Web hosting is the most important element of your website. Where good web hosting can lead you to success, a bad one will take you towards failure. It must also be considered that if a particular hosting is good for someone, it doesn’t need to be good for you as well.
Managed WordPress Hosting vs. Regular Hosting
Keeping the unique needs of all website owners in mind, let us bring about the differences between the two most popular hosting types – Regular or Shared Hosting and Managed WordPress Hosting.
What is Regular Hosting (Shared Hosting)?
Regular hosting or shared hosting, as the name suggests, is a web hosting service where the resources are shared between different website owners. Multiple websites are hosted on a single server to share the server maintenance cost among these website owners.
What is a Managed WordPress Hosting?
Managed WordPress hosting is a web hosting service that is specifically built to boost the performance of WordPress websites. It is ‘managed’ in the sense that all the technical aspects of building and maintaining the website are handled by the host.
Pros and Cons of Shared Hosting
Shared hosting comes with a set of pros and cons that you must weigh while selecting this hosting type for your website. Let us consider them in detail here:
Pros of Shared Hosting:
Shared hosting is the most economical type of web hosting as all the server resources are shared between different users. You get to use a part of the webserver for a fraction of the cost that you would have to pay for the full server.
Flexibility to Use other CMS
Since shared hosting is not specifically built for WordPress websites, you can completely skip using WordPress as your website’s Content Management System (CMS). This means you have the option to use any CMS that you might prefer be it Drupal, Joomla, or other.
Many hosts offer unlimited resources in terms of bandwidth, storage, and the number of websites that can be hosted with their shared hosting plans. This allows you to use the server resources without any upper limit.
Hosting your email on your website looks very professional and must be considered by everyone who is planning to establish a website for quite a long term. Many shared hosting plans come with email hosting so you don’t need to invest in it separately.
Cons of shared hosting
Poor Website Performance
Since the server is shared among different website owners, the host might overload the server with a large number of websites to cut down on total server maintenance costs. Your website performance will be negatively impacted by the increase in server load. More the server load, the poorer the website performance.
Misleading Introductory Prices
Many web hosts attract new customers by offering deeply discounted introductory prices on their shared hosting plans. Such promotional rates are applicable only for the first billing period of 1 to 3 years. Thus, you must always check the renewal rates along with the introductory prices to prevent a sudden rise in expenses later.
Since your host is unaware of the CMS you will be using, your dashboard is loaded with a lot of options. Along with different options for WordPress, you will find many features that do not relate to WordPress at all. Your dashboard, thus, lacks user-friendliness because of options for different Content Managements Systems making it all very confusing.
Missing Automatic WordPress Optimization
Since shared hosting plans are not specifically created for WordPress websites, many hosts do not offer automatic optimization for WordPress sites. You will have to take the responsibility of boosting the performance of your WordPress website.
Experiencing Website Downtime
Since the server resources are shared among different website owners, it might affect your website negatively. If there is too much increase in server burden because of other websites hosted on it, your website will experience downtime.
Unexpected Website Shut Down
Though you might be offered unlimited resources with your shared hosting plans, you cannot practically utilize all the server resources for your website. If your website starts using too much of the server share, the host might take your website down without any prior notice.
Pros and cons of Managed WordPress Hosting
Just like regular shared hosting, Managed WordPress hosting also has its share of pros and cons that you must consider when selecting this hosting type. Here we discuss them in detail:
Pros of Managed WordPress Hosting
Automatic WordPress Optimization
The biggest advantage of using managed WordPress hosting is the automatic optimization of your WordPress website. All the technical stuff is handled by your host to leave you with a well-performing WordPress website.
Secured Hosting Environment
The host who provides managed WordPress hosting can adjust the security of the hosting environment to WordPress for an added layer of protection. Malware protection and firewalls are used to make your WordPress website more secure.
Automatic Updates and Website Backups
Web hosts offer automatic WordPress updates with managed WordPress hosting plans for the efficient functioning of your website. You will never have to worry about manually updating your WordPress site. Additionally, such plans usually come with automatic backups to ensure the safety of your website’s data.
Improved Website Speed and Better SEO
In the case of managed WordPress hosting, the server is generally utilized to host only WordPress websites. The host can optimize the server for advanced server caching that will improve the speed of all websites hosted on the server. Your WordPress website will, therefore, perform faster. This will also improve the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your website making it rank higher on Google.
In-built Content Delivery Network
Content Delivery Network (CDN) is necessary to decrease your page loading time thereby enhancing your website performance. Many hosts offer in-built CDN with their managed WordPress hosting plans.
Since the host knows the CMS you are using i.e. WordPress, your dashboard is fine-tuned specifically to WordPress. This way you will get all the features that you might need in a nicely arranged manner making your dashboard user-friendly.
Efficient Handling of Traffic Spikes
Many web hosts offering the managed hosting services use cloud hosting for better traffic management. They can, thus, easily add more resources in case of unexpected traffic spikes and efficiently handle your website during such instances.
