[ glossary ]


Shared hosting (sometimes called 'virtual hosting') is the most basic and the most popular of all web hosting services.

The hosting service provider places several (sometimes quite a few) web sites on a single powerful machine. Each customer can configure one or more domains on this computer and these domains often "map" to the same IP address.

Because computing resources and bandwidth are shared, web hosting providers may impose restrictions on what customers can and can not do with their web sites. Typical restrictions include:

  • Restrictions on the type of CGI scripts that can be run on a shared server.
  • "Cap" on the maximum bandwidth consumption by any one particular web site.
  • No root-level access to web server.
  • Restrictions on other kinds of servers - for example, database server.
If any of those features are important to you, you should consult the provider you're choosing before signing up.
Main Characteristics Of Shared Hosting

Cost: low (typically below $50/month)
Equipment investment: none
Bandwidth: low
Degree of control: low or medium