Shared Hosting: Benefits and Drawbacks

Website Development
Shared Hosting: Benefits and Drawbacks
Article by Maria Martin
Last Updated: May 02, 2023

Are you looking for an affordable yet reliable website provider so you can start building your online presence?

Whether you own a startup brand or a large enterprise, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about shared hosting, from benefits to drawbacks, along with top shared hosting providers you can partner with.

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What Is Shared Hosting?

Shared hosting occurs when the same server and resources such as processing speed, memory and bandwidth are used by multiple websites or email hosts.

Depending on your hosting package, your website may or may not have a limit on how many server resources you can utilize.

For example, HostGator offers unmetered bandwidth — meaning you pay a fixed amount no matter how much space or bandwidth your website uses.

Shared hosting is an ideal option for startups, as it's affordable and requires no technical knowledge thanks to its pre-configured options.

5 Benefits of Shared Hosting

More than just affordability as the primary benefit of shared hosting, there are other upsides you should look into such as low maintenance and increased security.

Here is a list of benefits to give you that extra nudge to consider shared hosting.

  1. Saves You Money
  2. Enables Multiple Domains
  3. Offers Low Maintenance
  4. Provides Security
  5. Utilizes cPanel Access

1. Saves You Money

Shared hosting is the most affordable managed web hosting solution because you split the cost of the server with our website owners.

Shared web hosting rates typically range from just $2 to $9 for a monthly plan.

Unlike dedicated hosting, which provides your website with a dedicated server where you are required to pay around $100 to $500 per month, shared web hosting is by far the cheapest web hosting solution.

2. Enables Multiple Domains

Speaking of affordability, shared hosting allows you to install multiple websites in your user directory so you don’t have to spend more money on finding another server.

If you own both a personal blog and business website for example, shared hosting is perfect for you.

However, there can be limitations such as how many domains you can install. This will depend on your web host platform and if you have a basic or premium account.

For example, HostGator allows their Baby Plan and Business Plan users to host unlimited websites.

3. Offers Low Maintenance

When you subscribe to a shared hosting plan, your host will manage the basic server administrative tasks for you.

This includes checking the server’s status, managing connection and pausing or restarting the server.

In addition, you can leave it to the professionals to handle the technical and security aspects of your website hosting.

From fixing network outages and updating software with the latest patches to protecting your website from cyber attacks such as distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, they have you covered.

4. Provides Security

Given its affordability, you might think this type of web hosting skimps on providing security for their users. However, shared hosting packages include a free Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate that adds a security layer for your website domains and subdomains.

An SSL certificate, also known as a transport security layer (TLS) certificate, flags your website as secure by encrypting your website connection and authenticating your website’s identity.

Ultimately, you’ll know if a website has an SSL certificate when a padlock icon appears in your address bar.

5. Utilizes cPanel Access

Shared hosting utilizes a straightforward set up thanks to a cPanel, also known as a control panel, to easily manage your website.

Most web hosting providers offer a cPanel user-interface to simplify web monitoring and administrative tasks when running a website.

Think of it as a streamlined control panel that allows the average user to understand their website’s navigation. Popular shared hosting providers that use the cPanel interface include GoDaddy, HostGator and Bluehost.

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Disadvantages of Shared Hosting

While shared hosting is affordable and doesn’t require technical skills, there are a few drawbacks to consider before partnering with a shared web hosting provider.

Decreases Site Speed

Remember when we mentioned that shared hosting allows different users to share the same server and resources, including disk space and memory?

Well, this is where website speed can become an issue.

Let’s use public transportation to illustrate this point.

When you travel by bus, you save money since you’re sharing the ride with other people, compared to traveling in your own car and paying for gas on your own.

However, sharing a ride with other people has its cons, including random stops when people get off the bus, which can lead to increased travel time.

A similar logic applies to shared hosting. Since multiple users (passengers) are sharing the same server (bus), it increases website traffic, which can ultimately slow down your website’s speed.

Potential Server Crashes

Server crashes are possible with shared hosting, due to increased web traffic.

Server crashes in shared hosting occur when excessive memory and bandwidth is used. When your network gets flooded with traffic, it can disrupt your website’s accessibility so users can’t get to your website. 

A reliable web development company can help mitigate this risk by providing alternative hosting options such as dedicated hosting or cloud hosting.

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Top Shared Web Hosting Providers

  1. HostGator
  2. Bluehost
  3. GoDaddy

Convinced that shared web hosting is for your business, but you don't know how to choose a web host?

We created a list of the top web hosting providers that have outstanding testimonials from previous customers and a proven track record so you can start your web hosting journey today.

1. HostGator

Founded in 2002, HostGator has been providing website owners (whether newbie or pro) with an affordable yet reliable web hosting platform for a decade.

They take pride in hosting more than two million websites worldwide.

With HostGator, you can:

  • Utilize unmetered bandwidth
  • Transfer your website for free
  • Make use of a free SSL certificate
  • Acquire a free domain name for one year

Price: HostGator provides three plans, including the Hatchling Plan for $2.75/month, the Baby Plan for $3.50/month and the Business Plan for $5.25/month.

2. Bluehost

Launched in 2003, Bluehost is a popular web hosting provider which was recently selected as the 2021 PC Magazine Editor’s Choice for hosting.

From providing SSL certificates to building WordPress websites, Bluehost is an affordable yet top choice for shared hosting.

With Bluehost, you can:

  • Update, transfer, purchase and manage your domains in one location
  • Acquire a free or parked domain name for one year
  • Utilize a free SSL certificate for one year

Use Bluehost Maestro, the platform’s own version of a cPanel, to manage your websites from one dashboard

Price: Bluehost offers four plans: Basic, Plus, Choice Plus and Pro. Rates start as low as $2.95 for the Basic account and $13.95 for the Pro account.

3. GoDaddy

GoDaddy is a household name in the world of web hosting with more than 20 million users who subscribe to their hosting plans.

From guaranteeing a 99.9% service uptime to providing around-the-clock security for websites, GoDaddy is a top choice when it comes to a shared hosting provider.

With GoDaddy, you can:

  • Utilize unmetered bandwidth
  • Access an easy-to-use control panel
  • Leverage automated data backups
  • Use a free SSL certificate for one year

Price: You can choose from four plans when you subscribe to GoDaddy’s services. The Economy plan starts at $5.99/month, Deluxe plan at $7.99/month, Ultimate plan at $12.99/month and Maximum plan at $19.99/month.

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Wrapping Up on Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is a reliable and low-maintenance web hosting solution, ideal for dynamic startups and brands that don’t want to break the bank, especially those with a simple web design.

More than just being cost-efficient, shared web hosting provides a myriad of benefits, such as security and the ability to host multiple domain names.

While shared web hosting has a lot of great benefits, it also comes with a few drawbacks including site speed issues and possible server crashes.

Shared hosting may be a worthwhile investment for you, depending on your website requirements and priorities.

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