TechTarget defines shared hosting as “web hosting in which the service provider serves pages for multiple websites, each having its own Internet domain name, from a single web server.” In other words, there are other sites hosted on the same server, along with your website.
Shared hosting is the most economical option for webmasters. Because you’re sharing a server with other websites, the server’s total operating costs are distributed across multiple users. This makes it a less expensive option, which may make sense if you’re on a limited budget.
Another plus is that you don’t necessarily need a lot of technical skills to get up-and-running with shared hosting. Issues like maintenance and security are handled by your hosting provider, so these responsibilities won’t fall into your lap. If you’re new to running a website or if technical skills just aren’t your forte, you’ll find it easier to get started with shared hosting.
There are two sides to every story, and that’s especially true in the case of shared hosting. Despite its many advantages, there are some downsides to consider as well.
Perhaps the biggest concern is bandwidth. Because you’re sharing your hosting with other sites, there are inherent limitations in the amount of bandwidth you have to work with, even if you’re technically on an “unlimited bandwidth” plan. A massive surge in traffic on your site could result in network downtime or other complications.
Next, there’s security. Although reputable web hosts – Bluehost included – go to extraordinary lengths to keep shared hosting users safe, the simple fact of the matter is that you’re more susceptible to security threats on a shared plan, simply because there are other sites using your server.
Though these instances are, thankfully, rare, don’t underestimate the threat of cyber attacks. As HP reports, 32 percent of companies fell victim to some form of cyber crime in 2016. Any kind of business is susceptible, but if you’re operating an ecommerce store and consistently dealing with financial transactions, security will be a much larger concern than if you’re simply blogging.