Shared vs. managed WordPress hosting: Which is right for you?January 10, 2023 | By David Selden-Treiman | Filed in: hosting, WordPress.
It depends on traffic and complexity. If your site is receiving a lot of traffic, or you need a complex setup for a more complex setup, you’ll most likely want high-performance managed hosting. If you just have a low-traffic site and just need to get it running, shared hosting can be a quick, easy, upgradable solution.
When it comes to hosting a WordPress website, you have a few different options to choose from. Two of the most popular options are shared WordPress hosting and managed WordPress hosting. But what’s the difference between the two, and how do you know which one is right for you? In this article, we’ll explore the key differences between shared and managed WordPress hosting, and help you decide which option is best for your specific needs. It’s important to choose the right hosting option, as it can have a big impact on the performance, security, and overall success of your website. So, let’s dive in and take a closer look at shared vs. managed WordPress hosting.
Shared WordPress Hosting
Shared WordPress hosting is a type of hosting where your WordPress website is hosted on a server with other websites. All of the websites on the server share the same resources, such as CPU, memory, and storage. This can be a more affordable option, as the costs of the server are shared among all of the websites. Shared hosting is a good option for small websites with low to moderate traffic. It’s also a good choice for those who are new to hosting a website, as it is generally easier to set up and manage. However, there are some drawbacks to shared hosting. Because the resources are shared, your website may not perform as well as it would on a dedicated server. Additionally, there is a higher security risk, as any vulnerabilities on one of the websites on the server could potentially affect all of the other websites as well.
Types of Shared Hosting
There are a few different types of shared hosting to choose from, including:
- Standard shared hosting: This is the most basic and affordable type of shared hosting. It typically includes a single domain and a limited number of resources.
- Multiple domain shared hosting: This type of shared hosting allows you to host multiple domains on a single account. It may also include additional resources and features compared to standard shared hosting.
- Reseller shared hosting: This type of shared hosting is designed for web developers or designers who want to host websites for their clients. It includes additional resources and features, as well as the ability to create sub-accounts for each of your clients.
It’s worth noting that these may fall into different sales categories, but usually the hosting itself is essentially the same from a technical perspective.
Pros of Shared Hosting
Shared WordPress hosting can be a convenient and affordable option for small websites with low to moderate traffic. Some of the main advantages of shared WordPress hosting include:
Shared hosting is generally the most affordable type of hosting available. This makes it a good choice for those on a tight budget or for small websites that don’t require a lot of resources. Prices can vary depending on the hosting provider and the specific features and resources included in the plan. However, it is not uncommon to find shared hosting plans starting at just a few dollars per month.
Some shared hosting providers even offer a free option, although these plans may have more limited features and resources. It’s important to compare prices and features from different hosting providers to find the best deal. It’s also worth considering any additional costs that may be involved, such as domain registration or SSL certificates.
Ease of Use
Shared hosting is generally easy to set up and manage, even for those who are new to hosting a website. Most shared hosting providers offer a control panel or other user-friendly tools to help you set up and manage your website. The most common hosting control panel with most providers is cPanel. If all you need is a basic setup, this may be enough and work for what you need.
No Technical Knowledge Required
Shared hosting is a good choice for those who don’t have a lot of technical expertise and don’t have any complex or resource-intensive requirements. The hosting provider takes care of most of the technical details, so you don’t have to worry about things like server maintenance and updates.
If your website starts to experience a lot of traffic, you can usually upgrade to a more expensive shared hosting plan with more resources. This can be a convenient way to scale your website without having to switch to a different type of hosting.
Overall, shared WordPress hosting can be a good choice for small websites with low to moderate traffic, or for those who are new to hosting a website and don’t have a lot of technical expertise. It’s a convenient and affordable option that can be a good starting point for many website owners.
Cons of Shared Hosting
While shared hosting can be a convenient and affordable option for small websites with low to moderate traffic, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider.
Speed & Reliability Issues
One potential issue with shared WordPress hosting is that the performance of your website may be impacted by the other websites on the server. Because all of the websites on the server are sharing the same resources, a sudden spike in traffic or resource usage on one of the websites can affect the performance of the other websites. This can lead to slow loading times or even website downtime.
Another potential drawback of shared hosting is the increased security risk. Because all of the websites on the server are sharing the same resources, any vulnerabilities on one of the websites could potentially affect all of the other websites on the server. This is why it’s important to choose a reputable hosting provider that takes security seriously and implements measures such as firewalls and malware scanning.
Resource Limitations Restricting Your Site
Shared hosting may also have stricter resource limits compared to other types of hosting. This can be a problem if your website starts to experience a lot of traffic or if you need to run resource-intensive applications. If you exceed the resource limits, your website may be temporarily suspended or you may be required to upgrade to a more expensive hosting plan.
Finally, shared hosting may not be the best choice for those who need a high level of control over their hosting environment. Because the resources are shared, you may not have as much flexibility to customize your setup or install specific software. If you need a high level of control and flexibility, you may be better off with a different type of hosting such as a virtual private server (VPS) or a dedicated server.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed hosting is a type of hosting where the hosting provider takes care of all of the technical details and maintenance tasks associated with running a website. This can include things like server updates, security patches, and backups. Managed hosting is designed to be more hands-off and convenient for the website owner, as the hosting provider takes care of all of the technical aspects of running a website.
Types of Managed WordPress Hosting
There are several different types of managed hosting to choose from, including:
Managed shared hosting
This is a type of shared hosting where the hosting provider takes care of all of the technical details and maintenance tasks associated with running a website. It is generally more expensive than standard shared hosting, but includes additional features and support.
