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Web Hosting VS WordPress Hosting (Beginners Guide + Pros & Cons)

If you’ve landed here, I’m going to assume you may be confused by the difference between web hosting vs WordPress hosting – am I right? In fact, in most cases, you don’t actually need WordPress hosting to host a WordPress website, and many hosting companies market their shared hosting plans as WordPress plans.

To establish the difference between web hosting vs WordPress hosting, we’re going to explain what each one actually is, so you know which is the best option for your WordPress website. Don’t worry, we’ll explain everything in layman’s terms so it will make sense, even if you’re not technically minded.

Table of Contents

What Is Web Hosting?

Web hosting allows you to host your website and its files (images, content, databases, etc.) on the internet. When someone types in your domain name into their web browser, they can access your website if it’s hosted on a server.

Web hosting comes in many shapes and forms, with different types of web hosting being suitable for different requirements. For example, shared hosting is often the best place to start as it is often a cheap alternative to web hosting and offers the right features to get you started.

When you start to outgrow your shared hosting server and want more control over your website, VPS hosting is the next recommended step. Cloud hosting is also an option if you want more scalability and you’re not entirely sure of the resources you require.

Dedicated server hosting is recommended for those who have large websites or host multiple websites in one place (like agencies and web developers). They aren’t suitable for smaller sites as they are more expensive and often require some technical knowledge to get up and running.

What Is WordPress Hosting?

Hostinger's WordPress hosting

WordPress hosting is often marketed as “WordPress hosting” when in fact it’s just shared hosting, with some added bonuses. In some cases, “WordPress hosting” is just shared hosting and nothing more, so it can be a bit complicated to understand.

The main difference between web hosting vs WordPress hosting is the server configuration. WordPress hosting plans are often configured and optimized for WordPress, so offer features like PHP 7, automatic updates, free plugins, and so on.

Managed Vs Unmanaged Hosting

Bluehost's managed WordPress

To further fill your brain with information, there’s also managed WordPress hosting and unmanaged WordPress hosting. Most hosting plans are unmanaged, which means you have control of your website and server in terms of key aspects like website updates and security.

Managed plans come in all shapes and sizes and are more often seen with mid-level hosting types like VPS hosting and dedicated hosting. Managed WordPress hosting means that your hosting provider manages your site and server; they will make sure your website is kept updated, eliminating any security risks. 

Advantages of managed WordPress hosting include:

  • Updates and backups are dealt with for you
  • Security threats identified and eliminated
  • Performance optimization
  • Server configuration to meet your needs
  • Staging sites
  • Advanced support
The real main disadvantage of managed WordPress hosting is that it can cost a lot more. If an unmanaged WordPress plan were to cost $5, then a managed hosting plan would probably be between $10 to $15.

Advantages of WordPress Hosting

If you’re considering shared web hosting vs WordPress hosting but still aren’t sure which one to choose, we’ve highlighted some of the main advantages of WordPress hosting:

  • Server Resources: These are outlined from the offset and your hosting provider will allocate the right amount of resources for your WordPress website
  • WordPress-specific: Your server will be catered specifically for WordPress, meaning your site will receive optimal performance, faster loading times, and more
  • Easy Setup: WordPress hosting is often pre-configured so that SSL certificates and CDNs can be easily installed
  • Beginner-Friendly: WordPress hosting usually comes with pre-installed software to make the process much simpler which is ideal for beginners
  • Free Features: In some cases, WordPress hosting plans can include free features like free WordPress themes, plugins, and optimization

Best WordPress Hosting

Deciding whether WordPress hosting is right for you can be a tough decision, so hopefully we’ve hit that nail on the head. If you want to opt for WordPress hosting, you’ll need to know where to start and who the best WordPress hosts are. Here’s a quick overview of our recommended WordPress hosts.

Hostinger

Hostinger's WordPress hosting plans are optimized for WordPress. They include free features like LiteSpeed's cache, Cloudflare CDN, SSL certificate, and customizable themes and plugins. Hostinger offer a 99.99% uptime guarantee, meaning they are a reliable web host. Hostinger's dedicated WordPress team are available to speak to at any time, so if you get stuck, you can contact them 24/7. The Single WordPress plan is just
$1.99 per month and includes 30GB SSD storage, a free SSL certificate, managed WordPress, WordPress Acceleration, and multiple data centers.

Bluehost

Bluehost are one of the recommended web hosts that WordPress highlights on their website. Bluehost market their shared hosting plans as WordPress plans, but they also offer managed WordPress plans which start at $9.95 per month. Each of their managed WordPress plans includes built-in high availability, staging environment, Jetpack plugin, scheduled backups,. domain privacy + protection, and lots more. If you're looking for an all-around great WordPress web host, you can put your confidence in Bluehost.

SiteGround

SiteGround are also recommended by WordPress, and are well-known for offering high-performance web hosting that will ensure your website performs well and loads incredibly quickly. SiteGround is more expensive in comparison to other web hosts, but they dot their i's and cross their t's more than any other host I've come across. Their WordPress hosting plans start from $6.99 per month and offer free WP migrator, WordPress updates, free SSL certificate, daily backups, caching, and a free CDN.

Web Hosting VS WordPress Hosting: Which Should You Choose?

Deciding on whether to choose web hosting or WordPress hosting to host your WordPress site really depends on what you need and your overall level of experience. If you have a lot of experience, you may find that a shared hosting plan isn’t enough for your website and you’d prefer more control over your WordPress website, so something like VPS hosting or even a dedicated server may be suitable.

However, in order to establish what type of hosting is right for you, you’ll need to consider the following questions:

  1. Are you building a WordPress website?
  2. What’s your budget?
  3. Do you have any experience and are you concerned about your website’s security?
  4. Do you need some help with WordPress?
If you’re not building a WordPress website, then WordPress hosting isn’t suitable. In most cases, budget is largely irrelevant unless you want managed WordPress hosting, in which case you’ll need to account for the higher price than managed WordPress hosting costs. Again, if you don’t have much experience, you may be better off choosing a managed WordPress hosting plan so that you have an expert to fall back on.
 
Although WordPress hosting does have many benefits, it won’t necessarily guarantee your website will perform better or load faster. Yes, in many cases WordPress hosting providers do offer additional benefits that should help with page speed, but it’s not as clear-cut as that.
 
In my opinion, I recommend WordPress hosting if you have a WordPress website that needs good uptime, decent performance, and is accessed by lots of website visitors. The benefits of WordPress hosting often outweigh those of shared hosting, and in most cases aren’t that much more expensive.
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