Using managed WordPress hosting means that you rent a single server for your website. You aren’t sharing the space with other websites, and there aren’t any other customers. This means that your WordPress site hosting environment is entirely personal, free from security risks.
Understanding the difference between shared hosting and managed WordPress hosting can be important. Deciding which to use for your website matters a lot. A WordPress website is only as good as the web hosting it uses, so bad hosts make bad websites.
But what does each type of hosting do differently compared to the other, and why does it matter? How does hosting WordPress sites differently let you manage your website in new ways? How do you compare shared vs. managed WordPress hosting?
In this article, we break down the specific differences you get between managed WordPress hosting and shared hosting. Then we go into detail about which is best for your specific situation.
What Is Managed WordPress Hosting?
Managed WordPress is the ‘best’ WordPress web hosting plan. It includes performance optimizations, improved security, and other WordPress-specific features. All of these are things that you would otherwise have to handle all by yourself.
This means that you have fewer responsibilities and can let the hosting do most of the hard work. A website with a managed WordPress hosting plan receives automatic WordPress updates. The server will prove automatic backups on a regular basis, but you can’t always revert to an old update.
Both of these can lead to increased website security and quality, but it comes at a higher cost. This means that your WordPress websites are directly tied to the WordPress server.
Managed WordPress hosting is for people who want to focus on their business. Instead of focusing on the WordPress website, they pay more to do less work when setting it all up. The host will handle the background work; you just have to build the site.
Using a managed hosting package means that you rent a single server for your website, but that is not all. It is not just a way to stick to one server but a different way to handle site resources. It gives you more space and more stability, but at the cost of some control.
Hosts are more likely to protect people who pay higher WordPress hosting costs per month, after all. By paying more, you can get better treatment from your chosen host.
Pros of Managed WordPress Hosting
Using managed hosting provides more features than normal shared WordPress hosting. This gives your sites better features and other major improvements in the long-term. This includes:
✔ Automatic Backups: Managed websites save on a daily basis, so you can restore the site if you need to. This helps you avoid viruses and site features that break when you try to change how they work.
✔ Better Support: Managed hosting customers get improved premium support. WordPress support can usually also offer more help with a managed WordPress site.
✔ Regular Updates: Managed WordPress hosting includes automatic updates for your dedicated WordPress site. They are applied as soon as they are available.
✔ Performance and Security Improvements: Better hosting leads to better performance. This also gives you stronger protection against common security concerns and malware.
Cons of Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting can seem like the better of the two hosting provider options. However, it also has some downsides compared to shared hosting that you should keep in mind.
✖ Limitations: WordPress-tailored servers mean that you do not get as much freedom. Hosts may limit plugins or other external features and how you can use them.
✖ Increased Prices: Managed hosting costs more for the extra features, even if you do not use them. In a shared vs. managed WordPress Hosting comparison, managed hosts always cost more. This higher price is not just a short-term one, either.
✖ It is WordPress-specific: WordPress customers can only set up managed options for WordPress-specific sites. They can’t set the web host up for websites on a different platform.
With shared hosting vs. WordPress hosting, the most important difference is servers. How the servers are used changes the hosting that you are getting.
A shared server is exactly what you would expect: a server for hosting multiple customers. This splits the server up to give each of them the same level of hosting speed and consistency.
While a shared web hosting plan might be far less personalized, it can also be far cheaper. It also does not force you into a specific platform or service. In the case of WordPress shared web hosting, you can use websites from other platforms.
The reduced price makes it great for people who need hosting without extra features.
Since multiple people are sharing the server space, the costs are kept low. This can also mean larger and more resource-intensive websites see performance issues. Resources are split between every site evenly, even if a site needs more than an even share to run properly. Some shared hosts do throttle resources but it is still on a shared server.
For most websites, there will be no major changes to load times. A larger company site may find shared hosting too limiting for them. Either way, shared hosting still removes the need to make sure your website is managed.
At the server level, you have a support team that keeps the server safe and operating properly. On top of that, shared hosting often gives you a control panel (such as Cpanel) that allows you to manage your server. These are things you cannot get with managed WordPress hosting.
Unlike managed WordPress hosting plans, shared hosting plans are a more accessible option. They can help smaller businesses and independent websites get started. Notable pros and features include:• Higher Flexibility: Shared web hosting is often a gateway to first-time hosting. Users can update the hosting plan they use as their sites grow. They also do not have to rent a full server that they will never use. Hosting shared sites can enable you to add sites from other platforms into your hosting plan.
