Cheap, easy to use, reliable a are few words most reviewers would describe WordPress shared hosting plans.

Is it truly the real deal?

THE CONCEPT

Instead of renting a full server you are ‘sharing’ the resources of one server to lower costs.

Sounds like a fair trade. But in reality, it isn’t.

Back in the days, in early 2000, servers were outrageously expensive. If you were a blogger, you just can’t afford to get a dedicated server to put your website live. Getting a shared hosting made sense at the time.

As of 2017, things are a bit different.

WHY GET ONE?

You picked the shared hosting because:

  • Someone you know told you so
  • It seems beginners friendly and affordable
  • You trusted an advertisement

A side note: I’ll be a bit rude, but, whoever sent you to buy a shared hosting, they are probably selling your ass off to get an affiliate commission. You can start hating them like RIGHT NOW. I use affiliate links too, but only for things that I use, tried and fully trust on its value and price/quality.

So, for some reason, you thought that shared hosting services like Godaddy, Bluehost, OVH, or Hostgator, were your hosting salvation. Sorry to bring the bad news for ya. It will probably turn into your worst nightmare.

THE HIDDEN TRUTH

The following is a common attribute between all low-end shared hosting services:

They overcrowd servers to get more money rolling. Performance is their last concern.

Shockingly for some of you, shared hosting pays off more the higher-end hosting plans. Why? ‘Cause hosting service will host thousands or tens of thousands. Sometimes hundreds of thousands of websites on the same server. They aim for the masses.

From my calculations, they get x10 out of whatever shared hosting plan they sell. Meaning, you get a plan for $8/m, it’s real worth is less than a dollar per month.

Beginners can never suspect these practices.

I’m not saying that shared hosting is all crap. If there is a reasonable amount of sites on the same server, balanced in a way that won’t hurt the server’s good running and each website’s individual performance, it can actually be a great option.

That’s one of my services that provide for select customers of mine. I build performing servers where I host a handful of websites.

For a $800/y server, where I put a small number of sites, I get a decent return. But still, I take care of building, securing, keeping an edgy setup (PHP7, Nginx, MariaDB, Redis, and Varnish), and make sure that every single site of the tens hosted performances at its best. The server can get away like a champ hosting something like a thousand sites, but it would be unfair to my guaranteed performance promise.

You see, I add real value to my servers and play fair for all.

So, basically, a fair share will work great, well, as long as it’s fair When you opt for managing 10k to 100k website on the same server, no matter what you use as setup, it will never give the best value for the money invested by customers.

As the web evolves, it’s all about performance and speed now. If you don’t know about this particular detail and get a shared hosting, you are starting your marathon to build an online business/presence with a bullet in your foot

Price range (/m)

  • Avrg.: $3 to $4
  • Lowest: 1 penny
  • Up to: $8 to $10

PROS

Shared hosting is a highly competitive segment. You will recognize the most active competitors by big marketing investment, both online, on TV and Radio. Yeah, surprisingly, they take war outside the Internet realm too.

As we all know, we, the end user, are paying for the marketing budget of the service provider. So, when you purchase a shared hosting, a good chunk of what you paid goes to ads and not in performance and a highly reliable service as you would expect.  If there weren’t real money on it, they wouldn’t bother investing that much on marketing. And they happen to spend on ads, heavily.

The most aggressive ones are:

And you guessed it right. These are the top providers to avoid.

PROS

Price is one of the most attractive features of shared hosting, particularly for beginners. As you can imagine, shared hosting has the lowest pricing policy you could ever find. It also has the best retention pay off. Meaning, if you try to opt-out, you will always get more discounts (25% to 75%) to keep you as a customer. Yes, at 75% less, you are still profitable to the company

Add up the unlimited everything strategy which includes the number of websites hosted, storage, bandwidth.

Recap.

  • Cheap
  • Unlimited everything

CONS

Performance is on the top of the list. If you take into consideration the humongous ad budgets, and servers’ overcrowding strategy, you literally get what you pay for.

Shared hosting services are known to deliver the poorest performance in the hosting industry.

As you get to experience shared hosting and get to know more the hosting world, you will realize that signing up for it was your biggest beginner mistake.

A good example of that is the unlimited everything, which turns in reality quite the opposite. If you push the resources to the limit by having a RAM or CPU eating website (forums for example), the hosting service will ask you to lower your load or upgrade to a ‘dedicated server,’ and eventually turn off your account if you don’t comply.

Another example is if you try to how lots of images or videos and make your hosting plan as a media server, they will cut you off too.

They won’t bother giving you a refund since you’ll be taking more than what they expected. When they can’t make a profit out of you, they will kick your ass out.

The server itself is not built for performance. And that’s a shame.

The setup they use is said to improve stability and performance. No sir, it’s not the case. Most of the shared hosting use:

  • PHP 5.x (half the performance of PHP 7)
  • MySQL (slower and less feature-rich than MariaDB)
  • Apache (I don’t even want to compare it to Nginx)

Without any additional performance boosts like Varnish (caching), Redis (object caching), a native CDN (some pricey shared hosting include that, though), and other cool and fresh web hosting technologies.

Security is the worst. As part of my activities, I secure, clean up WordPress sites and recover them from hacks. And shared hosting is the most aggressive hacks I’ve seen to date.

  • If you have multiple sites on the same account, and one gets infected, chances are all the other websites are infected too.
  • If one site on the whole server gets infected, hackers assume that all other websites on the same node have the same vulnerability and try to hack them too.

Despite their ‘hack proof system’ promise, and their random checks, it’s just unreasonable to monitor 10k – 100k efficiently. Algorithms are not enough to keep a website secure.

Recap.

  • Poor performance
  • Usually overcrowded
  • Restrictions in every way once you opt in
  • Use whatever build the hosting company thinks it’s a reliable and stable combo (usually PHP 5.x + the regular MySQL server)
  • Hackable

I never recommend shared hosting. It’s my very last resort.

I always recommend at least starting with the hosted version of WordPress (wordpress.com), and take the leap of faith and get a low-end VPS.

In a more geeky approach, I consider hosting a website on a nanocomputer at home ($20 for a Pi + use you home Internet) is a better option than getting a shared hosting.

Shared hosting is designed to look awesome, but in reality, it’s an unreliable service. At the end of the day, you just can’t get a solid return on your investment, and it ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS fails to deliver.

As a proof, I usually use affiliate links on things that I believe are a worthy asset for you guys. I ain’t getting any dime from crappy stuff.

Do yourself a favor and get anything for your WordPress website BUT the damn shared hosting.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
WANNA HELP?
Support my work by shopping in one of the following affiliated store and services.

Don’t worry, I never promote crap

Thank you for your support!