Shared Hosting vs. WordPress Hosting – Which Is Better?

There is a wide variety of web hosting available today, from very basic to very advanced levels of service. Knowing what to look out for, and how to choose the right one for your needs, can be a daunting task. In this article, we’re going to run down the pros and the cons of the two most popular types of web hosting, to hopefully leave you with a good understanding of what you’re getting into.

Shared Hosting

If you’re looking for a web host that allows you to build your website as you see fit, with little to no restrictions, then shared hosting is the perfect choice for you. Simply put, shared hosting is when multiple websites share the same server, so resources like memory, disk space, and bandwidth are limited. Basically, the more websites that are on the server, the slower everything will generally run.

The upside to this style of hosting is that all you need to do to set up and run your website is log in and click a few buttons. You won’t need to worry about software installations or updating the code on a regular basis. However, the downside is that if you’re looking for high performance, this is not the kind of hosting to choose.

WordPress Hosting

If you’re looking for a web host that offers a higher level of performance and features, and don’t mind spending a little more money, then you should consider opting for WordPress hosting. With WordPress hosting, you run your own CMS (content management system) on the server, which gives you full control over the look and feel of your website, as well as the ability to upgrade and customize it as you see fit. In addition to that, you get a free domain and you can install 1 Website + 1 Blog on the server

The downside to this style of hosting is that you’ll need to have some knowledge about coding to be able to edit the CMS. And, as we mentioned before, it’s a little more expensive than shared hosting. However, if you’re looking for a high-performance, feature-rich website that will behave and look the same on all platforms, then this is the perfect choice.

Considerations

Once you’ve made the decision that one of these two web hosts is the right one for you, the next step is to consider what aspects you need to look out for. Here are just some of the things to check for:

  • Server speed: While it may not seem like a big deal, the speed of your website’s host plays a huge role in the overall performance and experience of your site. For instance, if you’re hitting the limits of your bandwidth, you might run into trouble with your page load times. In other words, the faster your server is, the better. To give you an idea of how much faster a server can be, we’ve got a list of some of the fastest dedicated servers available, which provide you with a good performance baseline.
  • Bandwidth: Just like with server speed, the amount of data (also known as bandwidth) your host can provide also plays an important role in the overall performance of your site. To give you an idea of how much bandwidth you need, here is a list of some of the biggest websites and how much data they use, per day.
  • Monthly data transfers: Depending on the size of your website, and how much content you have, you’ll either need a lot or a little bit of data transfers each month. To find out how much data you need, simply multiply the number of monthly visitors by the total amount of disk space you need for that month. Then, add 20 – 30% to that amount, just in case. Remember, your server will be slowing down as it tries to serve all your content, so it’s important that you have enough bandwidth to keep up.
  • Backup options: Do you want to be able to restore your site, in case it gets damaged or deleted? In most cases, your answer will depend on what type of backup you want to create. If you’re looking for a local backup, such as a local hard drive, you’ll need to make sure that your host supports that type of backup. If you’re looking for a remote backup, then you’ll need to make sure that your host supports remote backups (often referred to as cloud storage).
  • Installation options: Do you want to be able to install and run WordPress or another CMS on the server? If so, then make sure your host supports that option. In addition, if you want to be able to install a third-party applications on the server, then make sure your host supports that too.
  • Platforms: Do you want to be able to run your site on the web, or do you want to use a mobile app to access it? If you’re using a CMS or platform like WordPress, then you’ll need to make sure your host supports the creation of sites for the various platforms, including mobile apps.
  • Additional features: Does your host provide any additional features, that might be useful to you? For example, does your host provide a free SSL certificate, so you don’t have to buy one yourself? Does your host provide a dedicated IP address, so you can create a private blog that doesn’t show up on the internet as being hosted by anyone else?

Once you’ve made a decision about what type of hosting you’ll need, the last step is to move to the next phase, which is selecting a reputable company that offers what you need. We recommend checking out this reputable hosting comparison tool, which will give you a good idea of what’s out there, and help you find a hosting company that meets your needs.