Web Hosting 101: What Is Shared Hosting?

Every website needs a host, but which one should you choose? If you own a website with a moderate monthly viewership, you want a shared hosting plan. But what is shared hosting and why is it the best option for your website?

When a page takes more than 3 seconds to load, it is likely a problem with the site host. There’s a 40 percent chance that a visitor will leave your site before interacting with any content. Are you willing to that much of your organic viewership?

Shared hosting is affordable and reliable — as long as you know what to look for in a web host service.

Web Hosting 101: What is a Website Host?

A web hosting service provides the server space for the data of your website. It stores the data files that constitute your user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). When a user requests your website from their browser, the request goes through your website host.

You might be thinking, “why do I need a web host?”

Why You Need to Pay for Hosting

Since over 30 percent of websites on the internet operate off of the WordPress content management system (CMS), consider it the standard. Other popular CMS’s include Drupal, Magento, Joomla, and more.

Almost all of these CMS’s offer a free option and a self-hosted option. On WordPress, this is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

Nothing is truly free, and your website is no different. A free WordPress.com website provides a straightforward, intuitive platform to create and design web content, without the need for experience in computer coding.

Free WordPress.com sites come with a built-in theme. It has all the tools you need to easily get started, but there is a catch. You do not own the content displayed on your website.

If you don’t pay for hosting-if you use a free website builder-you do not retain ownership of your content.

The only way to truly own the content under your domain, and take in 100 percent of your website earnings, you have to pay for your own website hosting. On WordPress, this means using the WordPress.org CMS.

WP.org, allows users to create a custom domain name, which does not carry shared ownership. WP.org websites are owned by the developer, and therefore, the site owner is entitled to all of the profits they accrue.

Types of Web Hosting: Managed or Self-Hosted

Two kinds of website host providers exist. You can, either, host your own website or pay for a managed web host service.

Managed Hosting

Managed hosts take care of all your hosting needs for you. A well managed WP host provider maintains and configures the optimal server configuration. They fix email issues and are responsible for the security of the server.

A good managed host will monitor the server 24 hours a day 7 days a week. They will even apply and update the operating systems.

Self-serviced Hosting

With self-service hosting, you buy and run your own server or hire someone else to run it for you. It is not recommended if you are a startup website or receive less than 10,000 views a month.

Web Host Server Types: Shared, Cloud, or Dedicated

The server space that your website data stores on is one of three types. You can choose from a dedicated server, cloud server, or a shared server.


Cloud servers are a decentralized virtual hosting service that allows for high levels of customization and scalability. Cloud servers give you the ability to update software. Cloud hosting is more expensive than shared hosting but less than dedicated hosting.


A dedicated server provides proprietary server space for your website. You can use all of the server’s resources without sharing them with other sites. It is the fastest hosting server type, but the most expensive.

Dedicated servers can handle spikes in traffic and give you complete control over your data. But small websites that receive under 10,000 visitors a month do not need dedicated server space.


Shared servers are best for small websites. They offer limited site resources, speed, and storage space.

Shared servers are generally less reliable because they share servers and bandwidth with other websites. But, if you have a low budget and low traffic flowing to your site then this can work well for you.

What Is Shared Hosting?

Shared hosting is the most affordable option for hosting your website. Dedicated hosting offers the highest quality performance by providing exclusive server space to each customers website, but, they are expensive. And, small websites do not need the excess server space that comes with a dedicated host.

The downside of a shared host is that you cannot handle a large influx of website traffic without taking resources from other websites on your server.

Most shared hosting services stack thousands of websites on the same allotment of server space. So, websites contend for processing power.

With shared hosting, resources become unequally allocated between the websites sharing server space. Therefore, shared web hosting servers easily become overloaded by an influx of site traffic.

When resources become limited, your site may experience downtime and outages. Even for a startup website, downtime equals a loss in possible revenue.

On the flip side, shared hosting enables you to run a fully functional online business website for a nominal monthly fee.

Shared Web Hosting Features

Take a look at the features and applications that any shared hosting service offers, before signing on the dotted line. The following factors greatly impact the effectiveness of your shared host:

Host Server Location

Be sure to find a hosting company located in the country hosting the majority of your website visitors. If you are targeting an American market, choose a web host that has servers in America.

