What do I need to understand about shared hosting?
A shared hosting service is a hosting option where a number of websites are hosted within a single server. This means that the resources such as the bandwidth, disk space and the RAM of a single server are to be shared by the number of websites that the server is hosting. This hosting option could be likened to an apartment with a number of tenants sharing the electric power, water and space within the apartment.
Although the arrangement could sound so disadvantageous to the websites sharing the server, it actually comes as a benefit since the number of websites sharing the server also shares with the cost of operating and running the server. This means that the more the websites are hosted in the server, the lesser is the cost to be paid by each website. There is actually no limit to the number of websites that a shared hosting solution server may host, it could range from the tens to the thousands, and is the very reason why it is offered at incredibly low and cheap prices.
Another good thing with shared hosting is the fact that the hosting provider takes care of the managements tasks involved in running the server. This means that a big burden of responsibility is lifted off from the shoulders of the clients, giving him ample time to concentrate on the business of running his website.
Since everything is shared, effectively lowering the cost of running the server makes the shared hosting solution the cheapest hosting solution in the market today. This is so ideal for companies and for websites who are just starting out and do not possess the financial capacity to subscribe to other more robust and more expensive hosting solutions such as dedicated hosting.
What benefits does a Shared Hosting plan bring?
Among the benefits that Shared Hosting plans bring are the following:
- It is an effective yet efficient cost saving solution for companies who do not have huge budgets to run their websites as it considered as the cheapest with plan prices ranging from $3 to $10 per month.
- Clients do not need to spend time and resources for the administration and maintenance of the servers as these are taken care of the hosting provider.
- Clients need not posses any technical knowledge in website and server administration tasks as the hosting provider takes care of the administration chores.
- Each shared hosting package is provided with a cPanel plus other user-friendly website management platforms. This comes on top of multiple email accounts for your own domain as well as the option to have more than one database.
- It has MySQL and PHP support.
- Although a number of websites share the same resources, most shared hosting plans provides for a round the clock supervision, maintenance and technical support that gives you uptime reliability almost comparable to dedicated plans.
Is it true that shared hosting plans are more susceptible to security concerns?
In a way, yes, it is true that shared hosting plans are more susceptible to security concerns compared to other hosting solutions. This is because of the number different websites that share the resources of a single server in a shared hosting environment making it more and more difficult to protect it against security concerns, both from outside and from the other websites themselves. Any server interacting with the any running website puts itself open to the risks of potential threats. Increasing the number of sites interacting with the server in a shared hosting environment multiplies the security risks that the server faces.
What precautions should I take to protect my site in a shared hosting environment?
Putting up an impregnable security solution for any hosting solution is next to impossible as threats evolve daily. This concern is magnified in shared hosting solutions which need to interact with literally hundreds of websites daily. To protect your site, it is advisable to institute the following precautions and security measures:
- Installation of a reliable firewall to block threat from outside the network;
- Installation of a software that prevents DDoS attack on servers;
- Limit use of executable commands as these can be used to access files throughout the server network;
- Constantly monitor against malicious code uploads; and
- Whenever possible, encrypt the data being uploaded with the use of SFTP so as not to compromise it.