With 43% of websites built on WordPress, it’s no secret the platform has carved a large segment for itself in the digital world.
But does that mean you should choose a WordPress hosting plan? Or would shared hosting be a better option for your WordPress website?
The reality is that the best choice will be different for everyone. Your budget, traffic and experience with web development will guide you in your decision.
We’d like to keep it simple. Here’s how to find the hosting option that best suits your needs, whether you’re running a small business website, eCommerce store or blog.
What is shared hosting?
Shared hosting is a type of hosting plan where multiple websites share server resources. That includes their RAM, storage and bandwidth. One major benefit of shared web hosting is its affordability. However, it’s prone to slower speeds depending on the hosting infrastructure.
Think of shared hosting like a highway. There’s a lot less traffic late at night. But the road turns into bumper-to-bumper traffic during the day, resulting in a slow ride. And in this example, the road represents your website.
In a 2022 survey, 53% of online shoppers expected a website to load within three seconds. If your website is slow or experiences unexpected downtime, you risk losing customers because visitors expect a fast website.
What is WordPress hosting?
While WordPress hosting is similar to shared hosting, it’s slightly different because it’s optimized for websites built with the WordPress platform. Your hosting provider may take care of WordPress-specific security measures, speed optimizations, updates and backups.
With this level of specialization, WordPress hosting offers a more reliable and smoother experience for users. Additionally, it’s important to note the specific type of WordPress hosting you get. Is it shared, dedicated, cloud or VPS hosting?
Dedicated hosting offers the most exclusive benefits, including lightning-fast response times and near-unlimited bandwidth and scalability. Shared hosting offers enough resources for lower-traffic websites, while VPS hosting serves as the middle ground between the two.
Lastly, cloud hosting uses a server network that allows for higher scalability based on real-time fluctuations. You can lean on other servers when you need more resources.
Some WordPress hosting services are almost identical to shared hosting, with added benefits like automatic backups and updates. But dedicated, VPS and cloud hosting come with premium features.
You also can get a fully managed WordPress plan, which takes all the maintenance and upkeep off your to-do list.
Shared hosting vs. WordPress hosting: A full comparison
To recap, shared hosting is a user-friendly, affordable hosting option. The sometimes-costlier WordPress hosting comes with WordPress-specific customization, automation and optimization, making it better equipped to handle WordPress websites.
Ease of use
Shared hosting typically has a user-friendly control panel (like cPanel). Whether you want to upload files, manage domains or set up email accounts, shared hosting providers keep it simple.
Overall, it’s a great fit for beginners and non-tech-savvy individuals.
WordPress hosting takes it one step further, especially for those using WordPress as their content management system (CMS). As a WordPress user, you might need to update your themes or plugins, monitor website performance, optimize images or manage comments on the WordPress dashboard.
WordPress hosting typically offers one-click installations and auto-updates for the WordPress core, themes and plugins. It may provide built-in page caching for faster load times and automatic data optimization, making it suitable for all experience levels.
WordPress hosting is a great choice for easy, reliable web hosting, especially if you already use the CMS.
Most website management tasks depend on the hosting provider you choose. And in the end, you want control and customization when managing your website. Depending on the type of hosting you choose, you might have limited control and customization.
With shared hosting, the control panel makes it convenient to manage your website. It centralizes tasks like domain management, applications and basic web administration.
While you’re given freedom, it’s somewhat of a one-size-fits-all situation. Shared hosting doesn’t cater to any specific platform, meaning you lose out on the benefits of website optimization, better performance and added security against malware.
In contrast, WordPress hosting is a specialized environment. You use the WordPress dashboard to manage everything and all your data is centralized, making it easy to manage your website.
And when you choose managed hosting, it’s like having a pit crew of WordPress experts beside you, providing the tools and support you need.
With managed hosting, your hosting company handles WordPress-specific tasks like updates, security patches and performance optimizations. That way, you can focus on your business without worrying about technical issues.
As we’ve already established, your website’s responsiveness, speed and stability all affect user experience. According to Portent, your website’s speed directly affects your conversion rates. A website that takes one second to load has a 3x higher conversion rate than one taking five seconds to load.
Shared hosting can be a mixed bag, depending on your host and traffic. Because you share resources with multiple servers, you may experience slower speeds and more downtime during high-traffic periods.
If someone’s using a large slice of the pie, you’ll get less for your website. Additionally, shared hosting isn’t optimized for your website. You’ll get basic functionality but not advanced customization features like plugins or platform-specific security enhancements.
Conversely, WordPress hosting maximizes your website’s capabilities. Advanced customization features like WordPress plugins, caching and configuration can enhance your website’s speed, performance and security.
