Every business needs to have a website in order to showcase its products and services, reach out to new customers and, in many cases, take and process orders to physically bring money in.
With that in mind, the hosting of your website is important. This is the online equivalent of choosing the premises that you will operate from. Just like with a physical building, you need your host to be able to provide the right environment and facilities for your business.
Yet, a cost will also be an important factor. There are many strains on the time and resources of an SME and, chances are, you don’t want your website to be too much of a burden.
While there are many web hosting packages available, shared hosting is a fairly low cost and low effort way to ensure you get a home for your website and it’s the choice made by many small and medium size businesses.
What is shared hosting?
Shared hosting, as Tech Target notes, is the process of one server providing for multiple different websites. Each one gets its own domain and space on the server. It’s the equivalent of a business having shared office space.
What are the benefits of shared hosting?
So, what benefits do you get from this? Well, as with any other form of sharing, this can help you keep the cost of hosting your website low.
The server itself is managed by the hosting company, which means you’ll only have to be responsible for your website and this means that you don’t have to have as much technical expertise.
It offers a secure and simple way of providing for a basic website and this might be all that many SMEs actually need. If you just want a web presence so that customers know how to get hold of you, there’s no point paying for much more. As SME Business Academy puts it, this is an ‘entry-level’ option.
What are the limitations of shared hosting?
Sharing might cut the costs and complexities involved in hosting your site, but it can lead to a trade-off in terms of performance.
Your site might perform slowly at peak times and it might place a cap on your ambitions. Going back to the office space analogy – by doing this you’d not necessarily be able to take up more space in the building if and when your operation grew.
Being ‘entry level’ might be insufficient if you need a site that does more than just sit there and look pretty. Once you get into the realms of accepting orders and money from customers you need a site that is able to handle the task – and the traffic – quickly and effectively.
Shared hosting, then, is a cost-effective way to get your business website live. It is suitable for many SMEs – but those who plan a rapid expansion or need a website that has more complex needs might need a different package such as VPS hosting or a dedicated server.