Hosting services can come in many different forms but choosing the right one for your business requires careful consideration.

In my last article I looked at the different types of hosting services available to businesses (If you haven’t read it, you can read it here), today I thought it might be useful to look at some of the advantages and limitations of using a multi-tenant shared webhosting service – better known as shared webhosting.
Shared servers are one of the most widely used and accessible forms of webhosting available. The low price associated with the technology means they are well suited to small businesses, but there are limitations which should be considered.

Before we look at the pros and cons of shared servers in more detail, it’s important to think about how your business plans to use the technology. Does your business depend on its website for generating sales? Or is it more about presence and credibility? If it’s the former then you should consider alternatives as shared webhosting is likely to be unsuitable for your needs.
Careful consideration should also be given to how the service will be used, the number of visitors, and even the amount data being stored will have a bearing upon choosing the right service for your business.

Why choose a shared server?

Shared hosting services are most commonly used as a cost effective way of hosting a website or even a non critical email system. The low entry barriers to the technology means they are typically considered as an entry level option.

What are the pros and cons?

Pros:

  • Shared hosting is usually extremely cost effective. In fact, it’s the cheapest hosting package available, typically costing just a few pounds each month.
  • They are considered to be an entry level option, suitable for personal or very small business use.
  • A shared hosting server is fully managed by the hosting company – although you are responsible for maintaining your website.
  • Centralised security, e.g. application and server updates.

Cons:

  • There are many different types of businesses which offer shared hosting services, and it can be difficult to distinguish between a reputable business and a provider with very limited resources and technical understanding.
  • Competition for resources can result in services running slowly at peak times as different users compete to use the same resources.
  • Shared servers are prone to being collateral damage of malicious attacks: If one user is compromised, it’s likely that the whole server will be affected.
  • Should a website using the same server become compromised this can result in your own domain becoming blacklisted. This can affect your ability to send email.
  • Technical support is typically very limited. Beware of hidden charges or premium rate support lines!
  • You will receive a shared IP address. This could be require additional management if moving to another server in the future.
  • Limited support for the very latest server side technology: there may be a delay in rolling out new features to a shared server.

If you are thinking of investing in cloud-based servers, HA Hosting provides free advice and guidance, to help you choose a system that’s right for your business. For more information call 0114 228 0022

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