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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.
18 Comments
  • 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?
    tks

  • 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 https://chat.hostgator.com 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.

  • Steven
    1 February 2017 at 7:08 am

    Hi Amelia!

    Without SFTP access on WordPress hosting, do I have to use CPanel to edit .htaccess?

    Also, how would I version control (git) the site?

    • Amelia Willson
      6 February 2017 at 2:47 pm

      Hi Steven!

      Although SFTP access is not available on managed WordPress packages, we do still include FTP access. These packages also include automatic updates, as well as daily backups via CodeGuard which can be used if reversions are needed.

  • Edo
    18 February 2017 at 8:24 am

    can i use wp super cache plugin in hostagator’s managed wordpress hosting?

    • Amelia Willson
      21 February 2017 at 10:44 am

      Hi Edo,

      You can see the list of disallowed plugins for our Managed WordPress plans here. Good news – it doesn’t look like Super Cache is on the list!

      Thanks for reading,
      Amelia

  • David C
    26 February 2017 at 11:02 pm

    Trying to decide on Cloud Hosting vs. WebPress Cloud Hosting. I am only going to have WebPress sites. If WebPress Cloud Hosting is a little better / Faster, and the only downside is some plug-ins are disallowed because they cause issues, then that seems like a good thing. For example, I saw one of the plug-ins was related to creating Google XML sitemaps. But there are a half dozen or more plug-ins for XML sitemap generation, so even though one is blacklisted, there are still other options. That is likely the case with any plug-in on the disallowed list. One thing that I do not understand no matter which way I go is the best way to convert my existing Google Sites website to WebPress. So I think I should go with HostGator WebPress Cloud Hosting. I think maybe the best way is for me make the transition is to download WordPress to my PC, and duplicate my Google Sites website in an offline WordPress site (with the same Primary URL). Then when I am ready to make the switch, get a HostGator WebPress Cloud Hosting account, and upload my WebPress Site to the new HostGator WebPress Cloud Hosting, while simultaneously changing my domain DNS Name Servers to point to HostGator instead of Google Sites. What kind of support does HostGator provide if I am moving an Offline WebPress website to Hostgator? Or is it possible for me to go ahead and host the exact same Primary URL on a HostGator hosting account simultaneously? My Google Sites site would be the one indexed and running on the web. The duplicate site on HostGator would not be indexed until it was ready, at that point, I would change my domain DNS Name servers from Google Sites to HostGator. Would that work? I prefer the latter method but just need to know if it would work, and if not would my offline method work as described?

    • Amelia Willson
      1 March 2017 at 11:13 am

      Hi David,

      Thanks so much for the questions! Instead of installing and modifying WordPress on your local computer, we would recommend setting up an account using the domain name(s) you intend to use, then updating your hosts file. Using this method, the current sites will stay live while allowing you a chance to work on the new sites without re-pointing the domain names. Once you are satisfied with the new sites, you can change back your hosts file, then point the domain names to your new hosting account.

      Regarding which type of package would work best for you, typically we recommend Optimized WordPress accounts for customers who only need access to the WordPress dashboard, and would like automated updates for their WordPress and plugins. The benefits to Cloud Hosting include access to both the WordPress dashboard and to cPanel, as well as scalability and automatic failover. More information can be found on these pages:

      http://support.hostgator.com/articles/pre-sales-policies/cloud-sites
      http://support.hostgator.com/articles/hosting-guide/hosting-plan-comparison/hosting-comparison-chart

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