You may have come across the terms Shared Hosting or Shared Hosting Plan. Hosting companies rarely explain what this means, but you are sure to have noticed that they tend to be the cheapest option. Whether or not it is the best option for you will depend on your particular needs.
With a shared hosting plan, your website is hosted on the same server as many other users. Now, this doesn’t mean that you will look like the same server to the rest of the Internet, i.e. each site will not be something like www.hostingcompany.com/site1, www.hostingcompany.com/site2, etc. You can still have your domain name, logo, and site. What it does mean is that the hardware that does all the work of hosting your site, storing your information, etc., is shared with your site and the others. This gives you less control over the server and means that any one site that maxes out the resources of the hardware will affect your system too. Any outage will affect all of the sites, yours included. That being said, you also will save a lot of money by using shared hosting, since the price of the hardware is split up between many users, you do not have to pay all the associated costs yourself. A shared hosting solution also means you don’t have to deal with maintaining and running the hosting server itself, which can be quite a lot of work (or an additional expense on top of the server fees).
Now that you have a bit more information, you can make an informed decision as to whether a Shared Hosting Plan works for you. While you don’t get the additional control of running and maintaining your own server, you also don’t have to deal with all that extra work, and you save a significant amount of money. For smaller sites, in particular, shared hosting is likely to be an ideal solution.