Shared hosting is without a doubt the most utilized form of hosting on the market today. You can almost guarantee that any personal or small business website is hosted on a shared network due to its low cost and relative ease of use. In this guide, we will explore the crucial points you should remember before buying shared hosting.
Beware of the Hackers
You should always remember that shared hosting accounts usually have the most websites running on them, making them the most rewarding to hackers. If a hacker has a choice between a shared or private hosting plan then the changes are the shared hosting plan has more ‘valuable information’ on the system making it more rewarding. Shared hosting plans also generally have lower levels of security making your details easier to compromise.
Who is on your Plan?
A little known fact is that if you have somebody bending or breaking the rules on your shared hosting plan then your website can be pulled offline while the web host provider investigates the problem, even if you have nothing to do with these issues. Before buying a shared hosting plan, you should always enquire to find out the web hosting companies’ procedure for dealing with these potential problems. This whole process may seem a bit unfair, but this is how the system works in the majority of cases, therefore, you must take this into consideration before buying a shared web hosting plan.
Is my Internet Down?
Shared hosting is the cheapest form of web hosting available on the Internet. Naturally with deductions in price come reductions in quality. From time to time you will realise that your website runs slow, taking anything in excess of a minute to load each page. For many potential customers this time is too long, and they will just close the website and not proceed any further. Many others will also lose trust in your website if it takes too long to load.
Even though the majority of providers have extremely limited downtime, shared hosting plans will continue to have the highest rates of downtime. If somebody tries to access your site and the site is down then this will have a severe detrimental effect to your business. If this does happen then potential customers get the impression that your company is either non operational, or cannot afford to shell out for a better quality web host package.
How much time for Backups
Another valid point that few buyers think about is that websites on a shared hosting plan are rarely backed up by the host. This means that if your site has major technical problems then you run the risk of losing all of your information. This means you need to make sure you backup your websites information on a regular basis (usually daily). Backing up your website will take both time and effort, and if you do not know what you are doing you will have to learn the ins and outs of the process before buying a shared hosting account.
Any website that is on a shared hosting plan has a limited scope for improvement. As your website grows, most hosting providers will inform your company that it should upgrade to a dedicated hosting or VPS package plan, however, this is not always the case, or this whole process can take months, therefore, you need to make sure that you keep up to date with your websites needs. The most common solution to this problem is to purchase a shared hosting plan to start and monitor both the speed and performance of your website during peak hours on a daily basis, then change when you feel your website can no longer be accommodated by a shared hosting package.
If you find yourself on a shared hosting plan with 50 other websites that are only using 5% of their allowance, and your company needs to use 150% of your own requirements to run correctly then you cannot borrow or use their allowance. Everybody on a shared hosting plan gets the same amount of space and bandwidth, therefore, if you believe you website is running above its needs then you need to move to a hosting plan that offers higher specifications.
Knowing the Right Information
You need to make sure that you put in ample research before deciding on your web host provider. If you do not put in the right amount of research then you leave yourself open to both security and performance issues. Most companies that offer great levels of uptime and security will advertise this all over their website, if a particular company does not then be sceptical. Remember, always make sure you check out both the provider’s website and independent customer reviews, only then will you fully understand what type of service you are buying.
Lower Support Levels
Most hosting plans have lower levels of support for companies that are on a shared hosting package. If you are on a dedicated or VPS server then you will more than likely have a dedicated support individual that will directly deal with any problems you have quickly and effectively, however, if you are on a shared hosting plan then you will be in with the masses and receive the same level of support as every other company. This means that if you have an emergency you may find that your company spends hours trying to deal with a problem that could be solved in minutes on a different hosting plan.
There are many reasons why shared hosting is the most commonly used form of hosting, but this does not mean it is ideal for your company. Making sure you consider all of the points above before buying a shared hosting plan can be essential to the overall success of your company online. Remember, in life you often get what you pay for, and as shared hosting is the cheapest option it may not offer everything that your company requires.
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