Using WordPress to build your website is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to get your business or blog up online and running.
A good quality WordPress host can make sure the performance of your WordPress site is optimised. Failing to choose a top quality host however can significantly affect your loading speeds, uptime and security.
Read on to learn more about WordPress web hosting, how it can benefit your site, and finally how UKBSS can help you get started.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open source widely used content management system (CMS) that enables the design and creation of your own website e.g. a personal blog, a small business or even for international corporations. It being ‘open source’ refers to the broad community that exists, whom develop and share plug-ins (tools) for others to build their sites on the WordPress platform.
What is WordPress hosting?
A WordPress host is a web host that is specifically optimised to run websites that have been built via WordPress.
In essence, this means that they’re better able to meet WordPress’s unique performance and security needs, avoiding functionality issues if not appropriately optimised (certain elements failing to load, decreased loading speeds, or even a completely inaccessible website altogether).
These issues could cause potential customers to abandon your site, negatively affecting your business.
Although WordPress hosting isn’t a prerequisite to run WordPress, it’s definitely something you should consider to make sure that you get the most out of your site and that performance is maximised.
The two main types of WordPress hosting to choose from are ‘Shared WordPress hosting’ and ‘Managed WordPress hosting’.
Shared WordPress Hosting
What is it?
Shared WordPress hosting is best for users on more of a tighter budget, as it is usually the cheapest of the two options. Similar to traditional shared hosting, you share a server with other websites, meaning resources such as disk space and bandwidth are shared, which helps to keep the costs low.
· The competition for resources means that there can be reduced load times and lower performance of your site. For instance, if another site on the same server uses more than its allotment, it could slow performance of other sites – even leading to them crashing.
· This is a major factor to consider as speed and performance are essential for most websites and online businesses. It’s still a step up in performance from traditional shared hosting however, as shared WordPress hosting shares a server that is optimised more for WordPress.
· The shared nature of resources and lack of private space can also impact security. Having many websites being hosted on the same server with many opportunities for malware or viruses to appear increases the chance for other members to become affected.
· On top of this, the standard security features that comes with shared WordPress hosting are typically not optimised for WordPress and its specific security needs, potentially leaving your site vulnerable.
· Shared WordPress hosting comes with general tech support by the host’s customer service team. However, because of this more general knowledge of expertise, they may not be able to address the more specific issues and may provide a lower quality of technical assistance.
Managed WordPress Hosting
What is it?
Managed WordPress hosting is an upgraded hosting experience compared to shared WordPress hosting, offering all the same features plus more.
There’s a greater focus on optimising every aspect of the service and potential of your site to ensure you’re getting the highest level of hosting available. It takes the stress out of managing your site as you’ll have the assurance of an expertly trained WordPress team behind you.
· Unlike shared WordPress hosting, managed WordPress hosting utilises a dedicated server.
· Although account holders may still share server space with other users, this server is specifically configured and optimised for WordPress. This can provide extremely fast loading speeds and less glitching.
· A dedicated server also means that you will still be sharing with less people overall – only WordPress customers rather than thousands of other sites run on different platforms. This offers a larger amount of resources and less competition for use by each individual.
· The security with managed WordPress hosting is superior, having the means to protect against WordPress-specific attacks that consider the unique needs of the platform. This includes WordPress-specific firewalls, intrusion detection and regular malware scans.
· On top of this, because all of the servers are dedicated to running WordPress only, security measures can be standardised and maintained routinely. If your site ever encounters a breach of security, the host can help you to fully recover and patch any security gaps.
· As WordPress is the most commonly hacked CMS, being proactive and taking additional measures to secure your site should be one of your top priorities to keep your visitor and user data safe.
· Whereas shared WordPress hosting provides more of a generalised support, the support received with managed WordPress hosting is much more comprehensive and geared towards the specifics of the platform. This is due to the host’s WordPress specific training and expertise, equipping them to handle any issue that might arise.
· Additionally, because a managed host’s server will have a much smaller clientele, you can expect to receive a more readily available service, with more time offered on your issue.
Shared vs Managed WordPress Hosting
After reading the comparisons on performance, security and support, the choice might seem obvious to you. Managed WordPress hosting surpasses shared WordPress hosting in seemingly every category.
In addition to the above, managed WordPress hosting also typically offers:
· Server-side caching. This is one of the most effective things you can do to speed up your site. Managed WordPress hosts do this automatically for you.
· Staging sites. Most hosts provide convenient 1-click staging that lets you play around and easily test changes with your site before making them live.
· High-level of uptime. This is especially crucial if your site makes money to make sure you’re always online and have access to potential customers.
With all these advantages to managed WordPress hosting, what’s the catch?
The price tag with managed WordPress hosting is higher compared to shared WordPress hosting.
These costs might be more restrictive for some, however it can a worthwhile investment to consider especially if your website is more profitable. If you’re on a lower budget, then a great option could be to start on a shared WordPress hosting plan, before upgrading once you have generated more profit.
Some plugins can be accompanied with security or compatibility issues due to their open source nature. Whereas shared hosting platforms usually allow you to run any plugin, managed hosting providers may block access to certain ones because of this priority for security and performance. Although this means lower flexibility with plugins, it’s important to remember this service is putting your best interests first by banning anything that’s considered a threat.
Exclusive to WordPress sites
Finally, managed WordPress hosting is exclusive to running WordPress only. If you wanted to run any other kind of site outside of this platform, this wouldn’t be possible as it’s a heavily customised server environment specific to WordPress.
Summary: Which one is right for you?
Managed WordPress Hosting is better suited if you:
- Only have one or two main sites, each with fewer than 20-25k visitors a month
- Desire the highest performance and reliability
- Want faster-responding, more comprehensive support
- Have a growing WordPress site
- Your WordPress site is in constant development with changes done frequently (staging sites and backup features are invaluable here)
- Are unsure about which host to choose and want the safest option
- Don’t mind paying additionally for web hosting and a little extra for third-party email hosting
- Have a larger budget and are willing to invest more in your site
Shared WordPress Hosting is better suited if you:
- Run a simple WordPress site with low traffic
- Have sites that are less important to you and just want a cheaper option
- Are happy to deal with your own updates and security checks via third-party plugins
- Don’t need much support
- Don’t mind slightly slower speeds and performance
- Want email hosting included
- Understand which shared host and features to go with
How can UKBSS help your business?
Whether you’re ready to get started with your WordPress site or you’re looking to upgrade your host, UKBSS can benefit you and your business.
UKBSS’s dedicated team have a wealth of knowledge and experience with WordPress, helping you to get quickly set up whilst providing expert support every step of the way.
Our new module WordPress Manager for WHMCS offers exciting features, such as:
o Easy migration of your existing WordPress site, from one host to another.
o Clone an exact copy of your site to have either as a backup or to experiment on, independent of your site.
o Stage your site easily to test changes and catch errors in a few clicks before going live.
o No need to log into WordPress as you can manage most features of WordPress from our client area.
To learn more about UKBSS’s WordPress hosting, please check out: