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I am often approached about what web hosts I would recommend especially for sites using WordPress and I admit there are a lot of different options so it can  be confusing.

There are not just a lot of hosts to consider there are also different types of hosting. What type of WordPress hosting a person should opt for depends on a number of considerations and personal preferences, as well as what can be afforded.

I have therefore collected together some information for you so you no longer have to feel overwhelmed. It will help you to narrow down to the type of hosting you need for your particular WordPress website.

In this article I will look at 5 different types of WordPress hosting options. I will go over what they offer, what they cost, how they are different from each other and which website owners are best suited to each type. They will cover;

  1. Shared Hosting
  2. WordPress Hosting
  3. VPS (Virtual Private Servers) Hosting
  4. Cloud Hosting
  5. Dedicated Hosting

Before I get into the details though let’s think about some general knowledge about web hosting and having your own website.

What is Web Hosting?

Websites can be seen because the browser downloads files and code and changes it to something viewable. Those files are stored where they can be accessed but instead of it being on the hard drive of your computer, it is on some kind of server.

Servers have more capacity and power than your standard computers or laptops. They can have many people using them at once and is rented out by the owners or web hosts to those wanting to start a website. Often hosts also provide for other needs like backup, security, management, spam and support.

You will find different host providers will offer several plans or packages at different costs. Before you start looking at just prices first look at the difference in technology between them and find what meets your needs. Remember this is not a case of what is good for one is good enough for another, each person and their site has its own needs.

Planning Your WordPress Website

Before you choose a host though make sure you are ready with everything else in order. You will need to think about things like:

  • The domain name you want to use (site address)
  • How much traffic there will be
  • The level of security you will need
  • What support do you need?
  • Budget
  • How much developing knowledge do you have?

Want to know which are the best WordPress blog hosting providers, check out the linked article.

Shared Hosting

The cheapest paid option you will come across when asking what type of WordPress hosting you should go for. Shared hosting is a great option for those just starting out as it is the most affordable. It gives you a chance to step into website hosting and then if it does not fit as well as you’d hoped you can move up from it.

Basically as the name suggests you share a server with many other people. This makes it cheaper as you are spreading the cost of that server between a lot of people, sometimes hundreds, sometimes even thousands! There is nothing really wrong with this option but depending on your website there are some pros and cons to consider.

Pros

  • Low cost. Because you are one of many using the server that price is much reduced as it is split between a lot of you. The average cost of a basic plan on a Shared Hosting package is between $8 to $10 a month, regular price.
  • Most will offer some months at a reduced price to new customers but make sure you are aware usually that is only if you pay for 3 years in advance.
  • It is good for starting out sites with lower numbers.
  • No maintenance needed from you.

Cons

  • When you are sharing a server with hundreds to thousands of other websites there are issues with resources. Sometimes speed can be affected and when websites take too long to load users often leave, losing you a reader/customer.
  • Sometimes there can be more crashes as the reliability is less good and the uptime is affected.
  • Another issue can be security. Even with the best security software, if there are server level security issues you cannot do much about that.
  • As your site grows in traffic and content it may need more power, storage and such.
  • No control over server specifics, it becomes a one size for everyone situation.
  • Being a lower paying customer can mean more support goes to higher paying clients on larger plans.

If this is a new website, a blogging site or you cannot afford Managed WordPress hosting or VPS Hosting than Shared Hosting is for you. While there are more issues with reliability most have a promise of 99% or better uptime, and is you have low traffic, issues of speed for example are not going to be a problem.

A good host I like to recommend if the answer to what type if WordPress hosting should you have is Shared Hosting, is BlueHost. Here is a quick look at why.

Most hosting providers claim to offer Shared hosting that is easy to use as well as cheap. But BlueHost really is user friendly plus it is actually endorsed by WordPress themselves. What better Shared hosting provider to use? In its shared plan it has 4 packages. The Basic is just $7.99, then it is Plus at $10.99, Choice Plus at $14.99 and finally Pro at $23.99 a month.

As the cost of your plan goes up so you get more in the plan, for example disk space and performance are limited and standard at first, but when you get to the top plan, that has changed.

This is a good provider, it hosts millions of other websites and it has an affiliate program you can use to earn yourself a side income. There is a 30 day money back promise too, so if you choose to you could change your mind.

You can also always upgrade should you need to when your site becomes more successful.

Shared Hosting is best for:

  • Low traffic sites
  • Static brochure sites
  • New websites
  • Simple blogs
  • Archived projects
  • Test and development sites
  • Those on a tight budget

Shared Hosting is not the best option for:

  • E-commerce sites handling large traffic
  • Any site with a lot of traffic
  • Mission critical sites
  • Data sensitive sites

Managed WordPress Hosting

The next step in what type of WordPress hosting you might choose in terms of cost is Managed WordPress Hosting. This means the services offered tend to be more tailored to your needs than you get with Shared hosting but there are still restrictions.

