Finding the right type of web hosting for WordPress websites can be a confusing endeavor. There are a lot many considerations that you must bear in mind when selecting a web hosting provider: uptime, server resources, technical support as well as your budget.
That said, there is no one size fits all solution in the world of web hosting for WordPress. What works for one WordPress website might just not do well for the other site, and so on. As a result, how do you pick the perfect web hosting for your WordPress websites and blogs?
In other words, what type of web hosting does your WordPress site actually need? This article will answer the question and discuss the various web hosting options that can be used to host WordPress websites.
Shared hosting is the basic and most cost-effective form of web hosting. In fact, the majority of the websites on the internet are hosted on a shared plan wherein your resources and features are limited, but you spend less per month than what you would on a decent cup of coffee.
Ranging from anywhere between $2.50 per month to $12.50 per month, a shared hosting package, as the name suggests, is where you “share” server resources with other users and websites on the server. Thus, your web host offers you a fixed quota of the server resources, say disk space and bandwidth, and you are not permitted to go beyond the said quota.
It is obvious that shared hosting can work perfectly fine for websites that are not too busy and do not get millions of visitors per month. For personal blogs, smaller projects and relatively newer websites, shared hosting is ideal.
On the downside, a shared hosting package offers you less control over aspects such as PHP versions, remote backups, etc. Considering the fact that resources are limited, you cannot run too many WordPress plugins on your site either.
- Cost-effective and cheap
- Easy to use and setup
- Requires little effort in terms of server maintenance
- Less control over your server
- Does not work well for busy websites
Managed WordPress Hosting
Quite possibly the best option for WordPress hosting, managed WP hosting solutions are a relatively newer entity in this field. In such plans, your website is “managed” and taken care of by the web hosting provider and you can simply focus on your site’s content.
But, what exactly does “managed” mean here? Well, if you have run a WordPress site for even a short while, you must have had to deal with various steps and measures that are required for the safety and security of your site. For example, WordPress core updates, database backups, and so on. In a managed WP hosting plan, your web host ensures you have access to instant backup and restores, and also helps you apply the latest WP security updates and patches. In other words, all the backstage drama is handled by your host.
Naturally, such plans do not always come cheap, and you can expect to pay no less than $25 per month for a decent managed WP hosting plan.
- WordPress-optimized servers
- Regular security updates and server management
- Help with WP-specific issues
- Costlier than shared hosting
- Integrating your WP site with non-WP products is not always easy
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. The name does sound fancy and probably intimidating, but there is no big rocket science involved in deciphering the meaning of VPS Hosting.
A Virtual Private Server, to put bluntly, is a server wherein virtual partitions are done to allocate resources. Imagine a full server; and not, imagine a form of virtual partitioning system such that the server resources are divided in, say, four equal parts. Now, each part gets 25% of the server resources. So, if the entire server had 4 GB of RAM, your website will get 1 GB memory, and all the other sites too will get 1 GB each.
VPS Hosting is more powerful because it keeps less users on a server and allocates better memory and server resources to each site. However, it is also costlier and often requires “VPS management” measures to be put into place. For instance, you will be required to secure not just your WP site but also the VPS in itself. Same way, updates are no longer for just themes and plugins, but for the VPS software (such as operating system) too. Such management services can be hired as well for a fixed monthly fee, which generally ranges between $50 per month to $200 per month, depending on the nature of maintenance required.
- More RAM and better server resources
- Ideal for busy websites and forums
- Offers near-absolute control over your server
- Requires VPS maintenance, either by self or hired
Dedicated Server Hosting
A dedicated server is just that — a server or cloud storage solution dedicated entirely for the purpose of your website. Naturally, your everyday blog or portfolio site will not really need such a hosting solution. However, for enormous eCommerce sites, or extremely busy WP projects, a dedicated server is the perfect fit.
The good and bad points of such a hosting solution are obvious: on one hand, you have total control over your server and you get full resources. On the other hand, you need to spend accordingly and also ensure your dedicated hosting platform is in good health in terms of hardware and software updates.
- Meant for extremely busy websites
- Full access to server resources
- Costliest option
- Requires regular server maintenance and upgrades
- Overkill for not-so-busy websites
So, of the four options mentioned above, what type of hosting does your WordPress website actually need?
The answer here is straightforward: it depends on your needs. If you need peace of mind and want to be sure that you have access to cloud backups and regular WP updates even if you are on a holiday and things go wrong with your site, managed WordPress hosting is the ideal pick for you. Furthermore, in case of a bad plugin or conflicting theme issues, your managed hosting provider can offer troubleshooting help and insight.
On the other hand, if your website is not very resource-heavy and your budget is slim, a shared plan from a reliable provider will do just fine. Bear in mind though, you will hardly get any WordPress-specific help from your shared hosting provider.
Lastly, for resource-heavy and high traffic websites, or for folks who need better control over their sites, a VPS or a dedicated server is a good choice. You get better freedom as compared to a managed WordPress plan in the sense a VPS or dedicated server literally lets you choose which OS to run, which server-side caching solution to configure, and so on. On the other hand, such choices are not everyone’s cup of tea, and if you are not into server maintenance, hiring an expert or relying on a managed plan will be a wiser decision.
Which web hosting solution do you use for your WordPress website and why? Share your views in the comments below!