Making a website has gotten immensely easier for regular people in the last few years. You can literary create a self-hosted website with Joomla, WordPress or any other CMS in minutes for under 5 bucks a month. That’s how convenient and widespread shared hosting has become. It’s literary just a case of picking a web host and signing up – most of them will even trow in a free domain name. But is this the best solution?
I’ve had good, mediocre and bad experiences with shared hosting since I’ve tried out lots of hosts both large and small. Let me tell you right now, there’s no perfect service. Some come very close and that deserves praise for the teams that support them but the average shared package isn’t really that great. What I mean is most websites that are hosted with shared plans are pretty slow when you try to load them. It’s the nature of the shared services plus lots of other factors. For example, a vanilla WordPress installation is pretty fast even on shared plans but most webmaster can’t help themselves but install all sorts of plugins that considerably slow down the whole site.
The best solution, in my opinion is to use a semi-dedicated plan instead. In terms of usability it’s practically just like shared hosting but it has more resources and you’re sharing the server with less people. Most importantly there’s a noticeable difference in the loading speed of your website.
How about cost? One of the main reasons shared plans are so popular is because they’re cheap – http://www.alotspace.com/app-installer-php-scripts/joomla-web-hosting/. People don’t want to spend lots of money on hosting especially for websites that don’t earn any profit. That’s understandable but if you’re serious about your website you should be serious about it’s performance too. And higher performance comes at a higher price, unfortunately. Don’t worry though, it’s not like semi-dedicated plans cost hundreds of dollars per month. You can get one for as little as $20/month! It’s definitely more expensive than your run-of-the-mill shared plan but it’s still quite affordable.
Why should you care if your site is fast? Well, firstly – slow websites are frustrating for the visitor. Do you want your visitors to do the so called pogo-sticking (clicking on your site in Google, waiting for the page to load, giving up and hitting the Back button of their browser)? Ensuring your site’s fast enough is essential if you want to keep people from giving up even before your content loads.
Second, do you want to earn money with your website? How are you going to do that if your site is slow and people get frustrated? All the awesome content you have on there or your great products will not be appreciated by your potential customers if they don’t trust you. Think about it – would you trust a website that barely loads? That doesn’t look professional, I’m out of here!
Basically what I’m saying is – the investment in proper semi-dedicated package will pay for itself and if you have the means you should definitely pick such a plan over a shared one – you’ll be making yourself a huge favor.