What is offered is more about WordPress and it can be offered as either shared hosting or VPS hosting deals. The average cost of WordPress hosting is $25 to $35 a month. You get software and hardware all geared towards the WordPress application.

Pros

  • Lower cost than VPS, Cloud or Dedicated options
  • Specifically geared to WordPress
  • Easy to use with more useful features
  • Website runs faster than regular Shared Hosting
  • Up to date with WordPress as hosts usually use the latest version
  • Good security
  • Better support
  • Can handle increases in traffic

Cons

  • The content management system of your site must use WordPress to use the hosting
  • Some plugins are not allowed if there is a security issue so WordPress plug ins only
  • Not a lot of your own management involved as it is done for you
  • Not any flexibility

BlueHost also have WordPress Hosting options as well as Shared. There are three plans, from Basic at $7.99 a month, to Plus at $10.99 then Choice Plus at $14.99 regular monthly price.

It has 1 click WordPress installation, auto updates, you get a free domain name and 24/7 support. They have recently added another option with WordPress Pro with optimized performance, marketing help, social media tools and much more for a regular monthly cost of $29.99.

Managed WordPress hosting is best for:

  • Small businesses
  • New websites
  • Simple blogs
  • Those on a budget but can afford better than Shared

Managed WordPress Hosting is not the best option for:

  • Very large sites with very large numbers in traffic
  • If you want several sites running

VPS Hosting

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. This type of WordPress hosting is more balanced and more powerful than the previous options. There is still some sharing but how that happens is quite different.

While your site and the others are sharing one actual physical server between you still, there are a number of different virtual machines to separate users.

It is a mix of Shared hosting and having a dedicated server. Also rather than the hundreds or thousands of other sites you share with, in a VPS the system holds just 5 to 20.

There is no problem with one user taking up the resources and causing crashes or slow speeds. There is an allocation of RAM to each user and if one goes over, they may crash, but you will not be affected.

Pricing for VPS Hosting can vary quite a bit but you can expect a low tier package on VPS to average around $25 to $35 a month and then top tier plans ranging from an average monthly cost of $100 to $130.

You can also in some cases choose between managed and unmanaged options, the latter being best for those with more experience with configuration and such and it is less expensive.

Pros

  • You get separation from those you share with and the number you share with is far less
  • There is better protection, security and better scalability
  • Better resources and less hogging of them by others
  • Better customization opportunities and more flexibility
  • Better reliability

Cons

  • More expensive, especially for the top tier plans this can add up a lot of years rather than months
  • You do not have a whole server of resources to use
  • More responsibility
  • Not as flexible as Dedicated Servers

BlueHost offer VPS hosting too if you are wondering what type of WordPress hosting to use, and want a recommendation for a VPS host. There are three plans, Standard at a regular price of $29.99 a month, which gets you things like 2 cores, 2 GB of RAM, 1 IP address and 30 GB SSD.

Then the BlueHost recommendation is the next tier called Enhanced for $59.99 a month. This doubles the GB SSD to 60, doubles the RAM to 4 GB and the bandwidth from 1 TB to 2 TB and you get 2 IP addresses now.

Finally there is Ultimate, with 4 cores, 120 GB SSD, 8 GB, 3 TB of bandwidth and costing $119.99 a month. There is a special offer price if you are a new user signing up for a longer term contract.

VPS hosting is best for:

  • Managed is best for those wanting more flexibility but still low maintenance
  • Sites with high traffic
  • Large businesses and companies
  • Unmanaged is best for people who truly know what they are doing!

VPS Hosting is not the best option for:

  • Site owners on a budget
  • Minor sites
  • Test sites

Cloud Hosting

There are some that will tell you that Cloud hosting is the same as VPS hosting, which is why other articles may not take a look at both of them as options, however there is actually a difference, though a small one.

So I have separated the two as they are both terms you will come across and it is best to understand all the options, no matter how small the differences are.

In terms of your site being hosted on a virtual machine that is the same, but rather than one physical server like VPS, Cloud hosting means your site is part of a network and so can draw on more power.

Sometimes also called Cloud VPS this is the newest type of hosting service now being offered, but is becoming more popular.

In terms of cost it is cheaper than both VPS and Dedicated hosting. With the various types of WordPress hosting options this one is a lot more stable because of being balanced between a number of servers and so downtime almost never happens.

