Shared web hosting is the best option for anyone that’s trying to establish their business on the web, create a personal website, or simply bring more traffic to their existing site. There are plenty of great and affordable shared hosting packages that offer unlimited diskspace & bandwidth, domains, customer support 24/7, and numerous other features. In the table below we’ve recommended the highest rated shared hosting providers.
What is Shared Hosting?
When you’re using shared web hosting, you’re purchasing an account on a server which holds numerous other accounts. All of the accounts are sharing the resources like diskspace and bandwidth on the server, and they’re sharing the cost for maintenance and upkeep of the server. This enables the price of hosting accounts to be remarkably affordable as low as $3-$10/month and making them the cheapest hosting option available.
How are shared hosting plans managed?
The hosting provider is responsible for all of the physical maintenance, security, software updates, and any backups needed for the server. If you choose an account from a reputable hosting company like iPage or any of the other hosts we mention on our site, your account will be on a server that’s located in the hosting provider’s data center. The data center is monitored and maintained 24/7 by an administrative team. You can find out the specifics for each individual hosting company’s data center via their website, FAQs or customer support team.
You’re also responsible for managing your account through the control panel which separates the different features of the account into categories (mail, preferences, files, logs, domains, security, databases) and sub-categories. The most popular control panel for hosting accounts is cPanel which organizes their main categories as such: mail, preferences, files, domains, security, databases, software. You can learn more about this from our cpanel hosting article.
Who is the ideal candidate shared web hosting?
New users with personal websites or blogs, small businesses sites, and e-commerce sites, will benefit the most from using a shared server, whereas large business sites or those which experience very heavy traffic should look into purchasing a VPS or Dedicated server to accommodate their websites.
What is included in a typical shared hosting plan?
If you purchase a plan from a leading hosting plan, your package will include the following:
Support & Maintenance: 24/7/365 customer support & technical support with a few different methods for getting in touch with the support representatives from live chat, email, phone, online form and/or a ticket service
Design tools: These include popular tools like Fantastico SimpleScripts which has numerous CMS (Joomla, Drupal, Mambo…), blogging tools (WordPress, b2evolution, and Nucleus), site builders, design templates, and web applications. Most often these can be easily added with a one-click installation.
Multimedia features: These will enable your website to embed streaming audio & video from Windows Media, Quicktime, or Real Media.
Programming tools: Most shared hosting plans are Linux based which means that you’ll received PHP 5 support, Perl, Python, MySQL databases and more.
Bonus features: Most shared hosts offer free setup, a free domain or transfer, free advertising credit with Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and or Bing!, and e-commerce tools such as shopping carts and PayPal support to enable financial transactions on your website.
Email: This includes email accounts, spam filtering, and webmail for you and your employees so that you can securely send and receive messages from your website.
Unlimited or Multiple domains & FTP Accounts: Unlimited domains offer users the ability to host more than one domain on a single account The FTP accounts enable you to allocate and limit permissions for your hosting account to others.
Subdomains: Most plans offer unlimited sub-domains. These are domains that go under one primary domain such as sub.yoursite.com for www.yoursite.com
Unlimited disk space & bandwidth: Disk space determines the files, pages, and emails your account can hold on the server. When thinking of bandwidth, you should understand that the more bandwidth you have the more readers will be able to access your site. Imagine that 1 GB is equivalent to 100,000 visits or hits from users and then decide how much bandwidth you need for your website. Most plans offer unlimited diskspace & bandwidth, which we explain below.
What is meant by unlimited diskspace and bandwidth?
When a company claims that they’ll offer you unlimited bandwidth and storage, what they mean is that there is no defined set limit. The logic behind this is that every website will need a different amount of diskspace and bandwidth in order to perform well, so in order to create a plan that will be effective for most websites, it’s best to not determine the exact amount GB and allow the users to have as much as they need, within reason. The reason that reputable companies such as HostGator are able to provide unlimited storage and bandwidth is that they are fully equipped with large datacenters containing thousands of servers. HostGator alone, accommodates over 12,000 servers for 5 million domains worldwide. This is why we recommend their services along with the other hosts above.