Different types of WordPress hosting (and their drawbacks)

Thanks to its ever-growing popularity and renowned ease of use, WordPress has become the go-to choice for both personal and business sites.  With 32.2% of all websites currently powered by WordPress (as of October 2018), an entire industry has developed to make it even easier for you to host your site.

But which kind of hosting is right for your WordPress site? Well, that really does depend on a number of factors that may or may not include how fat your wallet happens to be. Generally speaking, you have a total of five different hosting options. Some are more robust and user-friendly than others while some are just more affordable. To help you choose the right host for your WordPress site, keep reading!

WordPress Site Page Speed Screenshot

Your options until now

Shared Hosting

We are just going to go out and say this. Shared hosting is your cheapest option. Any idea why it is called “shared” hosting? If you guessed something along the lines that a web server is shared by several web geniuses like yourself, then you’d be correct.

In other words, you will be sharing space on the same server as a number of others. Because all the resources are pooled, the cost to you is reduced. Some “high end” plans (usually those sold as “reseller” hosting) will actually show you the processing resources at your disposal, and it’s always fairly modest. Furthermore, any other user on the server has the potential to slow you down — if a couple of them experience a surge of traffic, things will slow to a crawl. It’s still a great option for personal sites if you are just starting out and don’t have a bag of money to invest. Shared hosting can cost you as little as a few dollars a month.

Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting

If you are a little bit on the power-hungry side, a VPS may be a sensible choice. That’s because it is worlds apart from shared or managed hosting and a couple notches below dedicated hosting. With a VPS you are sharing space on a server with several other users, but unlike shared hosting you get full control over the system. You also get much more resources at your disposal, and they’re often dedicated to you. This mostly eliminates the issue of “noisy neighbors”.

With great power comes great responsibility. Once your server is provisioned, it can take quite a bit of tinkering to bring your average VPS to reasonable performance levels. You may also inherit the daunting task of periodically updating the server’s software.

Dedicated Hosting

We mentioned it by name, but do you know what it is? This is the most expensive option where you would pay for access to a server that is only used by you. In other words, the server is dedicated just to your website. You don’t have to share resources or anything with anyone else.

Like with a VPS, you get 100-percent control over your server. What you gain is control over the specifications of your machine. Needs tons of space? Get a dedicated server with multiple high-capacity hard disks. Tons of memory? Sure. Tons of processing power? You get the idea.

The downside to this is it is going to cost you and cost you a fair deal — and even basic server management is usually going to be an extra.

Cloud Hosting

With cloud hosting, your website resides on multiple servers acting as a giant, self-healing machine. Or at least, that’s how it should be — many cloud hosting providers don’t disclose many details about the design of their platform.

The significant advantage to this is scalability which means you can add, remove, shift, alter or otherwise tweak what resources you need as you desire. By design, it is also the most resilient option. However, you may lose some control over your environment. Pricing tends to be rather elastic, and in some cases downright complicated.

WordPress Hosting

Specialized WordPress hosting is going to cost you a little more, but you will also receive a little more in return. The software stack is usually tuned for WordPress, meaning excellent performance out of the box. However, performance still depends on the underlying architecture and the computing resources allocated to you — something that most providers won’t disclose upfront. This opaqueness can create issues: if your site’s speed starts to fluctuate, it can be challenging to diagnose. Is your site the problem, or is the host having issues?

Daily backups are usually standard, and several additional tools may be provided to make your life easier. It also tends to scale well, which is why it’s a trendy choice for entrepreneurs.

Depending on your situation, some features designed to help you (such as automatic core updates) can have a negative impact on your workflow. You should also look out for any restrictions on the plugins you can use.

Because they are purpose-built for hosting WordPress sites, these hosts can be more restrictive. It’s not terribly expensive to start with, but with visit-based billing, a surge in traffic may result in unexpected charges.

Thinking outside the box

There’s good in every type of hosting platform, but there are also several downsides to each of them. As a WordPress development firm with years of experience under our belt, we have been confronted with this dilemma on a regular basis. We figured that we could build a hybrid solution that solves the problems of traditional hosting while being more flexible than most specialized WordPress hosts on the market, all rolled up into one nifty little package.

WP Captain logo

I’m happy to introduce WP Captain, a VPS-based WordPress hosting solution that’s blazing fast, fully managed and always up-to-date — all at the right price. We’re transparent about our architecture and the resources we allocate to each hosting plan, and we do not impose any restrictions on your WordPress plugins. Our pricing is straightforward and doesn’t go up based on visit count.

You also get access to a small team of friendly (and freakishly polite) Canadians who can brainstorm, troubleshoot or discuss curling with you while you have them sort out any kind of glitch that may occur. And because you have better things to do, we can even take care of all of your site’s maintenance!

For more information on our platform, chat with us today. We’re here to answer any question you may have.

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Samuel Hautcoeur
Co-Founder of WP Captain, I have more than a decade of WordPress and server management experience. Currently leading product development and server architecture.

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