The differences between managed + shared hosting

While there are dozens + dozens of hosting companies in the world, there are a limited number of hosting types. When focusing on WordPress websites, I like to compare the two most popular — managed + shared.

If you’re not into nerdy things, hosting can feel like discussing insurance options (boring) but it’s important to make a conscious choice for your business. So let’s break down these two types in the least boring way possible.

What’s in a name?

Starting with the name, these two hosting options give a lot away.

Shared hosting is where your site shares a server with dozens (if not hundreds) of other websites. Managed hosting is where your site is cared for more directly by a team + given space to call its own on the server. One might say that sites with this type of hosting are more closely managed than shared.

In the most simple terms, shared hosting is a lot of sites in a small amount of server space + managed hosting is the opposite. The differences don’t stop there.

Cost differences

When making a decision for your business, cost can play a huge factor. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it, shared hosting is cheaper than managed hosting.

You can snag shared hosting for a single website for $3 a month with specials + coupon codes, where managed hosting for that same website might cost you $15 + beyond. That 5x monthly cost might be enough to sway you towards shared hosting.

The monthly cost isn’t the only cost to consider, though.

Many managed hosting companies include services that shared hosting companies charge separately for, like website SSLs, site updates + upgrades, basic security + backups. When you start to line item the cost of keeping your WordPress website secure, that $3 a month quickly surpasses $30 a month — and you’re sharing server space with a mountain of other business owners.

The biggest reason that we recommend managed hosting for serious entrepreneurs is that the cost of being hacked can blow your hosting budget out of the water for years. It’s not uncommon to spend $500-$1,500 recovering from being hacked. When you consider that our managed hosting clients get a hack-free guarantee, that pays for itself.

Security differences

How are managed hosting companies able to make promises like that? There are 3 clear cut reasons why.

  1. Since you aren’t sharing a server with countless other websites, you aren’t putting your business at risk dozens of times over. Remember: you’re only as secure as the weakest link on your server. Which means you have zero control over how secure your site really is on a shared server.
  2. Managed hosting companies typically run daily backups of all of your files + store those files off of the server that houses your website. Shared hosting companies may offer backups, but they typically charge a monthly fee for this — and it’s not a given that those backups will be stored separately from your website.
  3. While shared hosting companies typically react to problems, managed hosting companies are proactive in the work they do to keep hackers away. That can range from doing daily scans for malware + viruses, to implementing best security practices across their equipment to keep your site safe.

Speed differences

And finally, because of all of these things, sites that host with a managed hosting company are typically much faster than anyone using a shared hosting company. In fact, our hosting clients see an increase in site speed of 40% simply by ditching the shared hosting plan they were on + joining a managed plan.

This speed increase can be attributed to not having to share resources with dozens of additional websites — imagine a traffic jam on the highway + how speedy your trip feels when you are bumper to bumper with other folks.

On top of resources being spread too thin, shared hosting companies promote the use of caching plugins to speed up websites. They can do the trick, but they also make it your responsibility to know the right tools + settings to make magic happen. Managed hosting companies use caching on the server so that your site doesn’t need yet another plugin + you don’t have to fret over what settings are right for your WordPress site.

If you want to learn more about managed WordPress hosting, we have a breakdown of the details for you + are available to chat.

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