We’re going to break down Shared vs Managed WordPress Hosting.
When it comes to hosting options for your WordPress website, shared hosting sounds like a smart idea. In comparison to managed hosting services, most options for shared hosting boast the lowest prices and “unlimited resources” for your WordPress site. For what seems like an attractive value-add, you won’t even have to separate your email hosting.
Shared hosting sounds simple and straightforward, right? Unfortunately, there’s a lot that these companies aren’t telling you about their services and their limitations.
Setting up your WordPress site is not the only hurdle; you’ll need to make sure it functions well for you and your visitors. When you’re researching different options for web hosting, you’ll want to be wary of what shared hosting actually means for your WordPress site.
In this article, I’ll explain these nuances and why managed hosting beats shared hosting every time.
Sharing an IP Address
In the world of shared hosting, your WordPress website has neighbors, much like apartment tenants who share their walls. In a way, your site has its own unique number, but lives in the same building as other sites. Just like you can’t control your neighbor’s behavior, your site is at the mercy of how other sites behave. If the other neighboring sites choose to overuse the shared resources, such as bandwidth, your site will be left with very little bandwidth to function.
Additionally, if one of the sites is behaving dishonestly, gets hacked, or has malware, your site is at risk. If one site on the server has been left vulnerable and gets hacked, it’s possible for hackers to gain access to the entire server. If one site has been caught carrying out malicious acts, such as sending out spam, your entire server could be IP blacklisted, ruining your SEO.
Not only can these factors negatively affect your site, but you also won’t have any recourse to fix it. Shared hosting sites don’t generally take responsibility for the sites they host, nor do many offer robust security or promises of remote back-ups of your site. Although WordPress managed hosts don’t take direct responsibility either, you won’t have as high a risk for these issues, because their infrastructure is optimized for performance and WordPress-run sites.
Quantity over Quality
Popular shared hosting providers are successful because they know how to make money with their servers. You may be drawn in by promotional marketing and affordable pricing, but you won’t necessarily receive a red carpet experience.
Think about it this way: would you like it if your landlord rented out your apartment while you were still living in it? Your website will soon be bunking with eight other sites in a tiny studio.
Unfortunately, many popular web hosts, including GoDaddy, Bluehost, and Hostgator, are prioritizing quantity over quality. The more sites that can run on one server, the better it is for their wallets, but not necessarily for the customer’s benefit.
Capping Your Success
Because your WordPress website now has so many neighbors, there are limitations to its capability in handling increased traffic. Often, shared hosting companies have to limit resources to compensate for sites that are hogging more resources on the server. This practice materializes in the capping of site resources, despite their claims of said resources being “unlimited.”
As your site becomes popular, it will be drawing more resources from the server. If your neighboring sites don’t get as much traffic, that could mean that you get more resources for less cost. On the other hand, if you are neighbors with another highly-trafficked site, you could wind up getting the short end of the stick. The dreaded server overload messages could turn your otherwise successful campaigns into failures. This practice is counterintuitive, to say the least.
Bottom line: You can’t expect to reap the rewards of so-called “unlimited resources” offered at cheap prices. Like most other things, the saying “you get what you pay for” definitely applies to web hosting.
Enter WordPress-Optimized Managed Hosting
If you’re planning for your site to be popular and secure, managed hosting is the mansion down the street from the overloaded studio apartment. When you use WordPress-optimized managed hosting for your WordPress site, you may be paying more, but you’ll get more than your money’s worth.
Companies like Flywheel* (affiliate disclosure: Goldstein Media is an agency partner with Flywheel) are more expensive on a monthly basis, but they prioritize quality over quantity. Flywheel allows your site to use as many resources as your plan agreement allows, and will even boost your site’s speed during traffic spikes to prevent any downtime.
Additionally, because managed hosts like Flywheel only host WordPress sites, they can tailor their security measures and offer WordPress-specific technical support.
There are many other benefits of paying for managed hosting, such as built-in content delivery networks, server-level page caching, and outsourcing of maintenance responsibilities. It’s worth looking into their services and pricing options to give your WordPress site the best chance at success.
Put Your WordPress Site in Good Hands
At the bare minimum, your WordPress site deserves robust speed to accommodate traffic spikes, peace of mind from cyberattacks, and the resources and support to excel.
At Goldstein Media, we are agency partners with Flywheel, because we believe in their managed hosting, and want only the best for our clients. If you have any questions about managed WordPress hosting or how Goldstein Media can help improve your website performance, reach out today.