Shared or Managed WordPress Hosting – Which to Choose and Why? (Video Explanation)

Behind every website is some form of web hosting. On one end of the spectrum, there’s ‘shared hosting’ (where many websites share the resources of one server), and on the other end of the spectrum is ‘managed hosting’ (a much more expensive form of web hosting where resources are either not shared at all or very much less shared, and the server is both optimised for a specific task and entirely managed by the web hosting company). For more on the differences between shared and managed hosting, and more importantly, which you should choose (for hosting WordPress), take a look at this quick video:

Let’s dive in…

Shared or Managed WordPress Hosting – Which to Choose and Why?

Direct link to watch the video over on Vimeo.

– (note: video credits to Topher DeRosia – creator of HeroPress)

Video Transcript:

Hi! this Topher with WinningWP. In this video, we’re going to take a look at Shared and Managed WordPress hosting. Which to choose and why? First, let’s start off with some definitions. Shared hosting has many customers on one server sharing all the resources, drive space, memory, processor, et cetera. Whereas managed hosting usually has reserved resources per site so no one site can overwhelm another. Both of these models have their place in the hosting ecosystem and both may apply to you at different times. So let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each and we can help you decide which one you want to use. First, let’s take a look at the pros for shared hosting. The first one is that it is very cheap, if you have a personal non-business blog, this might be all you need. Another scenario is that you have an idea for a website but don’t know if it’ll get traffic. You can put it up on shared hosting for very little money and if it works, then you upgrade and if it doesn’t, you haven’t lost much. It’s also readily available, most hosting companies offer it at some level. This is dreamhost.com, if we go to hosting and servers and choose web hosting, it takes us right to their shared hosting section and you can see that the price starts at . a month. If all you want to do is put up a website for fun, or do some experiments, this is a great price point. But now let’s take a look at some of the cons for shared hosting. It’s often very slow compared to managed hosting. Hosting companies simply don’t put a lot of resources into shared hosting servers. It can also be unreliable, uptime is simply lower than other types of hosting, again, you get what you pay for. It can rarely ever take any traffic spikes. If one of the sites on the shared hosting server gets very popular, it will use up all the resources and every other site will go down. If you’re neighbor gets hacked, you may be hacked also. If you’re neighbor site gets hacked and they gain access to the core of the server, then they have access to every site on that server. Support is usually low priority. That doesn’t mean it’s not there, but the people who pay a lot more for hosting usually get higher priority support. Lastly, it’s often lacking in features, or it will have all the features available but if you turn them all on at the same time, it overwhelms the server. Now let’s take a look at managed hosting. Here are some of the pros, it’s faster, it’s more reliable, it usually can scale really well because they’re anticipating you growing. It’s more secure because your site is sandboxed, separated from neighbors, it has more specialized support, and there are many more features, or maybe it has all the features and you can turn them all on at the same time. Now, I’d like to point out that this video is not comparing hosting companies, it’s comparing types of hosting. DreamHost offers different types of hosting. There are a variety of hosts that offer both shared hosting and managed hosting. There are cons to managed hosting, for one thing it can be much more expensive. You can pay anywhere from to dollars per month for managed hosting, depending on your needs. It can also be more restrictive in some ways. For example, we’re looking here at WP Engine, and they have some disallowed plugins. For example, all of these caching plugins are disallowed, but the reason is that they offer their own caching so these plugins are not needed. The same holds true with backup plugins. They provide backups, they’ve banned some plugins that make their servers work particularly hard because there are others that work just as well. So you may get into a situation where you move to managed hosting and they tell you that one of your plugins is no longer allowed and you need to find a replacement. That’s usually for the best, hosts that disallow plugins usually do it for a good reason. So to summarize, both types of hosting have their place. Shared hosting should be considered disposable for sites that don’t matter too much to you. This might be the beginnings of a personal blog and you’re not sure if you want to go through with it or not, or you want to toss up a whole bunch of domains and see which ones get more traffic, or anything like that where if they’re lost, it’s not that big a deal. Whereas managed hosting is for serious websites. Maybe you started your personal blog on shared hosting and you’ve decided you really like this and now you have a bunch of posts and you’d be pretty sad if they all got lost. Now it’s time to move to managed hosting. Or you’ve thrown up a bunch of domain names and you’ve found that one of them is actually quite popular now it’s time to move it to managed hosting. Once you’ve hosted for a while, you’ll probably be comfortable and familiar with both models and you’ll get a feel for which one is right for which website. If you’d like to learn more about WordPress, check out winningwp.com.

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By WinningWP Editorial

Run by Brin Wilson, WinningWP is an award-winning resource for people who use – you guessed it – WordPress. Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Google+
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