When getting your website online you likely did some research on Web Hosting. After all, you can’t have a website if the content doesn’t have a place to live! You may have seen there are several types of hosting available, such as Shared Hosting, Managed Hosting, and Virtual Private Servers (VPS).
Most people choose Shared Hosting as it’s generally the cheapest way to get up and running online. However, if you’re running a WordPress site, you may want to consider upgrading to WordPress Hosting.
What is Shared Hosting?
Most hosting plans are shared. A shared hosting plan means your website is on a server with many other websites that may or may not be running WordPress. It’s like your website is living in an apartment complex with different types of units – some use WordPress, some use Drupal or any of the other platforms available to create a website.
Since there are so many different types of websites, a shared web hosting server has general settings not optimized for any one platform. Shared hosting is a great way to get online with low up-front costs, but as your business grows you should re-evaluate your hosting options to help your WordPress website reach peak performance.
Benefits of WordPress Hosting
WordPress Hosting provides the ideal hosting environment for WordPress websites. Since the server only runs WordPress sites, the server is optimized for the WordPress core code. These optimizations provide speed and security improvements for your website.
Having a website that loads quickly is more important than ever – the data shows us that approximately 1 in 4 users will leave your site if it doesn’t load within 4 seconds. Since WordPress hosting servers are fine-tuned to run the WordPress core code as efficiently as possible, your site will run noticeably faster thus reducing the number of users bouncing from your site.
While using a WordPress caching plugin like W3 Total Cache is still recommended, you’ll have a head start on optimization because the server itself is doing some of that already. Caching plugins save copies of your pages and can return those cached pages much faster than if WordPress was to build the page from scratch each time a user accesses it.
You will also want to see if the web host uses SSD drives as they’re faster than the traditional spinning disks used on most shared hosting accounts. If Nginx and/or a CDN are available they will also increase your site speed dramatically.
While WordPress is generally secure software, due to the thousands of plugins and themes available there are sometimes bugs in the code you won’t be aware of. Many web hosts enhance the WordPress hosting servers to perform additional WordPress specific tasks and monitor for WordPress specific threats. These can include:
- Automatic WordPress core updates
- Automated Backups
- Upgrading PHP – newer versions of PHP also improve website speed
- Keeping security rules up to date
All this means you will be less prone to website hacks.
How to Transfer Your WordPress Website
If you already have Shared Hosting and are nervous about upgrading don’t worry! It’s easy to transfer your website from one host to another, or from one server to another with the same host.
Many web hosting companies will even move your site to a better plan for you for free. If not, tools like our WordPress backup plugin make it easy to transfer your site from one server to another, and in the long run migrating your site to WordPress Hosting will bring you many benefits.
Other Types of WordPress Hosting
Still interested in using Managed or VPS Hosting? WordPress Hosting can do that too! Some hosting providers also provide optimized servers on WordPress VPS or Managed WordPress accounts giving you even more options and flexibility as you continue to grow.
Shared vs WordPress Hosting
Now that you have a better understanding of what Shared Hosting is and how WordPress Hosting provides improvements, you can make an informed decision about whether or not upgrading to WordPress Hosting makes sense for you. If you have any questions, please ask us in our forums!