WordPress has become the de facto content management system (CMS) of the World Wide Web. In fact, more than 74 million websites run on WordPress. What started as a simple blogging solution has become the world’s favorite CMS.
I’ve been using WordPress since 2006. I’ve used it exclusively for business since about 2009. All of the websites I own are built on WordPress. Most of the ones I do for clients are done on WordPress. The reason is real simple, WordPress is open source, easy to install, a cinch to design for, and is supported by a vast network of developers and design experts all around the world.
One aspect of WordPress development few small businesses and tech startups consider when they launch is the right hosting plan for their WordPress website. Forget what you think you know. All WordPress hosting is not equal. Here are three different types of WordPress hosting plans and their pros/cons.
Shared WordPress Hosting
Shared hosting is the most popular type of hosting for any kind of website. Unfortunately, most WordPress users also use shared hosting plans, primarily because they are cheap.
For instance, BlueHost hosting plans start at $2.95 per month. The most expensive shared host plan, for multiple websites, is $13.95 per month.
Another benefit to shared hosting is it is easy to set up. In most cases, you can sign up for an account and get going the same day. Plus, most shared hosting providers have an easy 1-click install for WordPress. No technical skills required.
The downside to shared hosting is that you get very limited support for your website. You are on a server with other websites and you can’t control what sites are on the same server with you. If you are on a server with a spam account, or another site on the same server gets hacked, your site is vulnerable as well. If you are trying to run a business, this can impede your customer relations and sales.
If you opt for the limited support shared hosting plan for WordPress, I recommend BlueHost as it is one of the best hosts, but you should know there are risks.
VPS Hosting for WordPress
VPS stands for virtual private server. What that means is your host creates a virtual server on a real server and hosts your website along with other websites on that virtual server. The benefit to this is you get dedicated resources to that virtual server, but it’s still far from perfect.
VPS hosting is generally more expensive than shared hosting, but it’s still affordable for most businesses. VPS hosting plans are also customizable, so you get the resources you need, not some one-size-fits-all hosting plan. Again, the downside is that you share a server with other websites, and you don’t get a choice of neighbors. So you still have the same issues with security that you have with shared hosting.
With some VPS hosts, you get additional support for WordPress that you don’t get with shared hosting. Most of your support, however, is server support and not WordPress-specific support.
I’ve never actually used VPS hosting, so I can’t recommend any hosts for this type of plan.
The best type of hosting for WordPress is managed hosting.
Managed hosting is more expensive than shared and VPS hosting, but it also comes with better WordPress support. Most managed WordPress hosts will provide free core updates, and many offer free theme updates with the service. All you have to do is manage the content. The host manages WordPress.
I can’t tell you what a headache reliever this is. A good managed host will be on top of security issues and handle them before you notice them. Many also, like WP Engine, will alert you when your themes and plugins need updated.
Managed WordPress hosting usually also comes with extras that you don’t get with other types of hosting plans. These include heightened security measures, free scheduled website backups, website and development staging areas, and more. The host will also handle any WordPress-specific support requests you may have.
I recommend managed hosting for technology startups as well as blockchain-based and cryptocurrency businesses that want to use WordPress as a CMS. Taylored Content recently established a relationship with WP Engine as our managed hosting provider. That means we do not have a problem recommending it because we’re using it ourselves. It is more expensive, but it will also take a load off your mind knowing someone is watching your website’s architecture as you watch your business.