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Shared WordPress Hosting: Good or Bad Choice?

The process of choosing a hosting solution can be overwhelming, especially for those approaching this for the first time.

With so many options available, it's not always clear which one is best for your needs. That's why I want to share my thoughts on shared WordPress hosting, a popular and cost-effective option for many small websites.

In this article, I'll go over the pros and cons and give you some tips on how to choose the right provider. So if you're interested in learning more about shared hosting and whether it's the right choice for you, read on!

What is shared hosting?

Shared WordPress hosting is a type of hosting plan where your website is hosted on the same server as other websites.

This means that all of us share the same server resources like processing power and storage, making it a cost-effective way to host a website. With a shared hosting service, you'll also get performance-optimized servers specifically for WordPress websites. Plus, in most cases, you'll get unlimited storage, sites, and visitors.

Of course, shared web hosting has its downsides. You'll be sharing the server with other websites,  which could cause issues with overall performance, uptime, or security.

If this is a deal breaker for you I recommend you read our article about Managed WordPress Solutions.

Pros and cons of shared hosting plans

It's important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding which type of hosting is best for your WordPress site. Here are some advantages and disadvantages:

Pros

  • Cost-effective and accessible:
    It's one of the most affordable options, making it a great choice for small businesses that are just starting out or those on a budget. 
  • Easy to set up:
    Most shared WordPress hosting plans offer one-click installation and updates, so you can quickly and easily set up your website.
  • Multiple websites:
    With most plans, you can host a few websites on a single account, so you can manage multiple WordPress sites from one dashboard.
  • Free email accounts:
    Many shared WordPress hosting providers do offer free email accounts as part of their hosting plans, tied to your domain name, which can be useful for professional communication and branding purposes.

Cons

  1. Limited resources and performance:
    Shared hosting plans often offer minimal resources, leading to slower loading speeds and more downtime. This makes the shared hosting services suitable only for low-traffic sites.
  2. Risk of security breaches:
    Your WordPress site is on the same server as a number of other sites. If one site is infected with malware, it can spread to other sites in the same environment.
  3. Limited customization:
    You don't have the same level of control and customization over your environment as you would with dedicated hosting.

What to consider when choosing shared hosting provider

This is a hard part, so it's important to research your options carefully.

Here are some key factors to consider when evaluating different shared WordPress hosting companies:

  • Price:
    This one is simple. Don't choose a provider based solely on price. While it's important to stay within your budget, don't compromise on quality and reliability for the sake of a few dollars. Look for hosting providers that offer a good balance of price and performance.
  • Customer reviews:
    Before signing up with a provider, be sure to do your research. Check out their reputation and reviews from other users. Make sure the provider you choose is reliable and has a good track record of customer satisfaction.
  • Security:
    Make sure the hosting provider has secure systems in place to protect your website from malicious attacks. Go for the hosting provider that offers robust security measures such as malware and virus protection, firewalls, and regular backups.
  • Uptime:
    It is important that the hosting provider has a good uptime record so that your website is always available online.
  • Backup Frequency:
    Check to see if the shared web hosting provider offers frequent backups so that you can rest assured your data is safe.
  • Consider scalability:
    When evaluating different shared hosting services, consider the scalability of their plans. You may not need a lot of resources now, but as your website grows, you'll want a provider that can accommodate your increasing needs.
  • Customer Support:
    Choose a web hosting provider that offers excellent customer service and technical support, in case any issues arise. Make sure your host offers 24/7 customer service so that you can get help whenever you need it.
  • Your Needs:
    Consider exactly what type of website you are building and ensure that the hosting provider can provide the necessary resources.
  • Test period:
    Test the WordPress hosting service before committing to a long-term contract. Many shared hosting providers offer a trial period or money-back guarantee, so take advantage of this opportunity to test the service and ensure that it meets your needs.

Understanding unlimited resources in shared hosting plans

While searching for that ideal shared web hosting provider, you might come across plans that advertise "unlimited" storage, bandwidth, and websites. But what does that really mean?

Well, generally it means that you won't hit a hard cap on usage, but there is still a fair usage policy in place. This means that you can use a lot of resources, but if it starts to impact other users on the same server, the provider may ask you to upgrade or reduce your usage.

They do this to maintain a healthy performance for everyone.

So, my advice is to always read the fair usage policy of WordPress hosting companies before signing up and understand how it affects the resources advertised as "unlimited".

Reliable shared web hosting providers

With so many web hosting companies offering seemingly similar services, it can be hard to know which one to choose. To help you out, we made a short list of the ones we recommend:

  • Bluehost:
    They offer a wide variety of hosting options, from shared hosting to dedicated servers. Furthermore, Bluehost provides free domain registration, free SSL certificates, and 24/7 customer support.
  • Dreamhost:
    Offer daily backups of your site, unlimited storage and bandwidth, and specialized WordPress hosting services.
  • SiteGround: offers a range of shared hosting plans starting at just $2.99 per month, with features such as bandwidth, email accounts, FTP and SFTP accounts, SSL & HTTP/2.
  • HostGator:
    One of the most popular shared hosting options for WordPress sites. It features a fast setup, 24/7 live chat support, and plenty of features to make it easy to get started.

Web hotels: a specialized shared hosting service

As in shared hosting, multiple websites are hosted on the same server and share resources such as CPU, RAM, and storage space. However, unlike shared hosting, web hotels generally have a lower number of customers per server.

In terms of features, they usually offer a more limited set of options compared to regular shared web hosting. Web hotels often have a limited number of email accounts, databases, and FTP users, and providing access to server-side configurations and scripts is more restricted.

Also. web hotels often have stricter limits on resource usage and storage, which can affect the scalability of your website.

This makes web hotels a good option for users who don't need advanced features and just need a basic hosting solution.

Conclusion

Whether you're just starting out with your first website or you're looking to upgrade from a free hosting service, shared hosting is definitely worth considering.

To recap, It's a cost-effective and easy-to-use option that is suitable for small websites with low traffic. If you have a larger website with higher traffic or more complex requirements, you may want to consider alternative hosting options such as dedicated, cloud, or VPS hosting.

If you're still unsure of which hosting solution is best for you, don't hesitate to reach out to us for help.

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