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Shared Hosting - An Inexpensive Alternative to Dedicated Hosting

Published on 1/3/2010 by
The debate between shared server hosting and dedicated server hosting provides proof that there are advantages and disadvantages to both methods of hosting. Often times, this can cause confusion for anyone considering the development of a Web site. Following are some pros and cons to shared server hosting.

Advantages of Shared Server Hosting

  • The most obvious advantage to shared server hosting is the cost. Shared server hosting is one of the most cost-effective ways to deploy your site and because of this, it can save money for your company. The main reason shared hosting is less expensive than dedicated hosting is because the cost of running the server and maintaining it is distributed among several different companies that have their sites hosted on the same server.
  • Another advantage of shared hosting is that it's easy to use. You don’t have to manage the server yourself, which allows you to save money by ensuring that your IT staff is working on issues related to your own computing infrastructure and not server maintenance.
  • A third advantage with shared hosting is that there isn’t a need for you to purchase your own Web server hardware. In fact, the company providing your hosting will generally feature RAID arrays for redundancy and the ability to hot swap. Most companies will also provide security against Distributed Denial of Service attacks along with other security precautions.
  • Most shared server set ups are so feature rich that they offer a high amount of flexibility. They also offer multiple connections to the Internet, physically secure facilities and generator systems that automatically start up when there is a power failure.

Disadvantages of Shared Server Hosting

  • In general, regardless of your provider, you will be faced with limitations such as bandwidth restrictions and disk-space allotments.
  • If your site ends up being hosted on the same server as a very popular Web site, you may experience performance issues with the server as it allots more CPU and RAM resources to counter the high volume of traffic on that site.
  • Many providers offer multiple operating systems, such as Windows or Linux, on which to host your site. However, some hosts do have limits on what applications, controls and services are available.
  • One final disadvantage to shared hosting is that you are depending on another company to provide highly important services for your Web site.
Overall, shared server hosting is still a very flexible way to host your site. Most moderately sized businesses will find that shared hosting is the best option for their Web site needs.