WordPress has become the option of creating websites, blogs, and online stores. However, a WordPress website or a store is as good as the hosting solution that powers it.
Many people only look at the price of the hosting and overlook all the critical areas that affect the performance of the WordPress website. Remember that the wrong choice in this regard can cause slow website speed, security-related issues, loss of data and server crashes.
The choice of WordPress hosting ultimately depends on the current and future resource requirements and growth plans. This is why different types of hosting solutions are available for catering to different hosting needs. Even when all the solutions appear to be similar, each has its own set of pros and cons.
Choosing the best fit in terms of hosting solution requires you to think carefully about the following points:
- Your monthly budget
- The daily traffic on your website
- Expected traffic spikes
- Your technical support needs
- Security requirements
For the purpose of this article, I will present the comparison of three popular types of WordPress hosting: Shared, Dedicated and Cloud hosting.
Table of Contents
1. What is Shared Hosting?
It is today the most economical hosting solution and is suitable for blogging or corporate websites with moderate traffic (mostly showcases). In fact, several websites share a single server and the same resources (bandwidth, disk space, and memory allocation). This solution is convenient for individuals who do not master the technique because the host provides you with a complete administration system and takes care of all the features related to the hosting system (update, security, maintenance, backups, software installation, etc.).
If a company needs specific modules, special languages, or a different MySQL database, then shared hosting is not the best solution.
Benefits of Shared Hosting
- Pricing structure: The main advantage of shared hosting is its price. As you can imagine, you will benefit from much more attractive offers if you opt for this solution.
- Ease of use: When launching your site, we are looking for a simple and effective solution that adapts to our needs. This is a big advantage of shared hosting. Indeed, the choices you will have to make will be much more limited, because the proposed offer is often well defined.
- Services and performance: Everything depends on your website: if you can afford to know slowdowns in exceptional cases, you can easily opt for a shared server.
2. What is Dedicated Hosting?
For dedicated hosting, a full server belongs to you (whether rented or purchased). This type of hosting is suitable for websites that generate a lot of traffic and require a lot of resources (examples: marketplace, ecommerce, social networks). Although no server can firmly guarantee 100 percent security, a dedicated server remains the best choice to adopt if the security of your website is your priority. As you do not have to share bandwidth with other websites, the dedicated servers are faster and you can host multiple websites, and the traffic is unlimited. Nevertheless, they are more expensive.
Benefits of Dedicated Hosting
- Administrative autonomy: When access to the kernel (the root) is included in the offering, the dedicated server gives you the same level of autonomy as the traditional dedicated server. You can install your own applications and services and configure them as you wish.
- Optimal performance: The client of the shared hosting is dependent on the traffic, the audience and the activities of the other mutualized ones. This is not the case with the virtual dedicated server. You have your own resources and you are completely isolated from other servers.
- Advanced security: The dedicated hosting benefits from all the security set up for the hosting server. Your file system and database are private, completely secure, and inaccessible to other clients, regardless of their rights on the server.
3. What is Cloud Hosting?
The cloud server fairly close to the VPS hosting. The difference is that the VPS relies on a physical server whereas the cloud is based on several servers and the virtual resources are shared between several server computers that work together to create a large virtual network (cloud). The cloud is suitable for all needs.
Where the VPS has limitations on the amount of bandwidth and data transfer it can provide, cloud hosting can tap into the same resources over and over again. The VPS is a bit like trying to run your laptop on battery; it will eventually run out and your computer will shut down. If you plug it into the wall, you can use your laptop indefinitely on a rotating power supply (cloud). This type of hosting is suitable for most businesses.
The most important thing to remember is that if you plan to evolve, cloud hosting is probably a great option for you. It’s just VPS 2.0 to keep it simple. Large companies like Google and Amazon host their servers on cloud systems, so there are necessarily advantages to that.
Finally, the cloud is very reliable because if one of the servers fails, your website will not crash because it will use the resources of another cloud server.
Benefits of Cloud Hosting
- On-demand resources: With cloud servers, you’re free to request resources on the fly and, in general, pay on time.
- High availability: Unlike on-premises physical servers, virtual machines transfer data to another machine without downtime in the event of a hardware failure. The stability of cloud servers is unmatched in the field of web hosting.
- Scalability: With more resources and faster access to them, cloud hosts offer incredible scalability for customers. This is why these types of servers are used for other cloud-based services, collectively known as cloud hosting.
4. Shared Hosting vs Cloud Hosting
In shared hosting, several websites, including yours, share the same server and its resources. This type of hosting is ideal for projects that do not receive much traffic and do not consume a lot of resources.
The hosting spaces for individual websites are delimited and can accommodate websites with very different characteristics. In terms of prices, Shared hosting is the most affordable because you are renting just a portion of the server space. There are severe limitations in terms of the performance of the hosting solution.