✔ Higher Flexibility: Shared web hosting is often a gateway to first-time hosting. Users can update the hosting plan they use as their sites grow. They also do not have to rent a full server that they will never use. Hosting shared sites can enable you to add sites from other platforms into your hosting plan.
✔ Reduced Costs: The low cost of shared vs. WordPress hosting makes it a great beginner option. Many companies still use shared hosting to get their site online at a lower price. Some online businesses have never needed to upgrade to a managed WordPress hosting plan.
✔ Easier Management: Shared (vs. managed) hosts give the user more control over their website. Compared to a managed WordPress, shared hosting is more freeform. A control panel lets you handle admin tasks in your own way and at your own pace.
✔ More Options: Shared hosting is one of the main types of hosting online and is the cheapest option. It is also versatile. You can run many different types of softwares and applications.
Shared hosting still is not perfect. There are times when a managed WordPress hosting service can be the better choice for your site.
✖ Worse Performance: Your new website is sharing server space with multiple other websites. The overall site speed and performance can be lower. Loading the website will often take a lot longer as well. If a host throttles your server because another customer is experiencing a spike in traffic, your site’s performance is degraded.
✖ Traffic Issues: As your site gets more popular and sees more traffic, the limits become clear. You may have to change your plan if you want to support the site’s new increased inactivity.
✖ Downtime: Sites hosted on a shared plan are more likely to face downtime, and you cannot always work around it. Even with scheduled downtime, it can leave your website offline for an hour every week. Sometimes longer if the hosting service is not able to get the server running properly for a while.
Choosing a hosting plan (and hosting providers) depends on what hosting type you need. Even if your website is already optimized for WordPress, the difference matters. The difference between shared hosting and WordPress hosting can make them direct opposites.
So what is best for your situation?
◆ Shared hosting is ideal for:
- A small local business (say a construction business) that gets less than 200 visitors a day and only need a website for customers to contact you
- You do not plan on selling anything online
- Your site is not resource-intensive
- You do not know if you will be running WordPress or not
- You are price-conscious
- You are technically savvy and can handle server-side modifications
◆ Managed wordpress hosting is ideal for:
- You run an online business with thousands of visitors a day
- You sell digital products or run an e-commerce website
- You do not want to modify server-side settings yourself
- Speed of your website is important to you
- You experience traffic spikes every now and then
- You buy traffic
- You do not mind paying more for your hosting plan
- Your site is media-intensive
Best Managed WordPress Hosts
There are a lot of options to choose from if you are looking for reliable WordPress hosting.. Many of them are good at hosting WordPress sites consistently. However, two stand out compared to most other choices on the market.
InterServer WordPress VPS
InterServer WordPress VPS is a managed WordPress-specific web hosting service. They allow you to tailor your server specifications exactly to your needs, enabling you to choose the type of server, server location, max bandwidth, processor speed, server storage space, and many other options.
At only $6 a month, it is one of the lowest managed WordPress hosts out there. They also allow for free migration to get your existing site on their web hosting server. In addition, their servers are instantly provisioned, so you can get up and running in a matter of minutes.
WP Engine is a managed WordPress hosting option used by over a million WordPress hosts and site owners. They are aiming for improvements to every aspect of the sites they host. This includes security, speed, traffic, and general performance compared to other WordPress hosts.
They also have extra WordPress development tools for site builders who want to do the harder jobs themselves. This is ideal for WordPress hosting experts who still want more control over their site.
A shared hosting service allows you to keep all rights reserved on your website while making use of clean and easy WordPress hosts. Some are still more effective than others.
Here are two shared hosting providers that we absolutely love.
InterServer Standard Hosting
InterServer has been in the web hosting game for over two decades and has provided extremely stable, reliable, and fast servers.
InterServer is also one of the few web hosts that still allows monthly payments on their shared hosting plan. At a cost of $5/mo, they are really reasonable in terms of pricing and offer excellent customer support for those who are not technically inclined. We wrote a review for InterServer if you are interested in reading it.
InterServer even offers free ‘insurance.’ This covers you if the host manages to let a serious virus or hacker slip through and ruin your online business.
Bluehost is one of the biggest hosting sites for WordPress webmasters. It comes highly recommended from website owners.
They are a little more on the expensive side and do not offer monthly billing on their shared hosting plans. But they offer great customer support—you can chat with technical support, which is something many hosts do not offer.
They offer a free host domain for your first year, which is great for a brand new online business.
They are also just as safe and reliable as any other online hosts. You aren’t putting your site at risk by paying slightly less than with other web hosting sources.