What is Shared WordPress Hosting & Should You Use It?

what is shared wordpress hosting

If you are shopping around for a hosting solution for your WordPress website or blog, you will come across several options, with one of them being shared WordPress hosting. This is especially true if you are looking for an affordable hosting solution. The least expensive and most popular of all paid hosting solutions is shared hosting.

But what is WordPress shared hosting? Is it the right option for you? What are its advantages and limitations? Well, in this post, we will answer all these questions, and much more.

Let’s get started…

What Is Shared WordPress Hosting?

For your self-hosted WordPress website to appear online and be discoverable, its files and pages need to reside on a server. This server connects your website to the internet and thus allows people to access your site. There are several server options you can consider;

  1. Host your own server in your facility
  2. Host your server in another facility
  3. Choose to use a server provided by your host
  4. Choose to share a server space offered by a hosting provider with others (shared hosting)

We can, therefore, define shared hosting as a hosting where you share server resources with others. In other words, multiple websites utilize resources on a single server. Usually, you have no idea what websites you are sharing server resources with. Each user on the server usually has a limit on the total amount of resources they can utilize, but this is dictated by the hosting package you choose.

Shared hosting is the most economical option you can consider. Of course, cheap comes with limitations, which we will discuss later.

Before we discuss the benefits of shared web hosting, it is important to note that most hosting companies offer the same amount of server space and storage, but will differ on WordPress Hosting features such as domain, SSL, 1-Click Install, automated backups and upgrades, support, CDN, and Caching. Therefore, it is important that you choose a hosting company that you can trust and meets your needs.

Why Choose WordPress Shared Hosting?

While you may not fit well within the shared hosting environment, there are several reasons why shared web hosting is popular. One of them being affordability. This benefit makes it attractive for personal websites, small and medium-sized businesses, and websites with moderate traffic. Websites in these categories will thrive well in a shared hosting environment.

Here are the advantages of choosing a shared WordPress web hosting:

1. You will save money

Shared hosting is cost effective, which means that you will not have to incur a lot of costs to get your site online. With just a few dollars every month, you can share server resources with others, which, in most cases, will be enough.

Instead of incurring the cost of owning a cPanel license, you will get it for a small fraction of its price since you are sharing the same license with many other users. This helps to cut costs and allows you to have your own site.

This is what makes shared hosting a good option for people with a limited budget, and those who are starting out.

2. Ease of use

If you don’t have a lot of technical skills and still want to manage your website, this is the option to go for. Often, popular shared web hosting services offer a good control panel that lets you upload and download files with ease.

Besides, the cPanel File Manager tools come with options to copy, move, rename, delete, and even change permissions of folders and files of your website or blog.

As opposed to a dedicated server or VPS, a shared web hosting account allows you to easily change passwords, add FTP users, and unzip or compress folders on upload. This is not possible on dedicated hosting or VPS without making complex configurations or using premium tools. Therefore, using shared web hosting is easier and great for beginners who do not possess a lot of technical skills.

3. Unmetered bandwidth

In other web host solutions, a hosting provider will offer unlimited bandwidth for your site every month. This means that there will be no problems if you use a GB of bandwidth or more. However, if you overload the server, your account can be suspended.

In shared hosting, if you use a lot of bandwidth and it affects other domains, your web host may send an email asking you to upgrade your account to suit your bandwidth requirement. But this is rare, which makes a shared web hosting ideal for beginners and websites with moderate traffic.

4. You can host multiple domains

If you want to host several domains, then shared hosting is the best option. The majority of web hosts allow for hosting of different domains on the same account. Some allow 2, 3, or 5 per account, while others have no restriction as long as your sites are not getting a lot of traffic.

Therefore, for students, developers, and individuals who need to host a few websites, shared hosting is the way to go.

5. Easy email setup and hosting

Most business owners are looking for branded emails. Therefore, having multiple emails with your domain name is a bonus to many. Even better, the cPanel offered by many shared web hosts allows one to add email, remove others, and even forward emails to Gmail.

Downside of Shared WordPress Web Hosting

Even if this hosting comes cheap and you get everything in one place, it has its limitations, including;

1. Security problems

Since shared web hosts accommodate different domains from multiple users, it is possible that hackers can use one domain to gain access to the whole server, and thus compromise all the sites hosted there. However, these scenarios are rare, but as compared to other hosting options, their level of security is lower.

2. Issues with speed

Since all users share the same server resources, RAM, and CPU, speed could be slower. This will be more noticeable if one of the sites on the server receives a lot of traffic. All the other sites may be affected because of the excessive usage of server resources. 

Of course, some web hosts are faster than others, but generally, you cannot compare the loading speed of a site hosted on a dedicated hosting with the page load speed of a site on shared hosting.

3. Tendency of server crashes

It can be frustrating to use shared hosting because of server crashes caused by some sites using excessive RAM and CPU. Some web hosting companies are better at managing this than others, which is why you should take time to choose the right one for your needs.

Final Thoughts

For most people who are getting started online or those whose websites receive a low or moderate amount of traffic, the benefits you will get from shared hosting greatly outweigh the disadvantages. Also, reputable WordPress shared hosting providers are well aware of shared hosting risks and manage them so well that you may not even notice these limitations. Some even go to the extent of guaranteeing 100% up-time and live by it.  

It is also important to note that you can upgrade your hosting package once you outgrow the resources offered by your shared hosting provider.

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