What is managed WordPress hosting vs 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 — shared + managed WordPress hosting.

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 WordPress hosting means that your site is cared for directly by a team. But it’s also 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. And managed WordPress hosting is the opposite. The differences don’t stop there.

Cost differences of shared + managed WordPress hosting

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. Managed WordPress hosting for that same website might cost you $20 + beyond. That 6x 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 primary reason we recommend managed WordPress hosting for serious entrepreneurs is that the cost of being hacked will blow your annual hosting budget out of the water. It’s common to spend $500-$1,500 getting your WordPress site unhacked. When you consider that our managed hosting clients get a hack-free guarantee, that pays for itself.

Hosting security differences

How are managed WordPress hosting companies able to make promises like that? These 3 clear-cut reasons:

  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 WordPress hosting companies typically run daily backups of all of your files. Those backup files aren’t stored on the same server as 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. Being proactive can range from doing daily scans for malware + viruses. It can also mean implementing best security practices across their equipment to keep your site safe.

Managed WordPress hosting speed differences

Because of everything above, solopreneurs that use a managed WordPress hosting company (like Flywheel) are much faster than anyone with shared hosting. In fact, our hosting clients see an increase in site speed of 40%. And that’s 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.

Ready to switch to managed WordPress hosting?

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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