Before we start
You can see below I have not listed tons of hosting companies. My main job is to work with clients by helping them build their websites.
I can change some companies and add others because I’m always looking for the best value and quality.
The most affordable, fully managed VPS provider
Most affordable Managed VPS
Own cloud infrastructure
Free backups on remote servers
The companies are emphasizing more than ever on WordPress hosting-focused plans. And this looks normal if we look at the website trends today – WordPress takes the lion’s share of the CMS market.
In 2019 every third site uses WordPress and when it comes to CMS-built sites, more than 60% are WordPress powered.
So it clearly makes sense to look for a WordPress optimized hosting plan.
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If inexperienced newbie research the available hosting options, if he never used this service before, he’ll most likely notice the big difference in prices of the different hosting types.
And fairly enough he’ll get his hands on the budget shared hosting plan that looks amazing on paper. To be honest who can blame him?
Almost every shared hosting plans’ details look something like this:
- Unlimited Traffic
- 20 GB SSD Storage
- Unlimited Sites
- Unlimited e-mails
- Unlimited Databases
- Free SSL Certificate
- 1-Click App Installer
For just $3/month.
…and many more. The list goes on.
If I was just starting, I’d say – Great, that’s everything I’d need for now.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying shared hosting is not a good option or that the companies are lying to you and trying to sell you something that won’t work as described.
I still use many shared hosting plans and I find shared hosting to be the way to go for all who start their WordPress website journey.
What Shared Hosting means is basically that your website will share the resources of one physical server with a bunch of other websites. This meaning you are sharing all the servers’ resources like RAM, CPU, and storage with hundreds if not thousands of other websites.
A Fresh WordPress install will seem to load fast, but as times go on your site will start adding some ‘weight’ – some plugins, some images, new pages, and posts, a bigger database.
…and WordPress becomes slow. 🙀
From my 15-year experience with WordPress and different hosts, I can state that shared hosting is best suitable for:
- Starting websites, mostly article orientated (blogs)
- No e-Commerce (shoppers hate to wait)
- No heavy page builders
- No more than 10-15 extra plugins
- ~10 000 monthly visits
What happens in case of Resources Overuse?
Let’s look at the different scenarios available.
- If you consume too much disk space than the allowed quota, some hosts might warn you first, while others will suspend your account. Your pages won’t load and it will probably return (Bandwidth Limit Exceeded or Error 509).
- If you consume too much memory your website(s) temporarily become unavailable until the issue is resolved.
- You consume too many processes (I/O units) – Your website might display 503 error, based on your server.
- Your site attempts too many database connections at the same time – It probably stuck and won’t load for some time.
What are the Implications of a Slow Site?
If you have any kind of goal for your website – it will suffer dramatically.
Our society, especially the younger generations have attention spans lower than ever. This combined with the abundance of choice in almost every market will result in your slow site being closed if it can’t meet the speed expectations.
A study shows that 40% of users abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
On the other side, Google takes speed as a ranking factor in search results, so if you are planning organic traffic as the main source you’ll need a fast loading website.
In its essence – no.
It’s still a shared hosting in a different package.
It may come with a few more WordPress related features, but again, in reality, it’s the same service.
So What type Should you Choose?
Let’s look at some common cases that website owners will face in choosing the right hosting plan.
We can separate the main types of hosting into 3 categories.
Common case #1
She decides to open a website to show her amazing hand made jewelry to the world in a cool way, with personal stories and hipster photos.
She looked up at some domain names and after she realized everything .com is takes already, the young artist finally founds a free .art domain (I guess these exist).
Our future art entrepreneur thought that’s enough to get her site up and running with the vintage WordPress theme she already found, but after some research, she understands that she also needs hosting.
By this time we can note the following:
- This is the user first-ever experience with making a website
- The website will mostly use the blogging functionality of WordPress
- It will hardly get any hits
The Best Budget Options
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I have worked with the companies above, so I can state the services they provide are of good quality. That’s why I chose to promote them and not others.
To be honest you can choose from many more top hosting companies and you won’t make a mistake. Bluehost, A2, HostPapa, etc.
This is an unpopular opinion, but I highly suggest looking for a good local hosting company first, especially if you don’t speak English very well. This will make communication much easier and believe me you will ask the support a bunch of questions in the beginning.
The not so Budget (but faster) – VPS Hosting
In this category falls the Managed VPS Hosting. VPS hosting is more pricey and also faster than shared hosting.
What you should expect from a managed VPS hosting plan is a load time under 3 sec.
Common Case #2
He has already started a few websites on a shared plan and even got some good results in terms of SEO and social media traffic.
Now our guy has a huge idea in his head about this website that will function as a marketplace for people wanting to sell their homegrown tomatoes.
He knows that this task will require some heavy plugins, a big database, and good caching. He even started to build the website on his current hosting but after the speed tests, he ran the results are discouraging.
So the future marketplace owner decides it’s time to climb one step higher in the hosting ladder – the Managed VPS hosting.
The Pricey (but lightning fast) – Cloud Hosting
This hosting journey comes to an end with the fastest hosting avaivable on the planet right now – the Managed Cloud Hosting.
Because if it’s not, you have to be the world’s top geek to work with the thing. With managed hosting, you get easy to use control panel and everything you need comes pre-installed for you.
The Unmanaged server comes with nothing but the operating system, you are on your own, and you have to install even the basic stuff like PHP. That’s why knowing your technical abilities and don’t try something you are clueless about.
What do I recommend from my experience?
There are so many hosting companies today, and they all have amazing reviews on many websites. So how to pick one and be sure you are not making a mistake, or paying more for something that can me found for less?
That’s a great question and your best move is to make your own research and just to pick one and go with it.
I recently found ScalaHosting and already tried it with a clients project.
I’ll write a more detailed review soon as I’m still getting used to the SPanel and setting the websites. But there is no doubt that Scala hosting provides the most affordable Managed VPS plans all over the web now. Not only this, but they have their own cloud infrastructure in NY and Dallas.
On top of that, they have free remote backups, something that can be a lifesaver for your business in such tragic cases as the recent OVH fire fallout.
Overall the value you can squeeze from a $9.95/ month hosting plan is unmatched.
Cloudways is another hosting provider with lots of WordPress features.
With Cloudways you choose your preferred server provider (DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, AWS, Google Cloud) and Cloudways will do the rest for you.
Maybe you’re thinking why I don’t register directly with these hosting companies?
With Cloudways you pay for the support and their control panel, which has an easy to use user interface. Without this support, you will hardly make it on your own, unless you are very technical.
Choose a premium server
Powerful WordPress features
The Bottom Line
Hosting is something necessary to get your website online. The question of whether you need to pay less or more depends only on your project goals and specifics. In most cases shared hosting is the way to go if you are just starting with WordPress.