Shared hosting, where one computer runs many websites, is an excellent option for most small businesses. It’s inexpensive, convenient, and offers most of the features a small business would ever need.
However, if you look at websites like Quora or Reddit, you’ll find many misleading discussions about shared hosting. Today, we’re going to clear up the misconceptions and bust some myths while we’re at it.
Things You Shouldn’t Believe About Shared Hosting
Many small business owners pass on shared hosting, opting for a more expensive service, all because they believe the false statements they heard from a colleague or read online.
In this section, we’ll go over the four most common misconceptions about shared hosting. After you read this, you may still end up choosing something other than shared hosting, but in that case, it will be for valid reasons, not because of falsehoods spread around the interwebs.
Myth #1: Free Hosting Is the Same as Shared Hosting
When you’re new to shopping for hosting services, the availability of free hosting can be confusing. Every free hosting service you come across will be shared hosting, but that does not mean that all shared hosting is free, nor does it mean that shared hosting is low-value hosting.
As for whether you should take advantage of free shared hosting: the answer is a definitive “No.”
As you may already know, even if something is free, there’s usually a hidden cost. In the case of free hosting, the provider must monetize its services somehow. This usually comes in the form of ads on your website, which are intrusive, and you won’t profit from them at all.
Free hosting also typically lacks uptime guarantees, and the customer service that comes with it isn’t particularly good.
A full-featured shared hosting plan only costs a few dollars more than free hosting and offers much more value. When you’re running a small business, you’ll want to avoid the co-branding and ads that appear on a website with free hosting.
Myth #2: Shared Hosting Lacks Scalability
One of the main myths about shared hosting is the idea that it lacks scalability.
The mistaken assumption is that, on a shared hosting plan, as soon as your business grows even a bit, you’ll max out your hosting resources. There’s a fear of either being stuck with too little storage, RAM, and bandwidth to run your site, or having to shop for an entirely new hosting service.
In reality, shared hosting is extremely scalable. The best providers offer different levels of managed shared hosting plans to address the needs of site owners who want to grow their website and their business. A new business owner can initially select the least expensive shared hosting plan and scale it up to the next level as their business and website grow.
Myth #3: Shared Hosting Is Not Secure
You may have heard that shared hosting is not secure compared to other types of hosting. That’s not true—in fact, shared hosting is often provided by employing highly secure, enterprise-level server resources. Shared hosting plans will usually offer a server firewall, monitoring, and intrusion detection. Additionally, site owners can typically take advantage of DDoS attack prevention, network monitoring, and other services that help keep their site secure, and all of this carefully managed by the hosting provider.
Can more expensive hosting be more secure? Yes, if you have the knowledge and resources to take a slightly more hands-on approach to website security, but if you don’t, opting for a managed VPS hosting plan could result in a less secure site than it would be on a well-managed shared hosting service.
Myth #4: With Shared Hosting, You Can Expect Downtime
Another myth about shared hosting is that it has frequent downtimes. On the contrary, for the most part, shared hosting is exceptionally reliable.
The best shared hosting providers deliver on their promise of reliable service, offering uptime guarantees of 99% or more. They’ll provide 24/7 customer support so you can contact someone immediately if you run into issues.
Even the best providers can experience service problems—what separates them from other hosting companies is how they respond.
With free hosting or a service that’s managed by a less established provider, the company’s inability to quickly correct problems is usually the reason your website will be down for longer than it should be.
In contrast, if your site runs on a well-managed shared hosting service, the provider will employ closely monitored servers. The instant a webserver has hardware or connection problems, an automated switch-over to redundant systems, or another corrective action, will ensure that your site gets back online before your customers even know there was a problem.
The main point is, while it’s true that site owners who opt for low-end shared hosting often experience downtime, shared hosting is not to blame. The problem stems from the hosting provider’s inability to maintain and manage their servers.
Know the Truth: Shared Hosting Is Scalable, Secure, and Reliable!
Shared hosting gets unjustly criticized, with myths that it’s insecure, unreliable, and won’t grow with your business. Now you know the truth.
Shared hosting is scalable, secure, and reliable.
With a little research, small business owners can learn a lot about what a great shared hosting provider looks like. Here are some of the things to focus on when researching providers:
- Positive reviews
- Award-winning customer support
- Uptime guarantees
- BBB Accredited rating
- Knowledgebase and blog
- Multilingual support
While the myths covered here stop far too many small business owners from taking advantage of shared hosting, some site owners have valid reasons for choosing a hosting plan that provides dedicated server access.
Here’s something that’s not a myth: with shared hosting, there are minor limitations on access to server resources and restrictions on the applications you can run. But, those are typically not barriers to running a great-looking, high-performance website.
For the vast majority of small business owners, shared hosting will be the right choice, as it can provide a secure, reliable foundation for their website that can grow with their business!