Is Shared Hosting Safe?
The relevance of the internet has caused the need for a website to be a top priority with every modern business and shared hosting is the way to achieve that goal without too great an expense; there are some concerns that go along with it both on the security and availability front. The decision to go with a shared setup hinges on the goals of the business and available funds. Size, hits per day, and features are all considerations that go into deciding on whether a shared web server will be sufficient. Sometimes it will require a test period to see if the limited power of sharing can handle everything.
Security is the number one concern on everyone’s list. Data is a valuable commodity and so protecting it is a key feature. Customers will quickly shy away from anything they feel is unsecure. Businesses that depend on online sales, whether partially or completely, will see declining numbers if they are unable to provide a safe and secure environment for confidential information. Shared web hosting adds an additional security concern in that it has other people with access to the server. Permissions and roles will keep the average user from accessing another company’s data on a shared web server, but those with malicious intent will be one step closer, than they would be were the data on a standalone server.
Some businesses do not carry sensitive data on their website and security concerns shift to just the website itself. The availability of information technology professionals will prevent most security breaches and they can do their best to return a company’s website from a backup; this happens whether shared hosting is used or not. With security set aside, cost becomes the most important factor. The cost of shared web hosting is often in the range of $10 a month, sometimes less, sometimes more, depending on what additional features are purchased.
Bandwidth can be a problem, but this is a fairly rare issue; it can be a major sign of a low quality service provider and be an early warning sign that a change in order. Most companies will limit the amount of monthly bandwidth each individual website is allowed to have; this limits are fairly generous and if the proper web hosting package is purchased will rarely become an issue. When there is an issue it is mostly due to malicious activity. Big businesses or websites with a high level of traffic will have a need for a dedicated server, but the average consumer or small business can succeed with simple shared hosting.
One sure sign of a growing business is when it has grown beyond the range of shared web hosting; this is when maintenance fees will go up as the business moves to a dedicated server or virtual private server (VPS). The best place to start, if your website does not contain a lot of personal data, is with shared web hosting and from there it is easy to gauge when the limits are being exceeded and an upgrade is in order.