Shared Hosting Lessons Learned When Jane’s Sites Went Down

four hands one cake

While running a website or blog, the first and the foremost thing that comes to our mind is the hosting. A host basically makes our site available to anyone trying to access it from anywhere. That actually means a big thing.

No matter what, your web host gives you the guarantee that whenever a person interested in your content either through search engines, social media, from other sites or by typing your url in the address bar and a myriad of other ways tries to access your site he/she reaches there.

Or does it? A bad web host may not give such a guarantee. Indeed your website may be down for a good deal of time. But does a good web host give such a guarantee?

When starting out your blog you do not know much about hosting and stuff and go for a shared hosting plan, one for it is the cheapest around and two you need only that because other than your Mom and you nobody is checking out your site.

But there comes a time when you outgrow them. Jane just did. This post will discuss about when you should start considering leaving your favourite shared hosting plan and going for Vps.

No unlimited bandwidth and diskspace on shared hosting

Everyone says that, no one gives that. You are on a shared hosting plan and the bandwidth that you use, the disk space that you have are also used by thousands of others.

You are basically sharing all the resources together.

When we were kids me and my sister fought over the chocolates brought by my father. In all such cases to end the War, our mother finally had to take matters on her hands and divide the chocolate in to exactly two equal pieces, for if a single piece exceeded the other by even a millimeter the war would start again.

The same thing happens in shared hosting too. For if you consume CPU resources even by the tiniest amount that they have set then you wake up to a scary email which causes your heart to skip a beat. Your site has just gone down.

Since a lot of people are using the same resources if and when your site starts bullying around they call an end to the game. In Jane’s case it wasn’t the traffic load but the number of plugins that she was using.

Yes those pieces of code which make our life easier also take away lot of our bandwidth. And no hosting provider mentions exactly what they think is unlimited. That is a problem.

We have limited disk space and even more limited bandwidth but we are left guessing what are the numbers and how do we know we have reached it?

A rule of the thumb is when you have approached like 5k to 10k Pageviews per day then its time to move your site somewhere else. Yes its going to be costly but you are earning far more than that. You have so many visits, you gotta be earning something if you work properly on converting that traffic.

Who shares hosting with you?

The second problem with shared hosting is you don’t know if your neighbour is a porn peddler.

In shared hosting your site is grouped along with hundreds or thousands of sites and its not their problem if those sites are not similar to yours.

Just imagine sharing the same ip with hundreds of porn sites or something more evil. What will your standing be when it comes to the eyes of Google bots.

At a time when sites are being kicked for every reason that one can imagine or can’t imagine, even for the domain names that they have, you need to be sure that you are not clustered along with all those sites.

A quick solution would be to get a unique ip for your own site and that would pretty much separate you from the herd.

A rare case, when shared hosting invited Panda penalty

Harsh Agarwal of shoutmeloud around two months back moved his site from shared hosting to VPS and the reason was a bit weird. He was affected by the Panda tweak.

The problem was that, that many of his links were converted to https from http which is bad for ranking in Google. The problem was with the sites he shared his bandwidth and space with.

He asked the customer care to cluster his site differently but then they simply could not understand the need and the next day harsh changed boats.

Well this thing may or may not happen with you. I have never seen this happening with anyone and Harsh is the only proof I have of such an incident.

But then it is shared hosting and as everything else in the world, comes with its unique set of advantages and disadvantages.

When do you need vps or dedicated hosting?

When you outgrow the present features allotted to you and your site can no longer be supported by a shared hosting plan.

When money is not a problem for you but site availability is. Well site availability is never a problem with shared hosting until you are consuming too much server resources.

But when you have a lot of plugins, running, lot of traffic just coming in everyday and you are joyous about having made the best decision in your life then life hits you on the head with a scary e mail that your hosting has been suspended.

Time to move on.

For the first 18 months that George blogged he did not make a single penny. Then it was like Edison discovering the exact material for the light bulb after 10000 failures. He had failed in every possible way and then there was no way left but to succeed. And he succeeded. He writes about making money blogging at seekdefo. Download his free e book – $400-$1000 per month with one page niche sites.

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  1. SamuelSamuel says

    Having your site down to hosting problems is not good.

    It hasn’t happened to me yet, but you never know. I need to be ready when it does happen.

    This article definitely helps explain what are the best options for your hosting.

