Website hosting can seem complicated and indeed some aspects of it can be. However, with WordPress websites, your hosting options become a bit more focused rather than just generalized web hosting.
In this article we will focus on the question, what is WordPress web hosting, why it is different from a standard web hosting plan, and choosing the right hosting platform for your website.
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What Is WordPress
First of all, let’s understand what WordPress is.
WordPress is what we call a Blogging and Content Management System (CMS). It is an open-source (free to use) online website creation tool designed to be used by everyone. It’s focused on ease of use, accessibility, security, and performance. So you don’t have to be a programmer or technical expert to create a website. WordPress currently makes up about 34% of ALL websites out there today.
WordPress allows you to create a beautiful website, whether it be a personal blog, product website, or an eCommerce website. It incorporates all the necessary tools you need to easily create a website full of content, images, and the look and feel you want for your website.
The best part is that there are tens of thousands of people that support the development of WordPress in the form of free themes and plugins that provide just about any kind of functionality you will ever need in a website. There are also many paid themes that deliver even more functionality to your website depending on your needs.
All of this is done through state of the art PHP code and MySQL databases. In layman terms, this is the engine behind the functionality and storage of all your website data.
What does this mean as it relates to website hosting? It means that your website hosting platform (that includes and supports WordPress) needs to focus on delivering an exceptional experience for the users and audience of your WordPress website as well as performance. Your hosting platform should support WordPress requirements so that your website can be easily managed and deliver the performance you need for a CMS type website.
A Quick Overview Of Web Hosting
If you’ve been shopping around for a web host I’m sure you’ve noticed the wide range of hosting options that are available. A basic shared hosting plan can run as little as $2.75 per month while dedicated hosting can be much more. So why such a difference in pricing and what does it really mean?
First of all, let’s understand that virtually all hosting plans include WordPress. It’s popular, it’s free and very easy to use. Your run-of-the-mill hosting plan, sometimes labeled as a “Starter Plan” or maybe a “Pro Plan”, usually refers to basic hosting which is what we call “Shared” hosting. Shared hosting means that many websites, including WordPress, all run on the same server, sharing all that servers resources such as memory, disk space, and bandwidth (the amount of data traffic your website is using). Shared hosting can also lead to the spread of malware that can affect your website as well.
Shared hosting may be fine at first, but as your website grows in size and popularity, you’ll find that this sharing of resources among many types of websites starts to become a problem. The first big hit comes in the form of performance. Your site becomes slow to manage and slow to load on the internet. Sometimes you may also find that your hosting provider will start imposing limits on the number of resources your site can use, which will dramatically affect the performance of your website.
This is the point where dedicated hosting makes all the difference. Dedicated hosting means that you get your own virtual server and you share resources with no one. This allows your website to once again become fast and responsive. But even on standard dedicated servers, they are still designed to function with a wide variety of different types of websites. So the hosting provider ensures all the servers are up to date with the latest software for many types of websites.
So even though your server is dedicated, its not customized and optimized to handle the specific needs of WordPress as it relates to performance, security, and support for WordPress specific issues.
What Is WordPress Website Hosting
Now that we understand what web hosting is, we can begin to see why there is a need for WordPress specific hosting.
With WordPress hosting, we find that the servers are tuned to the specific requirements of the WordPress platform. This means increased performance, security, and support for your WordPress website. For hosting providers this means they only have to support a single platform.
With this mind, everyone from the server support staff to the customer service staff can provide very efficient support for your website, answer WordPress specific questions, and provide timely software updates to the servers dedicated to running WordPress.
Still, there is quite a spread in the types of WordPress hosting services that are available from the providers that specialize in WordPress hosting.
Below is a chart of the four types of WordPress hosting options available by most providers.
As you can see from the chart above each of the WordPress hosting options has its own unique benefits. Let’s discuss each of these in a little more detail.
WordPress Shared Hosting
WordPress shared hosting still remains the cheapest option and overall performance will be better than a standard shared web hosting plan. Although not scalable, it still provides for a good overall platform for small websites with low traffic.
Many hosting companies offer WordPress basic plans which support only one Website, but also have plans that allow anywhere from a few to an unlimited number of WordPress websites for a higher price.
The downside is that other websites are sharing the same resources with you, so you can take performance hits if other websites start hogging resources. Support is usually lower grade and you have to remember that if a shared server is having problems the server support staff are having to deal with many websites running on a single server. Security can also be an issue since other sites with security vulnerabilities can affect your website.
WordPress Virtual Private Server (VPS)
WordPress VPS is a step above WordPress Shared Hosting, although, you will find that some providers provide this service as both managed and unmanaged. Unmanaged being the highest maintenance, much like a Dedicated Server. VPS also offers a much higher level of control and much more flexibility.
With VPS your virtual server is assigned a specific amount of memory, storage, and bandwidth (the amount of traffic your site can support) and these resources are guaranteed and not shared with anyone else. WordPress VPS solutions are also scalable, meaning that you can add additional resources like more memory, storage capacity, or bandwidth.
The downside with this option is that although you aren’t sharing your resources, you are still sharing a server with other WordPress VPS instances. You will also likely need more technical expertise unless you are buying a managed plan.
Dedicated WordPress Server
Dedicated WordPress Servers are the most expensive option, however, with this option YOU manage everything. You basically get a WordPress server and everything is left to you as far as maintaining WordPress, updates, maintenance, and security. It is up to you whether you want a single server or a collection of servers. Obviously having at least two physical servers can provide redundancy if one fails. This option should only be for those who are technically proficient in managing a server.
