A shared web hosting service or virtual hosting service or derive host refers to a web hosting service where many websites reside on one web server connected to the Internet. Each site has its own section/place on the server, to keep it separate from other sites. This is generally the most economical option for hosting, as many people share the overall cost of server maintenance.
In general shared hosting will be inappropriate for users who require extensive software development outside what the hosting provider supports. Almost all applications intended to be on a standard web server work fine with a shared web hosting service. But on the other hand, shared hosting is cheaper than other types of hosting such as dedicated server hosting. Shared hosting usually has usage limits and hosting providers should have extensive reliability features in place.
Shared hosting typically uses a web-based control panel system, such as cPanel, Plesk, H-Sphere or one of many other control panel products. Most of the large hosting companies use their own custom developed control panel.
In shared hosting, the provider is generally responsible for managing servers, installing server software, security updates, technical support, and other aspects of the service. Most servers are based on the Linux operating system and LAMP (software bundle), which is driven by the reliability and security of open source software such as Linux and Apache. Some providers offer Microsoft Windows-based or FreeBSD-based solutions but both have same functionality.
There are thousands of shared hosting providers. They range from small design firms to multi-million-dollar providers with hundreds of thousands of customers. A large portion of the shared web hosting market is driven through pay per click advertising or Affiliate programs.
Shared web hosting can also be done privately by sharing the cost of running a server in a colocation centre; this is called cooperative hosting.
Shared hosting is of two types name-based and IP-based
In IP-based virtual hosting, also called dedicated IP hosting, each virtual host has a different IP address. The web server is configured with multiple physical network interfaces, or virtual network interfaces on the same physical interface. The web server software uses the IP address the client connects to in order to determine which web site to show the user.
In name-based virtual hosting, also called shared IP hosting, the virtual hosts serve multiple hostnames on a single machine with a single IP address. This is possible because when a web browser requests a resource from a web server using HTTP/1.1 it includes the requested hostname as part of the request. The server uses this information to determine which web site to show the user.
One of the most obvious setbacks of shared hosting is the price factor. Since it is very cheap, many people will not care about the disadvantages on their websites and they will want to bandwagon into these services. Due to large number of people using the services, the amount of resources that may be made available to individual users is usually limited. If one of the peer sites is using excessive amounts of the server resources, you will be facing trouble in terms of usage of your own website.
Another problem that is associated with shared hosting is the sharing of IP addresses. If you share an IP address with a company that has experienced some trouble with internet search providers, your website will also be automatically disqualified from the services of the search providers. The customer service that is provided by the companies providing the shared hosting services will also be wanton. This is because most of the companies will place greater emphasis on clients who opt for managed or individual hosting. This is because most of these clients bring in larger amounts of money and will naturally have priority.
Shared hosting plans are generally the easiest and most economical for personal and small business websites. A lot of e-commerce sites, blogs, professional portfolios, and other small sites are hosted on shared hosting.