      • Ron says

        I never had a host shut my site down, but there was a time that the only internet option we had was through satellite and that alone caused issues because of the bandwidth limits. Having an online business things change from day to day, one day you may get a ton of traffic the next nothing. With the bandwidth limits, if we went over one day they would slow us down…waaay down…to almost dial up speeds the next day. I Do understand it’s important to have a good host and thank you for pointing out what that entails. Security is very important also, you don’t want people to be able to hack into your information. Thanks again for the info and insight.

  2. AasmaAasma says

    Nice article George,

    Shared hosting is preferred by most of the blog owners because it cost relatively lower than other hosting features. Bloggers use it because they have limited budget but they should changed their hosting plan once their blog capability enhanced.

  3. Matt says

    Hi George, nice article. I’m convinced. As of the moment I’m on shared hosting but once my site reached 10K views per day. I will consider to transfer to VPS.

  4. koundeenyakoundeenya says

    Cleverly written, George. This post truly explains the need of VPS/Shared hostings as per the need and requirement.

  5. shasha says

    Nice article George.
    I understand to use VPS when need arises that absolutely correct.
    Thanks for sharing some negatives points on shared hosting which is common these days.
    May be I will shift soon to VPS.

  6. Gera says

    Hi George,

    So true all the points mentioned. I’m using shared hosting and I know that a neighbour can slap me bad reputation or consume all the resources, sending my sites down.
    Odd the case of Harsh, didn’t know that, hosting and Panda 😉

    When my traffic is critical, I’ll have VPS in my mind :)



  7. Theodore NwangeneTheodore Nwangene says

    I quite agree with you Jane,
    I’ve heard so many horrible stories about this shared hosting of a thing. Although I’m still using it on my own blog because i still have so many things to fix before moving to VPS, but ones I’ve reached my goal, i switch over to VPS immediately.

    Thanks for sharing.

    BTW: I really enjoyed your report and have just published a review about it.

    Your commentluv is not working

    • george says

      Hi Theodore. Vps needs be taken only when shared hosting can’t take the burdens of your site. Until then its ok.
      Btw as far as commentluv is concerned i will Inform Jane

  8. KrunalKrunal says

    Great post George,
    I think blogger should changed their hosting plan once their blog capability enhanced.
    It hasn’t happened to me yet but I need to be ready when it does happen…

  9. GarenGaren says

    Yeah I learned this about two years ago. You shouldn’t need a VPS until you get more than 200-300 uniques per day (on most shared host). Sometimes there are holes in the your server and they can get hacked. I recently had someone try to send out 95k emails under one of my VPS. Got shut down for about an hour but we fixed the issue quickly. I know cPanel had a update a day or so ago which should help VPS and Dedicated.

  10. NidhiNidhi says

    Great article and especially helpful for someone who is trying to get an iPad magazine started. And Burrows last point ties right into the main impetus for our magazine: the problem of discovery in an age of information overload. What we’re trying to do with DogEars magazine is provide a more organic way to find great things to read. Rather than rely on algorithms and suggested titles, we introduce readers to 10 fascinating people and the 10 things they have recently read. Hopefully we can use some of these lessons learned to make DogEars a sucess.

  11. TechGopalTechGopal says

    downtime is integral part of any web hosting even VPS host can get down , personally I recommend cloud servers but still they cost high,I have experienced that SE also punish for downtime…but moving to safer VPS host might work much better than any shared hosting

  12. Brian RockBrian Rock says

    It’s also worth noting that properly setting up your website can cut down on how much cpu and bandwidth you’re using. For example, you can use a plug in to cache your WordPress website, which will do a lot of that server intensive stuff when you make a post but do a lot less on the fly when people are accessing your page.

    As an end user, you might also not notice, but this is something that plug-in developers should be aware of. There are efficient ways to do things, and inefficient ways. A good developer is going to achieve their goal while using the least amount of system resources.

  13. Bery C.P.Bery C.P. says

    Great article and especially helpful for someone who is trying to get an iPad magazine started. And Burrows last point ties right into the main impetus for our magazine: the problem of discovery in an age of information overload. I have experienced that SE also punish for downtime…but moving to safer VPS host might work much better than any shared hosting

  14. Mark FloorsMark Floors says


    You have written a great article.
    Shared hosting is sometimes very dangerous.You have shared great points with us.

    Mark Floors

  15. babanature says

    Hello George,
    This is indeed a nice post, As you’ve said the best time to move from a shared hosting to vps is when your hosting provider tells you that you need to move. right now i am still on shared hosting and i am trying as much to reduced my cpu usage consumed by pluggins. Nice post.

