What is Shared Hosting? How Does It Work?

Are you looking to build your web presence while saving money? Do you want to get right to designing your websites without worrying about fine tuning and managing servers? Shared Hosting may be the choice for you.

With Shared Hosting, you can get your site online simply and quickly. By renting out a portion of the server, you have direct access to all of the tools you need while a hosting company like InMotion Hosting manages server maintenance. Let’s look at everything shared hosting has to offer.

What is Shared Hosting?

A hosting account lets you put a website online, store data related to your site, and create email addresses using your domain name. Shared Hosting allows multiple users with individual internet domains to share and utilize one server. Shared Hosting is often compared to renting an apartment— you share a building (server) with other tenants, but you yourself have your own personal apartment (website).

Users can also set up multiple websites under one user account. This is why Shared Hosting is such a great choice for small businesses, blogs, and personal websites looking for cost-efficient, easy to use, safe hosting services. The shared space keeps the cost of hosting low. If you decide to go from one site to multiple sites, all it takes is a simple account upgrade to start hosting other sites on the same plan.

Whether your skill set includes extensive knowledge of website design and server maintenance or you have never created a website before, Shared Hosting services is a great way to jump-start your online website presence. We offer managed hosting on our shared servers, meaning that many of the fundamental, repetitive tasks of server administration are handled for you by our team of experts.

Experienced administrators will still have access to cPanel’s range of features, including database administration and DNS customization in the zone editor. For the price, Shared Hosting offers a lot— lots of email accounts, lots of space, quick set-up of popular software platforms like WordPress, and much more.

Benefits of Shared Hosting

Even though Shared Hosting is inexpensive, you still get plenty of well-maintained storage.

Fast Support and Maintenance

With Shared Hosting, highly skilled systems administrators at your web host maintain the server, hardware, and other essential components. Website downtime is mitigated with rapid response rates and technical support. Since multiple clients are utilizing the same server, a technical issue affecting one person is likely to affect others as well.

InMotion Hosting proactively maintains and responds promptly to solve technical problems and handle security concerns. If you’re an entrepreneur, this means you don’t have to have the knowledge to maintain the servers yourself. You’ll be able to focus on your business, while we focus on the server.

User Friendly

Whether you choose to create your own website or have your site professionally designed, easy and efficient tools are available to help with configuration, set up, and customization of your site. Once you have purchased your selected hosting plan and have your website files uploaded, all that’s left is pointing your domain to your hosting account. Your customized website design can be up and receiving customer traffic quickly.

User-friendly control panels help save you time with common site management tasks. A web host may also provide email accounts, visitor statistics, and marketing tools to better design for, understand, and attract new visitors to your website.

When Not to Use Shared Hosting

With Shared Hosting, your website is placed on a common server with many other websites. As a result, the server is setup in a way to let popular frameworks like WordPress run smoothly with standard configurations. If you want to use a custom site framework not already installed on the server, or optimize server resources for specific site tasks, you would probably be better off with a VPS or Dedicated Hosting plan. These plans require a great deal more knowledge and systems administration experience, but will let you customize the server exactly to your needs.

Installing WordPress, or applying basic coding like HTML or CSS does not require root access and can be easily done with the basic setup of a Shared Hosting account. Email, basic security methods like ModSecurity, Sucuri, and SSL certificates also do not require root access and can be applied quickly without needing to have extensive knowledge and know-how.

Unless you need root access to install specific software or configurations, Shared Hosting is the perfect place start. That said, if you need to install specialized software or create new server configurations to get your site up and running, consider a VPS or Dedicated Server hosting plans.

What is Included in Shared Hosting?

Feature Description
cPanel Shared Hosting users will be able to easily customize and manage their account with cPanel. cPanel, or control panel, is a user-friendly interface that will allow you to manage email, domains, files, and more. 
Free Domain Registration All of the Shared Hosting plans include one free domain registration or domain registration transfer for one year.
Free SSL Certificate All Shared Hosting accounts come with a free SSL that users can enable once the plan is purchased. Though the free SSL is perfect for most, users also have the option to purchase an additional SSL certificate via the Account Management Panel (AMP). The SSL certificate is used to secure your website and acts as visual reassurance to visitors that your website can be trusted.
Email Accounts Create any professional or personal email accounts for your domain for free. InMotion offers secure email via IMAP, so you can easily access your email from anywhere and stay synced across multiple devices.
Live 24/7/365 Support In-house, knowledgeable support agents ready to assist you and your hosting needs by phone, chat and email every day.
NVMe SSDs (Launch, Power, & Pro Plans) Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) Solid-State Drives are an advanced, power-efficient form of data storage. These SSDs help serve up large amounts of data faster than older forms of data storage and help keep your site performing its best.
Backup Manager All accounts are compatible with the InMotion Hosting Backup Manager plugin, which allows you to perform restorations, monitor backup storage and control which data is backed up and how often. The backup plugin is automatically added to cPanel after purchase.
Softaculous One-Click Installer Easily install over 400 applications, like WordPress, with our free one-click installer Softaculous – instead of installing the applications manually.
Coding Languages Use the coding language (MySQL, PHP, JavaScript, Node.JS, etc.) you know best to build the website of your dreams.
Max Speed Zone™ We utilize multiple data centers, premium bandwidth providers, and advanced routing technology to ensure our network is faster than the competition. This means faster websites, downloads, and email.
SSH Access All accounts are able to secure remote access via SSH for command line use for easier site administration management.
WP-CLI WordPress Command Line Interface (WP-CLI) is pre-installed on all Shared Hosting accounts and allows you to manage your WordPress website(s) via SSH. WP-CLI allows you to efficiently maintain your WordPress website(s) without a web browser.
Free Server Scans Our Shared Hosting users will also enjoy free server scans. Whenever you suspect malicious activity on your server, you can submit an account scan ticket request. For enhanced security, users can also purchase Sucuri.
Website Builder BoldGrid, our easy-to-use, drag-and-drop WordPress builder, is included with all accounts.

