This is the cheapest option and best suited for beginners. A shared hosting plan means several (hundreds or thousands) websites will be hosted in one web server. You can register for a shared hosting plan and they will create a web site for you along with other web sites in the shared server.
Limitations of shared hosting
Since the shared server is used by several other members, there will be lot of restrictions. You will be allowed to use a limited share of the resources. Depending on the hosting plan, they will offer you a limited size of the disk space (50MB, 100MB etc).
Also, the hosting company staff will be continuously watch the server. If they notice that your site is using too much CPU/memory, they may ask you to move to a dedicated server.
The main disadvantage with shared hosting is, if any one site in the server mis behaves and hand the system, it will affect all the web sites in that server. So, your web site may be down due to the problems in other web sites in the server.
Also, you will not be able to access the server directly. You have to use some softwares most often called as "Control Panel" to manage your web sites. Control Panel will allow you to perform only limited number of tasks like downloading or uploading files to the web server, copy/edit/delete files etc.
You will not be able to perform any tasks that can affect other users. For example, if you want to re start the server, you will not be able to do so. You will not be able to directly access the hard disk to ensure that you cannot damage other members files.
Benefits of shared hosting
Since the shared server hosts hundreds of websites, they might offer you the hosting plan at very low price. Usually the shared hosting plans vary from US$5 to US$ 50 per month.
Even though many dis advantages are there, the shared web hosting is the best and cost effective option for beginners. Most probably, shared hosting servers will be very fast and high configuration servers since they have to support hundreds of web sites.
Shared servers are continuously monitored by the hosting company staff. If a machine goes down, they will take care of restarting the server or fixing the problem.
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