WordPress is the most widely used website builder and content management system (CMS) in the world, powering the sites of users ranging from personal bloggers to small businesses and even globe-spanning corporations. WordPress is a free, open-source platform that can be used both by experienced developers and new users with no site design experience, so it can be used both in general web hosting environments and those dedicated specifically to this platform – a form of hosting called managed WordPress web hosting.
Multiple Options for WordPress Hosting Plans
WordPress has been designed for flexibility and scalability on a variety of platforms. With thousands of customizable WordPress themes and plugins available from WordPress and third-party developers, this CMS can be installed and activated in minutes – even by users without much experience with website building.
Shared Web Hosting for WordPress on a Budget
Along with other platforms such as Drupal and Joomla, WordPress is included as a site building option in hosting packages of all kinds, including the very low-cost shared hosting offered by many general web hosting sites. Users can install and run WordPress on their own from their site’s cPanel as part of the basic hosting package. This kind of shared hosting comes with general tech support by the host’s customer service team, but it may not be able to address more specific issues that dive deeper into the workings of WordPress.
Along with general hosting services that include WordPress as one of many available platforms, some hosting providers offer a subset of shared hosting dedicated specifically to WordPress. In this way, WordPress accounts can share a server that is optimized for the unique demands of the WordPress platform, and get some WordPress specific technical support as provided by the host’s customer service.
Although hosting WordPress on shared servers can be an affordable option for new entrepreneurs and smaller sites, this kind of WordPress web hosting may not meet the needs of users looking for more speed, security, and support for the specific features and functions of WordPress. For these users, managed WordPress hosting plans are is designed exclusively for WordPress, with dedicated servers and support that allow users to take advantage of the platform’s full suite of features.
Managed WordPress Hosting Services for More Solutions
While general hosting providers allow users to install WordPress as one of many available content management options, managed WordPress hosting focuses specifically on WordPress itself. In managed WordPress hosting plans, every aspect of the service, from servers to technical support, is geared toward helping users maximize the reach and potential of WordPress for all the life stages of their sites.
Managed WordPress hosting account holders may share server space with other WordPress users, but that shared server is uniquely configured for WordPress. This means the shared servers of managed hosting providers typically host only a relatively small group of WordPress customers, rather than the thousands of sites running a variety of different site builders and CMS that are typical of shared hosting environments.
Builders of WordPress sites of all kinds are looking for speed, security, and support in a WordPress hosting plan. How do the various WordPress hosting options perform in these key areas?
Speed and Performance
Speed and performance are essential for most websites. Shared WordPress hosting requires a site to share space with many others, and all those sites must draw on the same resources in terms of server memory, bandwidth, and energy. So, if another site hosted on that server uses more than its allotment, it can slow down the performance of other sites – and that can cause sites to crash or run so slowly that visitors lose patience and leave.
Managed WordPress hosting offers faster speeds and WordPress-specific optimization so that sites run faster with fewer glitches than they would with shared hosting. This kind of hosting is specifically designed to support the many features of WordPress exclusively, without having to accommodate other platforms and site builders in the same space.
Security for WordPress Hosting
Site security often leads the list of concerns that play a role in choosing a hosting provider. Shared WordPress hosting provider typically offers standard site security on shared servers, but that can leave sites vulnerable since those security features are typically not optimized for WordPress itself, but for a variety of different platforms. General shared hosting sites that offer a WordPress hosting option also may not implement WordPress-specific security measures.
In managed WordPress hosting services, site and server security is generally optimized specifically for the needs of WordPress users, with features that take into consideration the functions that are unique to the platform. And, because all servers in a managed WordPress hosting setting are running WordPress, hosting providers can standardize security measures and maintain them routinely. This way security patches and upgrades can be installed as soon as they become available in order to thwart security issues that are unique to WordPress itself.
WordPress hosting providers of all kinds offer support for some aspects of site setup and troubleshooting during the term of a hosting account, but that support can vary widely. Shared WordPress hosts typically provide generalized customer support that includes WordPress. But these customer representatives are expected to provide support for all the platforms and plugins offered by the host, and may not have the WordPress specific training and expertise to provide in-depth support.
Providers of managed WordPress hosting offer a variety of support service packages that are geared specifically to WordPress issues. Depending on the host, support services can include broad technical support to help site owners solve problems, or total management, in which the host takes care of all site-related issues. Different service packages can also bundle selected services to meet a user’s specific needs. In general, though, users can expect that technical and customer support providers in a managed WordPress environment will have WordPress training and expertise for handling just about any issue that might arise.
What Does WordPress Hosting Cost?
Costs for WordPress hosting vary considerably. Shared hosting that includes a WordPress hosting option can be extremely inexpensive, with basic hosting packages starting at under $5USD. Tiered service plans allow users to add more options for a few more dollars – and for some providers, that can include WordPress specific hosting within a general hosting framework at a somewhat higher price than shared hosting with a WordPress install.
Managed WordPress hosting services can cost seven to ten times the typical cost of a shared hosting account, and that includes its most basic plans, which can start at around $30 and run into the hundreds when additional services are added to the plan. That can be an essential expenditure for owners of large, high traffic WordPress sites, but even basic managed hosting can offer WordPress site owners a level of convenience and security that outweighs the low costs of most shared hosting plans that provide the option of a WordPress install.
WordPress hosting can take multiple forms with varying levels of service and support, but with options ranging from simple shared hosting to managed hosting that’s completely WordPress-centered, there’s a hosting solution for just about any WordPress powered site.