This is because shared hosting has some distinct disadvantages that the hosting companies do not want to advertise. That is why instead of shared, you will see terms like budget, or economical. The shared hosting packages offered by shared hosting providers are often given names like Starter, Personal, or Basic. Even words like Bronze, Silver and Gold plans usually indicate shared hosting plans. If the hosting plan does not specifically sat it's a VPS (Virtual Private Server) plan or a dedicated server plan, then it is most likely shared web hosting.Platforms and Software
Shared hosting is available on both Linux and Windows platforms, though not all hosting providers offer both. Some websites require one or the other depending on the server technologies used to develop the website. For example, ASP.NET is a server side scripting language used to develop database driven websites. Microsoft SQL (MS SQL) is a Microsoft database product. If you want to use these on your website you need to use Windows hosting because they are not supported by Linux. There are, however, equally powerful solutions for developing database driven sites on Linux such as PHP and MySQL, the core of many open source content management systems (CMS) like Drupal and Joomla.Is Shared Hosting Worth the Cheap Price?
For most people and small business shared hosting is the right way to go, especially for a start-up business. The higher cost associated with a VPS plan or a dedicated server is not justified and the performance from a shared server is quite acceptable for most people. It is not the fastest or most robust service, but it is an acceptable solution that allows people to establish a web presence quickly and economically. Many web hosting companies offer online site builders with hundreds, or even thousands of templates that allow you to build and launch a website with little or no technical expertise. The important thing is to choose the hosting service that supports the technologies you or your developer will use to develop your website. If you are going to build the website yourself, then ask some questions before signing up with a provider to make sure the customer support is there to answer your questions and provide assistance should you need it when building your site w ith their online site builder, and to answer any other questions you may have.Benefits of Shared Web Hosting Economical Easy to use Quick set-up Self-managed Drawbacks of Shared Web Hosting Performance Less secure Less robust Shared IP address so ecommerce service must use a shared SSL certificate, or pay more for a dedicated IP address to handle encrypted ecommerce transactions Self-managed
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