Are you ready to create a WordPress website, but find yourself confused about all the different kinds of WordPress web hosting available?
Web hosting is one of the most important parts of running a successful website. It stores your site’s data, delivers site content to users, and can affect your site’s speed and performance.
That’s why choosing the right web hosting services is so crucial. But with so many out there to pick from, it can be challenging to know which type is right for you.
That’s why today we’re going to share with you the five most common types of WordPress web hosting, so you can make an informed decision before you launch your site.
Since this post is long, we’ve created a table of contents so you can skip ahead to the section you’re interested in:
- What is WordPress Hosting?
- Do You Need WordPress Web Hosting?
- Shared Hosting
- Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
- Cloud Hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
- Managed WordPress Hosting
- WordPress Web Hosting Comparison
- Final Thoughts
What is WordPress Hosting?
Web hosting is where your website lives on the internet. You have to store your website’s data and files somewhere. And, it just so happens that web hosts can store that information for you on their servers that you rent for a monthly hosting fee.
That said, WordPress web hosting, is web hosting that is designed to be used for WordPress websites only. In other words, the servers storing your WordPress website’s data, files, media, and content are optimized to work well with the WordPress content management system (CMS).
This means your site is secure and loading quickly all the time. WordPress web hosting also makes managing your hosting account and website easy thanks to the intuitive features found in your control panel.
Do You Need WordPress Web Hosting?
If you have a self-hosted WordPress.org website, then yes, you need WordPress web hosting.
Of course, if you use WordPress.com, you won’t have to invest in web hosting or a domain name, because it’s handled for you. However, we recommend always using the self-hosted WordPress CMS. Check out this comprehensive WordPress.com versus WordPress.org comparison for more information.
When you use a self-hosted platform like WordPress.org, you have to purchase a domain name and invest in web hosting services. But you also have full control over your website and have the option to monetize it too. Not to mention, WordPress.org sites are fully customizable thanks to the thousands of free and premium themes and plugins that are available.
If you know you need the best web hosting for WordPress, keep reading. We’re going to take a look at the different types of hosting in the market today so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
Shared hosting is usually the cheapest, most basic form of web hosting in the market. It works great for beginners with limited technical knowledge, those with low traffic sites, and anyone on a tight budget.
With shared hosting, your site’s data is stored on a single server along with hundreds or even thousands of other customers’ website data. The resources available are shared amongst the customers storing their sites on the server. Because of this, savings are passed down to customers in the form of cheap web hosting.
Shared hosting doesn’t usually come with a lot of advanced features because it caters to small site owners that are just starting out. In fact, many of the best shared hosting providers will even install WordPress on your site for you so you don’t have to.
This type of web hosting works great for most small websites, though there are some drawbacks:
- If one website hosted on the server experiences a traffic spike, it will use all available resources, leaving everyone else shorthanded
- Security issues on one website have the potential to spill over into your website and cause vulnerabilities
- There is very little room to scale and grow without upgrading to a new type of web hosting
- If one site is blacklisted by Google, all sites on the server may be temporarily shut down until the problem is resolved
- Sharing resources can cause a dip in site speed and performance, which hurts the user experience
- Since everyone is sharing the same server, you lack control over server settings
In the end, shared web hosting is a great way to start your WordPress blog or online business. But if you plan to grow, you’re going to need to think about using another type of web hosting before you know it.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting is a step up from shared hosting. It’s suitable for eCommerce sites, web developers, and online businesses that want to scale.
This is what you get with VPS hosting:
- Dedicated Resources: unlike shared hosting, you’re allotted a certain amount of resources to run your website that no one can take away from you. Each VPS is basically a computer placed on a main server. It comes with its own CPU speed, RAM, and hard drive space that is all yours. If someone else’s website has a traffic spike or a security breach, your site and resources are safe.
- Increased Customization: since you’re allotted your own spot on the VPS server, complete with your own resources, you can also make changes to the server itself without affecting anyone else. This is a great feature for web developers that use third-party software to build websites.
- Affordability: VPS hosting costs more than shared hosting because there are usually only between five and 20 customers per server. Plus, each customer receives their own set of resources. That said, VPS is an affordable option for medium-sized sites.
