Whether you are a small business owner, a freelancer, or part of a larger team that manages multiple websites, it is essential to understand the differences between shared and managed WordPress hosting.
Let’s understand the fundamentals first.
Web hosting providers offer many servers, and when you sign up for one of their hosting plans, they allocate a share of their servers to store your website files so that visitors can see them online in the final version of your website.
Shared hosting means that your website shares server space with other sites, often leading to slowdowns as other sites use up more system resources. Managed hosting gives you an exclusive slice of server space, which will allow for faster performance without the risk of being slowed down by another site.
Among various other benefits, fast loading time and a higher page speed can increase revenue and page views, making it even more important to consider certain factors while choosing a hosting plan. For example, a four-second delay in page loading time results in an 11% loss in page views, and increasing the loading time by two seconds results in a 74% increase in conversion rate, reveals a study by FinancesOnline.
But that’s not everything that distinguishes shared hosting from managed hosting. Running a business online comes with varied requirements and needs. What works for one person may not work for you.
This post talks about both types of WordPress hosting, shared vs. managed, and helps you decide which one to pick.
The Difference Between Shared and Managed WordPress Hosting
When it comes to the way shared WordPress hosting and managed WordPress hosting work, it’s fundamentally different. The points below explain the differences between both types of hosting.
A shared WordPress hosting enables you to share the server resources with other people.
This means that you can’t get more power out of shared WordPress hosting due to interactions from other sites on your server. Additionally, some plugins may not work in a shared hosting plan.
With managed WordPress hosting, you have full administrative access over your site, which allows for faster management of daily tasks like adding content, developing new pages and sections, or checking your visitor statistics.
When it comes to speed, shared hosting lags behind. Your website might be slow due to the dependency on resources on other websites. However, there are benefits to shared hosting, such as cost-effectiveness and easy scalability (you can add servers to increased processing ability).
On the other hand, managed WordPress hosting comes with fast performance without having the risk of being slowed down by another site running on the same host server.
Managed hosting providers offer increased security, speed, and unmatched stability. With shared hosting, you can’t fully experience the security tweaks as your resources are shared with other servers.
With so many prominent features, managed WordPress hosting should be the only choice for every business, right? Well, not really.
The cost of managed WordPress hosting can range from $15 to $100 per month, depending on the features you need (such as bandwidth) and the number of sites you want to be hosted with at any given time.
This hosting type is more expensive than shared in terms of monthly costs. Yet, for some businesses, it is the ideal choice considering the features it comes with.
If you’re considering managed hosting, then there are a few things to keep in mind before making any rash decisions:
- Increased upfront cost but minimal maintenance costs down the line
- Monthly costs for hosting are higher, but with the increased resources available, it is possible to economize on premium plugins costs
On the other hand, shared WordPress hosting ranges from $5 to $20 per month, making it relatively affordable compared to managed WordPress hosting.
There are plenty of free web hosting service providers that allow you to use shared web hosting without paying a single penny every month. You just pay for other associated services such as domain name and get your website going.
The economical pricing plans of shared hosting make it an ideal choice for most businesses that don’t need space-heavy or heavy bandwidth servers to run their business online.
While some hosting providers may tell you that they offer unlimited bandwidth, this is not the case. Typically, they allocate a certain amount of resources to your site. When you use more GB than allowed, the hosting provider stops and can shut down your site if you don’t upgrade the plan.
Both managed and shared hosting have a bandwidth limit based on the plan you chose. Remember that a shared hosting provider divides your resources with others, so your bandwidth can fluctuate. Managed hosting is more reliable, and you get the bandwidth indicated from your plan.
For each of the factors you see above, managed WordPress hosting and shared WordPress hosting offer some specific features that might be advantageous to some and not so useful for others.
But what are the specific advantages and disadvantages of both these types of hosting? The next sections discuss that!
Advantages of Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting provides many exclusive benefits, including access to more resources from the get-go.
This means you can have a website with an incredible design and interface without needing any technical expertise at all. Additionally, you will get better customer service support due to dedicated resources exclusively allotted for this type of hosting service.
There are plenty of good reasons why managed WordPress hosting should be your preferred choice, such as:
Faster Load Times
A managed WordPress hosting provider is better set up to accommodate higher traffic than shared hosting, although they have predefined plans with allowed monthly visitors and bandwidth.
Managed WordPress servers are optimized to host WordPress, which makes the site perform better. Shared hosting, in comparison, can run any platform or application. WordPress hosts can tune and tweak their servers to accommodate WordPress sites and make them smooth and optimized.
Better Security, Thanks To SSL Encryption
Managed WordPress plans are more expensive, and unusually, many hosting providers include SSL encryptions with them. SSL certificate is one of the Google ranking factors and thus necessary.
Automatic Updates Are Handled by the Hosting Provider
When you are on these plans, you don’t have to take care of WordPress updates or backups. Hosting providers offer all the backbone support for updates.
Better Customer Service
Premium plans come with 24/7 customer service and premium support. You get a fast reply and can be sure that your problem is taken care of right away.
Easy Management Dashboard For Your Sites
Most hosting providers offer an improved dashboard for easy management of a website and smooth management of huge eCommerce sites. You can see analytics and other information to help you manage your site.
Advantages of Shared WordPress Hosting
Shared hosting has many benefits and is perfect if you’re trying to build a personal website or blog because it’s inexpensive. Shared hosting is more affordable than other web hosting options.
