Web hosting is an absolutely critical aspect of any online business. Without the proper dedicated hosting plan, you won’t have a website, it’s as simple as that. However, choosing the right kind of web 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 dedicated servers. To keep things simple we’re going to look at two of the most commonly used hosting providers and options for websites that utilize the WordPress CMS.
Below we dive deeper into the world of web hosting as we compare WordPress hosting, versus shared hosting plans with basic hosting services 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 this web host as wearing a well-tailored suit, custom fitted to your body. Managed WordPress hosting is tailor-made to work with WordPress sites.
Here are some of the Managed WordPress hosting advantages:
• It’s incredibly fast. Every aspect of the server has been tweaked to cater to WordPress’s setup and enable quick loading times. This level of hosting can often drop page loading speed and response time by a second or more.
• It’s much more secure. This kind of web hosting service 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 customer support. The support teams who run managed WordPress hosting accounts are generally WordPress experts. They offer support, troubleshooting and hosting problem solutions whenever needed.
• 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 these kinds of web hosts are generally higher because of how customized it is.
In addition, 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, you may need to find another hosting option. (HostGator customers on our managed WordPress plan can find the full list of disallowed plugins here.)
Lastly, you can only run a WordPress blog on managed WordPress hosting. Any other kinds of CMSs aren’t allowed.
Why Would I Use Shared Hosting?
The advantages of 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. However, 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 than shared hosting.
For instance, when you use a shared hosting option 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 if they 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 different 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 providers simply are not 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 utilizing the hosting services of managed WordPress hosting is generally the way to go.
If you’re unsure about the higher price point, then stick with the basic shared web 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.