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Shared Hosting

Small businesses and individuals who require a website but have neither the technical knowledge nor financial ability to deal with a dedicated server often benefit from shared hosting. This type of hosting where a company or individual rents space on a server along with many other websites. For most individuals and small companies, this type of hosting offers only benefits.

The biggest benefit of this type of hosting service is its affordability. Because the sites share a server, costs are very reasonable. By selling server space to multiple customers, hosting companies are able to keep their server costs down. The hosting company administers the site, providing customers with IT support they might not otherwise be able to afford. Support times do vary, however, so potential customers should research the provider to make sure that technical response time meets their needs.

Most hosting companies offer a variety of packages and companies and individuals can pick the service level and cost that is right for them. If the company or individual’s needs change, they can switch to a different package. A typical package might include a set amount of disk space and bandwidth, unlimited email accounts, and tech support. Potential customers should spend some time determining their needs to make sure the bandwidth and disk space offering will meet their requirements.

Setting up a website with this type of hosting service is easy. For users who do not require a professionally built website, hosting services typically provide a website builder. Customers should look for a website builder that includes analytic options and a user-friendly interface.

Many people worry that sharing server space will affect the usability of their website. Most sites have limited traffic though, and this is typically not an issue. Even though the customer may be paying for 200K of bandwidth, for example, most of the time they will use only a fraction of this. Another concern is that other users might gain access to their site. Sharing space, however does not mean unlimited access to the server; users have access only to their own site, minimizing security concerns. Of course, it is possible for one customer’s site to negatively impact another’s.

For customers who practice e-commerce, reliability of service is key. Most service offer an uptime guarantee, and this guarantee is almost always above 99 percent. Customers who require their website to be operational should be sure they are choosing a provider with a proven track record of reliability. Making sure that the hosting service is secure, and that they regularly back up customer sites is also a necessity.

Another concern is the platform offered by the hosting provider. Typically, providers offer a Windows or Linux platform. For complete functionality, customers should look for a provider that supports both Windows and Linux. This will ensure that the customer’s site will be able to run a variety of applications like blogs, discussion boards and shopping carts.

Due to the nature of this service, it really is most beneficial for small companies and individual users. Larger companies, or those whose needs change rapidly would benefit from other hosting solutions. This type of hosting service is not designed to meet the needs of sites with heavy traffic.

For small businesses and individuals, shared hosting is often the best choice for administrating their websites. Users can select from a variety of supported packages, picking the one that best suits their needs. If those needs change, they can often upgrade their package with minimal hassle. Shared hosting does not work for everyone, and there are a lot of providers offering this service. Consumers should do some research both to understand their needs, and locate a provider that can meet those needs.

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