WordPress is a platform that allows you to create websites using much fewer skills compared to your average static HTML/CSS/JS website. You can practically purchase a theme, click the “import demo” button, change the content – and your website is ready.
WordPress websites can be hosted using regular web hosting or a specialized WordPress hosting. But what is WordPress hosting? Let’s explore what it means and how it differs from traditional web hosting.
WordPress Hosting vs Web Hosting
WordPress hosting is much like regular web hosting with one key difference. WordPress hosting services are specifically optimized for WordPress only. Therefore, this type of hosting should be able to meet WordPress-specific speed, security, and functionality needs much better than regular hosting.
Because WordPress is the most popular CMS platform to date, many hosting providers have opted to include a WordPress hosting service. There are also providers like WPEngine that sell only WordPress hosting. These services offer a lot more features for WordPress than regular shared hosting.
There are two types of WordPress hosting – shared and managed. Simply put, shared WordPress hosting is always cheaper because you share a server with a number of different sites. While that server is still optimized for WordPress, you will have to share the resources with other users. Additionally, you will usually have to take care of all updates, security measures, and technical issues yourself.
On the other hand, managed WordPress hosting offers everything that shared hosting does plus it takes care of the technical side completely. With managed hosting, you won’t need to worry about updates, security, or backups. The hosting provider will take care of that for you.
However, managed WordPress hosting is definitely not needed for beginners because of its price and performance capabilities. If you own a small-to-medium size blog, shop, or any other website – stick with shared WordPress hosting.
Is WordPress a web host?
WordPress isn’t usually regarded as a web host. The platform is available to download at WordPress.org, but they also offer WordPress.com – a hosted service for fast and easy creation of websites using the WordPress CMS.
Although WordPress.com is a hosted service owned by the company that created WordPress.org, WordPress itself still cannot be considered a web host.
Should You Choose WordPress hosting?
WordPress doesn’t require specialized hosting since its technical requirements (PHP 7.3 or greater, MySQL 5.6 or greater) aren’t very demanding. So, practically any hosting provider can handle WordPress.
However, when you’re using WordPress, getting specialized WordPress hosting is always a better and easier path to take. Shared hosting services can offer WordPress support like one-click installers, but they will never be able to beat a specialized service.
Most of the benefits mentioned below are also available with shared hosting, but some of them are only available to managed WordPress hosting.
When using WordPress hosting, you get a boost in the most important areas of hosting: technical support, security, and performance.
One of the stronger points of WordPress hosting is that the people working support are experts in their field. They’re specifically chosen to provide support for WordPress websites. On some platforms, these agents can even help with design and development.
Most of the time, your website on a shared WordPress hosting will be on the same machine with many other websites. This machine has to be suitable for all website platforms such as Drupal, Joomla, Magento, and others. The saying “jack of all trades, master of none” applies here.
The support agents for a shared hosting need to be able to help users of every platform and usually can’t offer deep technical knowledge.
However, if you opt for managed WordPress hosting, you will have WordPress expert support on your side. Since the specialists only deal with WordPress, you will get in-depth support and advice.
Security is undoubtedly one of the most important features for any website. Even though WordPress platform itself is secure, hackers are starting to use themes and plugins as entry points. Some users rarely update their plugins, which causes their websites to become vulnerable to hacks.
With WordPress hosting, this risk is significantly reduced as most hosts will offer very frequent security scans and daily backups. That, combined with expert support is all you need to keep your website secure and fast.
Often, with shared WordPress hosting, there are a ton of sites hosted on the same server, sometimes more than a thousand. This causes a dip in performance because all these websites share the same server resources. Sometimes, if multiple websites receive traffic spikes, the server may even crash and cause your website to be unavailable.
Compared to shared WordPress hostings, managed WordPress hosting services often have a lot fewer websites hosted on the same server. Combine that with the standardized optimizations for all the websites, and you have a very speedy website.
As mentioned before, there are experts who monitor the websites and fix any errors that might happen in a very quick manner. This is why it’s highly unlikely for your website to be unavailable while hosted on a managed WordPress server.
Some WordPress hosts also slide in some additional features, such as development tools, free premium themes, CDN(Content Delivery Network) and more.
These features will help you to get started much easier, might even save you some money in the long run.
Additional features are mostly available on managed WordPress hosting, which more expensive. Even so, it’s nice to see hosting services adding something extra for the money you spend.
If you’ve searched for managed WordPress hosting, you’ve probably noticed that the prices can be astronomical compared to regular hosting. This rise in price is justified by the immense amount of features you get for the price, such as performance, security, and support.
Shared WordPress hosting offers some of the benefits of a managed WordPress hosting, but with a much lower price.
WordPress Hosting: Is It Worth It?
In short, WordPress hosting is much better for hosting a WordPress website. If you operate a high-traffic website – opt for managed WordPress hosting. The added security layer will make sure your website is never hacked or attacked.
Additionally, performance is always top-notch, as there are experts who manage your website, so you don’t have to worry about anything.
Technical support can help you 24/7 via live chat and some even go as far as to offer phone support.
The pricing really makes you think twice about buying managed WordPress hosting. Although, when you think about how easy it is to install WordPress and leave the technical aspects to the professionals, it’s an easy call.