What is the Difference Between Shared and WordPress Hosting?

I expect you all know what WordPress is. Yes, you’re right. It’s the website content management software. It allows ordinary people to make really good websites and skilled people to make great ones.

But how many of you realized there’s a WordPress hosting package specifically designed for WordPress websites?

There are various types of web hosting packages: shared hosting, VPS hosting (Virtual Private Server) and Dedicated server. We aren’t going to cover the latter two types here but if you’re interested in reading some relevant articles, have a look on our website (HostingReview.com). They’re well worth a read.

For now, we’ll just  look at shared hosting and I’ll explain a bit about it.

What is shared hosting

Shared hosting is just what it sounds like. It’s hosting that’s shared with other websites.

Imagine, if you can. A server with just a typical five-page website sitting on it. No eCommerce, no fancy databases or anything like that. The mom-and-pop bakery in town just wanted a little website to give them an online presence, say no more than 2000 visitors per day. One of their regular customers made one for them in return for a few bagels every day. Everyone’s happy. Everyone, that is except the hosting provider. They have one website sitting on a server using virtually zero resources. What do they do? They advertise for a few more small business websites to fill up the vacant space and use up some more of the resources.

Before you know it, the server ends up hosting hundreds of small business websites. The server has a set amount of resources and all the websites share what resources are available. The provider supplies the hardware, the operating system and the security software, but what they didn’t realize was that because there are hundreds of sites all accessing the bandwidth, the traffic flow slows to a crawl and it takes ages for each page to load.

Not only that, but some of the website owners don’t take much care when it comes to installing third-party apps on their sites. They keep having virus problems because the shared server environment tends to infect other websites too. But shared hosting is pretty cheap so what can you expect?

What is WordPress hosting?

I’ll tell you what to expect.

You need a provider who looks after its customers and provides a hosting environment specifically designed for small and very basic WordPress based websites. How much it costs, doesn’t come into it.

For starters, WordPress hosting provides tech guys who know about WordPress if you have any problems. It allows visitors to access your website as quickly as possible and even better takes backups either daily or weekly, whichever you want.

It not only looks after the performance issues but also deals with security too. Features such as malware scans, configured permissions and plugging checks help with that.

WordPress hosting receives regular updates and ensures the server runs the latest software to further increase performance.

We’ve already said that you shouldn’t have more than 2000 visitors per day for a shared hosting website. Well, WordPress hosting, because it streamlines everything, allows for more visitors. It also allows your website to grow in popularity in the future.

The chances are that your simple website is based on WordPress or you wouldn’t be reading this. Isn’t it sensible to have an operating system in place on the server that’s specifically designed for WordPress websites rather than the hit and miss affair of regular shared hosting?

There’s one downside to WordPress hosting that perhaps you might have thought of. Yes, that’s right. It costs slightly more than regular shared hosting, but you’d expect to pay extra for all these improvements wouldn’t you?

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Let’s revisit the mom-and-pop bakery, shall we?

The tech guys migrated Pop’s website to a WordPress hosting server, free of charge. Because they now have WordPress hosting for their website

  • Things run faster. The server’s configurations and settings have all been tweaked to suit a WordPress website’s setup and to speed up page loading times. Hosting like this speeds up loading times by at least a second. This may not sound a lot but speedy loading gives the impression of an efficient company.
  • Really good customer support. The guys on the other end of the phone or email are usually experts in WordPress. They’ll know straight away if a problem started on your website or their server. They understand that Pop is a baker and knows pretty much zilch about computing. So, they’re there to help him through all the problems, provide support, and troubleshoot anything unexpected.
  • The server is up to date. The support guys who deal with Pop, keep the website running at its optimum by ensuring the server software and WordPress plugins are all up to date.
  • It’s so much more secure. WordPress web hosting has better security protocols and is optimized specifically for the WordPress software. The support team will give each website individual attention and if Pop’s site accidentally picks up some malware, they know exactly how to sort it.
  • The site has more uptime. Because the configurations are more streamlined and the traffic’s more manageable, Pop’s website has far more uptime and gives his customers a much pleasanter experience.  They can now see the daily special offers on their smartphone on the way to work.

What problems are there?

We already talked about the increased price, but Pop reckons it’s worth it. In fact, it’s not much more than he was paying before. He had to remove some of the plugins on his original website as they weren’t acceptable to his new WordPress hosting provider, but they were easily replaced. Lastly, Pop could only run a WordPress blog on his WordPress hosting, not any other type. But, as he already had that feature set up, it wasn’t a problem.

To finish

If you’ve got a WordPress based website or blog for yourself or your business, it makes sense to have a hosting solution designed specifically for your software. Everything will run smoother and be optimized specifically for your situation. Have a look now at your own situation and make a decision whether you intend making the switch. I can’t do it for you, but I reckon the slightly increased price is worth every penny. It’s your decision, but you know it makes sense.