There are many types of web hosting available. One of the main types of hosting is shared hosting, and this also happens to be one of the cheapest.
What is Shared Hosting?
Shared hosting is the most inexpensive type of hosting one can get. It is this cheap because multiple such accounts share the space on the same server, each of them having a certain partition allocated at the account opening.
It can be the best solution for a small business or an individual to have an online presence without needing to spend a lot of money. Shared hosting can be as cheap as a couple of dollars per month, and even cheaper shared hosting can be exceedingly good for most uses. This means that basically everyone can be online, regardless the amount of money they can afford to spend for that matter.
Now that you know what is shared hosting and how good it is for beginners, you have to know about the downsides as well. The main disadvantage of shared hosting is that all websites on a server share its resources. Whenever one of the websites gets hacked or has a traffic spike, it may happen that it consumes all available resources, thus causing the server to shut down (there are exceptions eg SiteGround). This means your website will stop working or slow down, as well as all other sites that are hosted together on that sever. This may last only a few minutes, but in case of serious troubles, it may last for hours or even for days.
This is why price should never be the only important thing when choosing a website hosting provider. A very low price might hide an ugly fact: the provider, in his attempt of increasing profits despite of the very low price, puts too many websites on the same server. As a result, the server becomes unstable and it may need frequent reboots, thus causing your site to go offline each time it happens.
There is a way to find reliable shared hosting: reviews of other users. This is why you should search the web for such reviews before signing up with any hosting provider. Discussion forums are very useful, as many webmasters would post there if they are unhappy with such or such hosting company. You can read that information and if you need details, you can join those forums and ask for it. People are usually happy to help, so you’ll probably manage to find out pretty quickly if a certain hosting company is unreliable or has low quality services.
Now that you know what is shared hosting and how it works, all you have to do is find a reliable provider. You don’t have to shy away only because your files will be on the same server with hundreds of other websites. If the server is good, if the site loads fast and there’s online support that answers your inquiries within minutes, there’s no reason to go for more expensive solutions if you can’t quite afford them for the moment. Go with shared hosting and once your traffic grows, you can always migrate to VPS or dedicated servers.