With the advent of e-commerce and emergence of many techniques of online money making, many of us are looking forward for opening web page for us. And when it comes to hosting a web page you are drawn in to the search for the perfect type of hosting that would suit you. It will be really crazy if you have to spend thousands of dollars for hosting a personal website, which you just have for getting involved into the web. And even for a small business the cost is quiet high. For such purposes the concept of ‘Shared hosting’ offers the perfect solution.
What is it ?
Shared Hosting refers to the type of hosting where there is server which hosts many different website that is a website does not individually have a dedicated server for its own purpose. Many websites share a specific server. To begin with this may sound slightly out of the normal, but see the cost factor involved with it, and the various administrative view of it, it may indeed be a concept welcome by many of them.
The shared hosting can in itself be classified into two based on the way the sharing is implemented, as name-based and IP-based one. A name-based shared hosting is one where we actually have the different websites residing on the server to have the same IP, but are differentiated by the name that is ought by the client. This works fine under present standards, but if the client is using an older version, the guarantee is quite not there. The other type, IP-based shared hosting offers the solution to this problem as in this case each website has a separate IP for itself and the referral to a specific website indirectly refers to a unique IP. This is achieved by having virtualization done at the network level within the server, and the same server acts as the destination for many different IP. The second choice is the most favorable unless the context of hosting is perfectly suitable with the first one.
What are the advantages ?
You can obviously see that shared hosting services many sites and so you are in for a less priced web hosting service, rather than the traditional single server- single site concept where the price involved is quite high. The other advantage is for the less techy friends who like to host a website. Everyone can’t be expected to know the administration specifics. In general the server administration is done by the provider, in the case of shared hosting. So the problem of dealing with server administration is taken off. The site administration through the interactive control panel is what the host has to do. But an experienced person will like to have a complete control over a server and in shred hosting this is not offered to him, as the server is shared by many sites.
The important thing after deciding to have a shared server is to decide upon the provider taking into account all the necessary and important factors.
Thus we see that Shared hosting as a hosting service where in many different websites share a single server, and this offers the option of reduced cost as an advantage to the one who is hosting. The slight side effect is that the extent of control expected by a pro may not be available if at all he goes for shared server.
What is the disadvantages?
– They do not properly support secure websites (HTTPS). All name-based virtual hosts using the same IP address must share the same digital certificate. This is because the SSL/TLS handshake takes place before the hostname is sent to the server. Thus the server doesn’t know which encryption key to use when the connection is made. An extension to the TLS protocol, part of RFC 3546 – Transport Layer Security (TLS) Extensions, specifies a way for the client to provide the requested host name as part of the handshake, but it is not yet widely implemented. Some of the shared hosting providers require their customers to get Unique IP in order to properly set up HTTPS.
– If the Domain Name System is malfunctioning, it is harder to use a name-based virtually-hosted website. Ordinarily, in this case, the user could fall back to using the IP address to contact the system, as in http://192.0.2.0/ (invalid IP for example only). However, the web browser doesn’t know what hostname to send to the server, but a name-based virtual host requires it. In this case, the default web host is sent back to the browser for that IP address. Therefore most hosters offer an alternative access method like http://192.0.2.0/~virtualhostname to provide access in such cases.
-They will not work with browsers that do not send the hostname as part of requests. This is true for older HTTP/1.0 browsers that have not retrofitted the host field feature from the HTTP/1.1 protocol. (The “Host” header that distinguishes between various DNS names sharing a single IP address was optional in HTTP/1.0; it is mandatory in HTTP/1.1, issued in 1999 as RFC 2616.) Since nearly every webbrowser that is currently used supports the HTTP/1.1 protocol and thus also virtual hosting, this is not a real issue.
-Improperly configured file permissions with shared file systems might give other (compromised) users or processes system-wide access to these files, such as credential files for database access or modification of existing files.