Building your new website on the WordPress platform is one of the easiest and most expeditious ways to launch your new blog or online business. Depending on the type of web-based project you wish to launch, you will have various hosting needs. Here, you’ll learn about WordPress web hosting, the available options, and why building a website with WordPress may be the best choice for your site needs.
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What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open-source content management system that enables even the most inexperienced builders to design and create their own website. It can be used to build anything from a simple blog page to e-commerce, business, or portfolio websites. “Open-source” essentially means that it is constructed from elements built by and shared among those who use it. A vast community of savvy web designers creates and shares useful tools, known as plugins, to help others build websites on the WordPress platform that they might otherwise be incapable of creating. Many of these plugins are designed to assist with every aspect of your site, from aesthetics to layout to content creation.
What is WordPress Hosting?
WordPress hosting is any form of web hosting specifically optimized to function with websites built using WordPress. Websites built on the WordPress platform have unique characteristics that can cause functionality issues if not properly optimized, such as elements not loading properly, increased load time, or the website becoming unreachable. In such cases, readers or customers may exit your site, costing you valuable traffic and potential sales.
Shared Web Hosting for WordPress
For those on a tight budget, shared hosting is available to host your WordPress site. In this case, WordPress users share a server that isn’t necessarily optimized for the specific demands of the WordPress platform. As with any other shared hosting environment, resources such as disk space and bandwidth are shared among all accounts on the server. This can create competition for resources, resulting in reduced performance and site load time.
Technical Support for Shared WordPress Web Hosting
Although shared hosting comes with some general customer technical support and an affordable price tag, this form of WordPress hosting often fails to meet the needs of larger or more complex operations.
Sites built on WordPress that are hosted in a shared environment often share server space with sites built on other platforms. As a result, support technicians are expected to be able to service sites built on any platform, not just WordPress. This broad expertise can impact the quality of technical assistance noticeably.
Additionally, there are typically a large number of websites hosted on each shared server. While this makes sense from a fiscal perspective, as low-priced services require hosting many clients to turn a profit, the need to serve so many clients may thin out the support team, negatively impacting the quality of their work.
Those seeking additional speed, enhanced security features, and additional technical support may need to look elsewhere to fulfill all their hosting needs.
Security and Performance for Shared WordPress Hosting
The shared nature of resources and the lack of private space in a shared hosting environment pose challenges for both security and performance.
Security is challenging to provide effectively for websites hosted on the same server due in part to the sheer volume of sites being hosted. With numerous opportunities for malware or poor coding to take root, more scans must be performed to defend against and root out these issues. Just as releasing a pathogen in a crowded space makes it more likely to affect others, an infection in a shared hosting environment is more likely to impact other sites.
The same holds true for performance issues. When one or more websites on a shared server hoard resources due to traffic spikes, the negative impact on neighbors can be dramatic due to the large number of WordPress users on a single web server. Fixing these issues for many affected websites becomes the responsibility of support technicians, causing delays in performance improvements. Therefore, those prioritizing performance, enhanced security features, and strong technical customer support over lower pricing may need to explore other options to fulfill all their web hosting needs.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting, compared to shared WordPress hosting, tends to offer more in terms of technical support and security. They also provide superior operating speed and performance with larger amounts of resources available for use by each individual client.
Tech Support for Managed WordPress Hosting
In comparison to the general support included with shared hosting, the support you receive with a managed host is much more in-depth and readily available.
Technical support for managed WordPress hosting is well-versed in the specifics of the WordPress platform and can assist with a wider range of topics than a shared package. Additionally, since a managed host server will have far fewer clients hosted on it than a shared server, those assigned to assist you have more time to offer and are more easily reached than those overseeing shared servers.
Speed and Performance: Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed hosts provide significant upgrades in both speed and performance over their shared host counterparts. As mentioned, direct competition for memory and bandwidth can cause sites on shared plans to become glitchy and sometimes unavailable. With a managed host, resources are allocated for the sole use of each individual client, and technicians are on hand to monitor performance and rectify any errors that may occur.
Since the support team consists of trained professionals, they can often correct operational errors more efficiently than the average user, maximizing uptime and the overall performance of the WordPress website.
Security: Managed WordPress Hosting
Under the oversight of a managed host, site and server security are much stricter than most users would be able to provide on their own. Protective tools are optimized for the specific needs of WordPress by considering the unique requirements of the WordPress hosting platform.
Since all servers in a managed environment run WordPress, security measures can be standardized across the board. This helps the hosting provider streamline routine maintenance processes and allows technicians more freedom to focus on other security measures, such as installing patches or upgrades as soon as they are made available.