What Is Shared Hosting? A Brief Overview

what is shared hosting

If you’re looking for all there is to know around shared hosting, you’ve come to the right place.

This article will discuss what shared hosting is, who would benefit from it, obligations of the host and the user and finally, a few pros and cons.

Let’s get straight into it.

Shared Hosting FAQ

What is shared hosting?

shared hosting

Let’s begin by talking about a server.

A server is a form of hardware which stores files and data related to websites.

A server can also be referred to as the host, as it is the server which hosts all the information related to a particular website.

Shared hosting is thus the sharing of the space with which the host stores the data.

Shared hosting services then, involves the sharing of storage, resources and cost of a server which powers multiple websites. This division means that functionality may be limited especially when a website is content heavy, or when high traffic volumes are experienced.

Shared hosting is thus best suited for beginner websites that are experiencing low traffic volumes, and are still building up their content.

Let’s take a closer look at who shared hosting is best suited for.

Who needs shared hosting?

Shared hosting favours websites that have relatively low volumes of content and traffic. We therefore suggest shared hosting to beginner websites as the drawbacks of shared hosting should not affect them.

The cost of shared hosting is very attractive and as a result, it is a popular choice.

We have highlighted 6 factors to consider when deciding whether shared hosting is for you or not.

Factors to consider when buying shared hosting

1. Price

If this is your very first website, price will be your main concern since you are still learning about many of the functions and features on offer. The monthly fees associated with shared hosting makes it very attractive whilst still giving you the chance to manage your own website without all the maintenance.

2. Features

Features are important as you will no doubt want your website to do what you need it to do. Most hosts have a variety of features which allow you to choose the package which best suits your website needs.

3. Scalability

As your site grows and you become interested in packages that will better suit your traffic needs, you will easily be able to upgrade things like bandwidth and storage.

4. Performance

Most servers are fairly reliable when it comes to performance, however should a website that shares the same resources as you experience a growth spike, you may notice load times dramatically increase, along with other system problems.

5. Resource limitations

As previously discussed, shared hosting shares the resources of a server. Many hosting companies claim that there are unlimited resources, but the truth is, these resources are in fact, very limited. If your site gains popularity and the increase in traffic starts to slow other websites down, you may have to upgrade to a dedicated package that will be better suited to handle this increase.

6. Restrictions

There are a fair amount of restrictions associated with shared hosting, certain apps and integrated software may be restricted. It is important to know which functions are restricted before you subscribe to any service.

Managing A Website On A Shared Server

shared hosting pros and cons

A common question for those new to website hosting is: who handles what?

Let’s begin with the duties of your hosting company.

The hosting company handles general maintenance and any upgrades. Upgrades include all hardware and software upgrades, operating system upgrades or things like replacing drivers, etc.

Your website is your responsibility.

You will need to set up your email accounts, upload files and install applications. You will also be able to monitor your traffic through the control panel. In a nutshell, any changes to the way your website looks, or features that affect what users can do on your site, is your responsibility.

Now that we understand what shared hosting works and the factors you need to consider before subscribing to a hosting service, let’s discuss some pros and cons.

Pros And Cons Of Shared Hosting


  • Most cost effective way to host a site. Packages can be found from as low as $2.99 per month.
  • Upgrading your package as your website gains traction is simple.
  • Managing your website is made simple due to the fact that everything is accessible through a control panel.
  • Maintenance is handled by the hosting company.
  • No technical skills are required.


  • Slower loading times are sometimes experienced due to high content levels on your website.
  • Performance can also be affected by high traffic volumes on your website or other sites that share the resources of your sever.
  • The server environment cannot be customized as these upgrades are handled by your hosting provider.

Shared Hosting – Final Say

We would like to wrap up by saying that if you are at the initial phase of your website development, then shared hosting may be the option for you.

The fact that maintenance is handled by the web hosting company allows you to run your website without any technical skills.

We therefore recommend shared hosting to those who would like to begin building their online presence in a simple, and cost effective way.

About the Author Devon Ramages

Devon is our resident online business and social media guru. With a background in digital marketing, Devon has worked in a consulting capacity helping small business scale their reach and engagement online. When not consulting or writing about online business, Devon can be found surfing in his hometown, Cape Town, South Africa.

Leave a Comment: