There are different web hosting plan out there for your WordPress web hosting service. It ranges from shared hosting, dedicated hosting, virtual hosting, and cloud hosting. Depending on your target audiences, budget and type of website required you will need different hosting types.
For example, if you are looking for a critical website that you need to ensure the resources and workability of it, dedicated hosting will be the best for you. But if you are building a blog or a small website, shared hosting might be good to start out.
This is because shared hosting is cheaper than dedicated hosting and can cater for normal use.
It is important to choose the right hosting plan for your WordPress website because you don’t want to burn too much of your startup budget on the web hosting service and at the same time not get something that will affect your website performance.
Today, we will be comparing the two most common web hosting plans, shared and dedicated hosting to help you to decide better on which will suit you more.
Shared hosting is a service where multiple websites share the same physical server and resources. It’s like renting a room in a house where you are going to share everything in it. Your website will be sharing things like CPU, memory, storage and bandwidth with other websites hosted on the same server. There is no reserved resource for you and all is based on best-effort resource availability.
Shared hosting is perfect for individuals or small businesses that are just starting out and do not require high reliability or heavy usage.
It is a cost-effective solution for you to get your website started and go live. This is because you are sharing the same resources with other website owners. Hence, the operation and maintenance costs will be shared as well among the group of users.
Then, it is easy to install and run your WordPress website on the shared hosting plan. The service provider has made it easy to deploy with the availability of the one-click install solution.
Secondly, it’s beginner-friendly. For example, most shared hosting plans have easy-to-use dashboards that simplify website management.
Not only that but when you are using shared hosting, you can always change your subscription and upgrade to a shared space when your business grows. Most web hosting companies will provide different plans for shared hosting so you can upgrade your subscription when you need it.
When you are sharing the server with others, this means there is no full guarantee on the resources. There might be some limitations or bottlenecks for your website’s performance when the server utilization is high.
For example, the server might be having multiple websites on it. All are sharing the same pipe/bandwidth connected to the internet. If the other website is having huge traffic, they will be utilizing all the traffic. Hence, it will be slower for your visitors to visit your website.
You might not see the effect during the non-peak hour. But during the peak hour when everyone is assessing the internet, especially your website peak hour, they might have a hard time due to the limited bandwidth available.
Not only that, when there are more visits, it means the server will need to process more data. With the limited resources in terms of CPU, memory, and RAM, the server might be slowed down as there are too many processes to be processed.
Besides, by sharing the server with others, you can only access your partition. The server configurations and settings will be restricted so everyone can work harmoniously on that server. And when everyone is on the same server, there might be an issue of a data breach as there might be a security issue where they can access your data as well.
What is Dedicated Hosting?
For dedicated hosting, the entire server is yours. You can have the resources of the server all for you. With that, you can control what you want to install on the server and no one else can access the server.
You control the performance, security and resources of the server. The web hosting service provider will help to maintain the physical server at their data centre. However, everything on the server will be yours.
Having a dedicated server hosting for your website is like having a premium service for your website. Unless your service provider is doing a bad job and not maintaining their network, you are going to get the best service.
This includes your server speed, reliability and responsiveness. So, if your website is running high-traffic or complicated apps or plugins, you definitely want dedicated hosting to avoid a bad user experience due to not loading fast enough.
When you have dedicated hosting, you can customize your hosting environment to meet your website requirements. Not only that but the entire server is rented to you, you have full access to server configurations, settings and software installations.
By having your own server, others cannot access your data. You can have your firewall or security software in place to keep your website safe. This is something you cannot have for shared hosting when you are sharing the server with other websites.
I would say there are only two major disadvantages to dedicated hosting. The cost and the complexity of maintaining it.
When you are using a dedicated hosting service, you will be responsible to maintain the server yourself. You can always outsource the task at a cost, or do it yourself if you are able to do it on your own. Or you can even subscribe to the managed service from the web hosting provider for them to manage it for you.
Nonetheless, that’s your responsibility to ensure the software and security of the server.
