Shared vs managed WordPress hosting: which one should you pick?
Choosing the right host is important because you could be locked in to a long contract.
In this article, we’ll explain the differences between shared vs managed hosting for WordPress sites.
First, let’s clear up the basic differences between these 2 types of hosting.
Shared hosting means that you share a web server with other customers.
Your sites are separated so you can’t access someone else’s files, but each server typically hosts hundreds of different customer sites.
The main advantage of shared hosting is that it’s affordable. You can expect shared hosting plans to be as low as $2.75 per month. That’s why beginners, low traffic websites, personal sites, bloggers, and small businesses start out on a shared server.
The main downside is that the management of your account is mostly up to you. You won’t have to actually run the server like you do with a VPS, but you’ll be responsible for keeping your site secure, keeping your plugins updated, and using cPanel to manage your email addresses.
Pros of Shared Hosting
- Cost: One of the biggest advantages of using a shared hosting service is it’s cheaper and can be purchased at a price as low as $2.75 per month. There are lots of hosting options at this price point.
- cPanel: Most companies offer cPanel which makes it easy to manage your website, domains, emails, and more.
- Email Accounts: You’ll get professional email service for free. That means you can set up a business email like [email protected] without spending an extra penny.
Cons of Shared Hosting
- Slow response time: Your website may load slowly due to slow server response time when compared to a managed WordPress host.
- Downtime: You may face frequent downtimes with some shared hosting companies because you’re sharing a server with others.
- Self-management: You’ll need to be comfortable keeping on top of things like plugin updates and security yourself.
What Is Managed WordPress Hosting?
Managed WordPress hosting is like shared hosting, but with management included. That means the host’s support team will take care of updates, backups, and security.
You’ll also typically find that the level of support you get is more comprehensive on a managed hosting plan. The support team will be more available to you if you need help with something.
In return, this type of hosting is a more expensive. A managed WordPress hosting plan starts at around $16.95 per month.
Pros of Managed WordPress Hosting
- Daily Backups: Your website files are always safe as managed hosts backup your site and database daily. They also allow you to restore your site if you want to.
- Less Hassle: Managed WordPress hosting typically involves less admin for customers. You can get on with running your business.
- Core Updates: The hosting provider takes care of the core WordPress updates and thus, helps you to secure your site. Some companies even go the extra mile by updating your themes and plugins automatically.
- Support: Managed WordPress hosts offer premium support to their customers. Their staff is knowledgeable about WordPress and you can easily reach them in case of any problem.
Cons of Managed WordPress Hosting
- More Expensive: One of the biggest disadvantages of using a managed WordPress hosting service is it’s very expensive when compared to a shared host.
- Limitations on Certain Plugins: These services focus on making your WordPress site optimized for speed. In other words, they don’t allow you to use specific plugins that may slow down your site.
- Only WordPress Sites Allowed: While shared hosting allows you to host any website you want including simple HTML pages, managed hosting companies only allow you to host WordPress sites on their servers.
After explaining the pros and cons of both the types of hosting, we hope your confusion between shared vs managed WordPress hosting is solved now.
So let’s take a look at some of the best hosting services in the market.
Bluehost is one of the most popular shared hosting service providers and is suitable for small businesses, personal sites, and bloggers. It’s also one of the few hosting companies that’s recommended by WordPress.org.
Unlike most hosting companies, Bluehost offers a free domain for the first year with all their plans. So you can save $14.99 which is the cost of purchasing a domain.
It also offers some amazing features like free Let’s Encrypt SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), a one-click WordPress installation tool, free business email service, daily automatic backups, and much more. And you can control everything starting from your domain name to your website files from the cPanel.
To enhance the functionality of your site, you can use optional addons like CDN (Content Delivery Network), domain privacy, and unique IP address. You can also use SiteLock to defend your site against hackers and malware.
Price: $2.75 per month and comes with a free domain.
SiteGround is one of the best shared hosting service providers in the market. And just like Bluehost, it’s also recommended by WordPress.org.
With SiteGround, you can expect your sites to be fast and secure since they use modern technologies and the best data centers. They also provide static caching and free CDN, plus they run on SSD drives.
Some of the other features of SiteGround hosting are:
SiteGround also offers free site transfer service with GrowBig or higher plans. So you don’t have to worry about the technical stuff as their experts will handle it.
Price: Starting at $3.95 per month
HostGator is another popular shared web host and is perfect for anyone who’s just starting out.
