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Shared vs. VPS Hosting For WordPress: What’s Behind The Price Tag?

If you have just picked the perfect domain name and the perfect theme for your upcoming WordPress website, but still haven’t settled on a web hosting service, you may feel overwhelmed by the huge numbers of providers and the different types of plans and features each of them offers.

One of the first things you’ll have to decide on is whether you want to use a shared hosting service or a VPS plan. Shared hosting is the most basic type of web hosting that involves many websites and clients sharing the same physical server, with each allocated a certain percentage of the server’s resources to use.

A VPS, or a virtual private server, also involves different clients sharing the same physical server, however, each VPS account is completely isolated from the others, has its own dedicated resources, and virtually functions just like a full-fledged server.

Below we take a closer look at the main differences, advantages and disadvantages of both shared and VPS hosting services. This should help you choose the right type of hosting for your WordPress website.

Required Technical Knowledge

Anyone with basic technical experience can use shared hosting since almost all of the server management and maintenance tasks will be handled by the provider. They will monitor the performance of the server and make sure all of its software is working properly and is up-to-date.

With VPS, you will be given full root access to the server and you will be responsible for installing and updating any software you want to use on your virtual server. This does require a higher level of technical experience regarding server configuration and administration. Self-managed VPS means that the user will be solely responsible for installing and maintaining the software on their server, while fully managed VPS transfers that responsibility to the provider’s support team, which would be more willing to offer hands-on technical assistance if you don’t mind paying the higher price of managed VPS.

Performance

Shared hosting is suitable for small websites or blogs that do not consume a lot of server resources. Your account will be limited to a certain fraction of the server’s resources, and in case your website gets a sudden surge in traffic and your provider notices a spike in resource consumption, you will be at risk of getting your account suspended.

Any other website on the server that consumes too much resources can affect the performance of all other websites that share the same server. For this reason, it is common to experience periods where your website is loading noticeably slowly, and also for this reason, shared hosting is not recommended for business websites.

VPS hosting comes with dedicated server resources (CPU, RAM, etc.) that are exclusively available for your account, which guarantees better and steadier performance. E-commerce websites that use WordPress and the WooCommerce plugin can run much faster with VPS hosting, and that can lead to better user experience and lower bounce rate. If you have a WooCommerce online store, you may want to visit The Daily Iowan website to find a few of the best WordPress hosting providers that offer affordable VPS plans.

Growth and Scalability

Most hosting companies usually have different tiers of shared plans, each with a preset amount of disk space, bandwidth, and other resources. If you choose to launch with an entry-level plan and you later require more resources as your website’s content and traffic grow, you can usually upgrade to a more advanced plan in an automatic way with zero downtime. However, there would only be a limited number of shared plans to switch to, and if you reach the highest-level plan, your only upgrade option may be to migrate your website to a VPS or a dedicated server, which may require manual setup and transfer, and may also result in some downtime of your website.

Scalability is one of the top advantages of VPS hosting and you should have no limits on how far you can upgrade or downgrade your plan. Adding more CPU cores, RAM, and storage space can often be instantly done with no lengthy setup or downtime, especially when working with cloud VPS. If you expect your WordPress site to go through major growth stages in the near or far future, then putting it on the right track from the beginning with a scalable VPS plan would be a wise thing to do.

Cost

Shared hosting is the cheapest type of hosting on the market with an average monthly cost of $5 to $10. Of course, prices can dramatically vary from one company to another depending on the features and the level of service and support they offer.

VPS is more costly than shared hosting, but still more cost-effective than buying a dedicated physical server. For webmasters that seek optimal server performance and plenty of dedicated resources, there are many budget-friendly VPS services that can fit the bill.

Hopefully, this article made it a little clearer to you which of the two types of web hosting is more suitable for your website. You can always contact any provider you’re considering if you have any specific questions about the technical details of their services.


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