Web hosting is an essential component to owning and operating a website. Simply put, a proper web hosting plan is the foundation or a floor plan for your website. Without hosting, your website will not be live on the internet for others to see. For WordPress built websites, there are generally two options for hosting – shared hosting and managed WordPress hosting. Both options come with their unique advantages and disadvantages which are discussed below.
To better understand the difference between shared hosting and managed WordPress hosting, think of a house with a garage and bedroom as an example. In the garage, you are able to store a wide variety of household items such as a lawnmower, ping pong table, old photo albums, and much more. While a garage is not suitable to live in, it is a great way to efficiently store things away. In a similar manner, shared hosting is when a host places multiple sites into a single server. This allows hosts to keep costs down by limiting server usage and maximizing space. As a result, you will pay a significantly lower fee and have the opportunity to host multiple sites for one flat fee. The downsides of shared hosting include lower performance (slower load times), lack of features and less security.
Pros of Shared Hosting
– More affordable due to cost-saving measures
– Host multiple sites on one server
Cons of Shared Hosting
– Lacks special features and options
– Performance is worse than managed WordPress hosting
Managed WordPress hosting is similar to a bedroom in the sense that the intent is to reside in the room and certain aspects are a necessity such as a closet or a bathroom. Managed WordPress hosting provides benefits such as a convenient website management dashboard, improved security, and stronger performance overall. This is all a result of an optimized server built specifically for WordPress hosting. While this may seem like the much better option on paper, the downsides of a managed WordPress host is the limited number of websites that can be hosted (just one!) and increased costs. However, if there is a clear intention behind the website, utilizing managed WordPress hosting is a necessity, similar to how a bedroom is much better suited to sleep in than a garage.
Pros of Managed WordPress Hosting
– WordPress specific features that allow you to customize the site to your liking
– Improved performance as a result of optimized server settings
Cons of Managed WordPress Hosting
– More expensive on a monthly/yearly basis
– A lack of support on certain plugins due to performance constraints of certain plugins
While there is no “right” choice for hosting your website, both options present their individual pros and cons. If you are building out an intricate e-commerce site on the WordPress platform, you are likely better off utilizing the managed WordPress hosting as it will provide features to help complete the online shopping platform. On the other hand, if you are wanting to test an idea or build a small website based tool, you will likely save money in the long run by choosing shared hosting.