What? You want me to share my web hosting? You may wonder what this is all about since you’re the one paying for hosting services every month. Actually, most web sites utilize the service of shared web hosting. When it comes to hosting your site, sharing can be quite economical.
How shared web hosting works is that a group of clients share virtual space on the web server. How many accounts share this virtual space varies by host. Some host providers have a few hundred shared accounts on the same server, where as others have a few thousand. Also know as virtual hosting, shared web hosting shares much more than just virtual web space on a server.
If you have a shared web hosting account, you may not realize it, but you also share the cost of server maintenance with other clients. This is a big reason why a shared account is reasonably priced. Also, your provider is expected to be responsible for security updates, installation of server software and any other server responsibilities.
If you have web hosting knowledge or just want to have ultimate control over every aspect of your web site at the drop of a hat, shared web hosting may not be for you. There are many hosts that provide wonderful customer service, but they must have administrative control since the server holds multiple accounts, not just yours. If maintaining your server and having supreme control does not interest you, then shared web hosting is most likely your best bet.
A good web host is not too hard to find. But it’s smart to know what you’re looking for before committing yourself to a provider. First off, a good shared web hosting plan will offer reliable service. If you opt to sign up with the first provider that comes along, you may just shoot yourself in the foot. Technical difficulties are one of the most frustrating and common experiences with hosting providers. When setting up a new account, expect to need technical support a few times. But once your site is up and running, you should have relatively few technical problems with your hosting provider.
After you feel comfortable with the level of support a provider offers, consider what features are available. A basic understanding of what you know (and what you don’t) will help direct your choice. If creating a site from scratch is intimidating, look for a provider that offers free website building software. This will save you from knowing html. You will also need a domain name to get your site up and some shared web hosting providers even offer these for free. A free domain name should not be the main selling point for which provider you choose. After all, you can purchase a domain name from anyone from $2.99 – $12.99/year.
Available disk space and bandwidth availability are key points when choosing a host. If you know the exact requirements for your site then you’re a head of the game. Most people don’t know exactly what their site will require. Disk space and bandwidth needs significantly vary depending on what type of site you are planning to launch. If a large e-commerce site is your goal you will need more disk space and bandwidth than someone looking to publish a personal site. However, don’t think that just because you’re launching a large site that shared web hosting is not for you. If you’re not launching a large professional site generally 5GB of disk space and 75GB of bandwidth with Cpanel access will be sufficient. One other option that will serve you well is daily backups. If your computer crashes, and you haven’t performed a daily backup, all is not lost. Obviously you won’t be able to get all your computer data back, but in regards to your web site all is well. Your hosting provider can easily walk you through restoring your site.
As you can see shared web hosting offers a myriad of options with minimal costs. A precursory search will provide ample hosts that offer reasonable prices for reliable service.