The essential features of shared web hosting

Shared web hosting is one of the most popular options when it comes to running a website. Essentially, it means that resources such as servers are shared between a number of different organisations’ websites.

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Below are some key features that should be included in any shared hosting plan.


Uptime is usually measured in percentage terms as a proportion of the total expected uptime (24hours a day, seven days a week). Normally, shared hosting providers will offer a minimum of 98%. This is usually sufficient for most organisations. To get some corroborated uptime figures, you can use independent sites, forums, or even references from family/friends or similar businesses.

Security features

Each web hosting plan should come with a number of key security features, including (but not limited to): RAID, multiple backups, offsite mirroring, advanced network architecture, manual server restart options, and comprehensive antivirus and spam protection. Cyberattacks are increasing every year so security is extremely important – on average hackers attack a site every 39 seconds.

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Disc space and bandwidth

The smaller your website, the less space you are likely to need for your files, and the fewer visitors you have, the less bandwidth you will need. But you always want to ensure you have enough of each to cope with any sudden surge of demand. Many hosting providers offer unlimited bandwidth but with restrictions on traffic speeds.

If you are looking for a website hosting provider, there are hundreds of companies who offer a range of web-related services, such as the examples seen here

Customer support

Having good customer support is very important, especially if you are just starting out. Therefore, it is strongly advised that you check what support your potential hosting company offers – both in terms of opening hours and type of contact channels available. Try and find a provider that offers some query resolution guarantees and that has support that is accessible 24/7/365.

Pre-installed apps

Pre-installed apps are special widgets that can help you quickly create, and efficiently manage, your website. The main ones you should look for include a control panel app such as cPanel, Zpanel, or Virtualmin, payment or shopping cart apps (if relevant to your business), and perhaps a CMS app.

When choosing a shared hosting package, the main things to look for are reliability, price, and safety.