Dedicated. Shared. VPS. Managed. When it comes to WordPress hosting, it pays to know your options. In today’s post, we’re examining the different types of WordPress hosting so that you can select the right host for your WordPress site.
Dedicated hosting is the most straightforward form of WordPress hosting. A dedicated server is a blank slate that needs to be tailored to your specific requirements. With dedicated hosting, your WordPress site runs on an entire server, which is set up by either you or a third-party host.
- Flexibility: With a dedicated server, you have the flexibility to add any themes or plugins to your site You can also use the server for other services such as email.
- Cost: Cost is both an advantage and disadvantage of dedicated hosting. A dedicated server server is usually the least expensive way to acquire any amount of server resources.
- Limitations: If your site grows beyond the fixed capabilities of your dedicated server, you’ll need to move your site to a new server or set up a cluster of servers in order to scale your site’s performance.
- Lack of support: If you run into an issue with your site or your server, you’ll be on the hook to resolve the problem.
- Learning curve: If you don’t know how to install WordPress from scratch, you’ll need to hire a system administrator to install WordPress for you before you can begin using your dedicated server. You’ll also need to consider how much performance you’ll need as well as how you’ll secure your server, manage updates and set up your development workflow.
- Cost: Although dedicated servers can be inexpensive for high-traffic WordPress sites, they can also be overkill for sites that have minimal performance requirements. Another consideration to keep in mind is that, as your site grows, you may be on the hook to make significant leaps in cost rather than smaller, incremental upgrades.
Dedicated hosting’s biggest advantage is also its biggest disadvantage: the blank-slate approach to hosting can be either liberating or burdensome depending on your requirements. Keep in mind that, with dedicated hosting, either you or a system administrator will need to set up, monitor and update your WordPress site. The steep learning curve of dedicated hosting makes it an option best reserved for hosting experts.
Shared hosting is an approach to WordPress hosting that stores multiple websites on a single server. Hosting companies offer shared hosting in order to make efficient use of server resources. This allows shared hosts to host WordPress websites for the lowest possible cost.
- Cost: The most compelling feature of shared hosting is its cost. For a basic WordPress site that doesn’t get a lot of traffic, shared hosting plans can start at $5 to $10 per month.
- Simplicity: Some shared hosts offer one-click installation of WordPress, making it easy to get started.
- Easy upgrades: Shared hosts can offer incremental upgrades in performance or cost in order to accommodate your site’s growth.
- Varying costs: Most shared hosts will charge you fees or turn off your WordPress site if your site uses more resources than you’re paying for.
- Speed: When your WordPress site shares a server with other sites, there’s the potential for disruption. Although performance varies from site to site and host to host, page speeds are often slower on shared hosts than on dedicated and managed hosts.
- Security: The security of your WordPress site is directly tied to your host. This can be good if your host implements industry-leading security practices but, in other cases, it can expose your site to vulnerabilities from “neighbors,” i.e., other websites running on the same server as your website.
- Reputation: It’s important to be discerning when selecting a shared host. Be wary of hosts known for slow performance, oversold features, sub-par support or frequent outages.
Shared hosting is the bottom-dollar option of WordPress hosting. Shared hosting’s low cost has made it a popular option with new WordPress site owners, particularly those who have simple sites, such as blogs. More complicated or resource-intensive sites, such Multisite installations and WooCommerce stores, should look to dedicated or managed hosts.
As is often the case with low-cost providers, shared hosts have widely varying reputations, so it’s important to pick a highly-reputable company when selecting a shared host. Otherwise, you may run into issues with performance, uptime, security or support.
Virtual Private Server
Virtual private server (VPS) hosting is a hybrid of dedicated and shared hosting. VPS hosts allocate a dedicated portion of a single server to multiple customers. By sharing resources, VPS hosts can offer lower costs than dedicated hosts.
Managed WordPress hosting is a premium form of hosting that combines the server architecture of shared hosting with additional features and services. Each managed host has a different offering but most share a core set of features that allow WordPress site owners to skip the technical aspects of hosting.
- Performance: Managed hosts optimize their servers to run WordPress sites. This means that managed hosting is usually faster than shared hosting. Features like content distribution network (CDN), caching and load balancing are often implemented automatically.
- Simplicity: Managed hosts make it easy to deploy a WordPress site.
- Easy upgrades: Like shared hosts, managed hosts can offer incremental upgrades in performance or cost in order to accommodate your site’s growth.
- Security: Many managed hosts implement WordPress-specific security measures, including automatic upgrades.
- Support: As premium service providers, managed hosts have reputations for providing a higher level of support than other hosts.
- Workflow tools: Many managed hosting plans include features that make it easy to develop or own a WordPress site, e.g. staging sites, version control, cloning and collaboration.
- Cost: Managed hosting costs more than shared hosting. Managed hosting plans typically start at $25 to $50 per month.
- Limitations: Managed hosts will sometimes enforce restrictions on how themes, plugins or other features of WordPress can be used in order to optimize the installation of WordPress on their servers.
Managed hosting represents a middle ground between the flexibility and performance of dedicated hosting and the cost and simplicity of shared hosting. The added benefits of managed hosting make it a great option for site owners who require high performance but don’t want to handle their own technical matters.
Managed hosting is also a good choice for WordPress developers who deploy sites on a regular basis, as the developer-specific features of managed hosting can shorten the WordPress development cycle. The best managed hosts offer features that provide additional value, such as free SSL certificates. The most valuable feature of managed hosting may be support, which can act as a lifeline for WordPress site owners and developers.
Which Option is Best?
If you’re a WordPress developer, managed hosting offers features that make it easy to deploy sites for your clients.
If you like to administrate your own server or you want to set up your own hosting company, you should take a look at dedicated or VPS hosting.
If you’re most concerned about price and you have a simple WordPress site, shared hosting is an attractive option. You may save yourself from headaches by opting for managed hosting.
If you want to avoid the challenge of being your own technical resource or if you have a robust WordPress site, managed hosting is the way to go.
At Pressable, we bundle industry-leading features and support from WordPress experts into affordable managed hosting plans. Start building your WordPress site today at no cost with a 15-day free trial.