Another drawback would be the monthly subscription price that you will need to pay for the dedicated hosting plan. With premium service, you are going to pay a premium price. A dedicated hosting plan will easily cost hundreds of dollars a month. There is nothing wrong to pay a premium for the service as long as it can make you back more than that.
By now you should know about what both web hosting option does and the pros and cons for each of them. It’s time to compare both of them and see which is more suitable for you.
Shared hosting means multiple websites or tenants held on a single server. All will share the same server resources and bandwidth making it more affordable.
Dedicated hosting means reserving the entire server resource for you only. There is no sharing with anyone else. You will get all the resources you signed up for, control over the server and guaranteed performance as you will get everything assigned for you and not your best effort.
When we look at the comparison between shared and dedicated hosting, we will look at the resource allocation, customization, and monthly subscription cost.
For a shared hosting web hosting plan, you will be sharing resources like PCU, memory and bandwidth with others on the same shared server. If other websites on the same server are not getting much traffic or is a lightweight website, then you will have not much issue running your website on them.
However, if the other websites are running promotions or growing well with huge traffic, then you will most probably be affected. This is because the other parties are utilizing most of the resources.
For example, there is a fixed bandwidth for the server and all of you will be fighting for the same amount of bandwidth. The one who wins the fight will get better resources. And this might impact your website loading time if the server is on heavy load.
In contrast for dedicated hosting, you will not face such an issue. This is because all the server’s resources will be reserved for you only. Your experience is guaranteed as everything is reserved for you.
You should expect a faster loading time, better website responsiveness and better experience for your visitors. This is important if your websites handle a high amount of traffic and process a huge amount of sales transactions.
You definitely don’t want to lose sales due to the web hosting limitation.
Shared hosting is like partitioning the physical resources into smaller rooms on the same server. Everyone is sharing the same resources and you have no control over what the rest is installing in the server and the settings.
The same shared hosting plan can have different performances due to the difference in the tenant under the same shared server.
It is absolutely fine still if you are running a small business or just starting out. But when your business grows, you need to have more controls for your web hosting to ensure security and performance.
And this is what exactly a dedicated hosting can provide. Named as dedicated hosting, you have full control over the server. You can install anything you want in it to secure your website and you will not have the risk of a data breach due to storing on the same server.
This may be one of the main concerns for new businesses. The decision of whether to use shared or dedicated hosting will be affected by the monthly subscription cost as well.
And there is a noticeably different in the monthly plan. For example, Bluehost’s shared hosting plan starts at $2.95/month, whereas the dedicated hosting plan starts at $89.98/month.
With the price difference, we can know that for a shared plan you might be sharing the same resources with up to 30 other websites so that their monthly cost per server is the same.
Shared hosting is an affordable way for business owners that have limited funds and with fewer requirements on performance.
Dedicated hosting, on the other hand, is for business owners that prioritize performance and reliability.
There is no right or wrong in which one you choose. It all depends on your needs and the affordability based on your budget.
Now what about your requirement? What are you looking for in your website and what do you want to achieve with your website?
1. What Type of Website You Want To Build?
First of all, you need to decide what kind of website you want to build. Is it a blog, small business website, eCommerce store, or portfolio website? Different websites will require different bandwidth, disk space, memory and CPU to run smoothly.
If your website runs with a lot of images, videos or plugins, then it will be better to get dedicated hosting. This is to ensure you will get exclusive resources for your website.
And if you are running a small blog or small business website that does not requires high memory to run, a shared hosting plan will be just fine for you.
2. What is Your Monthly Budget for Web Hosting?
Knowing that the subscription gap for shared hosting vs dedicated hosting is huge, your monthly budget will decide which plan you can choose
If you are just starting out without a huge budget, shared hosting is great because it’s a more affordable option.
However, if you have a plan to grow and scale your business fast, you can always go directly to the dedicated hosting so you don’t need to migrate your website later when your business grows.
Together with the web hosting plan, there might be some value-added services like free domain names, SSL certificates, email accounts, security and so on. You can choose and factor that into your subscription plan as well if you need it.
