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Challenges and Issues Users Face with Shared Hosting

Challenges and Issues Users Face with Shared Hosting

Alan Rooney
Nov 14, 2016

Shared hosting refers to a type of virtual hosting that allows users to work on or share the same server and sometimes a single IP address. Even though most websites on theses servers have their own content and domains, all of them are linked with others that they share a virtual space with. 

Challenges and Issues Users Face with Shared Hosting

Even though this hosting option is cost effective, it can pose a number of challenges that can prove costly for say a business website. The following are some common issues that users might face with shared hosting:

What your ‘neighbors’ do may affect your website

Unless you have your own eCommerce site along with an exclusive UP for SSL, you will have to share your hosting space with other users on the platform. This is typically not an issue, but things can turn sour for you if some of the things they do have an effect on your site’s performance and your IP address. For instance, if one of your neighbors’ sites is blacklisted for spam, chances are your site (along with other sites sharing the same virtual space) will be on that list too.

Similarly, even if you have a lot of guaranteed disk space at your disposal, you have to remember that you still share RAM and CPU power with other users. In other words, if someone ends up taking more than their fair share, it may affect your site’s performance.

Your site can get hacked/blocked

Even if you have the best web security in place, if one of your neighbors has a security breach and if the threat is serious, your site might not be safe either. If the threat is serious, the security of the entire server may be compromised.

Similarly, even if you are a responsible website owner, your site might still get blocked. How? If some of your ‘bad neighbors’ gets into legal trouble, commits a cyber crime etc, authorities might shut down a ton of sites in its vicinity besides theirs’. ASIC Section 313 for instance can give them the authority to shut down more than 200,000 websites even if only a few websites are guilty.

This is not an issue with corporate filters which take pains to block employees and students from visiting controversial websites. Users do not have that safety net with a shared server since administrators have to manage more than 200 websites sharing the same IP.

It can affect your search engine rankings

Spamming, bad content, hacking accusations and anything that Google frowns upon can get a website penalized and compromise its search engine rank. If your business depends on online sales, this can be really bad for business since customers will not be able to find you. Even if you have a pristine track record, even a few ‘bad neighbors’ can have this effect on your site.

In fact, even if you have good neighbors sharing the same space, slow loading time (which shared servers are notorious for) will affect your SEO rank. In other words, you will not be able to make as much money as you want to!

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