ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

An Introduction to Shared Hosting

Updated on January 9, 2018
tamarawilhite profile image

Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of two, and published sci-fi and horror author.

What is Shared Hosting?

Shared hosting seeks to run as many websites on a single server as possible. Shared hosting is the opposite of dedicated hosting. Shared hosting is also called high density hosting. Each website has its own partition on the shared server. Shared hosting comes with a number of benefits, but it introduces risks as well.

Shared hosting does not eliminate the need for internal networks, but may reduce the need to maintain servers for the organization.
Shared hosting does not eliminate the need for internal networks, but may reduce the need to maintain servers for the organization. | Source

Why Is Shared Hosting Popular?

Shared hosting distributes the cost of the server, operating system licenses, software applications and support costs across all websites on a shared server. This results in a lower total cost for each site on the shared host. Shared hosting is one of the cheapest forms of hosting a website.

Shared hosting allows the business to focus on managing its website; the server and support are the responsibility of someone else. Small business owners using shared hosting avoid the effort of setting up a web server to host their website. A single computer running continuously to support a website uses about $10 in electricity. Shutting down a PC used to run a website and eliminating the maintenance hassle are some of reasons shared hosting is popular for even small websites and blogs.

Is Shared Hosting VPS Hosting?

The short answer to this question is no. In shared hosting, the service provider sets up one operating system for every website on the shared server. In contrast, virtual private server hosting runs an operating system that permits separate operating systems for each website by using virtualization.

While virtual private server hosting is a form of shared hosting, each operating system and website is treated as if it is the only OS on the server. This costs more money to run and demands more resources, but it also makes VPS more secure. However, virtual private servers (VPS) and shared hosting use the same server to host multiple websites.

Bandwidth is the most valuable commodity on a shared server.
Bandwidth is the most valuable commodity on a shared server. | Source

The Risks and Results of Using Shared Hosting

Shared hosting does introduce an IT security risk. On a shared host, each website administrator should only see his or her own site. Improperly set up, and the admin could see and affect other sites inadvertently.

If someone is able to access one website on the shared server as an administrator, he or she could then work their way into all of the websites and data stored on the server. However, shared hosting is less complicated to administer, so it can be cheaper to set up and maintain than VPS servers.

The information shared services on the system must be designed for shared hosting. Security permissions must allow worker request identities and process identities to be separate. Worker processes can affect web server performance.

When a shared application pool is used for software applications, such as in an application served through the cloud, users could find themselves denied access to the application due to demand. Shared hosting results in multiple websites competing for the bandwidth allocated for the shared server. Even when the server has had additional cables connected to it and more ports opened, bandwidth is like a highway connecting the server to the internet.

There are only so many roads in and out, and it can only handle so much traffic before a traffic jam and slowdowns begin. If your website starts using so much traffic that it affects other sites on the shared host, the web host may ask you to upgrade to a dedicated server.

Shared hosts have limited CPU, memory and disk space. If you use more memory than your allowed partition, you may pay a premium to get more. Or your site will run into limits on the amount of CPU it can use, affecting performance.

There are occasions where the shared IP address of a shared host causes someone's website to be flagged as a source of spam, even if it is a legitimate small business website.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)