What is shared web hosting?

1 Jul 2019

What is shared web hosting?

To fully understand what shared web hosting is, we’ll liken it to an apartment building.

Think of the building as the web hosting server.

You don’t own the building, but you might rent an apartment from the person who does own the building.

Since you’re sharing the building with your neighbours, there will be some rules you need to follow.

For instance, you need to be mindful of the noise you make, and you can’t do any structural damage to the building. These kind of things will affect your neighbours and your landlord will probably kick you out.

But, it is still your apartment and you get to decide who can visit or who can’t. You are the one in control of the security of your apartment. You’re also able to decorate and furnish as you please. After all, it is your home.

However, you’ll need to rely on your landlord to do certain things such as:

  • Change the locks
  • Repair any leaks
  • Fix the plumbing etc.

So now you have a website and you begin your search for a web hosting provider. Most of the time you’ll come across two options: Shared Web Hosting and Dedicated Web Hosting.


What is the difference?

Dedicated web hosting would be similar to you renting the entire apartment building, where with shared web hosting, you only rent a space inside the apartment building.

With dedicated web hosting, you’ll need to configure the server yourself, but with a shared hosting environment, the server administrator configures the server.

Shared web hosting is more suited to single websites which don’t see millions of visitors each month.

Who you choose to purchase your shared web hosting from, what’s on offer and how much it costs will be important factors for you to consider. After all, they’re going to be your websites landlords for as long as you stay with them.


How Shared Hosting affects you and your peers

Earlier we spoke about your neighbours in an apartment block, and the same applies for a shared web hosting environment. Your website will be hosted on a server that’s also hosting other people’s websites.

This usually doesn’t affect you. If you chose wisely, and you’ve got a knowledgeable and reliable server administrator, then you environment will be secured and isolated in such a way that you never have to deal with other people occupying the server.

However, if you abuse your resources then that does affect your neighbours.

If you’ve set up an insecure environment, you might quickly become targeted by malicious users. So unbeknownst to you, you may have had your email compromised as a result of a security flaw. This can affect other users if your email accounts are sending out masses of spam mail and it blocks the email queue.

So even though your system administrator is doing everything to secure the host environment, you’ll also need to do your part and be a responsible and proactive shared web hosting customer.



A shared web hosting environment is one that you share with multiple other people. You have a server administrator who takes care of the server and will secure the server. You rent a portion of the server in order to host your website, and while your portion doesn’t affect other users, there are times when, due to malicious activities, it might affect the server as a whole.


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