Could shared hosting alter my site's behavior?
I'm in the process of building, and debugging, my website. I have HostGator as my web host, and have signed up for their cheapest plan. Because it's the cheapest, I'm pretty sure I'm on a shared server.
I haven't yet officially launched my site, and so I don't really have any traffic. However, I have noticed that my site doesn't always work properly -- all of a sudden. Sometimes pages load, sometimes they don't. Sometimes I get timeout error messages, and sometimes I don't. This all happens even though I've made few changes to the way that my site is programmed. Could these problems be happening because I'm on a shared server? I don't have any traffic. It's just me visiting pages as I try to debug.
I'm certain that these issues are intermittent, and not due to my programming. Earlier today, everything was loading and working without errors. Then, all of a sudden, I start getting time-out errors -- This only happens sometimes. Could all of this be due to my cheap hosting plan, or is this unlikely because I don't have any traffic?
I don't want to switch to a dedicated server if this can't possibly be the problem. However, I also don't want to be getting errors all of the time if a dedicated server will solve the problem.
Thanks for your time and for any input that anyone may be willing to provide.