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Understanding WordPress hosting

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WordPress is a powerful platform and with it you can build almost any kind of website. However, stability and performance will depend very much on the hosting provider you choose. This means you need good WordPress hosting for your site.

Given the popularity of WordPress (38.5% of all websites on the web) many providers have specialized in offering servers optimized for the platform. This means that you don’t need to understand all the technical details but can still enjoy a high performing website.

Let’s look at what WordPress hosting is, learn about the different types, and help you decide which WP hosting is best for your site.

What is WordPress hosting?

You are probably already familiar with regular Web hosting. WordPress hosting works in a similar way. The main difference between them is that WordPress website hosting will optimize your server and associated files specifically for the platform.

Nowadays it is common to go to a hosting provider’s website and come across several plans, many of them dedicated to WordPress sites. Others, like WP Engine, offer hosting exclusively for WordPress sites.

Choosing the best hosting for your WordPress site requires some more information.

Do you need WordPress hosting to run your WordPress website?

The short answer is no. However, WordPress website hosting will offer advantages that you might not find in traditional hosting.

WordPress hosting providers are more familiar with the platform and its particularities. They are following the evolution of WordPress and often collaborating with its development. The servers of WordPress hosting providers are also optimized for the platform, ensuring that your site runs at maximum efficiency.

In addition, they can include additional WordPress resources such as themes and plugins that will help you build and/or optimize your site.

WordPress hosting options

Let’s look at the four most common WordPress hosting options:

  • Managed Hosting
  • Shared Hosting
  • Virtual Private Servers (VPS)
  • Dedicated Hosting

Managed Hosting

A managed WordPress hosting is a plan where your provider will perform server optimization and maintenance for you. You will have less control over your server, but you can count on experts that guarantee performance, security, and stability.

Companies without IT staff stand to gain the most from managed hosting because they can rely on the expertise of the provider to keep the site running properly.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is when many sites share the same server and resources. This is the most common type of WordPress hosting you will find. Shared hosting can be low or high cost.

Shared hosting providers usually host many sites on a single server. As if this sharing of resources were not enough, there are few security protocols between the accounts increasing the security risks and cross-contamination between the sites. This is even more dangerous when the shared environments are misconfigured.

There are, however, high-end shared hosting providers that limit the number of sites on a server and can guarantee features such as bandwidth and stability. They also include enhanced security measures not available from the lower tier providers (usually the cheaper ones).

Shared hosting can be an option for small websites and personal blogs but is not suitable for businesses. Still, high-end shared hosting can provide good features at an affordable price.

Virtual Private Server (VPS)

If you are looking for a middle ground between inexpensive shared hosting and a high-end dedicated server, a VPS may be right for you. You will still share space on a server with other sites, but the server is set up in such a way that the sites are basically isolated from each other.

This setup provides more security and your site will usually receive the contracted resources and perform better than if it were on shared hosting.

A VPS hosting for WordPress is a good option for small businesses, making a good balance between features (security, performance) and cost.

Dedicated Hosting

Larger sites need much more server resources to handle high traffic levels, more data, and more functionality. This is the type of hosting that offers one or more servers exclusively for your site. No sharing.

Dedicated hosting or dedicated server offers the most features but these come with a higher price tag. Also, in many cases you will be responsible for the complete management of your server. For this reason, only companies with a suitable budget and qualified personnel are able to hire a dedicated server.

Factors to consider when choosing a WP hosting service

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a WordPress hosting service. Here are the most common ones:

Speed and Performance

When choosing a WordPress hosting provider, the first (and arguably most important) thing to consider is performance. Site speed is crucial to both user experience and search rankings, so any provider you choose should be optimized for speed.

Read also: Google Page Experience: UX as a ranking factor

Keep an eye on the type of storage used, how much memory is allocated to each site, and how much bandwidth is available for traffic. Often you can find this information in the plan details.

Developer Tools

Many hosting providers offer useful developer tools to make building and administering your site easier. See if the provider offers integrated local environments, management of plugins and updates, and easy access to administration tools.


If you don’t consider speed the most important factor, it will certainly be safety. WordPress hosting should be all about security, firewalls, automated backups, and monitoring for vulnerabilities and malicious plugins.

Which WordPress hosting option is best for you?

The choice for one or another hosting service should reflect your goals, the niche of your site, and of course your budget. It is not very difficult to imagine which WP hosting is the best for you.

If you are a blogger starting with WordPress and your site does not yet have significant traffic, opt for shared hosting. As your blog grows consider upgrading your hosting plan.

Small businesses that handle user information (e.g. a blog, community, or online store) need more stability and security. A VPS hosting plan will usually have the necessary features.

However, if you expect a high volume of traffic and need to handle your users’ information and other functionality, a dedicated server is the way to go. You can opt for the dedicated server with an in-house IT team to do all the server management, or you can go for a managed dedicated server.

A managed dedicated server for WordPress is the top of the line you will find in terms of WordPress hosting and certainly the one that will demand the most investment. It will also give you more time to take care of your business.

What is the best managed WordPress hosting?

There are many managed WordPress hosts but only a few worth mentioning: WP Engine, Siteground, Flywheel and Kinsta are some of the best.

I offer managed WordPress hosting exclusively for clients served in my consultancies. For this, I use a dedicated server from WP Engine with exclusive features for my customers.

Features of my managed hosting:

  • Managed and optimized server for WordPress;
  • CDN (Max CDN) and Cloudflare;
  • Automated daily backups;
  • 100% of the time on the air;
  • Uptime monitoring;
  • SSL;
  • Latest PHP version;
  • Cache (server and site level);
  • Genesis Framework and StudioPress themes;
  • WordPress Update;
  • Updating plugins;
  • Enhanced security (server and site level);
  • Daily performance monitoring;
  • Environment for integrated local development;
  • Image optimization;
  • Monthly maintenance reports.

In conclusion

We have seen what WordPress hosting is and the four main options available on the market:

  • Managed Hosting (offers performance, security, and peace of mind)
  • Shared hosting (lower investment but also fewer resources)
  • Virtual Private Servers (VPS) (a compromise, ideal for growing sites)
  • Dedicated Hosting (demands more investment but has the most features, especially if it is managed)

A managed hosting has a higher investment than a regular hosting, but with numerous benefits that, if put in the “tip of the pencil”, represent cost savings for the company.

And you, what hosting are you using? Are you having a lot of headaches maintaining your website? Is it providing a good user experience and ranking in searches?

Continue reading: The definitive guide to WordPress SEO

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