Comparison of Shared Hosting Plans

The various Shared Hosting plans available at InMotion are similar; the primary difference is in the available server resources and number of websites each plan can host.

Our Shared Hosting offerings include four different plans: Core, Launch, Power, and Pro. Each plan has been carefully crafted to give you the resources you need to manage your web presence successfully. Below outlines the features and differences for each plan. Most users start with the Power plan, as it allows for up to 6 websites and is perfect for growing businesses.

Primary Features Core Launch Power Pro
Domain Free Domain Free Domain Free Domain
Number of Sites Up to 2 Websites Unlimited Websites Unlimited Websites Unlimited Websites
SSD Storage 100GB Storage Unlimited NVMe SSD Storage Unlimited NVMe SSD Storage Unlimited NVMe SSD Storage
Bandwidth Unlimited Bandwidth Unlimited Bandwidth Unlimited Bandwidth Unlimited Bandwidth
Email Addresses 10 Email Addresses Unlimited Email Addresses Unlimited Email Addresses Unlimited Email Addresses
Maximum Email Account Size 1GB 5GB 10GB 20GB
SSL Free SSL Free SSL Free SSL Free SSL
Advanced Caching No No Yes Yes
Live Support 24/7/365 24/7/365 24/7/365 24/7/365 and Pro Support SLA

How Many Websites Can I Have with Shared Hosting?

Core Plan Websites

On a Core plan, you can have both a primary domain and an addon domain. An addon domain is a completely separate website with a different URL — if your primary domain was examplesite.com, then your addon domain could be something entirely different like myothersite.com.

Core plans also let you park a domain — redirect a domain entirely to another site — and create an unlimited number of subdomains. Subdomains use an existing URL, but place a different word or set of characters where ‘www’ would normally go. Your main site example.com could have blog.example.com, forums.example.com, recipes.example.com, each one with different site software installed.

The only other limitation to keep in mind is that the Core plan supports up to 40 databases. If you create dozens of subdomains and use software that requires a database like WordPress, you may run out of available database slots.

For more clarification on different types of domains, please see our article on new domains.

Launch, Power, and Pro — Unlimited Websites

Our Launch, Power, and Pro plans now offer an unlimited number of sites. That means unlimited addon domains, subdomains, parked domains, databases, and even disk space. Please keep in mind that usage and traffic can cause an account to use more resources than the processing power available to it. Don’t worry though — if this happens, we’ll help you upgrade your account!

Why Start with Shared Hosting?

Shared Hosting is the easiest form of web hosting to start with. Advanced server configurations require you to manage server resources and optimize server settings yourself. On a shared plan, all of that is taken care of for you! On top of that, you can choose a shared plan with exactly the resources your business needs. That way you’re only paying for what you use. If you ever need to switch to a VPS or Dedicated Hosting plan, it’s easy to upgrade your plan to something with more control.

Another upside to Shared Hosting is how simple it is to host multiple sites at once. cPanel, Softaculous, and other developer tools make it easy to copy sites, set up new sites, and try out new things. You can easily experiment on extra sites without affecting your main business. Most small businesses, when starting out on the web, only need a small informational website to help build awareness and nurture leads.

Further, when first launching a website, traffic will probably be low until the site gains rank on search engines. Using a Shared Hosting plan during this growth phase helps you save money while you build brand recognition, establish an online presence, and develop an SEO strategy.

Shared Hosting works best for simple, focused websites. Blogs, one-pagers, or sites selling a small assortment of products or services can do great on Shared Hosting. WordPress and other popular content management software is often well suited to Shared Hosting when a site has consistent, normal amounts of traffic. Certain e-commerce platforms can run smoothly on Shared Hosting even with a large variety of products, but some platforms perform better than others under these conditions.

If you are still not sure which hosting plan will work best for you, we recommend our full guide on VPS vs Shared Hosting.

Shared Hosting Add-Ons

Backup Manager

Take the guesswork out of site backups and subscribe to InMotion’s Backup Manager, which creates backups on an external server for added security and makes restoration simple and quick.

Dedicated SSL

While InMotion provides free and secure SSLs through cPanel, certain payment processors may require paid SSLs for insurance reasons. We offer these certificates as an add-on.

Dedicated IP Address

We can provide a Dedicated IP address if you need one for your business. This can be helpful for optimizing certain mail related tasks.

Managed Hosting

While our Design team handles ‘front-end,’ visual customization, our Managed Hosting team is here to help with ‘back-end’ and server related issues. Whether you’re building a new data pipeline, optimizing your site’s resource usage, or looking to try a new framework entirely, Managed Hosting is here to help.

Shared Hosting Support

No matter if you’re trying to establish a web presence or refresh an existing website, if you’re a small business or have a small website, Shared Hosting is perfect for you. Without the need to apply advanced configurations or settings, you will be able to quickly and easily set up your email and launch your website.

With our 24/7/365 live Technical Support team and UltraStack powered shared servers, InMotion Hosting has everything you need to get your business online with a fast, reliable website. If you have further questions, have a chat with our Sales Team today!

Launch your web presence quickly and easily with Shared Hosting. Our user-friendly hosting is perfect for everyone, providing the fastest shared hosting experience possible, all powered by cPanel.

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