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March 31, 2020
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What Is Shared Hosting: the Beginner’s Guide for Website Owners in the Philippines

  When you are building a website, one of the first things you'll look at is web hosting services. However, it's easy to get lost in the wide variety of web hosting offerings. As a result, many starting website owners jump into one of the first offers they see on the Internet, without properly researching their opportunities, and choosing the wrong solutions to host their sites. You want to avoid that from happening as you'll need a decent web hosting service to provide an excellent user experience to your visitors while eliminating the extra legwork of dealing with website maintenance. Therefore, we recommend choosing the option that best fits your needs, resources, and budget. Let us eliminate the above-mentioned confusion by helping you understand the basics of web hosting while introducing a few options and taking a closer look at shared hosting, which we consider the best solution for starter websites in the Philippines So, in this article, we'll explore what shared hosting is, how it works, and why we think it's the best service for starter websites.

What Is a Web Hosting Service and Why Do You Need it?

  Before deep-diving into shared hosting, it's essential to discuss the basics of web hosting services. To operate a website, you need to host it on servers that house your site along with every piece of data that is relevant to your online presence. Unless you are the owner of a Fortune 500 company, you'll need to rent the servers of a web hosting service provider, which will be used to store all the components of your website, including files, videos, images, text, and other types of data. By providing the proper technology and space for your online presence, the web hosting service allows users to find, visit, and access your site on the Internet.

The Different Types of Web Hosting Services

In this section, we'll introduce you to the most popular types of web hosting solutions.
  • Shared hosting: With shared hosting, you are using the same server with other websites as opposed to having your own dedicated server. As a result, shared hosting is the most cost-efficient solution among web hosting services. However, shared hosting has its limitations, and you have to upgrade to a more expensive plan after your site's traffic grows to a specific level.
  • Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting: VPS hosting is an upgrade to shared hosting. While this plan still shares your servers with others, the number of websites on the server is substantially lower. As a result of choosing a more expensive package, your website can take more traffic.
  • Dedicated hosting: Dedicated hosting provides a top-of-the-line service to website owners as you don't have to share your plan with others. However, having your own dedicated server to host your website comes at high costs (up to 103,000 PHP/month in the Philippines). And this is the reason why we recommend dedicated hosting to website owners with very high traffic (over 100,000 visitors/month) only.
  • Cloud hosting: Cloud hosting is a relatively new solution among web hosting services. You don't pay a fixed rate but pay a fee instead of what you actually use. Furthermore, as opposed to traditional hosting services, you have access to multiple servers that allows maintaining a better uptime rate for your site.

What Is Shared Hosting and How Does it Work?

  Shared hosting is an entry-level web hosting solution where you share the same server with one or more websites. With a shared hosting package, the service provider stores all the files of the websites within the plan on the same server, using the data to serve up information about them. In addition to the plan-sharing, websites within shared hosting plans use only a limited amount of resources, which is much lower than with dedicated hosting or other, more expensive packages. As a result, shared hosting is the most cost-efficient web hosting service solution that provides a viable solution for starting websites in an inexpensive way. Furthermore, you don't have to worry about maintaining the server you are using with your shared hosting plan as the service provider will take care of that for you. While shared hosting is the best plan for starter websites due to its cost-efficiency, you'll have to eventually upgrade to a more expensive web hosting plan after your site gets bigger and receives a high amount of traffic. In the upcoming sections, we'll show you the pros and cons of shared hosting, while introducing you to the factors you should consider before signing any contract with a service provider.

What Are the Benefits of Shared Hosting?

  • Competitive pricing: As you are sharing the same server with other websites, shared hosting comes at a super competitive price, usually ranging between PHP 100 to PHP 1,000 per month in the Philippines. This way, it's the perfect solution for starting websites as well as site owners on a tight budget.
  • Easy to set up: Most service providers utilize advanced technology that allows users an easy setup for their websites via tools like cPanel and Fantastico. Because of the same reason, you don't have to possess any technical knowledge to set up your site via a shared hosting plan.
  • Professional service: Since most web hosting companies employ highly skilled professionals, the overall quality of shared hosting services remains at a decent level. Therefore, you don't have to worry about website uptime and maintenance.
  • Options to upgrade your plan: The scalability of your web hosting plan is an important factor to look out for. As soon as you receive higher traffic, you need to switch to a more expensive hosting plan to maintain a good user experience for your site. Fortunately, many web hosting firms provide a variety of plans that you can use to upgrade your hosting solution.

What Are the Downsides of Shared Hosting?

  • Slower performance: The inexpensive nature of shared hosting plans comes at a price. Compared to dedicated servers, websites on shared plans usually have slower server response times, which decreases site speed and increases page load times.
  • Too many websites on the same plan: Some web hosting companies get greedy and sell too many shared hosting plans for the same server. As a direct result of overselling the packages, your site will face issues of regular lags and downtimes. However, this problem can be easily eliminated by choosing a reputable web hosting firm.