Regardless of which type of hosting you go with, make sure the hosting provider offers a content delivery network (CDN) and solid-state drive (SSD) storage. These features will help your website run smoothly and reliably.
While shared hosting may work fine for smaller websites with lower traffic, WordPress hosting best suits websites with moderate traffic looking for optimal performance.
Imagine you’re creating a new blog post and trying to upload an image but continue seeing an error message. And each time you try, you get more frustrated. If only you could contact customer support and try to resolve the issue …
The level of customer support will mostly depend on the hosting provider you choose. However, there is a difference in customer support for shared hosting and WordPress hosting.
Shared hosting customer support reps provide general advice when you encounter problems. They might suggest updating your system, troubleshooting the control panel or checking your files. But with some providers, the rep might not be well-versed in a WordPress CMS problem.
In contrast, WordPress customer support is typically in-depth about hosting, CMS and general website issues. Whether you need help troubleshooting plugins and errors or have a specific question, the customer support team will be happy to help.
Bluehost’s shared and WordPress hosting plans come with 24/7 support, meaning you get access to website experts whenever you need them.
When you launch a website, you primarily focus on specific features and pricing. In other words, how much bang can you get for your buck? And with WordPress and shared hosting, it’s hard to go wrong.
Shared hosting plans can start at a few dollars per month, making them affordable for new website owners or those running low-traffic websites. Plus, you can always upgrade later on if you need to, as long as your web hosting provider allows it.
On the other hand, WordPress hosting plans typically cost a little more than shared hosting. However, they offer enhanced features and WordPress-specific optimizations, in-depth customer support and access to automatic WordPress updates.
However, you don’t need to worry about the price difference when you go with Bluehost. Our shared and WordPress hosting packages both start at $2.95/month for a 12-month plan.
Need further guidance on how to choose the right web hosting plan? Here are some factors worth considering.
Shared hosting vs. WordPress hosting: How to choose
It’s crucial to consider the following questions about your expectations from a web hosting solution:
What’s your budget?
Both WordPress and shared web hosting plans are quite affordable. But shared hosting may be a better fit if you’re on a tight budget.
How much traffic do you expect?
WordPress hosting will be more capable if you anticipate a large number of monthly visitors or plan to grow rapidly. And if you want to upgrade your shared hosting plan, you can do that, too.
How much technical expertise do you have?
If the mere mention of “cPanel” or “FTP” sends a shiver down your spine, you might be most comfortable with the ease of managed WordPress hosting. Not to mention the added customer support to assist with any technical issues.
Do you plan to use WordPress?
If you intend to use WordPress as your CMS, you might enjoy the benefits of WordPress hosting. One-click installations and automatic updates make website management simple.
How much time will you allocate to website management?
A managed WordPress web hosting plan is more suitable if you’re more interested in growing your business and creating content. But shared web hosting will work well if you enjoy tinkering with your website or being responsible for occasional updates.
Final thoughts: Shared hosting vs. WordPress hosting — which is best for you?
All in all, shared hosting and WordPress hosting each offer unique features that cater to similar, yet different, needs.
A typical shared plan is a cost-effective solution for newcomers or smaller websites with modest traffic. On the other hand, WordPress hosting offers extra personalization, scalability and security that benefits larger websites and established businesses.
At Bluehost, our shared hosting and WordPress hosting solutions offer the same low pricing and great features. We’ll install and update WordPress for you and provide a suite of plugins and tools designed to optimize your website.
And with our 24/7 customer support and fast load times, your website will be envied by competitors and adored by customers.
Get started today.
Shared hosting vs. WordPress hosting FAQs
Absolutely. Shared hosting can host any type of website, including WordPress websites. But unlike WordPress hosting, many shared hosting plans won’t come with WordPress-specific optimizations.
It depends. If you’re a small business owner or this is your first website, shared hosting will work perfectly because it’s easy and affordable. But if you already use the WordPress CMS or want more website customization, WordPress hosting is the way to go.
WordPress hosting is typically best for a website using the WordPress CMS. It’s specifically optimized for the WordPress software. So, you get access to features like automatic updates, increased security, WordPress support and platform-specific performance enhancements.
Yes, shared hosting is sufficient for search engine optimization (SEO). While you may not achieve optimal SEO results with shared hosting, it’ll get the job done on a small scale. Page speed, reliability and uptime — factors that influence SEO — are often better with WordPress, VPS or dedicated hosting.
Yes, you’ll need hosting if you use WordPress. WordPress is simply a platform to build your website. You’ll need a hosting option to make it live via a domain and public server.
Shared hosting is a service that simplifies website management through a control panel, giving you access to updates and plugins. Managed WordPress hosting services take care of the technical aspects of website management, like updating software, security, website speed and other performance-based optimization.