  16. Gaurav GargGaurav Garg says

    i am totally against this post because i am using shared hosting from last 3 years first EIT is now they moved to EIT and i am a client from last 3 years but i never faced that down time problem in this server. i think they are best service providers.

    and i am agree in case of some low level hosting service providers because they have only limited disk and bandwidth but my blog takes 900GB bandwidth in a month and also i am using 300GB of space. so i can say that some peoples are providing best services in shared hosting servers.
    Gaurav Garg

  17. Julia SpencerJulia Spencer says

    Now I can really understand the necessity of shared hostings and opportunities that can be easily achieved. Thanks a lot for such a detailed explanation

    Julia Spencer’s recent post.. Special Spring Facebook Bundle: 20 Templates for $1,95 per each

  18. AshleyAshley says

    I had always wondered about shared hosting and if it affected Google ranking, I guess now I know it does. I’ve thought about changing to a dedicated plan, but right now the one I have with godaddy seems to be fine, but that doesn’t mean I’m endorsing them, but with my current load it seems to work.

  19. Sekhar Reddy says

    Thanks for sharing great article about shared hosting. This is very useful information for website launching process. Keep it up such a nice posting like this.

    Sekhar Reddy.

  20. Santosh says

    Great post, Wes. One of the things I very much appreciate about you is your willingness to share the “inside baseball” on presenting, engaging as a trainer or consulting. It is a great contribution to a community that tends to have a “the first rule about Fight Club” mentiality.

  21. Adiannon AgonAdiannon Agon says

    Great article. I must say, when I started blogging, I wasn’t thinking about hosting at all. I was a newbie, all I wanted was quick success. I learned a lot from my mistakes. My experience grew, just as my number of visitors. After a few months I decided to go for a VPS hosting.

  22. Darmor WanarDarmor Wanar says

    Dedicated hosting is the first thing that should come in mind when starting to blog. I do think a blogger first needs to discover if blogging a something he/she is suitable to do. Commitment to give quality content is the key to successful blogging.

  23. Sarvesh says

    Hi George,

    Well i’ve faced the same issue of down of my blog when my host providers are upgrading their servers. I’ve know some great traffic loss, so what i did is i’ve moved to a new hosting “host gator”.

    thanks for the awesome post.

  24. Syed DanialSyed Danial says

    I often see jane’s both blog probloggingsuccess and techbuzzonline down. But now i think she has moved to dedicated hosting. moving to dedicated host and increase your space is good idea because 24/7 online website will get more traffic and money

  25. Fatima says

    After having spent so much of energy and time in building my website, having it go down because of shared hosting is the last thing I want. I am glad I found your post and will surely make use of dedicated hosting.


      So true. Its definitley the saddest thing to see that your blog has become unaccessible to others to the people for whom it was created

  26. Raheem KhanRaheem Khan says

    Hi George,
    No words for your creativity, simply awesome. Yes it was the lesson i learnt while using shared hosting. My site was going down after every one week but I managed to buy a VPS and now I’m blogging Happily. I will recommand VPS when you are fade up of shared hosting.
    Raheemullah Khan.

  27. AaynaAayna says

    A very relevant share!! The article explains in details the benefits of shared hosting. In my opinion. Shared hosting is a great means of downsizing the cost. Thanks for sharing these vital points.

  28. PrakashPrakash says

    Hosting is the main factor for a site. When our blog is getting good amount of traffic and our server is unable to bear it. Then it can destroy our online career. So be careful while choosing the hosting.
    Nice article Jane……

  29. Chadrack says

    Truly great post and a revealing one. I’ve had a lot of problems with shared host. The last one truly got me in. they offered unlimited bandwidth and unlimited space. Though I had doubts about that with my little understanding of what webhosting is, I decided to try it out. That was my first but I had to run away in less than 2 months of hosting with them. Nearly every day they were just cutting off access to my sites without even sending warnings that my sites were eating up too much resources. I will never try it again.

  30. gmshovogmshovo says

    yes, shared hosting is quiet disgusting. Dedicated and cloud hosting are much friendly… But the cost of dedicated and cloud hosting is not so user friendly… So i think before i am getting less more than 5k visits daily, shared hosting is ok for me :)

  31. Bashir Ahmed says

    Great article! Yes its true nothing is unlimited in shared hosting once you hit the high CPU usage you will get an email “Your hosting account has been suspended”. Not happend to me yet, but I am ready for move to VPS or Dedicated server.

    Thank you!

  32. DavidDavid says

    It’s really worth the money to just get a reseller account as for the price you get a much higher level of dedicated resources.. A VPS though is overkill if you have no traffic!

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