Every business needs a website. Nowadays, that is no longer debatable. There are so many benefits that having an online presence will bring your business, whether you run a thrift shop or a multinational. But this does not imply that you must splurge several thousands of dollars in building one, especially if you run a small business.
Enter shared web hosting. If you run a small business that does not expect a ton of traffic, then this is the way to go. Shared hosting plans are also great for individuals and non-profit entities. They are usually the first direction new entrants to the internet take. Shared hosting plans are cost-effective, and represent good value for money, in most cases.
A very strong hint lies right there in the name. Shared hosting is a type of website hosting in which websites utilize an internet server together with one or more other websites. It also shares the resources from that server with the other websites.
Usually, you have no idea what other websites you share the server resources with, and there are limits to the number of resources a single website can use. This limit depends on the package that you pay for.
Shared web hosting is the first tier of web hosting, and is the cheapest hosting option available. hosting providers usually offer multiple levels of their shared hosting plans, with varying prices and features. Since it is entry-level, it requires the least amount of technical expertise. Following tutorials closely, newbie webmasters can set up their own websites on a shared hosting plan.
On the flip side, as a result of having to share resources on a server, the performance output is usually lower compared to other plans such as cloud hosting and dedicated hosting. For new or smaller websites, this does not present much of a problem. But with increased traffic comes greater taxing on the limited resources.
Furthermore, shared hosting plans generally come with less in terms of features, functionality, and customization in comparison to other tiers of web hosting.
Not all shared hosting plans are equal, and they vary from provider to provider. While most plans shared certain universal features, some companies stand out in terms of the sweeter deals they offer, the performance of their servers, and the rate of their billing.
It is important to closely examine the fine print before jumping on a web host. Many companies offer deals that look very enticing at face-value, but which come with loopholes and unreasonable Terms and Conditions. “Unlimited” features are not always what they are touted to be.
We’ve done the heavy lifting for you. The web host providers on this list come out tops on a variety of metrics such as performance, pricing, customer support, and advanced and extra features.
Currently, over two million websites are being supported by BlueHost, and that figure is steadily growing. A significant number of those websites are being hosted on its shared hosting plan, which is in my opinion, the best in the industry.
BlueHost ticks all the boxes for the features you would expect from a top shared hosting provider. You get exceptional customer service, unmetered bandwidth, lots of storage, excellent uptimes and speeds, and a free SSL certificate. It also tops the list of WordPress recommended hosting providers. It also has a ton of extras like Spamexperts, regular complimentary web site backups, and a host of others.
There are four Shared hosting plans to choose from. The Basic plan starts at $2.95/mo. and covers one website, unmetered bandwidth, and 50 GB of SSD disk space. The Plus plan comes next, and you get to host an unlimited number of websites, with unlimited storage, and spam expert. The Choice Plus plan is BlueHost’s recommended plan and offers site backups, while the Pro plan is the most expensive and comes with a dedicated IP.
Up next is HostGator, which is an immensely popular web hosting platform. It ranks near the top of most web hosting lists, so its popularity is justified.
HostGator is a pocket-friendly option and offers great bang for the buck. Its shared web hosting plans come with unmetered bandwidth, unmetered disk space, easy one-click installation, and a free SSL certificate.
It has three shared web hosting plans – Hatchling, Baby, and Business plans. The Hatchling plan is the cheapest of the lot, and offers you the basics, with a single domain, free website transfer, and one-click WordPress install. The Baby plan is next, with unlimited domains, while the Business plan offers a dedicated IP and free SEO tools.
HostGator’s shared hosting plans start at $2.75/mo., but it regularly offers flash sales so you may find a plan for cheaper.
inMotion’s shared hosting package is excellent and has some great common features like unlimited bandwidth, free regular backups, free SSL certificate, and a free domain.
It is not the most affordable option available, but inMotion certainly offers good value for the money you pay. Its cheapest plan starts at $5.99/mo. The Launch plan supports 2 websites and supports up to 10 emails. A level above is the Power plan which introduces support for up to 50 websites. The Pro plan offers you up to 100 websites, with 200 GB of disk space.
In terms of customer support, it is one of the best providers available, with its team of representatives ready to help 24/7.
4. A2 Hosting
In terms of page load and response times, there are not many ahead of A2 Hosting. The very strong performances it provides propel it to the top of many rankings, but you also get solid features and great customer care.
All of A2 Hosting’s shared plans come with unlimited email, automated backups, and a free SSL certificate. You also get unlimited free site transfers. This is a nice one, as many other companies bill any more than one free site migration.
A2 Hosting offers four shared web hosting plans – Startup, Drive, Turbo Boost, and Turbo Max. The cheapest of these plans which is the Startup plan starts at $2.99/mo. for a 3-year subscription. It only supports one website, but you get 100 GB of disk space. You get unlimited storage on all other plans, with lots of other extra features.
While it may not be the most affordable or most popular, GreenGeeks certainly stands out from all the other shared hosting providers on this list. The web hosting industry is generally not very eco-friendly, but GreenGeeks is out to do something about that.
GreenGeeks intends to offset the carbon footprints of its operations by 300%. It purchases Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to compensate for the power consumption of its servers.
Green energy aside, it is a good web host and provides great features like free site migration, free domain name, and free SSL certificate. It has three web hosting plans, starting at $2.49/mo.
1. Who are shared hosting plans for?
Shared hosting plans are best for personal websites and small businesses. Basically, they work well for customers who do not expect a ton of monthly visitors, at least in the short-term. Businesses that will attract a larger volume of traffic would do better to look elsewhere.
The best shared hosting platforms make it easy to migrate to plans with more resources, as you build a larger traffic base.
2. How do they work?
Multiple websites are hosted on a single server which is operated by the web hosting provider. These websites collectively share resources, with each of them receiving an allotment of the total available bandwidth, storage or disk space, and memory.
The extent of the allocation of these resources depends on the level or tier of the shared plan package.