A lot of hosts are moving to changing their standard VPS hosting to Cloud hosting instead rather than offering both.

Pros

  • You get separation from those you share with and the number you share with is far less
  • Secure as attacks are spread through the network rather than one server becoming overwhelmed
  • Scalable even more so than VPS
  • Fast speeds
  • Better customization opportunities and more flexibility
  • More affordable then Dedicated
  • Even better reliability
  • More resources to draw on so more features and better flexibility

Cons

  • More expensive than shared or managed WordPress hosting and costs are not predictable
  • You do not have a server of your own
  • Not as good for those who are technically minded and want to customize with root access

BlueHost have three plans for their Cloud Hosting package if that is the type of WordPress hosting you want. The Starter plan is $9.99 a month, Performance is $13.99 a month then Business Pro is $25.99 a month.

The higher plans give you more SSD storage, memory, CPU, marketing help, emails and backup. They all offer speed, security, great uptime and more power.

Cloud hosting is best for:

  • High traffic sites
  • Those already on traditional VPS deals
  • Sites that need speed
  • Businesses
  • E-commerce sites built with WooCommerce

Cloud hosting is not the best option for:

  • Those on a budget
  • Small or new sites or simple sites
  • Minor or test sites

Dedicated Server Hosting

Dedicated hosting is the top of the range hosting option and is best suited to those with a high level of knowledge and skill with such things. You are getting a whole server to yourself for your hosting needs but with that comes responsibility and management.

You will have to do the installations, put in the software and so on. You do all the remote maintenance and on the small chance of physical repairs being needed, or of components needing replacement, the host takes care of that.

The lowest average monthly price for a Dedicated server is $120 to $140. For mid-range machines you can expect that to go up to around $500 a month and then into the thousands for top of the range servers.

It is worth noting that while it is more expensive, and you get a server to yourself, it does not necessarily make it ‘the best’ hosting option. In fact even for larger companies and with many sites, VPS or Cloud hosting is the best option. This is more specific to people who want absolute control over it all.

Pros

  • No sharing anything with anyone, all the resources and power of the whole server are yours
  • Freedom to set up exactly how you want to
  • Set your own rules
  • Scalability to develop as your site grows

Cons

  • Very expensive to run
  • Need technical knowledge – even managed dedicated server options need some ability and knowledge
  • More power than most sites really need
  • Extra work to administer the server which you have to do yourself or pay someone to do for you
  • If the hardware fails that takes the site out and it takes longer for that problem to be solved

BlueHost also offer a Dedicated Server hosting package with 3 plans. Standard costs a regular price of $119.99 a month, Enhanced costs $159.99 a month then Premium for $209.99 per month. They offer a free upgrade of storage and CPU also.

The lower plan starts at 4GB RAM, 500 GB Mirrored and 5 TB bandwidth, then goes up from there with each plan. It is one of the most affordable options when it comes to Dedicated hosting.

Dedicated Server hosting is best for:

  • Large businesses that want to host a lot of websites and place in their own security
  • High traffic sites
  • Sites that need to store a lot of data
  • Gaming sites
  • You have specialized needs that cannot be met by other hosting options
  • You need a lot of control

Dedicated Server hosting is not the best option for:

  • People without the budget for it
  • Sites that do not generate a revenue
  • People without the technical skill and understanding needed

Summary – So what type of WordPress hosting is best?

Deciding on what type of WordPress hosting is best for you is not a quick process and what is best for you can change over time too.

With the above information I have provided you should now have a fairly good basic understanding of what the different hosting options are, and how they differ. The next step is for you to assess your site’s needs, and your own knowledge and skills.

The type of WordPress hosting most sites are fine with, are Shared or Managed WordPress plans. These are affordable and just fine for new sites, blogs and other simple sites and those with low to mid-levels of traffic.

You can always move to a different type of hosting, or a higher tiered plan as your site grows.

If you have more knowledge and skill in website management and development and your site has more traffic and needs more specific details you are likely looking at VPS or Cloud hosting.

Most people’s websites would not need a Dedicated Server, and if you do, you already know it, because you have better understanding and skill than most website owners!

Try BlueHost, it can meet most people’s needs. But if you want to switch from them you can do that too.

There is no one answer for everyone so you may have to move plans, or even hosting sites before you find a good fit for your WordPress hosting needs.

Written by Mark Bynum

Mark Bynum is tech writer and WordPress enthusiast from Atlanta. He loves playing with latest tech gadgets and testing various products and services. When he is AFK, you can find him hiking somewhere in the woods.

This article has 1 comment

  1. An Nguyen Reply

    If you don’t know about VPS then buy Managed WordPress Hosting package at BlueHost: D

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