Superior WordPress Support
Since managed WordPress hosting is specifically for WordPress sites, you will receive better guidance and support for your WordPress-related problems.
Cons of Managed WordPress Hosting
The biggest disadvantage of managed WordPress hosting is its high price tag. It is much more expensive than shared hosting. Luckily, there are some Managed WordPress hosting providers who offer a free trial, so you can certainly try them out without any advanced payments to see if they are actually worth the high price or not.
With managed hosting plans, you can only host a WordPress website since these plans are specifically built for these sites. If you prefer any other CMS over WordPress, you do not have the option to use it with this type of hosting.
The majority of the hosts who provide managed WordPress hosting offer limited server resources. Also, there is an upper limit of your website visits beyond which you will be charged overage fees.
Restrictions on the Use of Plugins
Some plugins might overlap the features offered by the managed WordPress host. Such plugins are banned and you cannot use them on your website. In other cases, plugins that put a high burden on the server i.e. the resource-intensive ones can also be banned by some hosts.
Difference between Shared Hosting and Managed WordPress Hosting
Have a look at the differences between various aspects of shared hosting and WordPress hosting:
|Basis||Shared hosting||WordPress hosting|
|Server||The server resources are shared among many website owners.||The server resources are shared among fewer website owners.|
|Pricing||It is the most inexpensive hosting service.||It is pricier than the shared hosting service.|
|Website performance||Your website might perform poorly when the load on the webserver increases.||With fewer people sharing the server or the use of cloud hosting, you will notice excellent website performance under this hosting.|
|CMS options||You have the option to build your website on any Content Management System.||You can only build a WordPress website using this hosting type.|
|Downtime||Your website might experience frequent downtimes because of shared resources.||Server optimization reduces the chances of website downtime in the case of managed WordPress hosting.|
|Availability of resources||Many hosts offer unlimited resources in terms of bandwidth and storage without any upper limit.||Generally, the hosts put a cap on the resources that can be utilized by a single website.|
|Dashboard||Your dashboard is abnormally loaded to provide CMS options making it more confusing and less user-friendly.||The dashboard is more user-friendly and less confusing as only the features related to WordPress are provided here.|
|WordPress support||The support you receive for your WordPress-related problems might not be up to the mark.||You will receive excellent support for all your WordPress-related problems.|
|Handling traffic spikes||It might be difficult to handle traffic spikes in shared hosting and there are high chances of your website crashing in such a situation.||Managed WordPress hosting can handle sudden traffic spikes efficiently in most cases.|
|Security||The websites are less secured when the server resources are shared.||Website security is higher because of a secured hosting environment with WordPress-compatible firewalls and malware protection.|
|Speed||Websites perform slower because of shared resources and a lack of server optimization.||Websites perform faster because of server optimization and advanced server caching.|
|Restriction on plugins||There are no restrictions to use plugins. You are free to use any plugin you desire.||Many hosts ban the plugins that interrupt the efficient working of their servers.|
|Automatic optimization||You might have to handle the technical stuff for optimizing your website and boosting its performance.||All the technical aspects of your website are handled by your host.|
|Website SEO||Poor website performance and slower speed negatively impact website SEO.||Good website performance and faster website loading time positively impact website SEO.|
|WordPress update||If you are using WordPress as your site’s CMS, you will have to take care of regularly updating it.||Hosts offer automatic WordPress updates taking the burden off your shoulders.|
|Website shut down||Your website might be taken down by the host if it becomes a burden on the server.||Your website won’t be taken down if you utilize additional server resources. Overage fees will be charged in such a case.|
Which is better Managed WordPress Hosting or Shared Hosting?
When choosing between shared hosting and managed WordPress hosting, your current needs must be taken into account.
Both these hosting types can be excellent for different website owners as well as the same website owner at different times. Also, both beginners and pros can benefit from these hostings alike.
Shared hosting is the best option for you if you have a limited budget. It allows you to set up and maintain a website even at a shoestring budget. Also, if you prefer using a CMS other than WordPress, shared hosting is the most suitable option for you.
Managed WordPress hosting is the right choice for you if your budget is not restricted and you need a secure plus WordPress-optimized website. It offers you greater flexibility and speed along with the convenience of automatic WordPress management.
If you are planning to work with WordPress, you can take advantage of both hosting types. Start small with regular or shared hosting and upgrade to managed WordPress hosting as your website grows. This will provide additional security and stability to your website when it grows while taking off your work burden with automatic management.
Conclusion: Is managed WordPress hosting worth it?
Yes, managed WordPress hosting is truly worth the extra cost you pay for it. It saves you a lot of time that goes into managing your WordPress website. Also, your website performs better in terms of speed, security, and stability because of advanced server caching.
As the server can house only WordPress websites, it can be optimized for speed making your website perform faster. This also improves your website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) boosting its ranking on Google and other search engines.