There are two things experienced and beginner WordPress users always wonder about hosting:
- What’s the difference between the different types of WordPress hosting?
- Which type of hosting is best for me?
I’m going to answer these questions for you in a WordPress Hosting Comparison.
First, I’ll explain the differences between each type of hosting, and then I’ll give you my recommendation for each.
So let’s dive in…
WordPress Hosting Comparison
There are 4 main types of WordPress hosting you’ll see:
- Shared Hosting
- Managed Hosting
- VPS (Virtual Private Server)
- Dedicated Server
I’m not a huge fan of technical jargon, so to explain each of these, I’m going to use an analogy: a box of balloons.
The box is the server which houses websites, and the balloons are each of the websites.
Let’s start with the first type of hosting:
[Please Note: There are affiliate links below]
1. Shared Hosting
This is the most common type of hosting out there. I don’t have exact numbers, but I’d guess 90% (maybe more) of WordPress users are on this type of hosting. This is what the majority of web hosting companies out there offer and market the most.
So, to understand it, let’s take the box and balloon example.
With shared hosting, a hosting company will take a box (server) and try and add as many balloons (websites) as possible into that one box.
The balloons all share space in that one box.
Now, websites use resources. For instance, when you get more visitors or have larger files on your site, you use more resources.
In our example, when a website uses more resources, the balloon expands.
So all the balloons are in the box, and some are expanding as they use more resources, others contract.
But if the balloons expand and take up more space than the box allows, the system crashes.
Which is why hosting companies will limit the resource usage of each website…to prevent a crash.
Because of these limits and shared resources, the speed and performance of shared hosting is the lowest of the four options.
However, it is the least expensive and relatively easy to maintain.
If you want to go with shared hosting, the #1 company I recommend is Bluehost.
2. Managed Hosting
Managed hosting is actually shared hosting, but the difference is that there is a team of highly skilled server managers making sure everything on the servers are running top notch.
So, unlike shared hosting, you get much better speeds and performance. Also, unlike shared hosting, managed servers come with a lot of extras, like automated backups, built in cacheing and security, and a much better support team.
It does cost slightly more than shared hosting, but the benefits you receive far outweigh the costs.
Out of the four options, this is the best option for a WordPress website. You get amazing speed and don’t have to worry about maintenance.
My recommendation: WPEngine
3. VPS (Virtual Private Server)
Going back to the box metaphor, a VPS is like a shared hosting environment, but each balloon is in it’s own partition.
That means if one balloon expands, it won’t take up the space of another balloon.
This is good because your speed IS NOT affected by any of the other websites on your server. Which means you’ll get much better performance on your site.
But, you do have a limit on the amount of resources you can use. If you go over those resources, your system could go down.
Luckily, these resources are pretty large, and you can easily upgrade a VPS to have more resources.
And because of this, you will be way better speeds. A VPS will perform better than a managed WordPress server.
Some downsides: a VPS requires some knowledge of managing a server, so it should not be used by a beginner. And it will also cost more than shared or managed hosting.
My recommendation for VPS: Hostgator.
4. Dedicated Server
Finally, we have a dedicated server.
This is the top of the line server.
With a dedicated server, you are a balloon in your own box.
No one else.
All to yourself.
You can expand as far as the box allows, which lets you get the optimal performance out of your server.
The downside though is the cost, which can be a couple hundred dollars a month.
Also, you will need to really understand how to manage your server…or hire someone to manage it for you. This is NOT for the beginner!
Dedicated servers are usually reserved for websites with huge audiences that need that extra power.
My recommendation: MediaTemple
Which Is Right For You?
For the majority of my clients, I steer them towards WPEngine (the managed server). While this costs more than the shared hosting, it is the best value out of all the hosting options and will provide you with a level of performance that 99% of you require.
If you are tight of cash, then BlueHost is the way to go.
If you have a huge website, then you should consider a VPS or Dedicated, but be prepared to pay more and expect to have to hire someone to help.
Hope this helps you understand a bit more about WordPress hosting options so you can select the one that’s right for you.