Why Shared Hosting Will NEVER Go Away

The web hosting world has seen a lot of changes in the past decade. We’ve seen the introduction of cloud hosting, VPS containers, Amazon AWS, and other cloud computing technologies like Google Cloud Compute. In addition, new products have popped up that allow users to create websites without actually needing to purchase web hosting. For example, I’d written earlier about how a service like Wix tries to keep your site hostage.

This has led some people to predict the death of web hosting. They say that there’s no more need for a website to restrict itself to a small number of resources, and that these can be apportioned on the fly depending on the demands of the website. As a result, we’re heading into a future where shared hosting is replaced by Amazon like services, which scale as the website grows. Or that we’ll migrate to managed products like Wix.

Both of these predictions are wrong. Here’s why.

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1. Amazon AWS Like Services are Too Complicated

I’ve written before how Amazon AWS is bad for your site. There’s a fine line of complexity, running from the complete ease of use of page builders, to the dense technical setups of cloud computing sites. Most websites require something in the middle. Not so simple that you get locked in and lose all customization, and no so complicated that you need an entire technical team to maintain your website.

Shared hosting fits that sweet spot perfectly.

With shared hosting, your web host takes care of details like maintaining your SSL certificate, protecting your web server from hostile attacks, redundancy, backups, software updates, etc. These are ancillary activities that have nothing to do with actually running your website. As a site owner, you would ideally focus your attention on the following important activities:

  1. Creating and managing new content
  2. Website design
  3. Site speed optimization, etc.

What you don’t want is the bother yourself with the nitty gritties of technical stuff that have nothing to do with running a site. And that’s what a web host does. It frees you up to focus on what’s important to you. Shared hosting will never go away, because this is the sweet spot.

2. Predictable Pricing

With shared hosting, you pay a fixed price every billing period, without needing to worry too much about getting overcharged. Cloud services on the other hand, employ a “pay as you go” model that works great in some situations, but can cause a lot of anxiety for the average user.

Imagine if you’re hit with a DDoS attack and your cloud provider scales up the resources to meet the demand. You could be hit with thousands of dollars of overage charges before you cut off the traffic. The larger you get in fact, the more you’re susceptible to this kind of risk. Every business needs predictability, and shared hosting fulfills that need.

Shared hosting is also a mature industry, so the pricing is well understood and stable. New services like Google Cloud compute have complex pricing models that encompass things like database usage, CDNs, and additional services. All of this can get confusing very fast. Something that the average business user can certainly do without.

3. Well Defined Resources

Each shared hosting plan comes with an expectation of the resources that will be dedicated to it. Once set, you don’t need to think too much about it until your site starts slowing down, and you think that you need some more.

Cloud computing on the other hand doesn’t have such neat buckets. You need to specify how much RAM and CPU resources your website requires, and this isn’t always ideal when you don’t know how they affect your final website speed. Far better to have a fixed plan that takes care of these details for you and manages them without you knowing too much about the process.

Again, the focus is on simplicity, and the strict separate between business related work, and unnecessary technical details.

For these reasons, I predict that shared hosting is never going away, no matter what new technologies come up. If anything offers the same benefits that shared hosting currently does, it’ll simply become the new shared hosting, and the world will continue on as before 🙂

About Bhagwad Park

I've been writing about web hosting and WordPress tutorials since 2008. I also create tutorials on Linux server administration, and have a ton of experience with web hosting products. Contact me via e-mail!

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