What Is WordPress Hosting?

Julia

Julia Raznik · 29th June 2021·Wordpress Hosting

What Is WordPress Hosting?

If you’re setting up a website for a brand new business venture, you’ve no doubt heard about WordPress. It’s the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world, and the backbone of the internet, making it the go-to choice for many startups.

Choosing WordPress is the easy part though, next comes the hosting decision. Many get confused by terms like VPS, dedicated servers, and managed options, which is why we’ve broken down exactly what WordPress hosting is, how it works, and offered some advice to guide you to the best decision for you.

What Is WordPress Hosting?


Put simply, WordPress hosting involves housing your website on servers dedicated to the WordPress platform.

Your chosen provider will optimize the service to best meet the unique security and performance characteristics of WordPress. This usually means better performance, greater resistance to cyber-attacks, and automated updates to apps and plugins.

WordPress has been an open-source tool for almost two decades now, meaning thousands of developers have added to the code over the years. This has led to some interesting quirks and features which, if not properly optimized, could impact your site performance.

Most WordPress hosting packages ensure any kinks are ironed out though and guarantee the smooth running of your site.

Pros and Cons of Managed WordPress Hosting


Pros and Cons of Managed WordPress Hosting
Pros

Automated backups and updates – Under a managed service your host will ensure all of your plugins have the latest security patches and your data is backed up daily
Better security – Some managed services offer additional defenses like DDoS protection, web application firewalls and access to premium security plugins that have been built specifically for WordPress
Better customer support – Paying a little extra usually grants you access to faster response times and a dedicated team of WordPress specialists ready to get you out of trouble
One-click staging – Most premium services will give you a staging environment to play with. Tinker, edit and change your site in this test server without affecting your live site
Technical aspects are taken care of – Your host will manage all core server functions, issues and bugs, leaving you free to focus on content
Cons

It’s expensive – Paying for a premium managed service can be double, or even triple, the price of standard shared hosting
It can be difficult to switch providers – A lot of managed hosts may make modifications to the server environment, making it hard to transfer to another platform
Limited storage – Hosting providers often limit your website storage space under managed services, and it’s not as easy to scale up as a shared server

Who is WordPress Hosting for?


Anyone that is using the WordPress CMS to build their website, and is looking for a fully optimized, fast, secure, efficient and feature-packed service. It’s the ideal choice for small businesses that need highly customizable eCommerce stores.

How WordPress Hosting Works


  • First, you choose a hosting platform. This is where your website data, back-end and themes will all sit, putting your site out there to the public.

  • Next, you choose the type of package you want, usually choosing how many sites you can host and how much storage you get.

  • Finally, you decide what type of hosting works best for you: managed, dedicated or virtual private server.

The Types of WordPress Hosting Available


Types of WordPress Hosting

Shared WordPress Hosting

Here you’ll be sharing server space with a number of other businesses that also use WordPress. It’s the most common type of hosting, and some lower-end platforms can cram dozens of sites into the same server rack, which can affect speeds.

On the plus side, it’s the cheapest option and perfect for bloggers and small businesses.

Managed WordPress Hosting

This is a premium service that gets you access to a crack team of WordPress support specialists. They take care of maintenance and server issues, making sure your site is as optimized as it can be. While more expensive than shared hosting, it’s a good choice for those that lack technical skills.

Dedicated WordPress Hosting

One of the more expensive packages, designed to meet the needs of bigger businesses. You’ll be assigned a private server all to yourself, with the bandwidth and data storage to manage hundreds of pages and thousands of site visitors per day.

Be warned that you’ll usually be fully responsible for managing your own server though, meaning this type of hosting is aimed at large companies with in-house IT teams.

Virtual Private Server WordPress Hosting

A virtual private server (VPS) is a nice middle ground between dedicated and shared hosting. While you’ll still be sharing a server rack with other tenants, each one is virtually partitioned, meaning your neighbors won’t be stealing your bandwidth. Plus, it offers a little more security and a balance between cost and performance.

