How to Choose the Right WordPress Hosting in 2020 (Shared, VPS, Cloud)

WordPress Hosting guide

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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.

WordPress websites market share infographic

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Shared Hosting Explained

Stats and graphs illustration

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
  • cPanel
  • 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.

WordPress on Shared Hosting

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.

Is a WordPress Hosting plan different than the Standard shared hosting?

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?

girl and boy with big laptop illustration

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.

Hosting types 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

In this scenario, the best option is to choose a cheap shared hosting, with a good reputation and solid support like SiteGround or Bluehost.

The Best Budget Options

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How to Choose the Right WordPress Hosting in 2020 (Shared, VPS, Cloud) 1

From $3.95/mo.

Pros

Best Support in the industry

WordPress friendly

CHECK IT OUT

How to Choose the Right WordPress Hosting in 2020 (Shared, VPS, Cloud) 2

From $2.95/mo.

Pros

Good for WordPress begginers

Fast speed & good uptime

CHECK IT OUT

What to look for

It’s 2020 and some things in the hosting industry now comes standard, so don’t fall for the so called bonuses and premium features that companies bring as something exceptional.

Things like – free domain, free SSL, free back-ups, SSD, free WordPress migration, cPanel are standard now, and should be included in your plan by default and are not something premium.

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 and you won’t make a mistake. Bluehost, A2, HostPapa, Hostgator, 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.

How to Choose the Right WordPress Hosting in 2020 (Shared, VPS, Cloud) 3

From $30/mo.

Pros

FREE Premium CDN

Self-healing technology

Google Cloud Platform

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How to Choose the Right WordPress Hosting in 2020 (Shared, VPS, Cloud) 4

From $13/mo.

Pros

Good Price

In-House Caching system

Included Fastly CDN

CHECK IT OUT

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.

Why managed?

dog meme with code

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.

Cloudways is a unique 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? Because you basically pay for the support and the control panel with an easy user interface that Cloudways will provide you with. Without this support, you will hardly make it on your own, unless you are very technical.

How to Choose the Right WordPress Hosting in 2020 (Shared, VPS, Cloud) 5

From $10/mo.

Pros

Choose a premium server

Cloudways CDN

Powerful WordPress features

CHECK IT OUT

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.

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