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All About Website Hosting - Shared Hosting vs
Managed Hosting

Resource and Guide to Web Hosting

By Bernard Kohan

What is website hosting?

This service is a monthly service for hosting and serving your website on the Internet.

There are different levels of Website Hosting, and you may choose a level that best suites your needs.

Each level is explained below:

Low Cost Shared Hosting

(cost $1 - $10 per month)

With this service your Website and Email accounts are hosted on a server that is shared with thousands and thousands of other users.

This service is suited for static hobby Websites on a very tight budget. In order for hosting companies to provide the lowest possible hosting services and be able to compete with others, most of them use false advertising in order to get the highest number of customers.

Unfortunately, the false advertising is being ignored by the FTC and government agencies since web hosting services are considered to be business related and not consumer related, even though there are many consumers that are being influenced by the false advertising every day.

Below are some of the bad practices and false advertising that some of the hosting companies are carrying out:

  • Low cost hosting companies put hundreds and thousands of websites and emails on the same server and advertise an amount of disk space and bandwidth for each customer, that is not possible or available.
  • Low cost hosting companies advertise features that are not needed or are not a factor necessary to consider for a successful website.
  • Low cost hosting companies will not tell you the important features that they are not providing, which should be an important consideration for a successful website.
  • CPU usage is an important consideration in hosting a website. When a website has to share CPU usage with thousands of other websites and email accounts, once your website is successful and draws traffic, it will not be able to run on that type of CPU overloaded environment.
  • Latest upgrades, security patches and server software and extensions are another important factor in serving a website. Most low cost hosting companies do not provide the latest server software, extensiosn and security patches, leaving your site vunarable to security risks.
  • Low cost hosting companies provide multiple services on the same server, such as website hosting and email hosting. This puts a burden on the server's CPU capability and will also add many additional vulnerabilities to the server.
  • Having thousands of websites and emails running on the same server creates a hard-to-manage environment and adds a substantial likeliness for the server to be attacked or exploited and used for spam and fraud.
  • When there are thousands of users using the same server, it is more likely that there are more novice users uploading unsecured scripts, or they inadvertently cause a vulnerability for the shared hosting server.
  • There is no back up or if there is, if something goes wrong with the server, it can take about 10 days to restore thousands and thousands of websites and emails that are running on the same server.

High-end Shared Hosting

(cost $29 - $49 per month)

With this service your website and email accounts are hosted on a server that is shared with only a small number of users (up to 100 Websites). This service is suited for websites that require better performance and stay within a certain budget.

The thing to consider is that sometimes many shared hosting companies advertise this service so people who are willing to pay extra can sign up thinking they are getting a lot more. This may not be the case. There are probably going to be additional (in most cases, non-existance) storage space and bandwidth, but if this service is provided on the same low-cost hosting environment, you will be sharing the CPU with thousands of others which makes the notion of paying for the extra storage, pointless. And the same above disadvantages will apply to you.

Low Cost Managed Hosting:

(cost $120 - $200 per month)

With this service your Website or Email accounts will run on a server without being shared with other users. With this service, you would not have the same issues that is usually emerge in shared hosting environment. However, low cost managed hosting companies will focus on numbers so usually, the customer service will be very poor and there would be less hands-on, less monitoring and there are many important missing features such as daily and weekly backups.

High-end Managed Hosting:

(cost $400+ per month)

With this service your Website or Email accounts will run on a server without being shared with other users. With this service, you would not have the same issues that is usually emerge in shared hosting environment.

The companies who provide high-end managed service will have 24/7 customer service, hands-on server hardware and software support, monitoring, backup and much more. Those companies also have the framework in place for a major spike in your visitors or a situation when you need to instantly add servers or load balance traffic between several servers.

Some of the low cost shared hosting companies may offer you gizzilions of fake hard disk space and bandwidth, one very important thing that they won't tell you is that once your site grows to use that much gizzilions of hard disk space and bandwidth, it won't be able to stay on the shared hosting services because of CPU performance issues, security issues and other important factors that a busy site will need that is not possible on a shared hosting environment.

Below chart should give you a good underestanding of the difference between hosting services.

Although these results are from 19+ years of experinece in the industry, this is a generalizations. Not always a low cost hosting will have a very bad performance. But be very realistic when choosing a hosting company. If a hosting compnay is charging $5.00 per month for hosting, that company has to put a lot of users on the same server in order to pay for the cost of maintaining the server, power and bandwidth usage and customer service calls.

Bernard Kohan

Bernard Kohan is a mobile app and web application development and technology analyst expert. He is available to discuss any issues or questions you have about web development and the best choices for your company or project.

Bernard can be reached at
858-410-1500


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  Low Cost Shared Hosting High-end Shared Hosting Low Cost Managed Hosting High-end Managed Hosting
Cost $1 - $10 per month $29 - $49 per month $100 - $200 per month $400+ per month
Best Suited Static Hobby Websites that do not care about downtime, performance and security issues. Small Business brochure and low usage dynamic Websites that can tolerate small downtime occasionally Small Business high usage Websites that can tolerate small downtime occasionally Small, Medium, Enterprise Websites that cannot tolerate any downtime, requires great support and expect substantial growth,
# of Users on
One Server
500-20,000
Higher number
is Worse
20 - 200
Lower number
is Better
1
Lower number
is Better
1
Lower number
is Better
CPU Allocation & Performance
Bandwidth Performance
Site Security
Control and Customizations
Growth
Reliablity
Customer Support