What Is Shared Hosting and Is it Reliable for a Business Website?

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 5.06.18 PM

photo credit: flickr

Imagine that you are trying to start up a website for your company and you want to consider your options.

Well, you first should perhaps consider what you are going to do for the exact purpose of the website (whether that is marketing, actually selling products, or offering an online service).

Then, you might want to consider some of the design elements of the website and how it might be the best thing for your particular clientele. Yet with all of this to consider, one question still remains. How should I host this website?

You can use shared hosting or dedicated hosting. Dedicated hosting will mean a single server for your website and that server has what you want on it and only what you want on it. Shared hosting means sharing the server space with several (or many, depending on the service) other websites.

Try to think of dedicated hosting as living alone and shared hosting as having unknown roommates with unknown needs and dispositions.

Based on these definitions, shared hosting is almost always cheaper, as there are several users sharing the costs.



That being said, shared hosting also shares the responsibilities among those using the server, as well as the consequences. For example, another company could be engaging in spamming practices and could get your IP blacklisted from search engines. This is not good for your business and it would be a large problem to fix.

However, if you don’t have a dedicated IT professional or some other service that manages your computer networks, websites, and systems, then you might want to lean toward shared hosting. Hosting services often put up protections for you and there will often be a weight of responsibility on the shared server should something go wrong. You will also not need all of the technical expertise that is needed with using a dedicated server (although some options might have a dedicated and managed server, for a price of course).

There are great limitations, though, on some of that protection. Shared hosting is often not so easily compatible with some security protocols, and if another website is compromised on your server then all of the websites could become compromised.

If you need data and/or your website to be absolutely safe and that is your highest priority, avoid shared hosting like the plague and do it yourself. If you do it yourself, you can control everything and take the risks you want to, and no more.


With shared hosting, you are also going to share the bandwidth. Do you only expect your website to get a little bit of traffic? Then shared hosting is fine. Otherwise, your customers may experience lag or other problems should the other websites on the server get a lot of traffic at the same time you are. They won’t blame the shared server like you might, but they might directly blame you for their poor experience.

So, to answer the question about whether shared hosting is reliable and a good idea, you must ask another question. Do I trust the people sharing with me? More specifically, you should be asking the question “Do I trust the people sharing with me enough so that a vital part of my business is in their hands?”

The answer, if you are a large organization that can afford better options, is probably not. Otherwise, it might be great for a simple website with some contact information. As with many things relating to technology, the choice is yours and only you have all the information. Thank you for reading and we hope you make an informed decision on how to move forward with your website.


Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 5.06.11 PMCaroline is a technology enthusiast and blogger who writes for www.securethoughts.com. She enjoys writing about technology and her main area of interest is internet security.

How Wedding Planning Taught Me How to Nurture Social Media Leads

As a marketer, sometimes it ‘s hard to stop thinking about marketing and remind myself that I am also a customer. I’ll find myself during commercial breaks on TV analyzing the scripts and how I would change the copy. I hear ads on the radio offering free content, and I immediately think about the strategy and commend them for using content to market their business. It is hard to turn it off.

Lately, I’ve gotten a nice little reminder of what it is like being a customer with not enough information. It has come during one of the most daunting events of many people’s lives: Wedding planning.

Table set for an event party or wedding reception


For those who have been here in the past, you can probably attest to the daunting nature of wedding planning. Not only is getting married a major step in life, but there are also plenty of venues and options to choose from. Each has their own rules, regulations and offerings and sometimes it is difficult to grasp all of those options. To me, this can make the decision scary. What if I miss something? To make it even more terrifying, this is probably the first decision you must make.

That’s why one morning while answering emails and scheduling venue tours, I tweeted about my planning. To my pleasant surprise, a venue I hadn’t even found replied.


This got me thinking about how businesses should be using social media. I’ve written about listening posts in the past, and how you can use social media to identify potential customers. But it takes effort to reach out to potential customers, effort that is easily recognized by your customers.

Seeking out Social Media Leads

To identify me as a promising social lead, the venue had to search for people tweeting about wedding venues, and had to narrow the search to only those in the Kansas City area using the “Near Me” tag. Luckily, there aren’t that many people tweeting looking for wedding planning advice at any one time. These select few are your prime candidates and are deliberately looking for someone to trust. Why not reach out? If it takes 5 minutes to identify and reach out to these customers, all it takes is one conversion to make this worth your time.

I may not rent out this potential venue, but I wouldn’t have even known about them if they hadn’t have reached out. With a simple 140-character tweet, they took me through several steps of the customer journey. They introduced their venue to me while getting me to like and trust them just because of the effort they gave to reach me. Now, I have scheduled a venue tour, bringing me up to the try level of the customer journey.

What you can learn

More importantly, they have some insight about my frustrations searching for a wedding venue long before the tour. As any salesperson can attest, the more you know about your potential buyers, the easier it is to relate to them and prove your product will solve their problems, and the easier it is to make the sale.

Social media is not meant to be a place to broadcast your message. You’re not going to convert people or gain followers and influence by simply sending out un-engaging messages. What makes social media special is that it offers a direct channel your customers and potential customers. If you want the most from your social media marketing, you must take advantage of this, reach out to your customers and nurture those social media leads.

Have you ever searched for or reached out to potential customers individually on social media? Or has someone sought you out to any success? Let me know in the comments below.

Alex-Boyer-Photo-150x150-e1420769709443Alex Boyer is a Community Manager and Content Ninja for Duct Tape Marketing. You can connect with him on Twitter @AlexBoyerKC

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