If your business needs a web presence you will find yourself faced with a choice of whether to choose a shared hosting option or a dedicated hosting one.
Other terms for shared hosting are virtual or mass hosting, however, the term “shared hosting” is by far the most common. It refers to a hosting service which is shared with other websites.
The hosting company is able to provide efficient and inexpensive services, including technical services to maintain the server, because the cost is shared among users.
Additionally, if you use a shared hosting service you will also be able to customize your website and add extra features if and when you desire.
Small businesses in particular can benefit from the many low cost opportunities provided by shared hosting companies. Many of these shared hosting services offer complete services including technical support and even online website creation tools.
Some of these shared hosting companies even offer free hosting however you need to be very careful to fully understand the terms of agreement if you are going to be building a web-based business on the back of a free service.
If you want to get your feet wet without cost, choose a service that allows you to upgrade at a reasonable cost. You also need to be fully aware of potential additional charges as well as whether you are giving the hosting company the right to place advertising on your site or even for their advertisers to place cookies on your computer.
You also need ensure that a shared hosting service, whether free or otherwise, can offer you enough capacity for your website to grow as well as having the ability to handle short term traffic spikes as a result of marketing campaigns and increased traffic over time.
Shared hosting is by far the least expensive form of hosting for websites. However, its effectiveness depends upon the number, size and popularity of the websites sharing the server.
For example, if you choose the shared hosting option and find that you are sharing the server with some high traffic websites using a lot of server space, you may find the performance of your own website suffering setbacks such as slow page loads.
Therefore, despite the financial benefits of using shared hosting, it has its limitations. Should you choose the shared hosting option, you will also be unable to use certain scripting languages and applications.
If you require broader services from your host, you may need to consider dedicated hosting. However, unlike shared hosting providers, dedicated server hosts are only responsible for hosting services although some provide additional support services at a cost.
If you choose to rent a dedicated server, you will be able to use all the server’s resources as well as renting server space to other websites should you wish to do so.
Renting a dedicated server may be worth considering if you expect your website to grow quickly as a result of extensive marketing programs.
Generally speaking, the larger the business, the higher the bandwidth requirement and the greater the potential need for more server space and higher level technical support.
Whether you choose shared hosting or dedicated hosting, be sure the company you choose provides 24/7 technical support and possesses a good reputation for security and minimal server downtime.
If you do your due diligence and make sure you are fully informed before committing to a website hosting service, you will give yourself and your business the best chance of online success.