What are the Differences Between Free WordPress Hosting and Paid WordPress Hosting?

While there are many similarities between the two, there are still some key differences that make them significantly different. Below, we will discuss some of these key differences. Hopefully, this will help you better understand the various hosting alternatives and make the right choice for your needs.

Features

The first and most obvious difference between free and paid WordPress hosting is the feature set. Generally speaking, free hosting does not come with many features. You will typically have access to one or two of the following: 

  • MySQL database
  • PHP version 3.1+
  • SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)
  • HTML template
  • Fully functioning blog
  • One-click installer for WordPress
  • Free backups
  • Free domain privacy (1st and 2nd level)
  • Free shipping

Paid WordPress hosting, on the other hand, typically offers a much larger feature set. Usually, you will have access to all of the following: 

  • 3+ MB of free space
  • MySQL database
  • PHP version 5.2+
  • SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)
  • Fully functioning blog
  • Free backups
  • Free domain privacy (1st and 2nd level)
  • Free shipping
  • A dedicated IP address
  • WordPress installed directly on the web server
  • Caching
  • One-click installer for WordPress

As you can see, the feature sets are strikingly different. This is one of the major differences that makes paid hosting so much better than free hosting. You will not find many free hosting providers that offer the same level of feature set that you will typically find with a paid host. The above is just a taste of the features that you can get with a paid host. Some of the biggest names in the industry offer some truly amazing packages that include all of the above and much more!

Security

One of the primary differences between free and paid WordPress hosting relates to security. Free hosts usually do not offer any real security measures, relying entirely on the security provided by your web browser and the server that you are running on. When it comes to security, paid hosts go above and beyond what is required and offer extra features that aim to protect your site from attacks and hacking.

Paid hosts will frequently lock down access to PHP scripts, prohibiting site owners from editing or adding content to their sites. This is usually done to prevent attacks and hacking. They will also frequently monitor your site activity to make sure that no one is manipulating your content or performing any other malicious actions. While all of this may sound quite useful, it also means that your site may be a bit more vulnerable to attacks. This is why we always recommend that you take security seriously and implement the best practices that you can, regardless of whether you are on free or paid hosting.

Speed

Another major difference between free and paid WordPress hosting is speed. As we mentioned above, free hosts do not offer much in terms of speed. Generally, you will have the same experience regardless of whether you are on a 2G or 4G connection. This is significantly different from the experience that you will have with a paid host. These are the types of differences that can make a massive difference in your day-to-day life as a webmaster or blog owner. The faster your site, the better!

When we compare the two in terms of speed, you will notice that the difference is night and day. Not only do paid hosts offer much faster page speeds, but they also do so with lower usage of memory and bandwidth. This means that your site will perform better and be able to handle more requests than the average free host. If you are looking for a high-performance web host, then you should look no further!

Reliability

Finally, let’s discuss another important difference between the two that relates to reliability. Free hosts are, generally speaking, much less reliable than paid hosts. This is not to say that they are bad or unreliable, but the overall experience that you will have with them is typically much less pleasant. Generally speaking, the downtime of free hosts is very high, and often, it is impossible to determine what exactly is causing the problem. This means that you may need to endure many unplanned downtime and maintenance sessions.

In terms of reliability, paid hosts are much more reliable than free hosts. This is primarily because they have much sturdier infrastructure and employ much more experienced technicians. The reliability of paid hosts is typically very high, which makes them a good choice for anyone who needs a reliable web host.

Bandwidth

One more difference between the two that relates to bandwidth is the amount of bandwidth that you are allowed. If you go over your allotted bandwidth, you will be hit with a bandwidth cap, preventing you from using more data than what is considered normal for that particular plan. This is a common issue for those who use a lot of bandwidth, whether they are hosting videos or large image libraries.

Generally speaking, the bandwidth of a paid host is very high and can be unlimited. Depending on the plan that you are on, you may be given a certain amount of free bandwidth as well, allowing you to use as much as you want. This is one of the major differences between the two in terms of how they handle bandwidth usage. If you are looking for a reliable web host that can handle a massive amount of data, then you should look no further!

Prices

Prices are another important consideration, especially for those who are on a budget. Generally speaking, the price of a paid host is higher than that of a free host, though this can vary. Some of the biggest names in the industry offer incredible discounts if you are willing to pay in advance or at certain times of the year. Still, you may need to spend a bit more upfront in order to get the high-performance that you need.

As you can see, there are several significant differences between free and paid WordPress hosting. While there are many similarities, you should really think long and hard about which one is the best for your needs. Do your research and make the right choice for your own particular needs. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us! We are always available to help and are happy to provide additional information as needed.