These days a whole lot of options are available to choose among your WordPress hosts. So much so that sometimes it becomes difficult for us to choose the right one from a long list. Also there is lack of knowledge about the exact payment that you have to make to purchase a host. Then you do not know if you need a support or why do you need a support- or for that matter can you handle everything single handedly? Let’s delve deeper into the matter.
It was lot simpler to choose a hosting company a few years ago. Different companies rented out dedicated servers from $100 a month up to as much as tens of thousands of dollars a month whereas shared hosting providers delivered hosts in the range of $3.95 to $15 a month. You could decide more efficiently if you had a complete knowledge of your budget. But the present scenario is not so easy.
At present the managed hosting services add a lot of special features & value. Then we can take the help of ‘cloud servers’ or Virtual Private Servers. Finally, we have the option to rent a dedicated server also known as co location. This hasn’t really changed that much. But the computers & the data centers have become more sophisticated than they were three to five years ago.
Dissection of different hosting solutions
i) Shared hosting: This offers packages from as low as $1.99 & is known as ‘public transportation’ of the hosting world. Its advantages are its low price range, provision of writing multiple scripts, space for testing different projects & there are many disadvantages such as low flexibility & overcrowding. With the growth of your website you may face slow response time & limiting bandwidth. The reason behind slow response time is that a whole lot of websites are being put on the same server.
On the other hand a dedicated server hired by an online business that it has to share with none, ensures the biggest possible performance than a machine that has a numerous websites on it.
Also the support delivery is not robust or punctual. It may pass days before you get your answer & it may be absolutely futile as your provider does not hire specialists of WordPress. At most they provide basic support. In addition, you are just one out of many thousands of customers on a single server.
One of the advantages with shared hosting is that on getting low traffic rate at your site you can host it affordably. Remain stress free about system administration or anything like that.
An affordable shared hosting site is good for you if own a hobby blog or has a website that has minimum revenue dependency on it.
ii) Managed Hosting: In the past, a team of experts used to look after your server, install operating system on it, change the hard drives during a break down, install security patches & perform other tasks.
The application-level managed hosts are relative newcomers to the hosting scene. More & more companies are holding specialization for hosting one or another application. One of such applications is WordPress & at present it has become the go-to web application platform or CMS platform for many people. This hosting category is a new generation of shared hosting.
Usually these companies build their infrastructure around a single, open source script. Advantages of hiring these companies are that they have a complete knowledge of their product, they hire a dedicated support team comprising of proficient WordPress developers, fine tune their machines & OS for it.
At present about 23% of all websites run on WordPress. Thus you can guess that the demand for custom tailored hosting services to only WordPress CMS platforms is in high demand.
The managed hosts for WordPress deal with every back end task for running your WordPress blog so that you need not have to do anything. Thus you can keep your focus on your primary aim that is to sell your products to your customers. They also help you in optimizing your web presence through the control of speed, uptime, security, theme & plugin compatibility, core & plugin updates etc.
The price for these hosting is higher usually starting from $10 & can reach up to $3000 per domain. But the benefits that this includes are worth its value even for a small website. This also includes the features of one click staging areas, customizable backup options, integrated CDN support etc.
These hosts provide advice on WordPress themes, Plugins, updates, settings etc. Their employees are active participants to WordPress’ core coding or have created a WordPress Plugin or theme. They are therefore highly skilled staffs.
Managed hosts keep your WordPress websites up to date. They check the entry of a malicious Plugin or theme & save your site to be hacked through known security holes.
Managed WordPress hosts have their personal custom tailored caching systems that are faster than a Plugin based ones. Thus most of them do not allow W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache Plugins.
Managed WordPress hosts take a regular backup of your websites so that if worst happens you may recover the loss.
In the end you have to choose between 2 hosting services sufficing your needs. But whatever you do first of all perform a complete requirement analysis of your project & its aims. These points are your keys to success.
Barry Davis is a Technology Evangelist who is joined to Webskitters for more than 5 years. A specialist in Website design, development & planning online business strategy. He is passionate about implementing new web technologies that makes websites perform better.