Web Hosting 101: WordPress Hosting vs. Regular Web Hosting
A strong and sustainable hosting platform is the first step to hosting a stable website. Business owners or professional bloggers who are looking to host their websites on WordPress should take a moment to analyze this question. When it comes to WordPress website, the prowess of WordPress Hosting plans is superior to regular web hosting. We are not belittling the power or features of other hosting types. However, in a discussion specific to WordPress CMS, a critical analysis of other hosting types becomes relevant.
The attempt of this article is therefore to understand different hosting types vis a vis the hosting needs so that you can make an informed decision.
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When we talk about Regular Web Hosting, you will bump into the following options –
- Shared Web Hosting
- Dedicated Web Hosting
- VPS (Virtual Private Servers)
Each of these platforms are powered by the hardware built and the software environment to host a WordPress website. But there are limitations. Let’s discuss these restrictions one hosting type at a time.
Shared Web Hosting
Price – $5 to $20 a month
A shared web hosting is the most popular hosting option out there. Most entry level websites are hosted on shared plans. Shared plans are affordable and the computing resources of the plan is enough to meet the needs of most entry level websites.
However, the problem arises when your website needs computing resources. For example, WordPress.Org recommends hosting WordPress website on hosting platform that supports:
It may be possible to install WordPress on hosting with PHP 5.2.4+ and MySQL 5.0+ versions, but the WordPress team strongly recommends that you use more up-to-date versions to protect your WordPress website from security vulnerabilities.
On a shared environment, the end user (website owner/blogger) has no control over the software environment. The software infrastructure is tweaked to support various platforms equally- Joomla, Drupal, Magento, WordPress. All these are Content Managed Systems (CMS) and may seem similar on the surface.
However, each of these platforms have specific software dependencies and resource consumption. Since, WordPress is the most popular CMS, WordPress hosting plans are designed to serve and support websites that are developed on the platform.
Price- $50 to $1000 per month
A dedicated hosting environment will offer more control and power to a WordPress website. You can install the desired and the latest versions of PHP, MySQL and other software to support the WordPress theme, plugin and widgets of your website. The performance will not be an issue. But, there is a catch. Greater control translates to more responsibility.
For starters, you need to have a thorough understanding of the hardware and software components to run and operate a server. Moreover, if you lack technical expertise, you will have to hire a dedicated resource (experts in WordPress domain) who will be responsible for updating and maintaining the software/hardware of the physical servers.
In short, you will have to invest both time and money to host a website. At the same time, it is an utter waste of resources if all that you are looking is to host a WordPress website that has software dependency, but the criticality of the data is not as demanding to switch to dedicated server.
The dedicated web hosting option works well for Banking systems, Government agencies and hospital administration that carry classified data and information. It is not suitable for a WordPress website that displays art catalogs or a simple blog.
VPS (Virtual Private Servers)
Price- $30 to $70 per month
Virtual Private Server is a popular hosting platform that a majority of mid-sized enterprises rely on. More expensive than shared hosting but significantly cheaper than dedicated hosting, VPS is answer to a website that has –
- Dynamic needs
- High traffic
- Advanced security requirements
- Specific software dependency
Be it Managed or Self- Managed VPS hosting plans, the software environment can be customized to support your website. So, even though the computing resources and physical servers are shared, the VM (Virtual Machines) creates dedicated slots to run and operate a website independently.
Although the software environment of VPS can be set up to support a WordPress website, the system administrators running the VPS infrastructure may not necessarily be WordPress experts, and the platform may not have tailor-made features like Automated WordPress updates, etc.
Price- $7 to $70 per month
Finally, let’s talk about WordPress hosting. As the name suggests, WordPress hosting plans are designed, customized and supported to host WordPress websites. The price of WordPress hosting can vary between $7 to $70 a month. This difference in price depends upon the backend hardware (shared or dedicated) that the service provider is using. Whether you want to opt for a reasonable or experience WordPress hosting plan depends upon the nature of your website and business.
However, WordPress hosting is very powerful and business owners or bloggers do not have to worry about the following things of their website-
- Daily Backup
- Uptime Score
- WordPress Updates
The WordPress hosting provider takes all the above aspects of the website carefully. Hosting providers offering WordPress hosting plan specialize in the domain. The reliability of the support is superior and your website receives the following advantages. This is something many large brands using WordPress consider before moving forward with their own sites. With brands like The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The NFL, Mashable and Perez Hilton all using WordPress to power their sites, it’s extremely important to have a reliable hosting solution in place to make sure their sites are up and running as fast as possible at all times.
- Single Click Installation
- Automatic WordPress updates, therefore the website is always secure
- Access to various WordPress themes
- Access to thousands of plugin libraries
- Blazing fast page load as every aspect of the hosting environment is tweaked to support WordPress website
- Built-in WordPress caching
- WordPress-CLI Enabled (controlling WP from a command line)
Final Verdict on Web Hosting Solution
For a WordPress-based internet site, a WordPress hosting plan is a clear winner all the way. The platform will not limit the resources that you need for your website. Neither will your website suffer from a performance issue. Moreover, you will be able to host your information in the most secure environment with WordPress hosting. To learn more about how to create an authority WordPress blog, be sure to follow my 7 Day Blog Challenge step-by-step video series.
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