The most important issue is the slow speed of shared servers that translates into slow performance. Moreover, if you foresee growth in traffic, shared hosting solutions do not scale well with the increasing traffic.
|Shared Hosting||Cloud Hosting|
|Server Deployment and Management||No||Yes|
|Server Sharing Model||Shared Server||Dedicated Cloud Server|
|Pay As You Go||No||Yes|
|Customization||Depends on vendor||Yes|
|Security||Depends on vendor||Yes|
|Instant Provisioning||No||Yes (in managed hosting)|
|Multiple Data Centers||No||Yes|
On the other hand, cloud hosting servers provide you with a secure and scalable solution for your website(s). You have total freedom in the choice of resources (RAM, processor, bandwidth, and storage) for your WordPress website(s).
For medium to high (or even unexpected) volumes of traffic, cloud hosting is a good choice. Since the performance of your WordPress website depends on the server resources of the cloud hosting, the sudden increasing volume of traffic is accommodated easily because of the higher availability of resources.
Performance in a shared hosting environment is adequate with the resources used by all sites on the server. If a website uses 1GB of bandwidth, then this 1GB is fully supported and is not available for other sites. For this reason, performance may be affected by the number of websites on the server, the overall resources of the server, and how many resources each individual uses. In short, the performance can vary a lot and can depend on many things.
Cloud hosting allows you to directly influence the performance of your website. You are given a certain amount of resources that you can increase or decrease depending on your budget and needs. The performance can be terrible if you use a very small amount of resources or can be great if you buy a lot of virtual hardware.
Although this point is debated, the security of shared hosting and cloud hosting is much the same. Although a number of websites may be hosted on one server, there is no way for another user to access other Web sites on the server unless the security system is hacked.
Cloud hosting is a little more secure because of its customization, but the difference is usually not really significant, as long as you use a good shared host. If both environments are properly managed, then they are both safe.
If the server crashes, the website crashes, regardless of the type of hosting you use. Although hosts do their best to avoid this by using server management and using temperature-controlled rooms, a failure may still occur.
While a failure can affect both, shared hosting and cloud hosting react differently to this event. With shared hosting, it’s a bit more difficult to get a website online quickly, since the files are assigned to a single server. However, since cloud hosts are virtualized and easy to move from server to server, websites hosted on a cloud plan can often come back online very quickly.
The price for shared hosting and cloud hosting differ depending on the web host, and the bandwidth, memory, and options offered, but it is still possible to identify average prices. The price of shared hosting usually runs around $5 to $15 a month, although it can sometimes go up to $50 a month for some web hosts that offer more resources.
Cloud hosting is more expensive. You can choose a custom account, pay-to-use or payment per CPU cycles. On average, you can expect to pay about $10 to $200 a month for a good cloud hosting service, but for website owners who need fewer resources, there are smaller accounts that cost less than that.
5. Dedicated Hosting vs Cloud Hosting
The major drawback of dedicated hosting is it can underperform during sudden traffic spikes since the resources are fixed and do not scale up as the traffic increases. Once the resource consumption hits the upper limit, the visitors start to see severe degradation in their user experience and “404 Page Not Found” error.
Although dedicated hosting is still seen as a much better solution than shared hosting, it is not the ideal choice for high traffic websites that need to offer a higher degree of user experience to the visitors. In many cases, experts suggest that websites using dedicated hosting should consider cloud-based hosting solutions.
|Dedicated Hosting||Cloud Hosting|
|Server Deployment and Management||Yes||Yes|
|Server Sharing Model||Dedicated Server||Dedicated Cloud Server|
|Pay As You Go||No||Yes|
|Security||Depends on user||Yes|
|Instant Provisioning||No||Yes (in managed hosting)|
|Performance||Better than shared||Fast|
|Multiple Data Centers||Depends on vendor||Yes|
Cloud hosting is very practical in terms of sudden traffic spikes and in situations where the demands for the website resources could go up as the traffic increases. As your website grows, the cloud server adapts and provides the necessary resources to ensure quality service without interruption, all the while guaranteeing the security of the data.
A cloud server is not limited by the physical capacity of a single server (dedicated server) or proximity to neighbors (shared hosting). In addition, cloud hosting allows you to adapt the resources within a few clicks without interrupting the service.
With cloud hosting, customers can benefit from the best of both types of hosting described above. Cloud hosting makes it possible to adjust resources up or down as needed, making it a much more flexible and therefore more financially attractive system. When servers are subject to higher demand, it is possible to automatically increase their capacity to meet the demand, without having to pay for this capacity permanently. It’s like a heating bill: you use what you need, when you need it, and pay only for what you used, after the fact.
Unlike dedicated servers, cloud servers can run on a hypervisor. The role of a hypervisor is to control the capacity and to allocate it where it is needed according to the use of the operating systems. With cloud hosting, there are many cloud servers available for each client. This makes it possible to dedicate computing resources to a specific customer if necessary and when necessary. For example, in the event of peak traffic activity, it is possible for a website to access more capacity until it no longer needs it. Cloud servers also offer more redundancy. If a server fails, the other servers replace it.
