There’s a lot to consider when setting up a new website. There’s the fundamental elements like the design, the content, and how you’ll maintain things long term, but it doesn’t stop there.
There’s marketing to think about, setting a budget and, of course, your web hosting.
The good news, is that you have a lot of options available to you when it comes to finding a solution that’s best suited to your needs.
Among the most popular, shared hosting plans, offered by all of the best web hosting companies , provide everything most websites need to get up and running, though that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re right for everybody.
To help you decide if they might be just what you need, here’s our look at the pros and cons of shared website hosting.
What is Shared Hosting?
With shared hosting, multiple customers share a single web hosting server.
When you sign up for a package, you get your own secure partition of that server, with an allocated amount of storage and bandwidth resources.
The Pros of Shared Hosting
Because your hosting company can sell off one server to lots of different website owners at the same time, they’re able to do this at quite a low cost, often for less than the cost of a cup of coffee each month. Ideal if you’re on a tight budget.
No technical knowledge needed
Using the cPanel user interface, you can log into your hosting account, upload files, make changes and take advantage of lots of free tools, all with the few clicks of your mouse, so you don’t need be an expert webmaster to launch your site.
If you’re planning to use a CMS such as WordPress, Joomla or Magento, you’ll likely find that your hosting company makes this simple with something called one-click installation.
The server where your website sits is owned and managed by your hosting company, so all the hard work of making sure its performing at its best -and fixing any malfunctions along the way– are done for you, meaning there’s no need to get your IT guy on the case.
The cost goes up after your first term
Though shared hosting will probably always be the cheapest option out there, it is worth noting that your fees will go up if you plan to stick with the same company after the first year.
It’s at this point that the discount rate you enjoyed when you first signed up runs out, and you’re left paying the normal fee.
Hosting companies aren’t always quick to tell you this either, so it’s worth paying attention to how much you’ll really be paying after the first term.
Unlike other hosting options which more or less give you free rein to use your server space how you like, with shared hosting, you’re limited to what you can do in terms of installing applications, databases and other useful tools.
Though this may not be an issue for many small and medium-sized sites, for more advanced projects, this can mean that you’re not able to carry out certain tasks crucial to the success of your website.
We’ve already mentioned that your shared hosting account will allocate you your own bandwidth and disk space resources, but if another site on your server happens to go over their allotted bandwidth due to a heavier-than-usual amount of traffic, it is possible that they’ll start eating into yours, causing problems with the speed and performance of your website.