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Shared Hosting vs WordPress Hosting – What’s The Difference?

Friday, September 23, 2016 by

Shared Hosting vs WordPress Hosting

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.

Recommended WordPress Hosting


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.

Kevin Wood writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes Wooden Writing and Counter Culturist.
  • simon Pierce
    1 November 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Where can I find the restricted list of WordPress Plugins?

  • Rob Cadore
    2 November 2016 at 12:20 am

    What is the restricted list of plugins from Hostgator Optimized WordPress?

  • JEfromCanada
    2 November 2016 at 1:55 am

    A client of mine uses Hostgator WordPress Hosting and has had numerous issues with plugins that are on the banned list. With no access to phpAdmin, there is no access to databases that are used in conjunction with related applications (such as mailing lists, surveys, etc.).

    The client found that, without having the ability to grant unfettered access the the “back end”, issues with themes or plugins could not be properly debugged by vendors of those products.

    • Amelia Willson
      2 November 2016 at 12:44 pm

      Hi JE,

      Thanks for sharing your feedback! The benefit from using our managed WordPress plan is the level of management we invest in maintaining a list of plugins that will have a detrimental effect on your site. Developers with experience with WordPress are likely familiar with the havoc an untested plugin can cause. For customers interested in having more control of the backend, a dedicated server or one of our cloud hosting plans could be preferable options.

      I hope this is helpful. Please have your client reach out to our support team if they have more questions. Thank you!

  • Andrew Way
    4 November 2016 at 1:03 pm

    If I use a managed WordPress plan would I still get unlimited email accounts, forwarders, etc? that I normally have in Cpanel?

    • Amelia Willson
      4 November 2016 at 1:25 pm
  • KF To
    5 December 2016 at 4:38 am
    • Amelia Willson
      5 December 2016 at 2:45 pm

      Thanks for the question! Our shared hosting and Optimized WordPress packages do come with a serious level of security, however the customizations mentioned in this article would not be added to the .htaccess file by default. These changes would need to be added after WordPress is installed using the steps mentioned in the article.

      If you have any questions on those steps, please give us a call at 1.866.96.GATOR or start a live chat at and we’ll be happy to help.

  • billy johnson
    11 December 2016 at 8:33 pm

    how will hostgator help me on my daily tasks ?? and what will be my security ??

    • Amelia Willson
      12 December 2016 at 4:25 pm

      Hi Billy,

      HostGator provides a number of security measures to protect our servers and prevent your account from being compromised via the server itself. You can read more about HostGator’s security measures here. One of the added benefits of our managed WordPress hosting plan is that it includes Automatic Malware Removal – you can learn more here.

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