Are you wondering if you should choose a VPS vs WordPress hosting for your WordPress website? Let us look at what each one has to offer so that you can make an intelligent decision on what type of hosting is best for you.
VPS vs WordPress Hosting History
More and more, developers and agencies looking to set up and build WordPress sites start with VPS Hosting. No matter the kind of website, a VPS gets the job done. There is a bit of server administration skills that needed to be learned, but most web developers embraced the change; after all, the alternative was shared hosting, which offered no root access.
Either way, VPS hosting continues to be a prime choice for WordPress websites requiring more performance control and customization (there are even WordPress VPS servers now!).
While the VPS world was booming, WordPress became the most popular CMS in the world. As a result, Managed WordPress Hosting, a cloud hosting solution, became a standard service offering perfect for those developers that wanted to focus on building sites, not server administration.
So, what is the best hosting for your WordPress site: a VPS server or standard WordPress hosting?
Let’s Define VPS
Virtual Private Server Hosting (VPS) is a dynamic virtualized hosting server that exists within a parent server on cloud infrastructure. When you use it to power a WordPress website, it is known as a WordPress Virtual Server.
In most cases, there is a cluster of servers that make up the infrastructure behind the VPS. The VPS instances themselves are independent partitions of the parent server with dedicated resources.
Typically, you will have access to Root as well as Secure Shell (SSH) and Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). Most managed providers also supply a software installer, such as Softaculous, to install popular server software and Content Management Systems (CMS). WordPress is one such CMS easily installed on a VPS.
VPS hosting will usually have a set allocation of resources to each server instance. Most VPS offerings are single-tenant, which means RAM, CPU cores, and storage are specific to a single user/owner instead of shared among many users. Operating system options include multiple flavors of Linux as well as Windows.
Advantages of VPS Hosting vs WordPress Hosting
A considerable advantage of VPS Hosting is the low-level access you get to the server. Having root access and being able to interact with the Operating System and server stack allows customization of the server in addition to your sites and applications. Managed web hosting providers give you support for most server-side functions.
Another advantage of virtual servers is the ability to upgrade to achieve more resources when needed. How you upgrade the server varies between providers, but most have options to get you the performance you need.
Root access also affords the ability to install and configure most any software you wish on the server. Available software control panels (Interworx, cPanel, and Plesk) offer a point-and-click interface for root and other functions. You are usually going to have the operating system, any control panel you select, and the standard server software for the webserver, database, and scripting. Installing other software to enhance the management of your sites and applications is a valuable tool to ensure your projects run the way you want.
Disadvantages of VPS Hosting
VPS Hosting provides many positives, but depending on your needs, there may be some things that don’t work for you. Some people are intimidated by the amount of access you get with a VPS.
You don’t have to be a System Administrator to have a WordPress virtual server, but some degree of technical aptitude is needed.
A control panel with a point-and-click interface is advantageous for some, but one still needs to know what the functions they are trying to accomplish. Making the wrong changes is detrimental to your environment and your projects. Not everyone wants (or needs) that type of granular control of their server.
VPS Hosting, as powerful as it is, also does not include optimization by default for running WordPress. You will need to tweak the server software to take advantage of resources appropriately as well as install third-party software or drop-in replacements like Nginx for speed.
For those desiring a completely hands-off approach to server administration work, a WordPress virtual server may not present the optimal choice.
Best VPS Hosting to Consider
Here is an overview of Liquid Web’s VPS packages:
- RAM: 2GB-16GB
- CPUs: 2-8 vCPUs
- Hard Drive Space: 40GB-200GB
- Operating System: Linux or Windows
- Pricing: Check Current Pricing
Liquid Web’s VPS Hosting offers set configurations for RAM, CPU, and storage as well as upgradeable, packaged bandwidth. These servers do provide root-level access in addition to SSH and SFTP access.
Available control panel options include Interworx, cPanel, and Plesk for Linux, and Plesk only for Windows servers. In addition to using your primary storage for control panel backups, you would also have the option of Cloud Server Backups.
