Imagine that you are trying to start up a website for your company and you want to consider your options.
Well, you first should perhaps consider what you are going to do for the exact purpose of the website (whether that is marketing, actually selling products, or offering an online service).
Then, you might want to consider some of the design elements of the website and how it might be the best thing for your particular clientele. Yet with all of this to consider, one question still remains. How should I host this website?
You can use shared hosting or dedicated hosting. Dedicated hosting will mean a single server for your website and that server has what you want on it and only what you want on it. Shared hosting means sharing the server space with several (or many, depending on the service) other websites.
Try to think of dedicated hosting as living alone and shared hosting as having unknown roommates with unknown needs and dispositions.
Based on these definitions, shared hosting is almost always cheaper, as there are several users sharing the costs.
That being said, shared hosting also shares the responsibilities among those using the server, as well as the consequences. For example, another company could be engaging in spamming practices and could get your IP blacklisted from search engines. This is not good for your business and it would be a large problem to fix.
However, if you don’t have a dedicated IT professional or some other service that manages your computer networks, websites, and systems, then you might want to lean toward shared hosting. Hosting services often put up protections for you and there will often be a weight of responsibility on the shared server should something go wrong. You will also not need all of the technical expertise that is needed with using a dedicated server (although some options might have a dedicated and managed server, for a price of course).
There are great limitations, though, on some of that protection. Shared hosting is often not so easily compatible with some security protocols, and if another website is compromised on your server then all of the websites could become compromised.
If you need data and/or your website to be absolutely safe and that is your highest priority, avoid shared hosting like the plague and do it yourself. If you do it yourself, you can control everything and take the risks you want to, and no more.
With shared hosting, you are also going to share the bandwidth. Do you only expect your website to get a little bit of traffic? Then shared hosting is fine. Otherwise, your customers may experience lag or other problems should the other websites on the server get a lot of traffic at the same time you are. They won’t blame the shared server like you might, but they might directly blame you for their poor experience.
So, to answer the question about whether shared hosting is reliable and a good idea, you must ask another question. Do I trust the people sharing with me? More specifically, you should be asking the question “Do I trust the people sharing with me enough so that a vital part of my business is in their hands?”
The answer, if you are a large organization that can afford better options, is probably not. Otherwise, it might be great for a simple website with some contact information. As with many things relating to technology, the choice is yours and only you have all the information. Thank you for reading and we hope you make an informed decision on how to move forward with your website.
Caroline is a technology enthusiast and blogger who writes for www.securethoughts.com. She enjoys writing about technology and her main area of interest is internet security.