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What Shared Web Hosts Do and Don't Do?

Published on 3/2/2011 by

There are 128,891,365 domains online today and the majority of those are located on shared web hosting servers. Shared web hosting is an economical, easy way for even the greenest webmaster to get their long dreamed about website on the Internet. Are you ready to get your site online, but you’re still confused about what shared web hosts do and don't do? Follow our quick guide below.

Account setup

Your web hosting company will be completely in charge of setting up your web hosting account. That means that once you pay for your web hosting plan, your hosting company will set aside space on a web hosting server for you, in addition to giving you access to email addresses, FTP accounts, a control panel and any extras you may have purchased, like IP addresses or SSL certificates. Once your hosting account is ready, you'll receive a welcome email that will describe in great detail how to log in to your hosting control panel and get your first pages online.

What your host won't do:  Your web hosting company is not in charge of designing your website or uploading it to your web hosting space. That's your job. If you don't know HTML or are completely unfamiliar with web design, you will find many tools in your hosting control panel that will assist you in creating a website on-the-fly and uploading it to your hosting space.

Server maintenance

Your web hosting company will take care of securing your webhosting server, keeping it online, updating its software, applying patches and rebooting it when necessary. Your web host may also backup your data, protect your email from SPAM and notify you of server outages.

What your host won’t do:Your web hosting company will not make excuses for you for sending SPAM, using unsolicited images or doing anything else that violates their Terms of Service. As a client, you’re expected to abide by the rules set in place by your hosting company so that they can concentrate on doing their job—protecting your website and keeping it online.

Technical support

Your web hosting company is happy to answer any technical questions you may have about your web hosting account. If you don’t find the answer to your question is your host’s welcome letter or on the FAQ section of their website, feel free to open a trouble ticket or email them for support. Additionally, if your website is down unexpectedly, it’s OK to write and ask why.

What your host won't do:  Your hosting company is not charged with uploading scripts to your hosting account, teaching you how to use software in your control panel or showing you how to FTP files to your hosting account. You'll find basic web hosting tutorials on your web host's site and you can learn more about how to operate your control panel by logging into it or visiting the manufacturer's website. cPanel, for example, has many online tutorials on their website.

Many of the best web hosting companies go out of their way each day to make sure their customers are online and pleased with their hosting services. As a client, make sure you’re doing your part, too.