Lastly, VPS is highly flexible and scalable. If you notice your business is growing and you need more resources, all you have to do is upgrade your hosting plan to access more resources. Within minutes, you should have more server space and resources.
Cloud hosting is like VPS hosting because it scales easily. However, it goes beyond a piece of the server pie and offers endless scalability and resources to website owners. Because of this, cloud hosting is perfect for websites of all sizes. All you have to do is pay for resources your site needs – and nothing more. This eliminates overpaying for services you don’t use.
With cloud hosting, there’s a massive number of physical servers being combined into one large virtual server. When a server is filled up and cannot store any more data, another server is just added to the bunch.
One of the biggest appeals of cloud hosting is its protection against DDoS attacks.
With a DDoS attack, tons of server requests are thrown at one physical server in an attempt to bring it down. If the server crashes (and it usually does with a powerful DDoS attack), so do all the websites being stored on it.
With cloud hosting, if one server fails another one just picks up the slack and continues hosting the websites being stored on the fallen one. In other words, DDoS attacks have zero effect on websites using cloud hosting.
With dedicated hosting, you’re paying for the server itself (the hardware) and the place to store it. Since the server is all yours, you don’t have to share your resources with anyone.
This type of WordPress web hosting is best for websites that are highly trafficked, rely on speed and uptime to generate revenue, and need powerful features. It’s also for website owners with lots of money.
Dedicated WordPress hosting plans come with the following benefits:
- Dedicated hardware and plenty of resources that only you can touch
- Freedom to customize the server as you see fit (e.g., change the operating system or increase RAM)
- 100% scalability because it comes with such a robust set of resources
- Superior loading times
That said, aside from being expensive, dedicated hosting comes with a few disadvantages.
To start, your hosting company will not likely maintain the server for you. This means that if your hardware fails, your site will be down until you fix it. Because of this, you may not want to invest in a dedicated hosting plan. This is especially true when there are other highly scalable options such as cloud hosting available for growing websites.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting offers the following services:
- WordPress installation and maintenance (e.g., updates, site backups, speed optimization, and more)
- A network infrastructure specially optimized for WordPress security and performance
- Exceptional customer support by a team with WordPress expertise
This type of WordPress web hosting can be shared, VPS, or even cloud-based. All that really matters is that it works specifically for WordPress, comes with added features to make your life easier, and the support team can help with WordPress-specific help requests.
Because managed WordPress hosting is built around the WordPress CMS, you can trust your site will be secure, fast, and providing the best user experience possible.
The only real downfall with it is that you can’t easily switch content management systems – for example from WordPress to Joomla – with this hosting. That’s because it only works for WordPress.
WordPress Web Hosting Comparison
Still not sure which type of WordPress web hosting to go with?
Check out this comparison table and match your needs to a web host. We’ve ranked each feature on a sliding scale ranging from one to five (five being the very best), so you can make an informed decision. And like most reviews, the more $ symbols, the more expensive the web host.
|Shared Hosting||Virtual Private Server (VPS)||Cloud Hosting||Dedicated Hosting||Managed WordPress Hosting|
|Best for||Beginners or those on limited budgets||Sites with medium traffic and intentions to grow||Everyone who wants to use the pay-as-you-go model||Large websites (100k+/month visitors) and those with lots of money||WordPress users that don’t mind paying a little extra to have routine maintenance handled|
|Hosts to Consider||SiteGround, A2 Hosting, Bluehost||DreamHost, HostGator||WP Engine, Kinsta||Liquid Web, InMotion Hosting||Flywheel, Pagely|
In the end, you’re going to have a very different set of needs when compared to another website owner. And that’s okay! That’s why there are so many different types of WordPress web hosts out there.
The important things to consider when choosing which type of web hosting you need include your overall goals, your reliance on speed and uptime, the amount of control and customization you need, and how much money is in your pocket to spend.
Once you have all that figured out, it’s easier to narrow down your web hosting options and choose the one with the right feature set and price point for your needs.
Just remember, there’s more to running a successful website that picking the right CMS and web host. So, if you know what type of web hosting you need, and have picked a web host from our list of recommendations, take the next step and check out this roundup of the best mailing list plugins for WordPress. After all, you’re going to need to market your site as up and running – you can’t just expect people to find you.
Which type of WordPress web hosting do you use for your website? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!