WordPress unarguably is the most popular and leading content management system with the highest number of websites and blogs running on it. The biggest draw for WordPress is that it is absolutely free of cost, exceptionally easy to use, and fully customizable to the needs of the users. The only thing that keeps on bothering any WordPress development company when building a WordPress site is the need for taking a hosting service with an appropriate plan. Yes, WordPress off the shelf doesn’t come packed with any hosting service.
For hosting solutions for your WordPress website you have two different choices, namely, managed hosting and shared hosting. If you do not know how to make the right choice between the two, here is a comprehensive guide to help you make a choice.
The Difference Between Shared And Managed Hosting
Shared hosting is more like staying in a shared apartment with other persons availing the amenities present there. The resources of the hosting server are shared by your WordPress website along with several other websites. Besides sharing the resources the website also needs to be maintained on its own as there will be no or little maintenance help from the hosting service provider.
Managed hosting, on the other hand, is more like staying in your own rented apartment with a concierge to look after you. Managed WordPress hosting comes packed with an array of extra services and value-added features to help with the management and maintenance of your website and to ensure optimum performance. Managed hosting service takes care of maintenance with value-added services such as automatic backups and updates.
Pros and Cons Of Shared Hosting
Shared hosting for WordPress sites comes with an equal share of pros and cons. Let’s have a look at them.
- It is less expensive as you need to bear a very low monthly fee.
- Many shared hosting providers also allow you to host several websites with just a single flat rate.
- Most shared hosting service providers don’t have a cap on the number of website visitors.
- With shared hosting, you can lower the cost at the cost of performance. Shared hosting makes loading speed a bit slower.
- Just because of sharing resources, the traffic and increased activity on other sites can affect your site performance too.
- Shared hosting solutions often lack the value-added features like automatic backups and updates.
- Unlike Managed WordPress hosting you will not get performance optimization and security enhancements for WordPress sites.
Pros and Cons Of Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting in spite of being considered better than the shared hosting has an equal share of pros and cons.
- In managed WordPress hosting the server, architecture is specifically designed for WordPress and this leads to enhanced performance.
- Managed hosting offers inbuilt server-level caching leading to faster loading time.
- Managed hosting also offers automatic WordPress updates to keep the site safe, secure and functionally optimized.
- To ensure optimum data safety for the WordPress site managed hosting also offers automatic backups.
- Managed hosting also provides an array of security enhancements specific to WordPress websites such as firewalls, malware scans, and login hardening.
- Managed WordPress hosting providers in many cases also provide a more convenient and easy to use dashboard
- Managed hosting services offers some really user-friendly features such as staging sites to ensure easier site management.
- The customer support team for managed WordPress hosting providers are generally experts in everything related to the WordPress platform.
- Managed WordPress hosting services are expensive compared to the shared hosting services.
- Most managed hosting providers also have a strict visitor limit.
- To ensure optimum loading speed and performance, many managed hosting providers have restrictions on the number of plugins that you can use for your WordPress site.
Key Qualities to Look for in Shared or Managed WordPress Hosting
Whether you want to opt for shared or managed WordPress hosting, there are certain qualitative attributes and considerations that remain constant. Before you hire WordPress developer for your new website, you need to be well versed with this nitty-gritty of web hosting.
Let us have a brief look at these attributes.
- Cost: The cost of the hosting plan is a key consideration. You should go for the best value for the price you can afford to pay for a hosting service.
- Uptime: You need to have the assurance of an uptime guarantee to make your site live and available all the time.
- Features: Make sure you can work with a web host who can deliver every needful feature for your WordPress website.
- Security: Make sure the hosting service provider offers all the security features to safeguard your website from malware and security threats.
- Speed: Make sure the hosting service provider ensures optimum loading speed even during high traffic load.
- Customer Support: Make sure the hosting service provider provides round the clock support to help you solve any issues at the earliest.
The Leading Shared Hosting Companies
Now, we will provide a shortlist of some of the best and leading shared hosting companies.
Bluehost powering over 2 million websites globally is the leading shared hosting service provider. Bluehost provides single-click WordPress installation, unlimited bandwidth, 24/7 support, regular automatic backups, and many value-added features.
SiteGround powering more than 2 million web domains is another leading shared hosting service. Key features of SiteGround include free SSL certificate and HTTPS, free email, regular backups, unlimited traffic, 24/7 support, etc.
HostGator is another leading host service that helps users building websites with their own website builder enriched with hundreds of templates. Key HostGator offerings include unlimited bandwidth, free SSL certification, 99.9% uptime guarantee, single click WordPress installation, free website transfer, 24/7/365 support, etc.
Leading Managed WordPress Hosting Services
We will now take a look at the leading managed WordPress hosting service providers. Now,
- WP Engine
WP Engine powering more than 500,000 websites on the web is the leading managed WordPress hosting service provider. WP Engine provides optimum uptime guarantee, fully managed global CDN, regular and automatic WordPress updates, malware detection, regular automated backups, automatic caching, and many more.
- SiteGround Managed WordPress Hosting
SiteGround also provides great managed WordPress hosting service with great offerings including single-click WordPress installation, regular automated updates, expert WordPress development support, advanced website security, etc.
- Bluehost Managed WordPress Hosting
Bluehost also provides superb managed hosting service with an array of valuable features including easy to use dashboard, SEO, email and social media tools besides all the standard features.
Managed hosting should not be confused with website management/maintenance though. If you are looking for someone to fully manage and maintain your website for you, then you need to look at website management providers, such as ManagedWP.
Though the differences between these two broad options are quite obvious, you need to make your choice as per your budget and the kind of requirements you have. If a hosting provider allows you to start with shared hosting with the option of switching to managed hosting, that can be a great boost for web startups.