If you have the expertise or have a server administrator working with you, dedicated WordPress hosting offers you huge benefits. You have complete access to all server resources, you know exactly what’s on your server and how it is configured. This is a great option for large websites with very high traffic.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress Hosting will be cheaper than dedicated hosting, but higher than VPS. Managed hosting provides the website owners with a true no-hassle hosting plan. It provides scalability so you can instantly access more computing power and offers the highest level of security, reliability, and management.
In addition, managed hosting provides many WordPress Perks, such as one-click website creation, access to thousands of themes and plugins right from your hosting account, backups (sometimes hourly), and many other WordPress specific features.
Quality hosting providers will have managed WordPress hosting in “The Cloud”. This means that the hosting company has access to cloud resources in place already.
Be careful about the use of the term “Managed Hosting”. When shopping around you’ll see the term “Managed WordPress Hosting” used rather loosely or in conjunction with “Shared Hosting”. So be careful to understand what you are actually getting. If it’s cheap, then its almost certainly just Shared WordPress Hosting. True Managed WordPress Hosting will be robust and provide the features mentioned above.
Choosing The Right WordPress Hosting Solution
With all the different WordPress hosting companies and services that are available today, which one is best for you?
The first thing you’ve got to understand is your requirements.
- Is your WordPress website going to be personal or business?
- How much traffic do you see your website getting (thousands of visits per month)?
- How large do you see your website getting (number of pages)?
- Do you need 24/7 support?
- Is 100% uptime a requirement?
- Do you have any server administration experience?
All of these things will help you determine what you really need in a hosting solution. Remember, there are good hosting providers, and not so good. So we must also consider WHO you want to get your hosting from.
For comparison purposes, HostingFacts.com reports that for 2018 the average uptime among 32 hosting providers for a 12-month period was 99.59% which equates to 35 1/2 hours of downtime per website per year. Virtually of these providers advertise a 99.99% uptime. Just something to think about.
Here are some guidelines to help you determine what you need.
For quality WordPress hosting providers, here are my recommendations.
Bluehost – Shared
Shared hosting plans run from $8/mo. to $15/mo. With a first term promotional discount (at the time of this writing). Terms range from 3 months to 36 months.
- 1 Click WordPress Installs
- 24/7 support
- Free SSL Certificates
- Free domain for the first year
Bluehost – Managed
Managed Hosting starting at $30/mo. up to $60/mo. With a first term promotional discount (at the time of this writing). Terms range from 3 months to 36 months.
Build Plan ($30/mo.) Includes:
- Jetpack Site Analytics (Basic)
- Marketing Center
- 100 Free Premium Themes
- Daily Scheduled Backups
- Malware Detection and Removal
- Domain Privacy Protection
- 1 Office 365 Mailbox – Free 30 Days
Grow Plan ($40/mo.) Includes everything in Build Plus:
- Jetpack Premium Included
- Business Review Tools
- Bluehost SEO Tools
- Jetpack Ads Integration
- 10GB Video Compression
- Blue Sky Ticket Support
Scale Plan ($60/mo.) Includes everything in Grow Plus:
- Jetpack Pro Included
- Unlimited Backups and Restore
- PayPal Integration
- Unlimited Video Compression
- Elastic Search
- Blue Sky Chat Support
Managed hosting starts at $28/mo. to $232/mo. Currently with 4 months free with their annual prepay option.
Yes, WP Engine is a bit pricier, however, WP Engine is a WordPress specific hosting provider offering managed plans that are optimized for WordPress. Needless to say, they are blazingly fast no matter where you are located due to their Global CDN (content delivery network) which delivers your website from the nearest server based on your location.
- Genesis Framework
- 35+ StudioPress Themes
- 24/7 chat support
- Development, Staging, Production Environments.
- Transferable Sites
- PHP 7.3 ready
- Global CDN (Content Delivery Network)
- Page Performance
- Automated SSL certificates
- Imported SSL certificates (not included with Startup plan)
- 24/7 phone support (not included with Startup plan)
- SSH Gateway
I must share the benefits of this Web Hosting platform above all others simply because it’s a web hosting platform designed for Affiliate Marketers by Affiliate Marketers. SiteRubix is powered by Wealthy Affiliate which provides a powerful, full-featured Managed WordPress hosting platform. And best of all, you can get 2 Free SiteRubix Websites when you sign up for a Free Starter membership. No Credit Card Required. This is almost unheard of in the web hosting market.
SiteRubix is geared towards the beginner. Everything is managed right from the Wealthy Affiliate (WA) Websites portal. No worrisome problems using things like C panel to create and manage websites, email addresses, and the like.
You can remain a free starter member and access your websites for up to 6 months without becoming a premium member. If you decide to go premium it will cost as little as $29/mo. Including Web Hosting.
With SiteRubix you get:
- 1 Click WordPress Installs
- 24/7 Exceptional Support
- 1,000’s of Free WordPress Themes to choose from.
- You get two Free SiteRubix websites with a Free WA starter membership.
- Free SSL Certificates
- Free Site Speed to make your websites lightning fast
- Site Content which gives the ability to create beautiful pages right from the WA portal with spell and grammar check built-in.
- Access to 1,000’s of free images to use in your website’s pages and posts
What is WordPress website hosting? We’ve learned that WordPress website hosting is quite a unique animal in and of its own. Understanding your own unique requirements will help you determine what type of WordPress hosting you really need. Web hosting providers are numerous on the internet, so understanding what each type of WordPress hosting is, and what to expect, is key in choosing a hosting provider.
One thing to remember, especially if you are just starting out with a WordPress website, is that you can always start with a low-cost hosting plan and migrate to a more robust plan later. One really great option we’ve looked at for beginners is SiteRubix. If you are unsure of what you really need, starting up a free website is a great way to get your feet wet.
Wishing Great Success,
PS. Leave your comments and questions below. I’d love to hear from you.