Posted on January 29, 2019
by Adam Justice
One of the most frequent questions we get is “What is the difference between shared hosting and managed WordPress hosting”? WordPress has become such a popular platform that some customers buy the managed WordPress hosting without even considering other options.
Shared hosting is an economic option that most businesses use because it offers adequate speeds, adequate space, and enough features to meet their needs. The right plan can allow you to set up multiple websites and unlimited subdomains on the same hosting package. The platforms you can install are not restricted, and on the surface management is not complicated with a user friendly dashboard.
The reason shared hosting is affordable however is because you are literally sharing resources with dozens or even hundreds of additional plans on the same server. Bandwidth, space and memory are shared meaning your site speed and uptime is dependent on your neighbors. Hosts generally monitor usage and allocate more than enough resources to limit customer problems, but the Internet is by nature unpredictable and you never know when Kylie Jenner will send 5 million viewers to your hosting neighbor’s Blog about lipstick.
Managed WordPress covers a number of different services, but in most cases with popular providers you’re basically buying shared hosting with some WordPress specific features. They will often advertise increased site speed because the server is configured specifically for WordPress, but for instance Go Daddy’s managed WordPress is only capable of offering up about half the bandwidth for a site load that their comparable shared hosting plan can. Managed WordPress plans are also a little more expensive.
The benefits of a managed WordPress plan lie in the concierge features that take some of the workload off of the web development team. Managed WordPress plans offer routine backup and automatic update of the WordPress core. Websites operating on older versions of software is one of the biggest security risks for WordPress, and in the case your website going down having incremental backups available is one of the quickest ways to get it back online again.
Most Managed WordPress plans include built in server level caching applications and have firewalls and other security in place that is specific to WordPress. Upgraded plans will include Malware scanning, 1 click staging and additional WordPress specific tools. The customer’s control panel is usually cleaner and more user friendly, and setting up your platform on a Managed WordPress plan is one of the easiest tech related tasks someone can do. Possibly the most appealing aspect of a WordPress specific hosting plan is that customer care representatives end up being experts with the platform and have become far more effective at resolving issues for clients.
Both shared hosting and Managed WordPress serve small to medium sized businesses that need a functional and fast website at a friendly price. Sites with lots of traffic will need something better. The great thing is that a startup Ecommerce store can begin on shared hosting and can always move to a bigger business plan if their success starts taxing the host and slowing performance.
For most of the customers I develop websites for a Managed WordPress plan will allow them to stay secure and up to date without paying for monthly updates or dedicated administration. I am capable of designing a website that will stay within the bandwidth restrictions, meaning there will be no apparent penalty on page speed.
Other clients insist on flashier design features or their industry requires the website to contain lots of multimedia content to be relevant. If they want to keep costs down, the extra 512mb of memory on load that can be allocated through CPanel hosting will decrease and possibly eliminate any page speed penalty. If your web presence includes additional properties on sub domains or you insist on using a platform other than WordPress, shared hosting is the only option for economical hosting.
When it comes down to it the best option changes on a case by case basis. The features included with a Managed WordPress plan are extremely beneficial to small businesses while sacrificing some flexibility and adding minimal cost. You can always Contact us for a quick recommendation on the best hosting product for you!