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WordPress Hosting Guide

While WordPress technically works with almost any hosting option, some are better than others especially when you have a specific project in mind.

Picking the right one is all about knowing the difference between each of these, their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to performance, security and reliability.

Shared WORDPRESS Hosting

This is where a server is setup to provide multiple virtual hosts, all sharing server resources such as the database server, memory and disk space. It does not mean all the websites live next to each other in a single space but that they are sharing the resources of a server.

Each customer has access to a limited part of the server, usually via FTP.

It’s like sharing a house with your friends where you all have to share the same amenities and space. It’s affordable which is great, but at some point, you may outgrow it and need your own place.

Pros

Shared hosting can still be a great option for certain WordPress sites. Some of it’s greatest strong points are:

  • It’s the most affordable choice

  • The security and maintenance of the server are managed for you (who knows how well)

  • Most of the tools you need are already installed for you

  • It’s quick to get started and easier to use than the other options

Cons

While it’s a lot easier to get started with shared hosting, there are also a lot of downsides:

  • Security is not guaranteed – Since you don’t know your server neighbors, they may not be taking the same security measures as you and if they get hacked, it could lead to compromising the entire server and everything on it including your site. If you don’t have a dedicated IP address, your site could be blacklisted because of a different site on the server since you would be sharing an IP address.

  • You have limited access to settings – With shared hosting, you often don’t have root access, some files are hidden from view and you may not be able to access advanced settings. For example, if you run out of PHP memory or you want to stress test your site to be prepared for traffic spikes, you won’t be able to resolve this on your own.

  • Your site shares important resources – Since you’re sharing the server with many people, this means you’re sharing resources such as bandwidth. If many sites on the server suddenly get tons of traffic, it creates a bottle neck and since there’s not enough bandwidth to go around, your site may become unavailable to your visitors intermittently.

  • It’s not unlimited – Many hosting companies have “unlimited” shared hosting plans which sounds like they don’t put a cap on the resources you can use, but if you check their terms of service, this is definitely not the case. When the hosting company decides you’re using too many resources on the server, they could shut down your site.

When It’s Best

While the cons to shared hosting may be enough to make many WordPress users steer clear, there may be a time when it would work best for your site. If you find you only need to install a couple plugins and a couple pages for your site while also not expecting loads of traffic for a long period of time, this may be the best fit for you.

 

Virtual Private Servers (VPS)

Similar to shared hosting, you’re still sharing a server when you choose a VPS, but there aren’t nearly as many customers allocated to the server.

While you’re still sharing resources and space, everyone gets a larger slice of the resource pie.

Pros

There are many reasons to choose a VPS hosting plan:

  • You have more allocated resources – Since you’re renting a larger portion of the server, you get access to a lot more of the server’s resources than shared hosting.

  • You have access to all settings – In most cases, you should have root access, be able to view all hidden files and have access to all settings. If there’s something you don’t have access to, your hosting company is more likely to make an adjustment for you, unlike shared hosting.

  • It’s a lot more scalable – Much of the time, you can upgrade your plan if you find you need more resources without having to migrate your site to a whole new server as opposed to shared hosting which has a set limit.

  • In most cases, VPS hosting is still fairly affordable, although, certainly not as inexpensive as shared hosting. It’s common to see a plan for an average of about $100 per month.

Cons

While you have a lot more freedom, there are also some important points you should consider before jumping right in:

  • Security is still not guaranteed – Since you’re still sharing a server, your site may still be affected by what other people on the server do, especially if they get hacked.

  • You’re still sharing a server – Even though you’re sharing with far less people, you’re still sharing which means you may not have access to all the resources such as bandwidth that you need.

  • You may not get as much help from technical support, especially if you choose an unmanaged plan.

When It’s Best

If you want to run one or more sites that each need to have multiple pages and plugins installed, a VPS is usually a good solution. If you’re also planning on having thousands of visitors a month, then this is also a good fit. It’s also roomy enough to run Multisite well.

VPS hosting is also a good solution if your site is going to be viewed by more than a handful of people since it can typically handle a lot more traffic than shared hosting plans.

Dedicated WORDPRESS Servers

When you sign up for a dedicated server, you’re renting an entire server on your own. You’re not sharing with anyone and you have full reign over the server and it’s resources. You can make just about any change to your server that you want.

StayPress provides managed dedicated WordPress servers

Pros

There are many great reasons to choose a dedicated server:

  • You’re not sharing the server – All the resources are yours. You can let only the people you want to be admins into your server or you can create a reseller account and allow others to host their sites on your server if you wanted.

  • Access to all settings – Nothing’s held back. You have full control over your site and server including root access and all the otherwise hidden files and advanced settings.

  • A bit more secure – While security can’t really ever be guaranteed, since you’re the only one on your server, you don’t have to worry about your site being compromised because of another customers’ actions. You can implement all the proper security measures and run a tight ship where there’s less of a chance that security is compromised because of outside influences you can’t control.

Cons

While a dedicated server brings a lot of freedom to your site, there are some downsides:

  • You’re solely responsible for your server (using StayPress we manage it for you)

  • It’s not easily scalable (StayPress provides managed virtual dedicated servers and these are highly scalable)

  • Less affordable option (unless you are running a high traffic site or more than 1 site – then they offer best value)

When It’s Best

Dedicated servers are a better option for sites that require more security and are complex with many pages and plugins installed.

Dedicated servers can be a great option for hosting high traffic sites or complex sites that run too slowly on a shared server.

ADVANTAGES Cloud HOSTING FOR WORDPRESS

Cloud hosting is different from the other hosting solutions because if you suddenly need more resources, your site can be automatically migrated to allot you the resources you need. If you suddenly get a spike of traffic, your site won’t go down due to exhausted resources since you’re given what you need.

CDN

A content delivery network (CDN) uses servers located around the world to store cached versions of your site so it loads quickly for everyone no matter which country they’re in – unlike a single server that’s optimized to serve your site best in the country where your server is located.

Pros

Cloud hosting and CDNs are awesone. They’re quickly becoming the norm and for good reason:

  • Scalable – If you suddenly need more resources or access to more bandwidth, you can automatically get it.

  • Flexible Pricing – With cloud hosting you pay only for what you actually use and many CDN companies have similar plans.

  • Redundancy and rapid deployment – Your sites load faster and since your site can be automatically migrated when more resources are needed, your site is a lot less likely to go down. With cloud hosting, you also get the feature of redundancy – you can clone your site on other environments to further reduce downtime.

When It’s Best

Almost any WordPress site can benefit from Cloud hosting and a CDN. Check out this CloudFlare review for more details about their free CDN service as well as some of the benefits and drawbacks of using a CDN. Larger WordPress sites or networks could also benefit greatly from using cloud hosting, especially if they can boast tons of content and traffic.

Huge companies and institutions such as Netflix, Airbnb and NASDAQ use cloud hosting.

Summary

The best option for startups and small businesses is usually scalable shared cloud hosting. For larger sites and high traffic sites, a dedicated cloud server is best. Fortunately, we offer both and will even migrate your site from one to the other for free.

Get in touch now to get started.