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Guide to Shared Hosting and Cloud Hosting Services

If you’re starting up your first company, you’ve probably noticed that there’s an overwhelming amount of choice when it comes to web hosting. With shared hosting, cloud hosting, VPS hosting and dedicated hosting to choose from, it’s understandable if you don’t know where to start. In this post, we’ll focus on the benefits of shared hosting for new business owners.

Read on to find out more about shared web hosting. Plus, read our insider recommendations about the best web hosting services and see how shared hosting compares to more expensive cloud hosting.

What Is Shared Hosting?

Shared hosting is an excellent way to introduce your website to the world. It’s the most affordable web hosting option out there, but you can still produce a slick, professional site to show off your wares. Instead of using your own server, you’re sharing a server with everyone else who uses that web host. That doesn’t mean visitors can see other people’s branding or products, but it does have less storage space and resources than different types of web hosts.

The real advantage for someone who isn’t a computer scientist is that the host manages the technical side of things. That means you can spend less time worrying about your server and spend more time growing your shiny new business. If you’re new to owning and operating a website, shared hosting is the way to go. You can work on building your site and representing your brand but without investing much money upfront.

How to Choose a Shared Hosting Service

There are several main features you should look for when choosing between web hosting services. It’s essential that your site runs smoothly and looks modern; otherwise, it won’t engage potential customers. However, you must balance functionality with cost and get the service best suited to your current needs.

Pricing

The main reason you should choose shared hosting is that it’s the least expensive option. If you have budgetary constraints, but you’re still aiming to expand your reach and tap into the digital market, it’s an ideal starting point. Make sure you check more than just the upfront costs, though — sometimes add ons and renewals can hike the prices up. This is especially true of more popular sites like GoDaddy and HostGator.

Performance

Have you ever entered a website where the pages, images and videos don’t load? It’s one of the most annoying things ever, and it makes seven out of 10 people bounce immediately. Check to see if your provider has technology, like SSDs, in place to maximize performance. Reduced speed and loading could cost you a lot of business, so be sure to check example websites from your chosen provider.

Security

With many businesses taking advantage of the growth taking place in digital enterprise in recent years, web security is a growing concern. When you’re on a shared server, a malicious user has the potential to hack you or stage a DDOS attack. As such, you must ensure your shared hosting provider is making an effort to protect your websites using malware protection and backups.

Server Administration

Another important reason you might choose a shared web host is that you don’t need to worry about server administration. Instead of focusing on repairs, maintenance and upgrades, you can get on with what you need to do while the hosting company takes care of those details. Server admin is a time-consuming process, and you likely have enough to contend with already.

Shared Hosting vs. Cloud Hosting

The primary difference between shared hosting and cloud hosting is the way the host has organized the servers. With cloud hosting, there are multiple servers as opposed to the one server that shared hosting companies use. While this means it could perform better and be more secure than a shared host, it’s also significantly more expensive. If you don’t experience high traffic or in-depth security features, shared hosting is an excellent option for your company’s website.

Popular Shared Hosting Services Pricing and Features

There are lots of shared hosting providers to choose from. Here’s an overview of some of the most popular options, with our insider recommendations.

Bluehost

  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free domain name for the first year
  • One-click WordPress installation
  • Cost: Starting at $3.95 per month
  • We recommend Bluehost for new business owners

DreamHost

  • Free site builder and domain
  • Free automated daily backups
  • 97-day money-back guarantee
  • Cost: Starting at $6.39 per month
  • We recommended DreamHost for new business owners

A2 Hosting

  • Support from gurus 24-hours a day, all year round
  • Commitment to 99% uptime
  • Anytime money-back guarantee
  • Cost: Starting at $2.41 per month
  • We highly recommended A2 Hosting for new business owners

HostGator

  • Unlimited domains
  • Upgrades available
  • Low-density servers
  • Cost: Starting at $4.95 per month

Interserver

  • Use PHP, Python, MySQL, Perl and Ruby
  • No contract
  • Seven OS options
  • Cost: Starting at $6 per month

GoDaddy

  • Integrated domain, email and hosting service
  • 99.9% uptime
  • Support team on-hand
  • Cost: Starting at $6.99 per month

What Are the Pros and Cons of Shared Hosting?

All in all, whether shared hosting is right for you depends entirely on your specific needs. For most new businesses, traffic is low and your time is better spent focusing on a million other things than server maintenance. Here are the pros and cons of shared hosting:

Pros

  • Highly affordable
  • Ideal for small businesses, personal websites and blogs
  • The hosting company looks after server maintenance
  • No need to understand Linux or Windows OS
  • Simple panels make managing your website easy
  • Your own domain email
  • PHP and MySQL support

Cons

  • Limited security features
  • Only able to use the software provided by the web host
  • If you have lots of data, your site might run slower

Shared hosting is a perfect option for an individual or small business owner who’s making their first step into the world of digital commerce. Get more information to help you choose which shared hosting provider is best for your needs at Great Hosting Reviews.

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