What to Consider When Choosing a WordPress Hosting Service


Security
Security

Developers have spent a lot of time mitigating against WordPress-specific hacks. Still, it’s the most attacked CMS in the world, so you’ll want to find a host with a robust set of additional security protocols in place

Speed
Speed

Slow loading times lead to a poor user experience, and loss of traffic to your site. Be sure to look into performance reviews of your chosen host to validate speed claims, or sign up to a dedicated or VPS option for an added boost

Developer tools
Developer tools

WordPress can be tricky to get to grips with for newbies, especially as coding is required for more complex tasks. Some hosts make things easy with handy developer tools to walk you through the web building process

Host reputation
Host reputation

With the hosting market saturated with competition, it’s vital you do your research to find out which ones are reputable. Aggregate review sites are your best place to start for honest opinions

Support
Support

Make sure to check what you’ll get as a minimum. Some platforms can skimp on support to save money, and never choose one that doesn’t offer at least 24/7 live chat

Security
Security

Developers have spent a lot of time mitigating against WordPress-specific hacks. Still, it’s the most attacked CMS in the world, so you’ll want to find a host with a robust set of additional security protocols in place

Speed
Speed

Slow loading times lead to a poor user experience, and loss of traffic to your site. Be sure to look into performance reviews of your chosen host to validate speed claims, or sign up to a dedicated or VPS option for an added boost

Developer tools
Developer tools

WordPress can be tricky to get to grips with for newbies, especially as coding is required for more complex tasks. Some hosts make things easy with handy developer tools to walk you through the web building process

Host reputation
Host reputation

With the hosting market saturated with competition, it’s vital you do your research to find out which ones are reputable. Aggregate review sites are your best place to start for honest opinions

Support
Support

Make sure to check what you’ll get as a minimum. Some platforms can skimp on support to save money, and never choose one that doesn’t offer at least 24/7 live chat

How Much Does WordPress Hosting cost?


Prices can vary considerably depending on which type of package you choose, how much storage you need, how many paid plugins you opt for and your expected site traffic.

However, you can usually find introductory rates on shared hosting coming in at around $3 to $10 per month.

Fully managed and dedicated servers will be the most expensive, often starting at around $70 per month and running into hundreds of dollars per month to meet the needs of the beefiest websites.

WordPress Hosting Alternatives


Web Hosting Vs. WordPress Hosting

Web hosting is a general catch-all term for any type of hosting. The service often isn’t optimized to one particular CMS, and support staff will offer more generalized assistance.

WordPress hosting is specifically optimized to improve the performance and security of any site that has been built using the WordPress CMS.

If your site is built on the WordPress CMS, and you opt for a standard shared hosting package, you’ll be tenanted alongside random businesses.

Whereas signing up for a WordPress-specific hosting option opens you up to security and performance perks, as you’ll only be housed alongside other WordPress businesses.

WordPress Hosting Vs. Reseller Hosting

With WordPress hosting you own and operate your own website, selling goods and services, promoting your blog or producing a variety of other content types.

With reseller hosting you won’t actually be selling your own products, you’ll instead be renting out server space from large hosting platforms, and selling that storage on to other organizations.

Do You Need WordPress Hosting to Run WordPress?


No, if you’ve built your website using the WordPress CMS, you can host it on just about any platform. However, you’ll be missing out on some advantages by not opting for an optimized package. WordPress-specific hosts offer a valuable knowledge base, know how to keep your site running at peak performance and are aware of the latest cyber attack information.

Starting rates are roughly the same for both generic shared hosting as well as WordPress specialists, so if you find a host that offers the latter, it would be a no-brainer to go for that option.

What Are the WordPress Hosting Requirements?


WordPress Hosting Requirements

Being such a popular platform, WordPress has made its CMS compatible with as many data hosts as possible.

At a minimum, you’ll need PHP version 7.4 or greater, MySQL version 5.6 or higher and HTTPS support. If this sounds complicated, don’t worry, virtually every major hosting platform has this compatibility.

In fact, most will have an option to choose WordPress hosting packages directly from the homepage.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can I Find a Free WordPress Hosting Platform?

Yes, but you’ll find features somewhat limited and you’ll be restricted in the number of plugins you can use. Plus, you might find your site littered with ads from the hosting service.

Can I Use WordPress Hosting for an Ecommerce Site?

Yes, of course. In fact, the platform has some of the best online stores and a range of payment processor plugins on the market.

How Much Traffic Can My WordPress Site Handle?

Most shared plans can manage around 1,000 to 2,000 visitors per day. If you expect more than this we’d recommend opting for VPS or dedicated WordPress hosting.

Does the Data Center Location Matter?

Sometimes. You Should try and find a host close to the geographic location your customer base is in. This should mean your site will load more quickly.

Will I Need to Commit to a Long Term Contract?

No. Most data hosts will offer a rolling monthly contract meaning you can quit any time, but you can usually find big discounts for paying annually.

Julia
Julia Raznik