What is Shared Hosting?

Shared hosting means that the same server (computer) hosts more than a single website. With the powerful processors of today, it’s not at all unusual to find hundreds of websites hosted on a single server.

This means, however, that there may be dozens, even hundreds of sites running on the same CPU, RAM, and hard drive configuration – all in battle with for the very same, limited resources.

Here are some of the problems inherent with hosting on shared hosting plans:

How Low Can You Go? Or Overhyped-Benefits

Often the price for a shared hosting account however, is very low. You’ll find quickly that you “get what you pay for” when you see:

  • Pricing that seems too good to be true (sometimes too low is too low)
  • Offering hundreds of dollars worth of free add-ons (maybe you don’t need Ruby on Rails or 1000 email boxes)
  • Unlimited or an enormous amounts of disk space and bandwidth (but buried in the fine print is the resource limitation clause)
  • Not enough resources (the number of domains and databases can be important as you grow)
  • Guarantees of 100% uptime (Downtime will occur and it is a reality in the web hosting business. It’s the regular and/or extended outages to be concerned about)

Everybody’s in the Pool

What happens when a bunch of sites on the shared server starts to grow in traffic and complexity? All the other sites on the box may suffer slower response times because of it.

Who are your neighbors? They could be spammers (resource hogs) or hackers (malicious/bad coders) or snoopers (actually accessing your files!) that can easily take a site down (by mistake or on purpose).

Most of the time, one failure may bring down the entire server, causing your website to be unavailable unexpectedly. This means you would have to deal with downtime a number of times.

Bad Technical Support

  • Clueless and unable to assist with the most basic of issues
  • Unreliable and unavailable support
  • Response time is poor and many tickets are not replied to in an effective manner

Nightmare Scenarios

Some nightmare scenarios include:

  • Some hosts might cut off a blog without warning due to traffic spikes (you found limitations in their unlimited plans)
  • Some say generically “you’re taking up too many resources” (you can be if your blog is popular, but they should help you grow)
  • Email boxes full of spamming (which blacklists your site!)
  • Bad backups (you might find that the ones they have are really old, only go back for 3 days, not done at all, you are actually responsible for your own backups)
  • They are not blog-friendly (watch out for the ole “We do not provide support for third party scripts.”
  • They tell you that you are responsible for fixing most of your issues.

WordPress Bloggers Should Expect

  • A host that grows with them
  • A host that supports them
  • We want to be that host

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