In the world of blogging, it can be difficult to know which products and systems are the best options for you. Everyone has an opinion and everyone has had different experiences. This is particularly true of free website hosting. There are literally hundreds of choices available—an overwhelming prospect for new (and even veteran) bloggers and website owners.
How do you know which host is right for you? What packages offer the best deal? What are the advantages of shared hosting compared to VLP and dedicated hosting? The questions go on. But for most bloggers and small businesses, the answer lies in shared website hosting. Here’s why:
1. The Price is Right
Shared hosting is an economical choice for most blogs and websites. With a shared server, you will pay considerably less than you would for a dedicated hosting provider because you will only be using a fraction of their server. Most shared servers will cost you under $10 per month (compared to $100-$200 per month for a virtual private or dedicated server).
Since most websites do not need more bandwidth than the typical shared hosting package provides, you can get a lot more bang for your buck on a shared provider. However, if your blog or website needs to support a large video or audio file database, you may need to consider opting for a dedicated server.
2. Simplified Set-Up
One of the most attractive qualities of a shared website hosting service is the easy-to-use, DIY set-up structure. With dedicated servers, you will need extensive knowledge to handle the set-up, maintenance, and administration of your websites.
This can be impractical and expensive—particularly for work at home bloggers. Shared hosting takes much of the legwork out of site creation and set-up. Most hosts allow you to simply add plugins for blogging platforms like WordPress, with simple, do-it-yourself steps. Within an afternoon you can have your blog up and running.
3. Fast Support
Shared hosting providers typically offer fast and effective tech support 24/7. At first glance, you might assume the opposite would be true, but with a shared hosting plan, you share space with thousands of other users. Therefore, when your site has problems, it is important that the host fixes the issue as soon as possible, so it does not affect its other customers. For new bloggers or non tech-savvy administrators, having that added resource can make a huge difference in your website hosting experience.
With VPS (Virtual Private Server) or dedicated hosting, tech support is less reliable. With only one server down, they can take their time to address the issue because it only affects you—rather than thousands of other customers. Moreover, you will have complete administrative control, and are expected to have the knowledge necessary to address technical problems yourself.
4. A Cheap Trial Option
If you are unsure what kind of hosting plan is best for you, starting with a shared host is a cost-effective way to find out. Because of the low price for a monthly plan, shared hosting allows you to try out the product with little investment.
This is particularly appealing for small business websites and independent bloggers who may not have the resources available to invest in more expensive packages. Plus, if you decide after you purchase a shared plan that you will need greater control or simply a larger server to accommodate your site, you can easily switch plans. Whereas, if you started out with a VPS or dedicated hosting package, you will be out hundreds of dollars if you decide you don’t want or need it later.
The key to finding the right host for your website is weighing your wants and needs against the various options. Research different providers and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Talk to customer support to discover what each host can do for you. Depending on your particular website needs, as well as your knowledge and experience in website maintenance, you can find a host that works for you.
Jake Magleby has written extensively about effective marketing, sales, and financing strategies to help small business owners succeed in the fast-paced and ever-changing business world. For more information on shared hosting, visit Midphase.com.