Confused by the difference between web hosting vs WordPress hosting?
Generally speaking, you don’t need WordPress-specific hosting to launch a successful site with WordPress. In fact, many companies market their regular shared plans towards WordPress users. Still, these packages often come with useful features that will help your website perform better in the long run.
Web hosting vs WordPress hosting compared
The core difference between WordPress hosting and standard web hosting is the server configuration. WordPress hosting plans typically offer resources that are optimized for the platform. For instance, your web host might advertise features such as PHP 7 or increased PHP memory.
Also, WordPress hosting often comes with handy add-on services to help your website run smoothly. For instance, your plan might include automatic updates, access to themes or plugins, one-click installation, and more. Keep in mind that these extras are typically reflected in the price, especially if you opt for managed WordPress hosting.
Basic web hosting is still sufficient for storing your WordPress site and making it accessible to the public. Your plan might even include useful features such as performance optimization, increased security, free SSL certificates, and more. However, you’ll miss out on the WordPress-specific benefits the alternative provides.
The advantages of WordPress hosting
Let’s say you’re considering shared web hosting vs shared WordPress hosting plans. Here are some of the advantages you can expect if you choose the latter:
- Predictable server usage. This means your provider will allocate the resources better and resolve technical issues faster.
- WordPress-specific server configuration. Your server will be tweaked for optimal WordPress performance and faster page loading times. However, keep in mind that this is not a guarantee, and you might still be affected by issues with other websites.
- Improved security. Your provider will pay extra attention to WordPress-specific threats.
- Ease of setup. Pre-configured settings enable easy hookups for tools such as SSL certificates or content delivery networks (CDNs). You can still use them with standard web hosting, but it might require a few extra steps.
- Beginner-friendliness. WordPress hosting usually comes with pre-installed WordPress software, automatic updates, and expert customer support. You might also get access to free themes.
Note that you can still use standard web hosting for your WordPress site if you like. Technically, all you need is the latest versions of PHP and MySQL, which are typical features of any web host that runs on Linux.
However, you’ll have to take care of many optimization and maintenance tasks yourself. For instance, you’ll need to remember to upgrade your WordPress installation regularly, which is an important security measure.
If you find these tasks overwhelming or don’t want to spend a lot of time on them, WordPress hosting might be well worth the investment.
Web hosting vs WordPress hosting: Which one is right for you?
Deciding on the right type of hosting will depend on your needs and your level of experience. You may also want to consider the specifics of your hosting plan and establish whether the additional WordPress features are of any use to you.
For instance, you might want to ask yourself the following questions:
- First, are you building your site with WordPress? If not, WordPress hosting will not be applicable.
- What’s your budget? Standard shared plans are cheaper, while managed WordPress hosting is more expensive.
- Are you concerned about security? WordPress hosting is often more secure due to increased protection against common threats.
- Do you prefer that your server maintenance happens behind the scenes? If so, you’ll appreciate automatic WordPress updates.
- Are you well-versed in WordPress, or do you need some hand-holding? Less experienced users will benefit from dedicated WordPress customer support.
- What type of content are you planning for your website? Suppose you expect to upload extensive image galleries or videos. In that case, easy access to features such as caching or a CDN might be useful to you.
Finally, how much traffic do you expect? Will a shared plan be enough for your needs? If you anticipate lots of visitors right after launch, you might want to consider other types of hosting.
Web hosting vs WordPress hosting: The verdict
All in all, if you’ve answered in the affirmative to most of the above questions, you should opt for WordPress hosting. It’s an excellent solution for beginners and web developers alike, as it can save you heaps of time.
Also, while WordPress hosting doesn’t necessarily guarantee faster page loading times, it still gives you a head start compared to regular web hosting. On the other hand, standard web hosting gives you more control over all aspects of your website, which might be an essential factor for more experienced users.
This type of hosting is also cheaper overall, although the price difference may not be significant for shared plans. Many companies offer the same entry price for all shared hosting packages, so make sure you check the features to know what you’re getting.
Finally, no matter what type of hosting you choose, make sure your provider fulfills the following criteria:
- Excellent reputation
- Top security standards
- Flexibility to upgrade as your website grows
- Access to high-quality customer support or user documentation
Also, note there are different WordPress hosting plans currently on the market. Shared WordPress hosting is usually sufficient for new and small sites, but it’s still smart to consider all your options.
Choosing the right web host can often make or break your website’s success. There is nothing wrong with launching your WordPress site with standard web hosting if that’s your preference. Still, WordPress-specific features can save you a lot of hassle in the long run.
To recap, WordPress hosting means your server resources will be specially configured to match the platform’s unique requirements. Therefore, you will benefit from higher security and better performance overall. Also, WordPress hosting often comes with automated maintenance tasks and dedicated customer support, making it a better choice for beginners.