No matter you are building your first blog or hosting a large online store with WordPress, finding the right web host is an urgent task which plays a vital role in your future success. As there are a couple of hosting types available, you have to make the proper choice so that you can deliver the best possible user experience while controlling the cost.
The introduction and analysis below aim at offering general information about different hosting types suitable for WordPress users. If you are eager for an ideal hosting solution, you will still need to read some comprehensive tutorials about WordPress hosting.
If you make a search, you can find a number of free hosting solutions that allow hosting some popular scripts including WordPress. For this kind of service, the server resources are very limited, and sometimes the provider places ads on the hosted websites.
Using free hosting has more disadvantages than benefits. For instance, the uptime, speed and security are not guaranteed, and there is possibly no support for technical issues. Also, the blogs created on a free platform might be terminated at any time without any explanation.
Due to the nature of “no cost”, free hosting can be an option for WordPress beginners who want to try hosting for the first time. However, it not recommended for experienced users or people who are serious about the performance of their WordPress sites.
Shared hosting is a type of hosting which is popular and used by many beginners. Using such a service, you are sharing a server with hundreds of other users, which means you are shouldering a small part of the entire cost. Shared hosting is usually cheap and easy to get started.
Compared with free hosting, paid shared hosting gives you more server resources, more tools for managing websites, and more security features. You can install WordPress on a custom domain name, and use cPanel to configure emails, databases, files, and so on.
The risk of shared hosting is that you might be badly affected by neighbors as you are sharing all resources with others. Therefore, the security and performance are not well ensured. Besides, you do not have root access to the server, so you cannot adjust the server settings.
Paid shared hosting is ideal for people who would like to host one or several small-sized WordPress sites with the lowest possible cost.
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
With a VPS, you are still sharing a physical server with others, but the difference is that you can get a dedicated portion with private access. The number of neighbors is also much less. A VPS comes with dedicated disk space, RAM and CPU which cannot be accessed by others, and depending on the provider, VPS gives you the freedom to choose the operating system and install any software you like.
Most VPS providers support WordPress. If you are experienced enough, you can configure the server settings and optimize the hosting environment for WordPress to run. Besides, you are responsible for the security of the virtual server. VPS costs more than shared hosting, and it usually acts as a “bridge” between shared hosting and dedicated servers.
This kind of hosting is good for WordPress developers or those users who run a medium-sized business and require excellent website performance.
Purchasing a dedicated server, you gain complete access and control over an entire physical machine. The installation and management of operating system, scripting language, database and anything else are your freedom. But at the same time, you are completely responsible for the security and performance.
Running a dedicated server costs hundreds or even thousands of USD on a monthly basis, so this type of hosting is the right solution for large businesses and firms only. If you own a small business or personal website, you’d better consider other hosting types.
Managed WordPress Hosting
This kind of hosting is specially optimized for WordPress. It usually features great scalability which can meet various needs ranging from personal blogs to enterprise websites. The cost varies much depending on how much power you need, but generally speaking, managed WordPress hosting solutions are expensive. Hosting one website could cost $30/mo.
The advantages of managed WordPress hosting are obvious. First of all, the hosting platform has been optimized for better performance and security. And secondly, you are able to seek help from a team of specialists who know much about WordPress. You only need to focus on your business.
Managed WordPress hosting is recommended for people who have enough budget and deal with businesses online. Note that this type of hosting is restrictive, and you are limited to host WordPress sites only.