WordPress is officially the most popular way to build a website. According to data from W3Techs, over 30% of all websites on the Internet are powered by WordPress. That’s a lot of businesses choosing WordPress to build their sites, but the choice of hosting for those sites may not be as simple.
If you’ve chosen to utilize WordPress for your website, and you’ve begun your search for the right type of hosting plan, you may be encountering the choice between a managed WordPress hosting vs shared hosting plan.
Let’s look at the differences between the two in terms of:
But first, we need some working definitions of exactly what managed WordPress hosting vs shared hosting are.
What is Shared Hosting?
A shared hosting plan places your websites on a server with a large number of other websites sharing the same resources and bandwidth. These plans are usually the most inexpensive choice you’ll find for hosting a website, but at the cost of limited performance, less security, and fewer features. These plans are best suited for sites with minimal traffic and static content, sites you would consider as the equivalent as an online business card or flyer.
What is Managed WordPress Hosting?
A managed WordPress hosting plan places your websites on a server with dedicated resources, built and configured specifically to host WordPress sites. These plans will include many features that assist with site management and development, automating backups, and on-demand technical support with WordPress expertise.
Let’s explore the key differences between WordPress hosting vs shared hosting, specifically in reference to the features provided by Liquid Web’s Managed WordPress Hosting platform.
Speed is critical for websites. In today’s landscape, users expect a site to load quickly, or they’ll just move onto the next one.
The main objective of a shared hosting provider is to make their plans as inexpensive as possible.
This is achieved by fitting as many websites onto a server as they can. While this approach does pass immediate monetary savings onto its clients, the performance will be severely degraded due to the high number of sites competing for the server’s resources and bandwidth.
In other words, your site could run very slowly simply due to someone else’s site on the same server being busy. Or, your own site could get an influx of traffic the shared hosting plan cannot handle due to you only being given a sliver of the server’s processing power for your account.
Shared hosting servers will also need to accommodate a wide range of site software, not just WordPress. The servers will not be built or configured with WordPress sites in mind, since they will need to be configured to be compatible with any site type in general. These generic configurations may not be optimal for WordPress sites.
The main objective of a managed WordPress hosting provider is to provide a platform specifically optimized for loading WordPress sites quickly and reliably. Liquid Web’s Managed WordPress Hosting platform was built by our server experts to utilize Nginx and PHP 7+, features like image compression, and specialized configurations to provide your sites with incredible speed. With the main priority to be the best hosting for WordPress sites to run on, you can expect a managed WordPress hosting platform to continually innovate as WordPress itself evolves.
Additionally, with Liquid Web’s Managed WordPress Hosting plans, you are given server resources dedicated to your sites so you will not be impacted by the usage of any sites that are not your own.
Due to the popularity of WordPress, hackers are constantly attempting to exploit it. The developers of WordPress and its plugins are continuously releasing security updates to stay ahead of these attempts. The best way to secure a WordPress site is to keep its installation, plugins, and underlying server applications up-to-date.
With our Managed WordPress Hosting platform, all of these are kept up-to-date by our system automatically, with care to push out these releases only once they are thoroughly tested.
Keeping plugins up-to-date in particular is crucial, but can be very difficult. Updating one plugin can potentially break compatibility with many others, possibly rendering your site non-functional. Our Managed WordPress Hosting platform makes a copy of your site and tests plugin updates for you every night automatically, so you don’t have to worry about manually doing so.
Shared hosting providers are unlikely to include automatic update features for WordPress or its plugins, but if they do it’s even more unlikely that they would include testing beforehand. The sites hosted on their servers would be built using various software systems, not just WordPress, so the handling of WordPress updates specifically would be beyond the scope of their assistance.
Shared hosting providers may have technical support you can reach out to if their services have gone down, but typically these providers offer no guarantees regarding response time, around the clock hours of availability, or their staff’s knowledge regarding WordPress.
For all managed plans offered by Liquid Web, you are supported by The Most Helpful Humans In Hosting.
And with our Managed WordPress Hosting plans, that is no different. You can reach out to one of the experts from our Managed WordPress Support team, dedicated to providing support via phone, email, and chat 24 hours a day, 7 days of the week, 365 days of the year.
Our Managed WordPress Support team can assist with configuring our premium plugins, providing guidance on performance optimization and securing your individual sites, and can help solve issues that arise such as errors and blank pages. You can read this article for full information on our Scope of Support for our Managed WordPress Hosting platform.
It can be tempting to consider shared hosting the more cost-effective solution, as it’s typically the cheapest option you will find for hosting your website. However when factoring in the time you’ll spend manually managing all of the aspects of your sites that a managed WordPress hosting plan would handle for you, shared hosting could turn out to be much more costly in the long run.
Opting for a shared hosting plan could require you to create backups and perform backup restorations, keep each site and its plugins up-to-date, create staging sites to test major changes without affecting your live site while visitors are actively using it, and a list of other tedious and complex procedures that would require a lot of time and effort to work through manually.
Backup creation and staging tests are all handled automatically by our Managed WordPress Hosting platform.
Time is a finite resource, and just like money, we have to carefully choose where to allocate it. If your time is better spent on another aspect of managing your website or business, then letting our Managed WordPress Hosting platform handle the back-end technical aspects for you is a great option.
Which Should You Choose?
If your business relies on WordPress for its websites, you will find Managed WordPress Hosting far superior to shared hosting. Not only is all the behind-the-scenes performance and security configuration handled by experts, but you are also given access to advanced features for WordPress that shared hosting does not provide.
All of our Managed WordPress Hosting plans include premium plugins, full off-site backups created daily, automatic plugin updates, one-click staging sites, 24-hour technical support, automatic free SSL certificates for every site, and no overage fees or traffic limits.