3. What Performance Do You Want?
Your website performance will affect your user experience and SEO rankings. Website loading speed is one of the top metrics in the search engine rankings.
This is because if your website does not load fast, people will leave without even waiting for it to load. You can of course reduce the weight of your website to get it to load faster, but the server performance will directly affect your website loading speed.
High-traffic websites or lots of different plugins or apps will need more server resources to load everything perfectly in a shorter time. Then, you should definitely use dedicated hosting for this.
And if your website is just starting out or is handling a small amount of traffic, you can always start with shared hosting. A shared hosting plan is sharing the resources with other websites. During peak hours people are using the internet more, or access to your website and other websites on the same server concurrently. The response or loading time might be slower due to the lack of resources on the same server and everyone is fighting for it.
If you are building a local business website, you might not need dedicated hosting. Shared hosting will be enough as you are not going to process a huge amount of traffic and content.
However, if you are building a website with a huge amount of images or videos, or a massive blog with over 100,000 visitors per month, then you should get something reliable for your business like dedicated hosting.
You can’t afford to lose your potential customers just because your website or hosting service not working.
4. What Features Do You Need For Your Web Hosting?
If you want something simple, getting someone to manage your entire web hosting might sound good. That’s nothing wrong with it especially if you are not a technical person.
Having shared hosting, you will have limited control over the server configurations and settings. The web hosting service provider might have a simple admin page to manage your shared hosting server.
However, when going for dedicated hosting plans, you will get control of the server configurations, allowing for custom settings, software installations and security measures. Not only that, you will get dedicated IP addresses, server monitoring tools and the ability to run custom scripts on the server. The server is basically yours. But you need to know or get someone who knows how to manage it.
5. Are you a Technical Person?
It’s not only you, but your team whether they know how to manage the server maintenance or not. There are so many possibilities of failure when you are dealing with website and web hosting.
There are so many cybersecurity issues happening daily. If your software is not up to date or has security loopholes, people might just get access to it and hack your server.
You have the option to maintain your server if you are on the dedicated hosting plan. You can manage it yourself or get the web hosting company to do it for you at a cost.
However, if you are using shared hosting, all these hassles will be handled by the web hosting service provider. And in fact, you don’t get the chance to do that.
No matter how good are you, there will be some urgent support that you need when something goes wrong. This is because you are using another’s server. You can under the technical side, but definitely not as professional as the service provider. Their other customers might face this before and they already know how to solve it.
And to reduce your frustration, you need to get a web hosting service with 24/7 support and a huge community to support you when you face issues.
What About VPS Hosting?
Besides shared and dedicated hosting, there are normally other hosting options called Virtual Private Server or VPS hosting. VPS hosting is like shared hosting, just that instead of partitioning a physical server and sharing between websites, the VPS server is separated into different virtual servers independent of each other.
It’s like dedicated hosting but you are not getting the entire server. And instead, you are getting a virtual server that isolates your website from other websites. You are not sharing the resources with others.
With VPS hosting, since it’s a virtual server, you can scale it based on your website requirements. And you are getting full control of the performance and the server compared to shared hosting which is controlled by your hosting provider.
By doing this, you get the beauty of both sides for shared and dedicated hosting. When you are using VPS hosting, you get dedicated resources like dedicated hosting. Just that it is at a lower price than dedicated hosting because it’s sharing servers with others.
Not only that, you are going to maintain your VPS only, instead of the entire server. This makes VPS hosting one of the best fits in the middle of shared and dedicated hosting.
Choosing the right hosting plan is important so you don’t need to migrate your website too soon. And to make the right decision between dedicated and shared hosting isn’t easy.
There is no saying which is better. Just which is more suitable for you?
Depending on your budget, website type, level of control, security and performance, you can choose the best hosting type for your business.
No matter which hosting plan you choose, it is very important that you get a good hosting company. The hosting type is important, but the most important is the service provided by your hosting company.
Don’t get something that is cheap but there is no reputation or trustworthiness. Get something that is trustable and used by website owners worldwide.