WordPress powers more than a quarter of the world’s websites, from personal blogs to the ecommerce sites of large enterprises. This open source site builder and content management system is flexible, scalable and free to download and use on hosting platforms of all kinds. WordPress hosting solutions include both affordable shared hosting solutions and managed services with enhanced performance and added features. There’s a hosting option for every WordPress site, but which is right for your website?
WordPress Hosting Options
WordPress is available as a “one-click” install on hosting platforms of all sizes. It’s a richly featured site management system that can be user-friendly enough for a new webmaster with little – or no – site design and development experience. It is also flexible and editable enough to meet the needs of more experienced users. For those reasons, available WordPress hosting solutions can be adapted and scaled to accommodate the unique demands of WordPress sites of all sizes and types.
For many WordPress sites, shared hosting is an affordable option, and it might remain so for the life of the site. This kind of WordPress hosting is typically the most economical of all hosting packages, because many sites, often thousands, are hosted on the same server and share all its resources. That, along with stripped down customer support and few additional features, helps to keep costs low. While shared hosting is low cost and convenient, it also has limitations in terms of scalability and the additional features users want as their sites grow.
Optimized Hosting for WordPress
Along with general shared hosting for sites with a WordPress install, major hosting providers may also offer a separate hosting product exclusively for WordPress that features optimization for the features and functions that are unique to WordPress. Managed WordPress hosting typically comes with a range of security and development features that are designed to maximize the benefits of WordPress as a flexible and scalable site building platform. Support for this kind of WordPress hosting is typically provided by representatives with WordPress related expertise and experience who can troubleshoot website issues and resolve customer concerns.
Some hosting providers are dedicated exclusively to WordPress sites, too, with no other platforms supported at all. Whether offered as one of many products in a hosting company’s catalog or in a WordPress specific environment, services that provide WordPress specific hosting packages are able to offer a range of features and levels of management that are optimized for WordPress speed and security. Tiered plans that offer users a choice of available site management features can provide varying levels of management at incrementally higher costs. Managed and optimized WordPress hosting providers can also play a role in supporting the larger WordPress community.
Comparing WordPress Web Hosting Options
Choosing the best WordPress hosting solution depends on a number of factors, such as budgeting, a site’s size and purpose, and the company’s long-range plans for growth. Other things to consider include performance, security and support provided by a host’s technical team.
Site Speed and Performance
A key consideration in choosing managed WordPress hosting is the enhanced performance of sites in a WordPress specific environment. Because shared hosting requires all sites on a common server to draw from a finite reservoir of memory and bandwidth, sites can face slowdowns and disruptions in service when neighboring sites are experiencing spikes in traffic.
To prevent this, shared hosting providers can place a cap on site traffic with severe limitations on the number of monthly visits allowed – often as low as 5,000 or fewer. In this kind of hosting environment, too, memory and storage limits can be low thanks to the number of sites using shared server resources.
WordPress optimized hosting, often on VPS platforms, can bypass many of the limitations imposed by shared hosting to offer growing sites a number of flexible, scalable options. With servers that are specifically configured and optimized, managed WordPress hosting can maximize site speed and the performance of WordPress features while allowing for site traffic ranging from 100 million to unlimited numbers of new visitors per month, as well as scalable storage and backup to accommodate growth and changing needs.
WordPress Optimized Site Security
In a shared hosting environment, standard security features are typically in place to protect both individual sites and the security of their shared server. Those features may not protect sites completely from the risks that come from shared technology on the common server or from malware and malicious users that make their way into that shared environment from a compromised site. And, because those features must apply to all the various platforms in use, they aren’t likely to be optimized for the specific needs of WordPress and its unique security risks.
Managed hosting packages that are optimized for WordPress can offer enhanced site security through a variety of SiteLock features that are automatically upgraded and regularly maintained by the host. Tiered hosting packages can include a number of SSL options and other features as part of higher priced plans.
Experienced WordPress Support
WordPress users can opt to handle most aspects of their site’s day-to-day management on their own or turn over many of those tasks to a dedicated WordPress hosting provider, but in any case, access to knowledgeable support staff is essential. Hosting providers of all kinds offer a number of options for contacting technical and customer support, but not all are able to provide WordPress specific solutions.
Shared hosting providers include WordPress as one of many site building options, and technical and support staff need to be able to provide help related to all of them, not just WordPress. While these representatives can offer guidance for solving WordPress related issues, they may not have the expertise to resolve in-depth issues related to the platform.
WordPress hosting support staff are typically trained to provide support specifically for WordPress and to handle the work of maintaining sites and upgrades as needed. Support in these environments can be available round the clock to help webmasters solve problems or to manage and maintain sites in more comprehensive ways if necessary.
WordPress is a versatile platform that puts website creation in the hands of users of all kinds – and all budgets. With a careful comparison of hosting features and costs, both new and seasoned site builders can find a hosting solution for both the present and the future.
Agreawal, AJ. “Managed vs. Shared WordPress Hosting: Which is Right for You?” Business 2 Community. 13 Feb 2017.
Agrawal, Harsh. “Managed WordPress Hosting: A Beginner’s Guide. “ ShoutMeLoud. 20 Feb 2018.
Stevens, John. “Different Types of Web Hosting.” Hosting Facts. 1 Jan 2016.
Shivar, Nate. “WordPress Hosting vs Web Hosting Explained.” ShivarWeb. 15 Aug 2017.
Strojny, Drew. “Is Managed WordPress Hosting Worth the Extra Cost?” The Theme Foundry. 1 July 2014.
“What is WordPress Hosting?” Themeisle. 15 Feb 2018.