It comes with cPanel so that you can easily manage your domains, website files, database, and more. You can also install WordPress from your cPanel with a single click to start your website.
HostGator offers free site migration with all their hosting plans. Meaning you can bring your already existing websites over to their hosting easily. They also provide free SSL, unlimited FTP accounts, unlimited email accounts, and much more.
The pricing of HostGator shared hosting starts at $2.75 per month and comes with a 45-day money back guarantee. You can also purchase addons like site backup and restore, domain privacy, G Suite, and SiteLock website security to take your site to the next level.
Price: Starting at $2.75 per month.
Best Managed WordPress Hosting Providers
If you’re planning to use managed WordPress hosting, then this section will help you to decide the best one for your website.
Here are the best managed hosting providers we’ve tested.
1. WP Engine
It comes with features like free CDN, daily automated backups, free Let’s Encrypt SSL, automatic caching, and one-click staging tool (a way to test changes to your website in a production mode) with all their plans.
WP Engine also handles the core WordPress updates, offers premium support, and provides free site migration at no additional cost.
Last but not least, you can get 35+ StudioPress themes with WP Engine for free.
Price: Starting at $35 per month.
Bluehost’s managed WordPress hosting service, WP Pro, is different from their shared hosting service we discussed earlier.
Your WordPress sites will load faster when hosted with WP Pro as their servers are built with SSD drives and a set number of users are allocated per server to optimize load time.
Some of the features of Bluehost WP Pro are:
- Daily scheduled backups to secure your website.
- Host unlimited WordPress sites with every plan.
- Staging environment to test your site before making it live.
- CDN and multi-level caching to improve site speed.
Bluehost also offers a free domain to its WP Pro customers. However, their managed hosting service is expensive and their pricing starts from $19.95 per month.
Price: $19.95 per month
DreamPress is a fast, secure, and reliable managed WordPress hosting service by DreamHost. In case you don’t know, DreamHost is one of the oldest web hosting companies and is also recommended by WordPress.org.
Let’s take a look at some of the features of DreamPress:
- Free domain name with privacy protection.
- Daily backups and one-click restore option.
- Free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates.
- Built-in caching system to speed up your website.
Apart from the above features, they provide professional website migration service with all their plans at no extra cost. Also, you can reach out to their expert WordPress support team at any time of the day.
Price: Starting at $16.95 per month.
So the final question in this shared vs managed WordPress hosting debate is: Which one is suitable for you?
- If you’re just starting a website, you should probably use a shared hosting service. We recommend small businesses, personal sites, startups, and bloggers to avoid managed WordPress hosting. It’s always recommended to use companies like Bluehost or SiteGround to start your website.
- Managed WordPress hosting is suitable for those who have a high traffic website. With the technologies offered, you can expect your site to be fast and secure. On top of that, you won’t have to worry about things like backups, updates, and security since it’s maintained by your service providers.
And if you’re looking for suggestions for managed hosting, we highly recommend WP Engine to you for your WordPress website.
FAQ on WordPress Hosting
Do you have more questions? We’ve covered the most common FAQs below.
What Is ‘Unlimited’ Shared Hosting?
Unlimited shared hosting means that the host offers ‘unlimited’ disk space and bandwidth.
When you’re considering shared vs managed WordPress hosting, don’t let this distract you.
Providers always have a Fair Use policy that restricts the bandwidth and disk space you can use. As long as your usage is reasonable, it’ll be fine. But no shared host will offer truly unlimited resources, so it’s best to keep that in mind.
Is Managed Hosting Worth the Extra Cost?
Yes, it can be. If you’re busy, or you’re not interested in learning about the technical site of running a site, managed hosting can pay for itself. You’ll save time because you won’t need to dive in to your control panel to fix things yourself.
Is It Worth Having Automatic Updates?
Yes, it’s definitely worth having automatic updates if you can stretch to the cost of managed WordPress hosting.
Outdated plugins and themes can cause problems and allow hackers into your site.
Although WordPress updates itself, having someone keep an eye on your site is never a bad idea.
Next, Check Out the Best Plugins For Your New Site
Once you have your site set up on its new hosting plan, it’ll be time to install some plugins and get your content set up.
Here are a few essentials for you to check out:
Ready to build your first form? Get started today with the easiest WordPress form builder plugin. WPForms Pro includes lots of free templates and offers a 14-day money-back guarantee.