Nowadays, having a site is very vital for the success of any business. The stronger your online presence, the more your business will be visible to people out there. When more people have access to your business, it is likely to translate into an increase in sales. However, besides having a well designed site or a good domain name, you need to select a good web host. There are different kinds of options you can choose from including dedicated hosting, VPS hosting, cloud hosting and shared hosting.
Shared hosting refers to a situation where a web hosting provider accommodates several sites on the same server. This kind of hosting is ideal option for individuals or small businesses that want to build a well designed and well maintained website, but do not require a lot of memory or space. In addition, it is the best option for individuals who have very little technical knowledge about servers and websites.
Features of shared hosting
When it comes to shared hosting, different web hosting providers offer varying plans which you can choose from. Here are some of the common features which characterize shared hosting:
- A user-friendly templates and design tools which can enable anyone to build and run a functional and professional site fast and easily
- A control panel which allows website owners to modify the functionality and look of their site by altering the settings
- Email features allow you to stay in touch with your customers and staff. You can build mailing lists which can be used to create awareness about your site, as well as market your brands
Shared hosting vs. dedicated servers
A dedicated server has its own advantages. It is ideal for hosting large sites which receive heavy traffic and have the potential for major growth in future. A dedicated server makes it possible for you to take full advantage of the server’s maximum capacity. However, for small business sites which are basic and have little traffic, hosting on dedicated servers would only be a waste of money, space and technology. In such cases, shared hosting would be more ideal. Since the server resources are shared among different users, one is only required to pay for the space or features they require.
Advantages of shared hosting
Here are some of the advantages of shared hosting:
- Usability – Most shared hosting providers offer easy to use website builders which can help you build a site according to your needs
- Support – Shared hosting enables you to benefit from group operation, security and support
- Affordability – Hosting on dedicated server can be very costly. Shared hosting allows you to build and run a site which meets your needs at a reasonable cost
- Variety – Most web hosting providers offer a wide selection of shared hosting plans to suit small, as well as moderately sized businesses
- Forums – Users of shared web hosting services can share tips with other people through different forums and programs
Here are the steps you need to take towards using shared hosting services:
1. Choose your company
There are numerous shared web hosting providers out there. Before signing up with any, you need to first establish the needs of your site. In addition, you need to consider your level of technical knowledge. Take time to carry out some research about the company. It would be advisable to visit different web hosting forums to find out what other people are saying about them.
2. Choose your plan
Shared web hosting plans differ in terms of domains supported, bandwidth capability, memory space, among other features. Once you have figured out the scope and type of your site, you can then choose a suitable plan. Remember to make provision for future expansion and growth.
3. Build and maintain your site
The templates offered by most shared hosting providers make it easy for any novice to build a customizable site. The comprehensive control panel provided enables you to modify the function and appearance of your site fast. This means that you can design your site to operate exactly the way you want it to. In addition, the control panel allows you to optimize your site, as well as well as keep track of the traffic flow.