What is shared web hosting?

Many people wonder what shared web hosting is, and we plan on answering this question for you so you feel comfortable hosting your web site with Umbra Hosting. A shared web hosting account refers to a web hosting service where many websites reside on one web server connected to the Internet. Each site “sits” on its own partition, or section/place on the server to keep it separate from other sites. This means that many web sites can share the same web server (the hardware) and this allows the hosting company to pass on the cost savings to their clients. Instead of each client paying for their own physical server (a dedicated host), each client shares in the cost of the server and thus pays a much lower fee for their shared web hosting services. This is why Umbra Hosting can pass on hosting savings on to our clients.

The potential down-side of shared hosting happens when one of the sites on the server uses more than its fair share of server resources. A web page that runs for a long time or takes a lot of CPU resources is the most typical problem. Most web hosts “resolve” this issue by suspending the account. Umbra Hosting takes a different approach. We run CloudLinux on our servers (which is a variant of CentOS). CloudLinux places an invisible governor on each web site. If any web site is using more than its fair share of service resources (CPU, memory or number of running processes) CloudLinux will stop the site from using any more resources. As soon as the resource usage for the site goes down the governor no longer limits the site and it functions normally. This ensures that all sites on the server get a fair share of server resources and a single site cannot cause the whole server to run slowly.

Shared web hosting typically uses a web-based control panel system, such as cPanel, Plesk, or one of many other control panel products. Here at Umbra Hosting we use cPanel for all of our clients. It is a very popular control panel that gives you full access to manage files, emails, spam filters, add-ons, and access logs. There are many features contained within cPanel so you will never feel you are missing anything.

Shared web hosting can be accomplished in two ways: name-based and IP-based. Most web sites are named-based but we will explain the difference.

Name-based Shared Web Hosting

In name-based shared hosting multiple web sites are accessed with a single IP address. When a web browser requests a resource from a web server it includes the requested hostname as part of the request. The server uses this information to determine which web site to show the user. Name-based web sites are by far the most common type of web sites. Since there are a limited number of IP addresses it is impossible for each web site to have its own IP address.

IP-based Shared Web Hosting

In IP-based virtual hosting each web site has a different IP address. The primary reason for a site to use a dedicated IP is to be able to use SSL certificate. It is a technical requirement of a SSL certificate to be on a dedicated IP address. Because there are a limited number of IP addresses Umbra Hosting charges a small monthly fee for IP addresses.

We hope this gave you some information about shared web hosting that you may not have known before. Take a look at the shared web hosting plans Umbra Hosting has to offer and reach out to us if you have any questions.

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