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  Shared Hosting - What is it?

OK, so you're shopping for a hosting provider and you keep seeing the term: shared hosting. (Also commonly known as "virtual hosting".) But what does this really mean, and how does it affect you?

Why are we more expensive?

ET Web Hosting is a premium hosting provider. We do not compete against low-cost, cheapo hosts... because they suck and are dishonest.
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Note: We've received a lot of nasty emails from many discount hosting companies as a result of publishing this page. It seems most low-cost budget hosting companies don't want their customers to know the truth about why their prices are so cheap!

At ET Web Hosting we're completely open and honest about everything we sell. There's a lot of misunderstanding about what shared hosting really is, and we're committed to giving you all the facts so you can make an informed buying decision. As a potential customer, you deserve to know exactly what you're getting for your money.

Shared Hosting - What is it?

Shared hosting plans significantly reduce the cost of hosting by allowing many websites and email account to reside on a single "shared" server. The huge costs of operating the server are shared between each customer with an account on the server, making it less costly for everyone. The alternative to shared hosting is called dedicated server hosting, where there is only one customer on the entire server. (This is why dedicated servers are much more expensive.)

The Truth

Shared hosting is good because you can get website and email hosting for much less cost than a dedicated server.

However, shared hosting also means you are at the mercy of every other customer on your shared server. For example, if another customer's website on your shared server is using old software that is hacked and then used to send SPAM... then your shared server will probably get blacklisted in a spam database and suddenly the email for all customers on your entire shared server will stop working.

This kind of problem happens frequently, because many customers use old software, have insecure passwords, etc. The more customers your hosting provider puts on your shared server means the more likely there will be problems with your server.

The Problem With Most Hosting Companies

The biggest difference between all hosting companies is the number of websites they put onto each shared server. (This is the amount of "overselling" the company does.) Most potential customers are attracted to low prices that offer "unlimited" disk space and bandwidth... so the low-cost companies are forced to put a very large number of customers onto each of their shared servers in order to recoup the cost of running the servers and still make a profit.

Most companies also get greedy and end up putting way more websites onto their shared servers than the servers are capable of handling. (Remember that more customers per server equals more profit for the company.) As a result of this greed, their shared servers often become unstable and your website and email will be unreliable more often.

These companies are taking advantage of your desire to find the "best deal", and are counting on your ignorance of how shared hosting and overselling really work. They want you to believe that you can somehow get a reliable hosting plan from them even though their package costs are so low they can't make any money unless they massively oversell their shared servers with many hundreds or even thousands of customers..

So What Can You Do?

The adage of "You get what you pay for" is especially true in the web hosting industry. Companies that offer unlimited disk space and bandwidth for very low prices are simply not able to deliver reliable services, no matter what they advertise. They take advantage of consumers, and trick them into exchanging lower prices for a sub-standard product. The really dishonest part is that most of these companies blatantly advertise a false "uptime guarantee" to make their services look good. They know the typical customer is not going to switch to a different hosting provider, simply because they don't know they can!

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