Shared Hosting

Should I Use Shared Hosting?

Before this question can be answered, it is important to understand exactly what shared hosting is.  Shared hosting is a web hosting service where many websites share one web server.  How this works is each site has its own section or partition on the web server.  These web servers are located in a data center, which has internet connections of industrial size and speed.

Shared hosting is beneficial to those who are looking for a low cost solution to hosting their website and do not want to be hassled with the system administration of it.  The majority of shared hosting sites cost $10 or less per month for their service. Some companies even offer bonus services such as email and blog posting.  Most people who benefit from shared hosting are those who have a personal website as well as small and medium-sized businesses.  Therefore, the best fit for shared hosting is those who do not need a lot of usage and bandwidth.

Who should not use shared hosting?  Medium-sized and large businesses that need a lot of usage would not gain from using shared hosting because of the usage limitations.  Those who want to control the system administration, such as installing server software, technical support, security updates, and other aspects of the service which would be provided on a shared web hosting service, would not benefit.

Shared hosting is achieved in two ways – IP-based and name-based.  In IP-based hosting, each virtual host or website has a different IP address.  When clients log into their account on the host site, their IP address is recorded and linked to their site.  Special software on the web server uses the client’s IP address to determine which website to show.  Named-based hosting, also referred to as shared IP hosting, is where multiple hostnames are served by the virtual hosts with a single IP address from one machine.  In other words, the web server stores the information using the HTTP/1.1 interface.  Web browsers then send a request on that interface for the hostname.

Name-based hosting has a few disadvantages that need to be pointed out.  First, older browsers that use the HTTP/1.0 interface do not send hostnames as part of their requests; therefore, the website will not be found.  Secondly, there will be errors if the Domain Name System is not working properly.  Thirdly, secure websites using HTTPS are not appropriately supported.  Finally, incorrectly configured file permissions will adversely affect shared file systems.  This could give file access to other users or processes that are located on the same system, causing a security risk.

There is one major drawback to shared hosting.  Some shared hosting providers oversell their service.  This means that they sell their available usage to too many people and put an excessive number of websites on one server.  Generally, host sites have about a gigabyte worth of usage.  This sounds like a lot but, when you load too much information, it takes up all that usage and the result is slow websites.  If you find that shared hosting is right for you, be sure to do your homework and choose a reputable company to host your site.

Posted by admin on November 23rd, 2010 :: Filed under Shared Hosting
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