4 problems with large-scale shared hosting

posted on 1 February 2008 | posted in Hosting General

1. Unreliable service

When sharing a server with 500+ other websites (typical for large-scale shared hosting), you are at the mercy of all those other websites. Dodgy coding on just one of those sites can bring the whole server down, or maybe one site suddenly gets a huge traffic spike from a social site like Digg or Reddit, and suddenly the server is overwhelmed with requests and your site no longer responds.

2. Back-up is difficult and impractical

Typically shared hosting companies leave it to individual website owners to deal with their own back-ups. This means manually backing up your database(s) remotely which is far from ideal and full back-up of files becomes impractical if your website is growing to several hundred megabytes of files (it can be this big if you have thousands of product images).

3. Server-side components aren't guaranteed to be installed

Your site requires a specific server-side component , but your host refuses to install it on the server.

4. You're sharing your IP address with 500+ websites

You might not think this is a big deal, but it can mean you're part of a "bad neighbourhood" with some of your neighboring websites spamming emails or gaming search engines. The IP address could be added to the Realtime Black List (for email) meaning your emails sent out from your site will be blocked by the popular email filters. Alternatively, your IP address could be added to a search engine blacklist because you're sharing the same IP as blackhat SEOs causing trouble with search engines. A lot of blackhat SEOs experiment their techniques on shared servers since it doesn't damage their important sites (which invariably are on dedicated servers).

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