The closer the server location is to the people trying to use your site, the faster your website will respond. If your host’s server is in China, your site will respond best to Chinese site requests. Your site will experience more lag and slower functionality for European and American visitors.

So, if your company and customers are based in the U.S. then make sure your web host providers server is in the U.S. as well.

Data Storage Allotment

How much storage space you need depends on the size of your websites data files. If you have a blog or small business website, then you’ll be fine with 10GB. This is a standard entry-level allotment for reputable shared web hosts, like Host.ie.
If you have a bigger business with more files to upload then your needs for storage space will be higher. Be sure to find a hosting service that uses a solid-state drive (SSD) because they are faster than the traditional standard drive. This will help increase your site’s speed.

Uptime and Reliability

Uptime is the time which your website servers are up and working to allow visitors. You want 100% uptime or as close to it as possible. A hosts reliability is based on their ability to keep your website up and running.

It is important to read reviews and do your own research to see if the uptime the company listed is accurate and true. Many shared hosting services bost a better uptime metric than most users experience. The lower the uptime percentage, the longer that your site is down and losing potential traffic.

Support Services

When problems arise with your website you need competent professionals to solve them. When technical issues come up, you must have a technical support member who can understand and solve your problems quickly. Reliable support should be available 24/7.

Data Backup

Make sure your host has a reliable website data backup system in place. In the event of a server malfunction, you risk losing your website files and data if it is not fully backed up.

It is important that you have an automated backup system to back up your data, files, emails, and website on a daily basis. Check how frequently your shared host automatically backs up your data and files. And, be wary if they charge an additional fee for backing up and restoring files.

Bandwidth Allocation

Shared hosting is the type of hosting that most frequently experience bandwidth issues because it shares bandwidth between many sites.

The more bandwidth your site has allocated to it, the more traffic it can handle. If you don’t have enough bandwidth to support your website visitors, it will slow your website down. So be sure to pick a shared host with enough bandwidth to support your site’s needs.

Domain Allotments

As your blog or business expands, you might need additional website domains. Find a host that can support this expansion without reorganizing the storage of your data files. You want to know if you can add more domains or sites as needed.

Best Shared Host Service

There are more bad shared hosting services than good ones. Many of them stack up tens of thousands of small websites on the same piece of server space. If you are using WordPress, Host.ie is reputable and reliable for shared hosting.

Unlike many other shared hosts, Host.ie provides unlimited resources for a shared piece of server space. Host.ie WordPress websites comprise over a half million domains, across the worldwide web. And, it allows your business to grow into other language markets without changing your host.

The company has web hosting server hubs in Chicago, London, Amsterdam, Milan, and Singapore.

The GoHost Plan is best for sites that are getting started. If you’re starting out with your first website and need space to grow then Host.ie is the way to go.

Host.ie Hosting is a WordPress.Org, officially recommended web hosting service. It provides developers with all of the industry-leading tools to create and maintain a dynamic, high functioning website.

And, if your company grows beyond the resource capacities of a shared host plan, you can move to a dedicated or cloud server hosting plan.

Host.ie Customer Support

Host.ie is dedicated to its customers and is available for consultation and troubleshooting, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Security is never a problem since Host.ie SSL technology is implemented for all plans.

Host.ie Server Speed

Host.ie uses NGINX server technology to significantly decreases the loading time of static content on your website. Joomla, and Drupal both operate at the highest Host.ie Speed possible, as well as WordPress.

Geeky SuperCacher is a branch of the NGINX server technology, which increases the operating speed of your website with Memcached. And, thanks to the free Cloudflare CDN, Host.ie WordPress sites load seamlessly from anywhere on the globe.

Final Thoughts

If your website is up-and-coming, a shared web host is a perfect solution. Don’t waste money on server resources that you don’t need. Use your business’s hard-earned dollars to invest back into your customers and grow your clientele.

If you are looking for the best-shared web host plan, check out Host.ie. Think of it as a standard for the rest of the shared host providers.

If this article answers your question about what is shared hosting, share it with your community through social media. And check out the site for more information on web hosting in Ireland. Thanks for reading!