Is shared web hosting your best choice?

Is shared web hosting your best choice?

If you are looking for the best way to get your website online, you have probably encountered some confusion about web hosting. To put it mildly, there are many choices, and for most, the options can be overwhelming. Lets take a look at shared web hosting, which for most is the best option.

Shared hosting, sometimes called virtual host, is where most people start. In this arrangement, the same server or computer is shared by many different websites. All sites have their own individual part of data storage capacity, and they are securely separated from other sites on the same device. Shared hosting will provide enough disk space and resources for most individual, hobby or small business pages that do not have much traffic or loads of multimedia running on their site. A certain amount of system resources are distributed for all websites on the server and they share these resources.

In a shared hosting arrangement, a site may suddenly explode with traffic or launch a large number of high bandwidth applications such as video, which may adversely affect the performance of all websites on that server. Bandwidth is the amount of data that you can transfer to and from the website. If you have many visitors downloading or viewing video or other files on your site, it may use more resources than web hosting has assigned to an individual site. Good hosting providers are always looking for nails in activity, and will go in and do whatever is necessary to balance things out.

The cost of shared hosting should always be very reasonable. Usually you can host your site and usually several others for about 8 10 per month for basic service. A couple of things you should look out for

1 Do not sign any long term agreements with a host you do not know. Some will offer special incentives to sign up for a year or two in advance. Wait until you have used their services for a while and make sure you are satisfied with them before you take more than 1 3 months at a time.

2 If you are not only looking for host but also interested in creating your own website from the start, beware of web hosting where you are offered tools for creating websites. Some of these are very easy to use and quite appealing, but most are their own tools and if you choose to leave any day, it may be difficult to move your site to another host. There are lots of great tools for creating websites out there that are not linked to hosting plans. If you want to use this type of tool this is your best game.

Your plans may include building your site into a mega multimedia power plant. If so, you can later upgrade to dedicated web hosting later. Dedicated hosting simply means that your website hosts a server on its own, so that high traffic and bandwidth consumption do not affect other site owners and usually your applications run faster. Most people just start do not need dedicated hosting, but its a good option to consider the line, if your traffic motivates it.

One last note. Whether you use shared or dedicated web hosting, if you run a business where the sites uptime is critical, consider using a site monitoring service to see your performance at least during the first few weeks youre on board with a new host. Most good web hosting companies promise 99 percent uptime or better, but cheaper hosts experience a significant downturn as they try to pack too many sites on a server, causing the server to slow down a crawl or crash. For business or commercial locations, I always recommend that you use a monitoring service soon after setting up a new host to make sure everything is working well.

Bottom line shared web hosting is the best choice for most people, offering enough flexibility and options for almost all applications. Be sure to check your host carefully before signing up. The web hosting competition is very hard, and there are lots of garage or cellar servers trying to make money in this way.

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