The security of a dedicated hosting server is more vulnerable than any other type of hosting as it is solely dependent on the expertise of a user or a sysadmin. Therefore, a user has to monitor the server security, take frequent backups, and install security patches and firewalls. On the contrary, in cloud hosting, the hosting provider takes care of all these security-related aspects so the user can only focus on his website’s content.
Dedicated hosting is a much more advanced form of hosting, where the customer acquires complete physical servers. This means that the entire server is totally dedicated to him, without having to share it with other clients. In some cases, the client can even use many servers that are all dedicated to him.
While dedicated servers provide full control over hosting, their disadvantage is that the required capabilities need to be planned in advance, with enough resources and processing power to handle the expected traffic levels. Underestimating these levels may lead to insufficient resources during busy periods of activity, while overestimating them may mean paying for unnecessary capacity. Their disadvantage is that the required capabilities must be planned in advance, with sufficient resources and processing power to handle the expected traffic levels.
A dedicated server is more beneficial for customers who want to have their own server websites. With this kind of server, a user can manage his own server and administer it as he wants. Even though prices are much higher, this type of hosting is mainly recommended if you want excellent transfer quality and hyper-responsive customer support. The cost of a dedicated server obviously varies a lot depending on the performance of the machine. However, it can range from $50 to $1000 per month which is costly than shared hosting and cloud hosting.
6. Now Ask Yourself!
1. How many visits will my website receive per month?
If your website does not have many visitors, you can start with shared hosting. If this is not the case and you have no idea how many visits you can expect, managed cloud hosting is probably the best solution.
2. What is my budget?
If you are running a blog with low traffic and a tight budget, the shared hosting solution could save you a lot of money. However, you should also consider possible expansion and plan for either dedicated or cloud-based hosting.
3. Can I afford to go offline from time to time?
Sharing your server means that your website could go down any minute. If one of your neighbours on the server begins to receive a lot of traffic, your website might not be left with enough resources to remain operational. Similarly, dedicated hosting cannot tackle the sudden spikes in traffic since the resources are predetermined and preset and cannot be scaled up in real time.
7. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What is the difference between shared vs dedicated hosting?
Shared hosting means that your website is hosted on the same server and hard drive as other websites. You share resources here with other users. On the contrary, with dedicated hosting, you become an acquirer of an entire server and no other website is hosted on your server. Everything is under your control — from your server and machine configurations to your dashboard settings.
Q. What is the difference between cloud hosting and a dedicated server?
In dedicated hosting, a server is reserved for you and all necessary files are stored on a single physical server only. Most dedicated servers are pre-equipped with certain hardware specifications, so be sure to choose a dedicated server that has the specifications that your website needs.
On the other hand, cloud hosting is based on technologies that allow an unlimited number of machines to act effectively as a single system. Thus, instead of hosting a website on the current server, it is hosted on a virtual partition of the server, which draws its resources from a network of existing servers, most often decentralized network.
Q. Is cloud hosting better?
Yes, it is better than the traditional hosting solutions. Here are the key benefits of the cloud server:
- Flexibility and extensibility: additional resources can be accessed as needed and when needed.
- Cost-effectiveness: since the Cloud Server is accessible when customers need it, they only pay for what they use at a specified time.
- Ease of installation: a cloud server is easy to install.
- Reliability: given the number of servers available, if one of them encounters a problem, the resources are moved to the others so that the clients are not affected.
Q. What is dedicated hosting?
A server is said to be dedicated when it is made available to a single client by a host and will be managed remotely via the Internet or administered by the host. The server is located in a secure data center to enable critical applications in your organization to be well protected by an ultra-secure environment.
Q. What is a shared web hosting service?
A shared hosting is a disk space made available to a webmaster so that he can launch his website. In other words, hosting your website on a shared host is like sharing the resources of the server, or a group of servers, with all the other hosted websites. This type of hosting is the one that corresponds to people who want to host their very first website.
Q. What is cloud hosting and how does it work?
In simple terms, a “cloud” in this context is a group of computers that are connected to each other via a network and that work together to provide hosting services.
This means that the different services of a single hosted website can be derived from the computing power of a network of more than one server in the cloud. In fact, the cloud can be thought of as a cloud server made up of the computing power of multiple servers in a network.
8. Final Thoughts
The choice of WordPress hosting is not trivial. When deciding upon a hosting solution, make sure that your choice is able to handle the current and projected traffic without reducing the quality of user experience.
If you opt for the wrong type of hosting, you might have to migrate your WordPress website several times to discover the right solution. In short:
- If you have a site with low or medium traffic, opt for shared hosting.
- If you have a high-traffic website and that requires significant resources, choose cloud hosting, since it allows you to scale up the resources whenever required.
Of course, the budget is very important, the needs of the website must first be taken into account. If you still have doubts about the type of hosting you should choose, do not hesitate to post your queries in the comment section below.
Passionate about technology, entrepreneurship, and marketing, Mansoor Ahmed Khan is in computing since he knows how to type on a keyboard. His daily life is rocked by his family, projects, and his screen. Probably in this order, he likes to be convinced at least.
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