Some benefits of shared hosting include:
Ideal Option for Those Who Only Need to Host One or Two Websites
Shared hosting is affordable and can serve well for people who have one or two small websites with moderate traffic. Shared hosting can do well for those who need a simple website without advanced features or special needs.
Shared hosting is the cheapest option since you don’t have many overhead costs compared with managed hosting, which includes extra bandwidth and storage space.
It comes with the flexibility of scaling your website up or down as needed, which is handy if you have more traffic than usual.
It’s Easy To Set Up
Shared hosting can be easy to set up and maintain from a technical standpoint since it doesn’t require expert knowledge.
If your site doesn’t get too much traffic, shared hosting might be the best solution for you. It also requires a one-time setup fee, so there are no monthly charges after this point, whereas managed WordPress hosting needs ongoing payments every month.
Disadvantages of Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting comes with its fair share of disadvantages, for example:
Expensive Hosting Plans
Managed hosting is more expensive than shared, and on top of that, it requires ongoing monthly payments for service. This might not be a good choice for someone just starting and wants to keep the costs very low initially.
Require a Certain Level of Technical Skills
Additionally, many online business owners are not technically sound to take charge of a huge server and the several features. It’s not a good option for those who don’t have the need or technical know-how to handle a managed WordPress server and the several features it comes with.
Disadvantages of Shared WordPress Hosting
Shared WordPress hosting is one of the most popularly used hosting services, and all major hosting providers such as Bluehost or Siteground offer shared hosting plans. Yet, it comes with some disadvantages that make it not the best choice for some businesses.
Some of the most common disadvantages of shared hosting are:
The site can slow down for periods because others use the same servers and are experiencing high traffic or other reasons. A shared hosting plan may simply lack the tools to make your site faster.
The Site Can Go Down
If you experience a sudden pick of traffic and exceed your share of resources, the hosting provider could kill some of the processes that your site is using. They have automatic settings to prevent a site from using more than it needs. The hosting provider could send alerts to the site owner alerting the site is using more than it needs and upgrading the plan. If you don’t answer for some reason, the site may even be suspended in some cases.
With a shared hosting plan, other sites sharing the server are at risk when a site gets hacked. If the server is hacked, all the sites are at risk.
Poor Customer Service
With cheap web hosting plans, customer service is limited and sometimes unresponsive. Some hosting providers may direct you to a knowledge base and take even a few hours to reply to a ticket.
Limitations on Customization
Shared plans provide only a limited amount of software and tools to install. They may also deny root access to your server, which is essential if you require customizations.
Each type of hosting comes with its fair share of benefits and disadvantages. Common WordPress hosting problems can be solved with the right kind of hosting plan that suits you better.
Shared Hosting vs. Managed Hosting: Which One to Choose?
Choosing the right type of hosting service for you depends entirely on which stage of your business expansion you are and your needs. If you are just beginning and getting a few hundred visitors per day, a shared hosting plan is more than sufficient.
On the other hand, if you have high website traffic and your site is growing fast, you need to get a premium hosting plan with all the features and resources you need to keep growing.
When you have a lot of traffic, even a minute of downtime can significantly damage your revenue. A highly responsive hosting is a must at this point. You need a faster site and faster load time to keep your site’s traffic expanding every month.
According to a study by FinancesOnline, 40% of website visitors think that a website should load in two to three seconds; if not, they will leave the site. If you want to increase revenue from your site, you have to consider the loading time as one of the most critical factors.
Slow loading time can be estimated to cost more than $500 million annually, plus a decreasing conversion rate of 7%.
Most businesses start with a shared hosting service and move to a managed server as they expand.
Our Recommended Shared Hosting Provider
BlueHost is a hosting provider recommended by WordPress.org. Their shared hosting provides you with:
- A domain manager – this makes it easy to update, transfer, purchase, and manage all your domains in one place.
- Resource protection – even though you will be sharing the server with other websites, your site’s performance remains protected.
- The possibility of scalability – BlueHost lets you move on to more powerful options as your site grows. BlueHost also offers managed WordPress hosting.
- SSL Certificates – your personal information, eCommerce transactions, and any other sensitive data is safeguarded with encrypted connections.
- and more!
Our Recommended Managed Hosting Provider
WP Engine is a very well-known and trusted managed hosting provider. Their managed hosting plans provide you with:
- 24/7 support – one of the most important things to look out for when choosing a hosting provider is.
- Free premium themes – WP Engine gives you access to over 30 free StudioPress themes.
- Free automated migrations – WP Engine has teamed up with BlogVault to provide users with a quick and painless way to migrate WordPress sites.
- Daily backups – backups ensure that your hard work is not lost in case of an unforeseen error, attack, or failure.
- and more!
If you’re ready to spend a bit more on your hosting, try Servebolt. This hosting provider is fast, secure, and reliable. It guarantees 99.9% uptime with its main focus being speed, security, reliability, and scalability.
There are many differences between a shared hosting plan and a managed hosting plan. Each can serve a different purpose, and it can be right at a specific phase of expansion.
When choosing a hosting plan, it is necessary to consider traffic, speed, and other features needed to manage your business correctly. Speed and core web vitals are becoming of the utmost importance for a proper SEO strategy.
These pros and cons of each type of hosting can help you decide the best for your business.