Managed VPS hosting
This is a type of hosting where you get a virtual private server (VPS) with dedicated resources and the hosting provider takes care of all of the technical details and maintenance tasks. It is generally more expensive than shared hosting, but offers more resources and flexibility than shared hosting.
Managed dedicated server hosting
This is a type of hosting where you get a dedicated server with dedicated resources and the hosting provider takes care of all of the technical details and maintenance tasks. It is generally the most expensive type of hosting, but offers the highest level of resources and control.
Pros of Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting providers optimize their servers specifically for WordPress, which allows them to make custom configurations to ensure the best possible performance for WordPress websites. This can include fine-tuning server settings, using caching plugins, and utilizing content delivery networks (CDNs) to reduce the load on the server and improve the website’s speed. These custom configurations are designed to provide a smoother and faster experience for website visitors, which can help improve the overall performance of the website.
Managed WordPress hosting providers often offer added security measures, such as malware scanning and automatic updates, to help protect your website from cyber threats.
Most managed WordPress hosting providers offer 24/7 support from experienced technicians who can help you with any issues you may encounter.
Managed WordPress hosting providers often include tools and features that make it easier to manage your website, such as automated backups and one-click staging environments.
Managed WordPress hosting providers can easily handle spikes in traffic, making it a good option for websites that experience seasonal or unexpected increases in visitors.
Managed WordPress hosting may initially be more expensive than shared hosting, but it can be a cost-effective option for websites with a large amount of traffic or those that need a lot of customizations. This is because managed hosting providers handle all of the technical tasks and maintenance for the website, which can save the website owner time and resources. In the case of a website with a large amount of traffic, a managed hosting provider can easily handle the additional load and ensure that the website remains fast and stable. Similarly, a website that requires a lot of customizations and ongoing maintenance may benefit from a managed hosting provider, as they can handle these tasks and allow the website owner to focus on other aspects of their business. In these cases, the time and resources saved by using a managed hosting provider can make it a cost-effective choice.
Overall, managed WordPress hosting can provide a better overall experience for website owners and can be a good option for those who want a hassle-free, high-performing website.
Cons of Managed WordPress Hosting
There are a few potential drawbacks to using managed WordPress hosting:
One potential drawback of using managed WordPress hosting is the cost. Managed hosting is generally more expensive than shared hosting, as the hosting provider handles many of the technical tasks and maintenance for the website. This added convenience and support comes at a higher price point. For those on a tight budget, the additional cost of managed hosting may not be justified. It is important to carefully consider the costs of managed hosting and compare them to your budget and needs before deciding if it is the right choice for your website. It may be more cost-effective to use shared hosting or to handle the technical tasks and maintenance yourself, depending on your specific circumstances.
Because managed WordPress hosting providers handle many of the technical tasks and maintenance for the website, website owners may have less control over certain aspects of their website. This can be a drawback for those who want complete control over their website and prefer to handle all of the technical tasks themselves.
Some managed WordPress hosting providers may not allow certain types of customizations or may have limitations on the use of certain plugins and themes. This can be a drawback for those who want to fully customize their website.
Dependency on the Hosting Provider
Because managed WordPress hosting providers handle many of the technical tasks and maintenance for the website, website owners may be more reliant on their hosting provider. If the hosting provider experiences any issues or downtime, it could have a negative impact on the website.
How to Decide Between Shared or Managed Hosting
When deciding between shared and managed WordPress hosting, there are several factors to consider:
Managed WordPress hosting is generally more expensive than shared hosting. If cost is a major concern, shared hosting may be a better option. I’d recommend calculating the cost as a minimum of 1-2 hours per month working on your site. If the cost of that is less than what you’d pay for managed hosting, shared hosting may be right for you. Otherwise, you’ll probably be better off financially with managed hosting.
Managed WordPress hosting providers optimize their servers specifically for WordPress and often offer custom configurations to improve performance. If performance is a priority, managed hosting may be a better choice. If you’re getting fewer than 500-2000 page views per day, shared hosting may work for you. However, if you start going above that, you’ll most likely want a higher-performance manged hosting plan.
Security: Managed WordPress hosting providers often offer added security measures, such as malware scanning and automatic updates. If security is a concern, managed hosting may be the better option. If your site keeps getting hacked and you don’t want to have to manage all of the WordFence configurations, managed hosting may be the right option for you.
Most managed WordPress hosting providers offer 24/7 support from experienced technicians. If you are not comfortable with handling technical tasks yourself, managed hosting may be a good choice. This is especially true if you have a site that needs to stay up all the time. If you aren’t comfortable working on a Linux terminal to solve server issues, and your site’s uptime is critical, I’d recommend getting someone to mange your hosting for you.
Ultimately, the decision between shared and managed WordPress hosting will depend on your specific needs and priorities. Carefully consider the factors above and weigh the pros and cons of each option to determine the best choice for your website
In conclusion, managed WordPress hosting is generally better for those with high performance needs and those who do not want to handle technical tasks themselves. The optimized servers and expert support offered by managed hosting providers can improve the performance and stability of a website and provide a better overall experience for website owners. However, managed hosting can be more expensive than shared hosting, which may not be suitable for those on a tight budget. Shared hosting can be a more cost-effective option, particularly for those just starting out with a new website. It is important to carefully consider your needs and priorities before deciding between shared and managed hosting.
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David Selden-Treiman is Director of Operations and a project manager at Potent Pages. He specializes in custom web crawler development, website optimization, server management, web application development, and custom programming. Working at Potent Pages since 2012 and programming since 2003, David has extensive expertise solving problems using programming for dozens of clients. He also has extensive experience managing and optimizing servers, managing dozens of servers for both Potent Pages and other clients.