If you are hosting a few websites and applications that are not resource-intensive, or need a small server for file storage and setting up your file sharing and collaboration away from your home/business, the VPS is a perfect solution. Having complete control of your website and application’s underlying infrastructure is the reward.
How is WordPress Hosting Different from VPS?
WordPress Hosting, also known as managed WordPress hosting, is a shared or single-tenant hosting environment that is specifically optimized and fine-tuned for WordPress websites.
While a VPS would come pre-configured for general use, WordPress Hosting is cloud hosting designed only for WordPress. There are many ways to configure a server and its software. WordPress Hosting takes the guesswork out of the process, essentially doing it for you.
Because the cloud environment is set up from the ground up for WordPress, there is no need to take into account software and frameworks that run on other sites and applications.
Also, any tools that make it onto the server are optimized for WordPress or indirectly to help it run smoothly. The key is to provide maximum performance without the need to manage a server.
Advantages of WordPress Hosting vs VPS
Performance is an enormous benefit to WordPress Hosting. The environment’s focus on one type of hosting means that the entirety of the infrastructure gets uniquely optimized for the utmost performance. Sure, you can use additional plugins if necessary, but the performance out-of-the-box will be suitable for most WordPress sites.
Another advantage of WordPress Hosting is not having to manage a server. As was mentioned before, most providers design their WordPress offerings to allow web designers and agencies to focus on their sites.
With WordPress already set up, your first order of business is setting up your site and not configuring a server.”
Security is also a huge advantage of WordPress Hosting. Since WordPress is the only framework the infrastructure will have to handle, services that are not needed to run WordPress are disabled. When you combine this with regular updates to the WordPress core and plugins, you have a secure, protected environment.
Disadvantages of WordPress Hosting
Not having root or low-level access to the server environment is, undoubtedly, a disadvantage of WordPress Hosting. A VPS is a better option for those looking for more control of the server and hosting for WordPress.
Some customers like the features that third-party software provides. Being able to install additional software that will run with your site, outside of WordPress, gives additional benefits. For the majority of WordPress-specific environments, third-party software is not allowed.
You or your agency might be at a disadvantage with WordPress Hosting if you do more than just WordPress sites. Yes, we are talking about a specific, focused hosting platform. Some designers, however, don’t have the budget for more than one plan.
Best WordPress Hosting to Consider
Nexcess, a premier eCommerce Cloud provider, joined the Liquid Web family in 2019.
Known for their powerful WordPress cloud platform, Nexcess has delivered innovation and an exceptional experience to small businesses and the designers, developers, and agencies who create for them for over 20 years.
Here is an overview of Managed WordPress plans powered by Nexcess:
- Number of Sites: 1-250
- Storage: 15-800 GB
- Added Features: Unlimited Email Accounts, Beaver Builder Lite, Solid Security Pro, and Solid Central
- Pricing: Check Current Pricing
Nexcess offers not only WordPress Hosting, but also management for the entire infrastructure. Your sites are your responsibility, but we provide automatic updates to the WordPress Core, plugins, and automated backups. And with unlimited email accounts, Beaver Builder Lite, and Solid Security Pro and Central built-in, Managed WordPress gives you the WordPress Hosting you need for success.
Developers need the right tools to get the job done. That’s why the platform also includes SSH, Git, and WP-CLI. And for each site on the plan, a staging site is also included for testing before going live.
We use PHP7, SSL, and Nginx to increase speed. All of this is built on the Nexcess Cloud for optimized performance.
VPS vs WordPress Hosting: Final Verdict
Choosing VPS vs WordPress Hosting will depend on your specific project and what you need. Developers and web designers will need to determine what is most important to them as well as the project at hand. Knowing what the website or application calls for will make the decision-making process easy.
Say No More to Server Administration. Find Out How Managed WordPress Helps You Focus on Web Development.
Ron is a Technical Writer at Liquid Web working with the Marketing team. He has 9+ years of experience in Technology. He obtained an Associate of Science in Computer Science from Prairie State College in 2015. He is happily married to his high school sweetheart and lives in Michigan with her and their children.
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