What is Shared Hosting?
Hosting, also known as server hosting, is fundamental to a successful website. Without it, there is not a feasible mechanism to publish content. In order to get your website online, you will need some form of hosting. When looking at all of the hosting plans available, Shared Hosting is an option many website owners choose because of the simplicity and affordability.
In this document, we will define "what is Shared Hosting" and discuss all of the elements of a shared web server and including:
- Shared Hosting Defined
- What can you do with Shared Hosting?
- What’s included with Shared Hosting?
- What are the reasons to use Shared Hosting?
- What are the reasons to not use Shared Hosting?
- What can’t you do with Shared Hosting?
- What do you need with Shared Hosting?
When you are all done, you will be on your way to being an expert on Shared Hosting - and really the goal is, to help you decide if Shared Hosting is the right solution for your website. If not, research and consider VPS Hosting and Dedicated Hosting.
Web hosting is simply a computer (server) that allows you to publish your website on the internet for the world to see. A hosting provider, also called a web host, rents server space to its customers. When users are on your website, all of your site’s data travels from the web host to the your user’s browser. Make sense?
Shared Hosting is a particular type of web hosting service where websites share the same physical server with many other users, effectively reducing the cost of hosting. While shared hosting shares resources, like cpu, ram, bandwidth and disk space, your files are protected and isolated from others.
With Shared Web Hosting, and namely DreamHost, you’ll have everything you need to launch and maintain an incredible website or app, but let’s look at what you can do with a shared web server.
- Host Websites. Many people with small to mid-sized businesses find that Shared Hosting is perfect for their level of website traffic. Additionally, designers and developers who host their clients’ sites also commonly choose Shared Hosting.
- Host Blogs. Shared Hosting is perfect for frequently updated sites like blogs and portfolios. Whether you’re launching your first cooking blog or you’re showcasing your hard work, Shared Hosting can help you share your content with the world. If you need hosting built just for your blog, consider optimized WordPress Hosting.
- Host Online Stores. Starting a new business that requires an online storefront? No problem! Shared Hosting is perfect for ecommerce! With DreamHost’s 100% uptime guarantee, you’ll always be open for business.
- Run Forums. Whether you’re new to the game or you already have a major following, Shared Hosting can help you host online forums and get your voice out there. We can’t wait to see what kind of community you create!
You can think of Shared Hosting as being the “total package.” We’ll take care of everything for you so you can focus on creating great content. These are some of the fan-favorite things that are included with your Shared Hosting plan:
- 24/7 Expert Support. Get your own IT department, instantly. Our award-winning US-Based experts are available to help when you get stuck, anytime, day or night.
- FREE Domain + Privacy. We include a domain with every annual plan and, unlike most hosts, we don't charge a fee to protect your identity by masking your info.
- Custom Control Panel Your hosting control panel should be simple, yet powerful. Our custom control panel is light years above heavy cPanel options and is included in all our hosting plans.
- Unlimited Email @ Your Domain. Create unlimited addresses with POP/IMAP/SMTP accounts. Plus support for autoresponders, webmail, filtering, and advanced spam protection.
- Unlimited Hosting. Powerful shared hosting that doesn’t put limits on the amount of data you transfer, domains that you host, or email that you use!
- FREE SSL Certificates. We include a 1-Click Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate so the data passed between you and your site’s visitors is always safely encrypted.
- Fast SSD Storage. All of your files are stored on fast, high-performance solid-state drives, giving you up to 200% better performance than traditional hard drives.
- Shared hosting is affordable. Generally speaking, Shared Hosting costs a lot less than other popular types of hosting. But that makes sense, right? You're sharing all the resources!
- Shared Hosting is easy to use. You have enough to worry about; web hosting should be easy. With our simple, intuitive control panel, you’ll be able to easily manage your website and make sure it’s always running at lightning speed.
- Shared Hosting is fully-managed. >We’ll take care of all updates and security to your shared server so you don’t have to worry about a thing. You focus on creating great content, we’ll take care of the rest.
- Shared Hosting is flexible. Do what you want with your hosting plan! From building a WordPress site to installing an SSL certificate, Shared Hosting is fully functional and flexible. You’ll have the power and flexibility to make your hosting account work for you.
With shared hosting, if another website on the same server is receiving a large amount of traffic and using a lot of the shared resources, it's possible that your site may run slower as a result.
While DreamHost works hard to make sure all sites on a shared server never disrupt other sites, this is always a possibility due to the nature of shared hosting. That’s why we recommend that you look at our more powerful options like VPS, or even Dedicated hosting if you’re expecting to experience high traffic on your website.
Slow sites can have these consequences:
- Slower Sales. If your site is running slow for whatever reason it’s essentially like telling your potential customers that you’re not open for business. Slow sites = slow sales.
- SEO Google uses a number of factors to determine which website to rank. Faster sites typically rank better than slower ones.
- Negative Brand Association. If users come to your website and experience slow load times, more often than not they’ll leave. Not only does this mean you’ll miss out on a potential visitor, they’ll also remember their poor experience on your site.
- Less Security with Shared Hosting. With Shared Hosting you do have a higher security risk than if you had your own dedicated server. Since you are using a shared server, your website is only as secure as the site with the weakest security on the same server. This is because hackers tend to find the easiest way to get in. Even if your site is secure, sharing a server does open you up to a higher security risk.
While Shared Hosting is a great option for many, it’s not perfect for every website need. Here are a few scenarios in which you may need more hosting resources.
- You need to run large websites with lots of disk space
- You expect major traffic spikes
- Performance is critical
- You want to run custom applications
Getting started with Shared Hosting is simple! You’ll need these three things in order to get up and running:
- Create a Shared Hosting Account. Creating a Shared Hosting account is quick and easy. It can be done in just a few simple steps. Learn more about creating a DreamHost account here!
- Register a Domain Name. A domain registration is the name of your site, which must be purchased in order for the domain to resolve online. Learn more about registering a domain here!
- Get FTP Access (or Similar Access). File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a network protocol that is commonly used to transfer website data from your local computer to the remote web server. This allows you to develop a website locally (on your computer) and then upload it to the remote server to be published to your website. Learn more about FTP Access here!
Shared Hosting is the ideal entry point
Never hosted a website before? Shared Hosting is the perfect place to start. It's safe, secure, and relatively maintenance free.
In terms of access and storage, you'll usually get more flexibility with Shared Hosting than you would with something like a website builder, but not as much as with other dedicated types of hosting. And most importantly, Shared Hosting isn't going to stretch your wallet while you learn the ins and outs of your new website.
It’s easy to upgrade from Shared Web Hosting
If you suddenly become internet famous you can easily upgrade to a more powerful plan. So easy, in fact, that it’s done for you! Most Shared Hosting services give you periodic server upgrades that are managed by the provider.
Want to try Shared Hosting?
You know we sell this stuff too, right? Find the right hosting package for you and give it a shot! Our 97-day money-back guarantee is legit, so it's really a no-brainer. If you don't like it, don't pay for it.