Who Is Shared Hosting For?

  By knowing the most important features as well as the benefits and downsides of shared hosting, let's see whether this plan fits your needs. As shared hosting is the most cost-efficient solution among all plans, it fits the needs of individuals and businesses who'd like to set up their online presence but don't have the necessary resources to pay for a more expensive hosting solution. Also, unless you are planning to increase your website traffic by hundreds of thousands of visitors in a few months (and you have the budget to support your strategy), it makes no sense to pay up to PHP 100,000/month for a dedicated hosting service. In such cases, starting small and scaling your site later would be a better option for you. Therefore, paying for a cost-efficient plan like shared hosting is a good solution for entrepreneurs, freelancers, bloggers, and small businesses that are just starting out and don't expect their traffic to increase exponentially in a short period of time after building their sites. The cost-efficient nature of shared hosting, as well as the necessary tools (e.g., cPanel), allow website owners to establish a strong online presence that can take up to 10,000-20,000 monthly visits without the need to possess any technical knowledge. However, if your website requires a significant amount of resources (e.g., for handling numerous visits) or a large number of on-site user-interactions to operate, we recommend choosing a plan that offers higher performance, such as VPS, cloud, or dedicated hosting. Below you can find a flowchart we've created to help you in choosing the best web hosting solution for your website: Before you sign a contract with a web hosting company, we'd like to explore a few factors you should consider when you are choosing a service to host your site. Check out the table below for more information:
Factors Overview
Budget Your budget is one of the most important factors to consider when you choose between different web hosting plans. If you have the funds, you may look at more expensive plans, such as dedicated and VPS hosting. However, shared hosting is a good fit for starter websites as well as individuals and businesses that are on a tight budget.
Features The features you get with your plan vary by each service provider, as well as the web hosting solution type you choose to host your website. For example, some solutions offer email services as well as additional domains that you can add to your web hosting package.
Technical skills Do you have the technical knowledge and expertise to manage a server and fix hosting-related issues? If you have, then feel free to choose any web hosting package on the market, including the ones with advanced features. However, to save yourself a headache, choose a plan that comes with the necessary, easy-to-use tools that will help you to build your website without a technical background.
Website traffic As your total monthly visitors are capped around 10,000-20,000 per month with shared hosting solutions, your website traffic is a significant factor to consider before choosing a web hosting plan. It's important to both analyze your site's current traffic (in case it's already up and running) and predict the growth of your visits to see whether shared hosting can fulfill your business' needs.
Resources You should also take a look at and estimate the resources you need to operate your website efficiently. If your site needs lots of on-site interactions or a large space to operate, and you can't optimize your resource usage to a lower level, then shared hosting is not the ideal plan for you.
Security While a fast website offers a decent user experience to visitors, you want it to be highly secure in order to keep user data safe. Therefore, it is essential to select a web hosting company that considers security as one of its top priorities, utilizes secured data centers, and provides SSL certificates to its clients.
Scalability As mentioned earlier, since service providers limit the maximum number of visitors you can have on your site in a month, you have to upgrade your plan after your website gets bigger. While some service providers offer alternative hosting solutions to upgrade from shared hosting plans, others are lacking these features. Therefore, if your short-term goal is to expand the user base of your site, then it's essential to choose a hosting company where you have the options to upgrade.
Technical support Even if you are a website building expert, you'll eventually face issues that you are unable to solve on your own. As hosting is a crucial component of your web presence, it's important to select a provider with a dedicated technical support team so you can solve your queries within a short period of time (e.g., 24 hours).
External reviews While reading the offerings on a web hosting service provider's website may sound tempting, it's essential to check out external sites to have an insight into the combination of expert reviews and user feedback. This way, you can analyze the average score of the web hosting solution, compare it to other providers, and gather information about the most common service-related problems.

Shared Hosting: the Best Plan for Filipino Starter Websites

  By reaching the end of this article, you've learned that web hosting is a crucial component to running your website as the service stores and uses all the data of your site to make it possible for users to see, access, visit, and interact with it. However, it's easy to get lost in the numerous types of web hosting packages and features, especially in the Philippines. To eliminate confusion, we've explored the most popular solutions on the market, while deep-diving into shared hosting, which is the favorite choice of beginner website owners. And it's no wonder. Shared hosting provides a cost-efficient and user-friendly solution for both individuals and small businesses to start their website without spending too much or possessing the required technical skills. If you want to set up your website at a decent service in the Philippines, then take a look at Z.com’s shared web hosting packages starting at the promo price of PHP100/month.  
Flona / Customer Support Team @GMO

A Boss Level Tech nerd. Her interests range from all things web hosting to swiping food from the pantry. As she says, free food is the best food. You can't out nerd her and your food is definitely not safe when she's around.