Shared webhosting is a technology that allows multiple websites to be served from the same IP address, and is a very common place for many websites to be hosted. Sometimes, when an issue occurs with one of those websites, it can cause issues for all of the others being served from that IP address.
To give a brief insight on what’s happening: a shared webhosting environment is something like an apartment building where each website has its own apartment, and some of those websites are not controlled by you or your company.
Usually, issues can be contained to, and dealt with, on a per-apartment basis – think something simple like painting or a flooring repair. Sometimes, however, there’s a building-wide issue that takes issue with every apartment in the building – think a gas leak, or a minor fire causing the sprinklers to go off.
Unfortunately when the latter occurs, everyone has to exit while the issue is being fixed. Thankfully, these major outages are atypical of most website-related issues, but sometimes a persistent problem occurs and that problem touches everyone.
The fix: move out of the building… or at least into a smaller one where your websites are the only residents, and if an issue arises, you can take proactive steps to have things fixed, rather than having to wait for the owner of the building to sort the issues out with the offending tenant.
When you move out of the building, it’s usually to something like a VPS or a Dedicated server, which we’ll discuss in future posts.
Hopefully that gives a better understanding of how the basics of shared webhosting works, and why issues that seem entirely unrelated to your website can still affect you.