What should you expect in a standard shared hosting package?

Any web hosting company that you might subscribe to will offer a variety of web hosting services, yet when one speaks of standard web hosting services, they are most likely referring to shared web hosting, the idea being that this is the most popular hosting service offered world wide and, as such, the standard for most hosting companies.

The reasons vary, though few can deny the superior benefits offered by shared hosting in comparison to, say, dedicated web hosting, at least in relation to costs. In most cases if you are subscribed to any given web hosting firm then chances are you will be using shared hosting whether or not you know it.

So what should you expect in a standard shared hosting package? Or maybe the first question should be figuring out what shared web hosting is in the first place. As the name denotes, with shared hosting you have a situation where several web sites are sharing the same server, though each website will occupy its own partition within the same web server.

In most cases a shared package will include a predetermined system administrator responsible for making all the major decisions with regards to all the operations on the server and some activities related to the web sites hosted. Whether or not this is an advantage is pretty much up to the individual. After all there are those who would accept this set up as a relief from having to deal with any regular administrative chores that might prove irritating.

Yet a considerable number of persons will prefer a hosting service that allows them a considerable amount of control over the hosting server, which the shared hosting package does not allow. This creates limits with regards to any changes, updates, software installations that an individual might want to install, with such services mostly accessible with dedicated servers but not with shared. On a whole shared server users are expected to contend with the available software and applications, and while that might seem torturous to some it is none the less cheaper than the more powerful dedicated server package.

With the web host provider usually charged with providing management of the servers, most shared host servers run Linux systems, mostly because of their claimed reliability and open source nature; though some will provide windows as an alternative system in case certain applications and programs are not compatible with Linux.

Shared hosting is usually executed through either IP based or name based means, i.e.;

  • IP based – here each virtual host is armed with a different IP address and the software is configured to display a web site to a user based on the IP address provided.
  • Name based – here the hosts are armed with different host names on a physical machined possessing one IP addresses, with the decisions over which web site to make available based on the host name provided in the address.

All in all it isn’t difficult to understand the popularity of shared hosting, after all it is a much cheaper hosting package that allows all the clients to share the costs of maintaining the server.