Your website is the focal point of your online business, as it represents your online identity and reputation on a continual basis. The performance, appearance and presence of your site directly affect the way your visitors perceive the professionalism of your online business. Every site operates on a web server, and this server ultimately dictates the full functionality and performance limitations of every web page on the site. Every time a page is loaded a small burden is placed on the web server, and if the load is too heavy the site performance begins to suffer, in the form of slow page loads, and even site down time. The likelihood of this decreased site performance occurring depends entirely upon the kind of web server being used, as some are more powerful than others. Shared web servers are perhaps the least beneficial, simply because all of the server resources are shared amongst various sites simultaneously.
How Much Is Shared?
Fortunately, sensitive site information (such as financial data) is not shared between unrelated sites in a shared hosting plan. However all of the server resources, such as bandwidth, data transfer, and even storage space are shared with other users that are renting a hosting plan with your web host. Your site’s IP address is also shared with these users as well, which means that their actions may reflect on both the legal credibility and search engine ranking of your site. Since you are sharing all of these attributes with sites that are not under your control, it is possible that unforeseen circumstances could arise, such as being de-indexed from search engines, or even having your site taken offline temporarily.
How Much Can You Save?
The main reason why anyone would purchase a shared hosting plan would be to save money. However, when you factor in the issues that could result from sharing all of your server resources with dozens of other sites, it becomes clear that you may not be saving anything at all. In fact, the percentage of people that will eventually upgrade from a shared hosting plan is rather high. Therefore if you’re inevitably going to upgrade in the future, then there may be little sense in paying for a plan which will soon be obsolete. The truth is you can save a lot of time and money by starting with a plan that is right for you.
When Would Shared Hosting Be Optimal?
If you are operating a personal blog, or a .info domain that is not of high importance to you, then a shared hosting plan could accommodate your needs. Shared hosting is only recommended for individuals, and is not an ideal solution for the online business owner. If you are currently using a shared hosting account for your online business, you may want to consider switching to a VPS or Dedicated hosting account instead. Dedicated and VPS hosting plans offer flexibility, privacy and capabilities that cannot be found in any shared hosting service.