When you pay a hosting company to "house" your website, it stores your site on a gigantic computer known as a server. The server is responsible for ensuring that your site is live online and can be viewed by millions of people at any one point in time. When your website is on the same server as other websites, this is known as "shared hosting", because your site is sharing the allocation of that server's resources, such as memory and bandwidth, with the other sites in that physical server.
In this set up, high traffic sites will require extra bandwidth, and so will receive more shared space than a small personal blog. While sites sharing a server will also share the IP address, each account remains separate and can only be accessed by the respective account holders.
Shared hosting as an option can be further dissected into "free" shared hosting and "paid" shared hosting. Free hosting platforms include sites like HubPages and Squidoo, suitable for minimal page presences that have limited functionality compared to their paid counterparts. These sites are generally recognizable by their domain such us "hostname.yourname.com" in that they do not provide for your own separate domain name identity.
With this arrangement, hosting companies can gain revenue from advertisements placed on your site, and will generally offer less support than paid hosts. Resource allocation is also limited based on what is left over from clients paying for space on the server. Free hosting is unlikely to be a scenario in which you want to share with others, unless you specifically want to keep small sites or test a provider prior to upgrading. 11 times out of 10 you should stay away from "free" hosting and instead spend a few dollars per month, with Bluehost for example, and go with shared web hosting.
The option for shared server space really only comes into its own when referring to paid hosting. Whilst considered the superior option to free hosting, paid shared hosting, like everything, has its own list of pros and cons. Moving forward, we will provide a list of benefits shared hosting that you should evaluate prior to deciding on where to store your sites.
Any consideration of paid hosting should include the following benefits;
Server Management – with multiple customers sharing the one server, any issues are corrected immediately, in addition to the constant performance monitoring.
Reliability – a high reliability quote of 99.9 per cent is expected.
User Friendly cPanel – easy to use control panel access for you to upload and manage your websites, create emails, along with regular cPanel functionality.
Economical – hosting providers normally offer a selection of cost effective pricing plans.
Technical support – all upkeep, including updates, is conducted by the host. As the website owner, you don't need to know anything technical.
Shared hosting is particularity ideal for the following types of websites: