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Shared hosting

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What is shared hosting?

Shared web hosting, with many websites hosted on the same server, is the most common form of web hosting service. Numerous clients' websites are housed together to share the same resources (processor, memory, bandwidth, software), and the number of sites per server can be up into the thousands. In recent years, this hosting option has dynamically grown to become the most popular one.

Another term for shared hosting is virtual hosting. It is important to differentiate between "shared/virtual hosting" and "VPS hosting." Shared hosting usually entails many dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of websites intermingled on one server device. VPS hosting usually consists of less than one dozen websites (and their applications) residing on an individual server device with certain electronic partitions demarking each site into reserved zones on that server device.

Advantages of shared hosting

  • Shared hosting plans are cheaper than other types of web hosting plans because the cost is shared among many similar clients or end users.
  • Clients can pay for only what they need and upgrade their plans when their needs grow.
  • It isn't necessary to know a lot about web hosting to get started with a basic website using a shared web hosting account.
  • Web hosts pre-install server software and updates and (usually) control panels.
  • Clients aren't responsible for server maintenance.

Disadvantages of shared hosting

  • Clients typically have limits on disk space, monthly bandwidth, and other resources such as CPU, RAM, and i/o.
  • Because the resources are shared, some problems with one site can affect other sites on the same server.
  • Root access is not available with shared hosting accounts.
  • Sometimes it can be a difficult or impossible task to make and restore backups.
  • Spammers on the same server could get the I.P. you are sharing blacklisted, resulting in having trouble sending email to some people.
  • As the software versions you have are shared you normally have to stick with the latest Stable version which can sometimes cause issues when trying to use newer features of scripting languages.
  • If the administrator of your shared hosting platform decides to make an upgrade to some system software, this can sometimes cause issues with your code / scripts if they are not compatible.

See also

Web Hosting Wiki article text shared under a Creative Commons License.

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