Last Updated on October 10, 2022 by Arif Chowdhury
Shared hosting is one of the cheapest hosting options for a business or personal website. Shared hosting is always the best choice for a startup business when a company has just started or transferred to an online platform. Also, there could be a lack of funds to invest in a website. In that case, shared hosting is a perfect match.
The shared hosting business has more than an $18.7 billion market valuation, growing yearly. Although it is a perfect match for small businesses and is highly cost-efficient, it has some drawbacks due to its lack of resources issues. It’s so apparent when you get something cheap; it also comes with a lack of quality.
The lack of quality means a lack of resources, which could be a problem for a mid-level business but certainly not for a small business. In this article, I will discuss why shared hosting could be the best choice for a small business.
First of all, let me tell you what Shared Hosting is. Many of you may not know yet. In simple terms, shared hosting is like sharing a room with your classmate. Here your website will share hosting space with other websites.
Let me clarify this for you a bit more; think about your personal computer if your family members share this computer with you for their daily tasks like Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, Documents, Movies, etc. And if there are five members in your family, it means it’s a massacre on a small scale.
Quick Note: Choose one of the best web hosting services with free domain options. Also, some of them will offer you a free SSL certificate. Thus, your overall cost will reduce significantly. However, most hosting services will provide you with a website builder, although you may not need it, as you should use the WordPress platform. Finally, don’t choose a hosting service unless they offer you a 30-day money-back guarantee and live chat customer support.
However, it is very cost-efficient when sharing a personal computer with your family instead of purchasing one computer for each member.
Because five members can use a personal computer without breaking it apart, the resources it has should be enough to handle unless one of you is playing high graphic games or using high-end photo and video editing software.
Therefore, a personal computer for five members should be enough for minimal use. And this is what happened in the shared hosting platform.
When 20 small business websites use the same hosting space but none have huge visitors, it should be sufficient to handle all 20 websites simultaneously without any severe issues.
But as you can see here, 20 websites share one server resource, which means 100 amounts of resources are divided by 20 and allocated to 20 websites. Limited resources are one of the significant issues a shared hosting plan has.
You should use WordPress hosting platform for your business website. In this case, you won’t need any website builders and won’t have to hire expensive web developers. WordPress is the best for small business web hosting solutions.
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Upgrade your hosting plan according to your growth.
When you start your small business and want to choose a web host, I recommend using shared hosting plans. Because initially, you may not require many resources as you will get a few visitors and minimal activities.
Therefore, using a dedicated hosting plan would be a waste of money. Instead, you should look for a hosting service that offers seamless upgrading options from shared hosting to a reliable hosting plan.
Therefore, when you reach a point where you start to receive 10,000 visitors or more per month, you can easily upgrade your current shared hosting plan without getting any hassle of transferring your website elsewhere.
Though almost all hosting services provide this seamless upgrading option, you have nothing to worry about.
Quick Note: If you want to start an online business, you need a proper business web hosting plan. Shared hosting plans are great; however, VPS hosting is preferable for eCommerce businesses. No matter which plan you choose, ensure it has unlimited bandwidth, automatic daily backups, standard security features, and a 99.99% uptime guarantee.
Apart from cost-efficiency, a shared hosting plan has some significant limitations you should know before starting your journey. For example, earlier in this article, I discussed sharing a room with classmates.
The danger of virus infection.
Now think this: What would happen to you if one of your classmates caught the flu? It’s obvious you, and other classmates are in great danger, and chances are you might also get infected.
Similar things may happen when your website uses shared hosting. If one of those 20 websites is infected by malware, your website could be in great danger too.
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Problem with the allocation of resources.
Next, I want to talk about limitations in resources. Again let’s go back to sharing a room with a classmate example. In every dormitory, a group of students shares one dining room and one kitchen. Suppose one of your classmates calls over some friends of his and uses the dining table. It may be a slight problem for the rest of your classmates as you may not get enough space.
The shared hosting plan is somewhat similar to the dining room example. If one of those 20 websites got a considerable number of visitors in a given time, then at that time, it may slow down other websites.
In addition, because a server resource is limited and every website is sharing that resource, if one uses more than their allocated amount, then other website performance will suffer. However, most shared hosting services have their own set of rules to cover this limitation. That is, you cannot use more resources than your allocated amount.
If your website receives a massive spike of visitors at a given time, you will get a warning to reduce your resource uses. After a while, if you do not limit your uses, the server administrator will step in and force your website to minimize resource use.
If that happens, I suggest upgrading your shared hosting plan to dedicated hosting.
There is another drawback of the website slowing down. Google takes it very seriously when ranking a website. If your website has a slow loading speed, it will be hard for you to get ranked. When two websites have the same quality, one has a slightly faster loading speed than the other. Then the fast website will outlast the slow website in ranking.
If you read this article from the beginning, you might think, why should I choose a shared hosting plan when there are so many limitations? Well, it depends on the type of business you are running.
Let’s say, for example; you have a restaurant business in New York City. Most of your customers are from the local area. Yet, you want to open a restaurant website to get more orders online. In that case, your website should be hosted in a shared hosting plan.
Why is that? Simple, most of your customers are from the local area & for the sake of this example, let’s say you have an established customer base for two years.
It means 90% of your revenue generally comes from local customers who don’t even bother whether you have a website. In contrast, 10% of income may generate from online sales. In that case, you shouldn’t invest in an expensive hosting plan like a dedicated server.
However, if you started to get more sales online and that proportion is becoming significant daily, you should consider upgrading your hosting plan. And, of course, unless people started complaining about slow loading speed when ordering from your website. This way, you can ensure when it is the best time to upgrade.
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Why is a dedicated server not the best match for a startup?
Why shouldn’t you invest in a dedicated server right from the beginning? Because it is costly, your new website may not even touch most of its resources. Thus, it will be a severe waste of money on a new website. Instead, think about a shared hosting plan; most can be purchased for around $5-$10 per month.
Another good thing about the shared hosting plan is that – You do not have to worry about maintenance or operating your server. However, unlike the shared hosting plan, you must use a dedicated server.
Hence, as you can see, a dedicated plan is best suited for expert IT professionals or a large company with IT experts to operate and maintain a dedicated server.
If you have a shared hosting plan, you can set it up and forget it. And every operation and maintenance will be done by your hosting provider. Even if you run into some troubles, you can open a support ticket, and they will help you to fix it.
Also, both shared and dedicated hosting have unmetered bandwidth options, and there is no restriction on customer service; thus, only choose a dedicated server if you need more resources for your website.
Alternative option when upgrading a hosting plan.
If you want to upgrade your hosting plan, VPS hosting can be an excellent choice for small to medium businesses, which promises a dedicated resource for your website. However, it is still shared by a few other websites, but unlike shared hosting, it has more premium control over resources and security.
Your second upgrading option could be Cloud hosting if your business is mainly online-based. And most of your revenue comes from online orders. In that case, Cloud hosting can be best for you. It holds several copies of your website on different servers, so if one server has broken down, it won’t affect your website.
And finally, if your business is large and has IT experts, you can choose a dedicated server.
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After reading my article, you should know by now what you have to do. But again, my advice is to plan for your website in a cost-efficient way. First, start with a shared hosting plan, then upgrades it according to your business growth.
However, if you do not have any budget issues & want to start with premium resources right from the beginning, in that case, you should use a dedicated server for your site.
One more thing I forgot to mention in the article. Nowadays, most dedicated hosting services have an on-demand server maintenance option for an extra cost. Thus, if you do not have any budget issues, you can still operate a dedicated server, just like a shared hosting plan.