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What Exactly is Shared Hosting?
Shared hosting is a service that web hosting distributors provide so that you can put your website online.
How can people see your web site?
When you set up a website and you want other people to see it, you will have to copy (or upload) it to a web server. If you attempt to render the website available on the Internet by shared hosting it on your own computer, there is no way for you to keep it always online, which is why website hosting services came into existence.
How does shared hosting work?
Web hosting suppliers offer you hard drive storage space for your website on their high-power computers (hosting servers) and guarantee continuous network uptime. When somebody types your URL (for instance www.my-best-domain.com) in their web browser's address bar, they will be connected to the web server where they can take a glimpse at the content of your web site.
With the progress of Internet technologies, several types of web hosting services have come into being to match the different requirements of website possessors, among them shared web hosting services, VPS server hosting services and dedicated server hosting services.
Shared web hosting is the most popular form of hosting, and is also the easiest to begin with. It is a service where a single web server is divided among many shared hosting account owners who are restricted by the CPU, web traffic and web hosting storage space quotas that they have been allocated. This form of hosting is usually less expensive - you don't have to buy the whole web hosting server upfront, as it is divided between multiple hosting account owners, and the web hosting company can afford to offer much cheaper prices. It is also much easier to use - the hosting server is pre-configured with all the necessary software and the web hosting company handles all server maintenance procedures and security updates for you.
The downside of the shared website hosting solution is that you share the hosting server's system resources with other hosting customers and if a given website becomes really popular it may affect (and slow down) the rest of the web sites on that hosting server, but the majority of web hosting companies, including us at ConeXioneXtendida, have security platforms in place that impede that from happening.
A description of a hosting service
Because shared hosting is the most common form of web hosting, the majority of web hosting providers and hosting clients simply call it hosting or website hosting. As there is a great competition on the website hosting market, most web hosting suppliers try to offer affordable prices and bonuses with their hosting services. We, for example, provide different website hosting plans and two billing options - monthly and annual, depending on your finances. If you pick the annual invoicing cycle, you will get a bonus - one free-of-cost domain name registration.
Virtual private servers
VPS is an abbreviation of Virtual Private Server. The Virtual private servers hosting solution is essentially the middle ground between the shared web hosting solution and the dedicated web hosting solution. If your web site outgrows the resources offered by your shared web hosting account, a virtual web server hosting package is a possible solution. VPS web server hosting account holders still share the hardware resources of the physical machine with other private virtual web server hosting clients, but the hard disk drive is split up using special virtualization software so that each partition has its own guaranteed resources and can be configured almost like an actual dedicated server. The advantage is that the CPU and the RAM memory on a virtual web server are not shared. What's more, the virtualization software gives you much more freedom to configure your VPS web hosting server, but it also presupposes a more advanced level of technical proficiency.
With the Dedicated Server solution, the client obtains an entire dedicated server and can use all its system resources. The dedicated web hosting solution is the most powerful of all website hosting solutions and offers numerous customization possibilities - the dedicated server web hosting users can choose the hardware and software specifications that will answer their requirements. Dedicated resources and guaranteed performance are among the reasons why a dedicated hosting web server is an excellent solution for a intense-traffic corporate web site, for example - you will not share the web server's resources with anyone else and will have complete server root access. You will exert full control over the web server, which will permit you to implement any server configuration modifications that you might need. The disadvantage of the dedicated hosting solution is that a higher level of technical expertise is needed - unless you employ an Information Technology professional, it will be your responsibility to manage and configure the dedicated hosting server. The dedicated server web hosting solution is also much more expensive, since the cost of the dedicated hosting web server isn't shared among any other clients.
A hosting tip for beginner users
If you are just starting to build your site and are looking for a website hosting solution to begin with, the shared website hosting solution persists to be the most sensible choice. If your web site grows beyond your web hosting account's resources, you can normally upgrade. With us, for example, this is very easy and requires no migration of your data, because only the features of your web hosting account change. You can also upgrade your hosting package to a more advanced one at any particular time without worrying about the time left until expiration. Furthermore, if you finally reach the most powerful shared website hosting package and still need more system resources (which is a good thing sometimes - it signifies that your site's popularity has risen!), there always is the option to migrate to a Virtual Private Server hosting platform or a dedicated server web hosting platform without the need to swap web hosting providers.