Web hosting is an odd product for a lot of business people. Business owners and executives know they need hosting to get their websites online, but they aren’t always sure what hosting is really about, or whether it’s worth it to pay for a premium package.
As a result, we work with lots of small and even medium-sized businesses that are using inexpensive shared hosting plans for their websites and email plans. What they fail to realize is that there are hidden risks within those low, low prices. And, they can come back to bite a marketer in a big way.
If you have just a couple of minutes, let us explain to you why there are often big problems with shared hosting plans than you might have considered…
How Shared Hosting Plans Work
When you sign up for shared hosting, you’re essentially getting server space in the online equivalent of a crowded apartment building. The company that owns the server (and keeps your site on the web) might be renting out space to hundreds of other companies on the same space that your website is occupying.
Imagine for a moment that you had dozens of programs installed on your hard drive. What would happen if one of them stopped working the way it was supposed to? Could you be sure none of your other software would be affected? That’s the simple analogy, but it points to the issues at hand.
You Can be Penalized For Having Bad Neighbors
Because you can’t control which other businesses are keeping websites on your shared hosting package, it’s possible – and perhaps likely – that some of them aren’t going to be as reputable as you are. In fact, you might be sharing server space with online casinos, link farms, adult websites, and other questionable destinations.
There are essentially two problems with this kind of arrangement. The first is one we’ve already alluded to: that one of your neighbors could do something that directly affects your own website or its coding. That is, they have some kind of virus or malicious code that infects your site.
The other more common issue is that Google, other search engines, and email providers may notice that there is a lot of spammy or fraudulent traffic coming from your server’s IP. When that happens, it may block traffic to and from the server altogether. In other words, you could be punished or blacklisted simply because another company that happens to shared disk space with you has done something they shouldn’t.
Many business people don’t realize this is a possibility, but it happens more often than you might think.
A Better Way to Get Hosting
Premium web hosting is relatively inexpensive and shields you from these kinds of risks. It’s like having a standalone house instead of a cramped apartment building.
Not only does premium hosting lessen the risks I’ve already mentioned, but you’ll also get faster page loading times, the ability to integrate secure connections, and a host of other features like virus protection and automatic backups. Knowing that the difference in cost is minimal, why wouldn’t you upgrade your website to a better neighborhood?