Shared Hosting – Why Your Business Needs Isolation

3essentials is a leader in the hosting marketplace, offering solutions ranging from low cost shared hosting to cloud servers and hybrid-cloud solutions.  We offer solutions that vary in price and feature.  This blog post aims to assist business owners and developers alike with understanding the value of isolation as it relates to Shared Hosting.

Shared Hosting – The Appeal
Let’s face it, the main appeal for Shared Hosting is the cost.  It’s far less expensive than most other solutions.  There are theories that as technology continues to advance it becomes cheaper.  This is correct for some technology verticals.  You can buy faster CPU’s today at the same or lower price than two years ago.  RAM is cheaper, or at least the amount you get is more for the same dollar spent.

But look at other technology sectors and it’s not becoming cheaper.  The smartphone industry is a good example.  The iPhone is pretty much priced the same as it was two – three years ago.

With Shared Hosting, the pricing seems to stay low.  Ranging from $1.99 – $15.00 /month for hosting a single website (multiple sites with some providers).  That’s less than $1 per day to host your website, and email.  Smartphone plans aren’t even that cheap.  So, realistically what should you expect to get from a plan in that price range?

Consider what it takes to run a server to handle that web site.  The items that make up hosting are:

Hardware.  The actual physical server to host the site.
Software Licenses.  OS, Control Panel…etc.
Power.  We’re not talking about power at your house.  This power is conditioned and backed up by a generator.
Space.  Datacenters’ are expensive to operate.
Cooling. Servers have to maintain a relative cool temperature, even if it’s 120 degrees outside.
Networking.  The Tier1 network providers cost considerably more than a broadband connection at your house.  The network speed is guaranteed.

When Shared Hosting Is The Right Choice
Shared Hosting is a great service, but not the right service for all web sites or email usage scenarios.  Is your website absolutely needed for your business operations?  If so, using shared hosting is like opening your home wifi connection up to all your neighbors for them to use, and then expecting to be able to stream a Netflix movie on a Saturday night.  You will probably experience some lag in watching that movie.

If your website can afford to be slow at times, or even down and cost is your major concern then shared is a good fit.  We are not advocating that shared hosting is a bad service or that we don’t do our diligence in keeping our shared farm up and responding fast, it’s just not possible to achieve up times that are as reliable as a dedicated resource solution.

Someone’s Site Affects Your Site Performance
With Shared Hosting your website scripts are contending for resources that are being used by other websites and users.  One users scripts may not be written with the best performance or may contain unknown bugs.  When we find these resource intensive buggy sites, we shut the sites down.  However, by the time we find the offending site/script your site has already experienced the constraint.

Shared = Very Little Isolation
Shared hosting doesn’t isolate CPU, RAM or Disk IO resources.  IP Addresses are shared and can cause blacklisting of email services.

Someone’s Spam clogs your email
This is a big issue with shared email hosting services.  Even with inbound and outbound spam filtering, thousands of email domains share the outbound IP Address, resulting in blacklisting of IP Addresses for a particular domain sending spam. This affects other email domains that rely on the ability to send email in a timely fashion.

The Reality
Some users are willing to live with the contention issues that come with shared hosting.  Some users believe the hosting company should provide a shared hosting platform that performs without these restrictions.  As stated earlier, shared hosting is a good solution for the right site and expectation of services delivered.  While we do our best to limit these issues, the reality is this exists on all shared hosting solutions reglardless of the provider.  If your site is business critical, then ISOLATION is your best solution.

Read On In Our Blog “Managed Cloud Servers – Isolation and Guaranteed Resources” for the benefits of Servers for the price of a smartphone plan.

Posted in Shared Servers.