The first step in creating your WordPress blog is to decide and choose where to host it. The hosting plan you choose can often directly influence your website’s earnings and your visitors’ experience.
For WordPress, you’ll find 2 solutions. Managed WordPress hosting and Shared Hosting.
Let’s see what the differences are between these solutions.
What is shared hosting and how does it work?
Shared hosting is as the name says hosting your website in a Shared environment. That means your website will be hosted on a server where it competes for resources with many other websites and if some other websites get more traffic or traffic spikes, your bandwidth is reduced. It’s similar to the concept of having multiple people on the same wi-fi and all streaming video. Shared hosting can be used for any time of website, not just WordPress websites or blogs.
The main characteristic of shared hosting is that you control the entire WordPress deployment. That means that you’ll be responsible to install the WordPress software platform, usually through a step-by-step simple process offered by the web host. More than that, you’ll be responsible to buy and setup your domain, buying SSL for it, installing themes and plugins, to set up backups and updates of your site.
All these may sound a bit scary to a beginner but they are really not that difficult. Not only do you get step-by-step instructions and support from most web hosts but the internet and YouTube are full of free tutorials on how to do everything.
Can you use WordPress on shared hosting?
Is shared hosting worth it?
Shared hosting is the cheapest way to create and maintain a web presence. It has the most flexibility. However, it may require a bit of learning from your side to be able to understand how to install WordPress, plugins or themes, as well as set up backups, security and other aspects of running a website.
What is a managed WordPress site?
Managed WordPress is a streamlined, optimized hosting platform for building and managing WordPress sites. The entire hosting environment is built around making the WordPress sites run faster and more securely.
For WordPress, managed means the web host handles some basic administrative tasks, such as installing WordPress, automated daily backups, WordPress core updates, and server-level caching. More than that, some of these solutions offer guaranteed server bandwidth for your website making it easier to compete with other websites installed on the same server.
Is managed WordPress worth it?
The main difference between shared and managed hosting is the price, specifically the monthly cost. While a simple shared web-hosting can cost you 3-5$ per month, a managed WordPress solution can be around 20-40$ per month depending on the web host you choose.
A good comparison would be “self-parking” versus a “valet parking” experience. Sure, you may pay less to self-park but you have to find a spot, walk more, find your car, handle the payment etc. But if you choose to use valet parking you pay more and don’t have to worry about any of those details.
Is WordPress hosting better than shared hosting?
Many beginners believe that when you start a new WordPress blog, you go to WordPress.com and sign up for a plan. In fact, by doing that, you sign up for a managed WordPress plan. It is better if you are terrified of technology and just want to publish your content without worrying about any of the technical aspects of your website. But it will come at a price.
The truth is, with a bit of learning, a self-hosted WordPress website could be a better option for most people. Not only it will save you money but it will give you more freedom. Also, learning about how your website works might become very useful as your business evolves. See the Pros and cons below.
Is managed WordPress the same as WordPress?
To answer this question, let’s look at what is the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com. WordPress.org is the homepage of the WordPress software platform. You can download this software and install it on any shared web hosting environment. WordPress.com is a hosted blogging service that helps you build a website using WordPress software. So essentially WordPress.com is a managed WordPress solution while WordPress.org is the home page of the free software platform that you can download, install and customize on any other web-host environment.
What is the difference between shared hosting and managed WordPress?
Shared Hosting PROS
- Flexibility to install any CMS (Content Management Software) – usually through easy 1-step installs that all web hosts have – so you can use other technologies, not just WordPress.
- Lower Price Point
Shared Hosting CONS
- Shared means shared resources, basically something like sharing your internet connection with your neighbour. If he is streaming hi-def movies all day, your performance will suffer. Web hosts do their best to monitor the “bad neighbours” and monitor their usage and maybe “suggest” them to move to a dedicated plan but that depends on so many factors. It is not a perfect world out there.
Managed WordPress Hosting PRO’S
- Dedicated servers
- Fast speeds
- Better site security
- Automated Backup and Updates
- Better and more dedicated support
Managed WordPress Hosting CON’S
- May be limited on using some plugins not deemed safe (this may actually be an advantage)
- No ability to run other Content Management Platforms (Joomla, Drupal, Ruby, Forums etc)
- higher price point (double or more)
The Smart Choice
If you are looking for performance, security, better support, and are willing to pay the higher price point, choose Managed WordPress.
If you know what you are doing, or are willing to put in the time to learn choose Shared Webhost.
No matter what you choose, it does not have to be final! You can always transfer websites between solutions or even between web hosts.