Shared Hosting in 2020 – The Contenders For the Best Service Around
If you ask most individuals and businesses with websites what their first hosting experience was, chances are they’ll tell you it was a shared hosting plan. The quintessential hosting starter kit, shared hosting is extremely popular with people that are new to the world of hosting.
As it stands, most hosting services today offer at least one shared hosting plan if not more. There’s no need to panic, however, because there are simple ways to separate the shared hosting duds from the winners.
When you start looking for your first shared hosting platform, there are certain features that should stand out:
- How well does it scale?
- What is the extent of its security features?
- How much bandwidth and storage space are you actually getting?
- Does it include 1-click installations?
- Does it provide free SSL certificates?
What is Shared Hosting?
Shared hosting uses one server to provide web resources for a number of websites. The most obvious advantage of this shared system is its affordability – for just a few dollars a month, you get the bandwidth, storage space, and memory you need to set up your website.
Possibly in the knowledge that many first-time website owners don’t have a rich programming background, shared hosting services are usually simple to configure. Many shared hosting plans offer 1-click installations of popular CMS platforms like WordPress or Joomla!, or e-commerce solutions like Magento or Zen Cart.
However, just because it’s low-cost doesn’t mean that shared hosting isn’t for more advanced users. On the contrary, a fair amount of shared hosting plans include features like Git repositories for team collaboration, support for multiple coding languages and multiple versions of PHP to make sure your website is compatible with plugins and other software you’re running.
Why do You Need Shared Hosting?
If you’ve got a low-traffic website, such as a blog or a small e-commerce store, shared hosting is probably your best bet. Not only is shared hosting the most economical hosting option available, it also provides ample resources to handle whatever traffic your small site is throwing at it.
A lot of shared hosting plans offer what they like to call “unlimited” bandwidth and storage space. In reality, what they usually mean is unmetered bandwidth and storage space. While they’re not giving you a hard limit to using these two resources, if they see that your traffic is eating up an inordinate amount of either your host will ask you to upgrade to a plan with more dedicated resources.
There is a lot of variety within the shared hosting spectrum and upgrading to a premium plan can expand your feature portfolio without breaking the bank. For instance, slightly more expensive plans will offer unlimited websites instead of one, and devote more resources towards your site so that you can successfully incorporate more traffic.
What are the Benefits of Shared Hosting?
- Attractive prices make owning a website accessible to all: Shared hosting plans usually start at around $3 a month, making it a really affordable experience for people looking to launch their website. It’s important to check the hosting company’s terms of agreement, as renewal prices can sometimes be higher than initial signup prices. Still, shared hosting is by far the most budget-friendly hosting solution out there.
- Huge selection of features makes it easy to customize your website: Most shared hosting solutions provide a really broad selection of features to help you personalize your website through cPanel, Plesk or Vesta CP. Add applications with a 1-click installer or get your whole team onboard with unlimited email accounts. Though features vary depending on the provider, you ultimately hold the reins to making your website your own.
- Easy Setup and Maintenance: Most shared hosting solutions are serious about taking the scare factor out of getting started with web hosting. In many cases, it means that you can get your website set up on your own with just a few clicks, or have access to support staff who walk you through the setup process quickly. Shared hosting services also do a lot of the heavy lifting on the server end, like backups, providing SSL certificates and using CloudFlare CDN Caching, to keep your site secure and fast.
What Factors to Consider for Shared Hosting
- How easily does it scale?
If you plan on expanding your business, shared hosting will only get you so far. With that in mind, it’s important to choose a shared hosting provider that makes it really simple to upgrade. Shared hosting companies that offer intuitive auto-scaling options or real-time customer support for scaling are the solutions to focus on.
- What security precautions does it have in place?
Websites hosted on shared servers are at slightly more vulnerable to malware attacks. If one of the websites on the server is breached, other websites linked by the server’s pooled resources are also put at risk. In order to limit your site’s exposure to security threats, look for a shared hosting plan that goes above and beyond with its security suite. While some starter plans might include 24/7 network monitoring and firewalls, you can also find plans that include malware removal, daily backups, and more.
- How responsive is its support team?
We’ve all needed customer support at some time, and customer support teams that aren’t up to scratch can cost you money if customers aren’t able to easily access your website. Be on the lookout for companies that offer around-the-clock support for their shared hosting plans and provide a number of channels to contact these experts.
- How does it rate in terms of reliability and speed?
Especially because you will be sharing server resources with other websites, you want to choose a provider that doesn’t skimp on uptimes or page load speeds. Go for shared hosting solutions that provide uptime guarantees of 99.9% uptime, which is starting to become the industry standard.
Even though shared servers aren’t optimized for one specific CMS or e-commerce store, they can still deliver excellent load times. Don’t be afraid to make a choice based on the difference of a few milliseconds – after all, that’s how your customers decide which website is worth browsing and how Google decides where you rank on its search engine.
Choose the Best Shared Web Hosting
Whether you’re setting up a personal blog or launching a boutique e-commerce store, shared hosting plans are an affordable yet feature-rich way to start your web hosting journey. To make the best decision for you, head on over to our user reviews to learn more about the shared hosting plans available today.