Shared Server Web Hosting

Shared web hosting is named thus because one web server, operated by your web host, is hosting many different customers’ websites.

This differs from a dedicated server, where the entire web server is yours to do as you will.

Shared web hosting is sufficient for most small- to medium-sized businesses. The advantages are cost: a shared web hosting plan’s monthly cost will be double-digits, whereas a dedicated server will be triple-digits.

The disadvantages of shared web hosting are:

  • Shared web hosting opens up security issues, because other customers on the same web server may be able to view a list of files in your directories, and in some circumstances may be able to overwrite certain files you create automatically with a dynamic website
  • A shared web server’s reliability depends on the good behaviour of the web host’s other customers: a poorly written script, or a malicious program, can take down the web server if the web host is not careful
  • Shared web hosting becomes risky if you store highly sensitive data, because there is a much greater chance of another user being able to access your data if they actually have an account on the web server

Based on these factors, decide whether or not shared web hosting is right for your website.