The Pitfalls of Shared Servers

The majority of websites are run on a shared server. There are definite advantages and disadvantages to placing your site on a shared server. This article will detail the most common complaints from shared hosting customers.

While these complaints may not be typical of every single shared hosting package, in general, they are quite ordinary complaints.

Slow Server Speed. When you put twenty different sites on the same server, it means that each one of these sites is draining the system resources of the server. This can result in a great reduction of processing speed, making your site as slow as molasses.

In addition, other system resources, such as RAM can be affected. If there is one site on the server that is very popular and highly trafficked, this site will be taking resources away from yours.

Security Issues. Since you are sharing a server with possibly 20 or more other webmasters, there are definite security issues that affect shared hosting customers. If one of your server companions is into hacking, your site and your data may be compromised.

This means that all it takes is one malicious hacker with a handy script to lose all of your customer’s information if you are an ecommerce site, or your personal data if your site is simply a personal site.

Delay in Support. When you are hosting your site with a company that has several hundred other customers, this can result in a delay in receiving a timely support response. While many companies put forth extra effort for their customers, they cannot help if they are inundated with requests at the same time.

More Downtime. Servers that are packed with different accounts, that are constantly draining resources can become unstable. This means that you may experience more downtime on a shared server. If the other site owners are running applications that cause frequent crashes, this can become an almost daily event. If you need your site to be up the majority of the time, this can be very annoying.

Although the major inducement to purchase a shared server package is price, you may not be getting your money’s worth. If you are frequently experiencing downtime, you are losing customers or visitors that may have contributed to your revenue stream.

Before deciding on a hosting plan, try to find out how many people the host allows to share one server. A good host will put a limit on this number and they will not exceed it. Shared hosting does not have to be a nightmare, but it requires a host that is committed not only to support, but one that will avoid cramming as many sites on one server that they can.

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Posted on 12/14/05 10:38 PM

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