Hosting is an absolutely critical aspect of any online business. Without the proper hosting, you won’t have a website, it’s as simple as that. However, choosing the right kind of hosting package for your needs is another thing entirely.
There are a variety of options you’ll come across. The most common being basic shared hosting, VPS, managed hosting, and running a dedicated server. To keep things simple we’re going to look at two of the most commonly used hosting options for websites that utilize the WordPress CMS.
Below we dive into managed WordPress hosting, versus a basic shared hosting plan where you’re just using WordPress as a CMS.
What is Managed WordPress Hosting?
Managed WordPress hosting is a hosting environment that’s specifically designed to cater to WordPress websites. Think of it as wearing a well-tailored suit, custom fitted to your body. Rather than grabbing a suit off the rack, with your eyes closed!
Managed WordPress hosting has a number of advantages for your website:
• It’s incredibly fast. Every aspect of the server has been tweaked to cater to WordPress’s setup. This level of hosting can often drop page load speeds by a second or more.
• It’s much more secure. This kind of hosting offers increased security protocols and more individualized attention. Plus, if you do get hacked you’ll have a support team who has experience with WordPress-specific attacks.
• Your server is always up to date. The team who manages your hosting will always ensure the server is running the latest software, so your site will perform as efficiently as possible. Their goal is to keep you, and your website, happy.
• Dedicated support. The support teams who run managed WordPress hosting accounts are generally WordPress experts. Who would you rather have looking after your site?
• Increased uptime. Since your site will be sharing resources with less websites, and in some cases, none, your site is able to use a greater portion of the server resources.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
Since managed WordPress hosting is a more customized hosting solution, there are a few drawbacks that come with the upgraded service. For instance, the costs for this kind of hosting are generally higher.
Sometimes, there are also limitations on the amount of customization you can do across your site. Some managed WordPress hosts won’t allow your site to use certain plugins. So, if your site requires certain plugins to function, and those plugins are on the host’s restricted list, and then you might need to find another hosting option. (HostGator customers on our managed WordPress plan can find the full list of disallowed plugins here.)
Also, you can only run WordPress on managed WordPress hosting. Any other kinds of CMSs aren’t allowed.
Why Would I Use Shared Hosting?
Shared hosting can be great if you’re just getting started with building a website and are unsure if you want to commit all the way, or not. But, if you’re looking to grow your website and are expecting to receive a very large amount of traffic, then you may want to consider upgrading to something more reliable.
For instance, when you use a shared host your website is put on a server with hundreds, and sometimes thousands of others. You have no idea who these other websites are, and whether or not they have proper security measures in place, or are using a properly coded theme.
The resources on the shared server will get divided between every website using the server. This means that if a website on the server experiences a large surge in traffic from a post going viral, then your site may load slowly as a result.
Shared hosting just isn’t as reliable and custom tailored to the WordPress environment.
There’s no “right” hosting choice for every kind of business out there. But, if you can afford the additional costs of WordPress managed hosting, and have plans to grow your website in the future, then managed WordPress hosting is generally the way to go.
If you’re unsure about the higher price point, then stick with the basic shared hosting, you can always upgrade in time, as your site grows!
What kind of hosting do you prefer for your website? Please share in the comments below.