Choosing a website hosting provider is not only the first step in creating a new website for your business or web project, it’s also the most critical step. When selecting a hosting provider, the decision is often a difficult and confusing one, as there are many misconceptions about web hosting. This is exacerbated by a plethora of false advertising and misinformation that permeates the internet.
Many businesses are quick to jump at the lowest price when they start their journey. This is usually shared hosting. After all, why pay more than $15 per month, when you can get hosting for only $3.95 per month, right? Wrong! As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Choosing the wrong type of hosting and the wrong hosting provider can have a devastating and negative impact on your business that’s difficult to overcome.
Let’s take a look at the four different types of web hosting.
With dedicated hosting, a single client gets a dedicated server with dedicated resources. Dedicated hosting is the best option for large corporations with extremely high traffic. With dedicated hosting, clients have full control of their server and the ability to configure it to meet their needs. Some dedicated hosting providers, however, do provide management options where the company pays them to maintain and administrate the dedicated server. This is expensive.
Also expensive with dedicated hosting are the resources required, such as storage space, bandwidth, RAM, and a number of other things. The more storage space, the higher the bandwidth, and the more RAM needed, the more expensive it’s going to be.
For most businesses, dedicated hosting is overkill. There’s no need for a dedicated server, nor an inordinate amount of RAM, bandwidth, or storage space.
VPS (Virtual Private Server) Hosting
A Virtual Private Server, or VPS, is a type of multitenant cloud hosting that affords virtualized service resources to the user via the cloud.
The VPS resides in a physical machine, maintained and administered by the hosting provider, that also shares a hypervisor and the underlying hardware. With VPS hosting, each VPS has its own operating system (OS), reserved resources (Storage Space, RAM, bandwidth, CPU, etc.), and applications.
While VPS is more affordable than dedicated hosting, virtual private servers are usually more expensive than shared or managed WordPress hosting. The biggest drawback to a VPS is that extensive technical knowledge is required. Unless you have a Windows or (usually) Linux guru on standby to help maintain, administrate, and troubleshoot your VPS, you’re going to have difficulty when issues pop up. Except, of course, if you choose to go with WP Octane.
WP Octane clients get a dedicated VPS hosting managed by their expert staff in addition to their managed WordPress hosting.
Shared hosting is by far the most popular and cheapest hosting option available for companies. Prices for shared hosting usually range from $3.00 to $15.00 per month. In addition to the price, another advantage to shared hosting is that technical maintenance is normally included as part of the package.
However, as mentioned earlier, you get what you pay for. We’ll explain the many disadvantages of shared hosting later in the “Why Is Shared Hosting Bad for Business?” section, below.
This is not, however, to say shared hosting is bad for all. Shared hosting is for sites like personal/family blogs, tiny non-profits, strictly informative sites with low traffic expectations that do not collect sensitve info, etc.
Managed WordPress Hosting
With managed WordPress hosting, the web hosting provider handles all facets of web hosting. This includes setup, administration, management, as well as server, website, and application(s) support. Managed WordPress hosting is much like renting an apartment — the tenant resides there but leaves the responsibility up to the manager (in the case of managed hosting, the hosting provider). There is a slew of other services and benefits.
Of the four separate types of web hosting in our article, managed WordPress hosting is the most economical and cost-efficient for most companies. We’ll provide a multitude of reasons this is the case in the “What’s the Best Hosting Option for Me” section, below.
Why Is Shared Hosting Bad for Business?
While shared hosting is the cheapest of all the hosting options, it is far from being the best. Let’s look at just a few of the reasons why.
- Bad Neighbors/IP Address Reputation – When using shared hosting, your IP address is the same as every other customer on the shared hosting server. If a university, company, or internet service provider (ISP) blocks one of your “neighbor’s” website, your website is also blocked.
- Security – With shared hosting, it’s uncertain how much effort the shared hosting provider has dedicated to securing their servers. If the server is not patched and updated on a regular basis, your website and your data are at risk of being compromised. If the shared hosting server is hacked, so are all the websites residing on it.
- Customization – In a shared hosting environment, websites are not really isolated from one another. Static files, databases, PHP are tricky things on shared hosting. A change or alteration to any of these affects all users on the shared hosting server. Alternatively, you might not be able to implement changes that you require for your website because it will adversely affect your website neighbors.
- Downtime – Shared hosting historically experiences longer load times, lack of resources, and higher instances of server-related errors. If one of your neighbors suddenly starts to get significantly more traffic, the server, along with all its hosted websites will likely crash.
- Poor Support – The majority of shared hosting providers employ a “high volume low return” business model. This means that their customers could number in the thousands or higher. With their low monthly fees, their clients are expendable, and their support technicians are usually entry-level with suspect technical skills. If you experience a persistent outage or issue, it could be hours before receiving a response, and even longer before your issue is resolved.
- Scalability – As your company grows, your website will have to keep pace. With the limitations inherent to shared hosting, this is not always possible.
There are a number of other issues with shared hosting, too, such as performance, overselling, outdated software and hardware, etc. The list is seemingly endless.
As you can see, the negatives of using shared hosting far outweigh the positives. In the long run, shared hosting may be more expensive than any of the other three web hosting types. The phrase caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) has never been more relevant than when it comes to selecting a hosting provider.
Why Managed WordPress Hosting?
Managed WordPress hosting, specifically, WP Octane managed WordPress hosting, is the way to go for most companies. WP Octane offers many of the same benefits as most other managed WordPress hosting providers and then some. With WP Octane, you get
- Experienced/Expert Support Team Monitoring Your Website At All Times
- Website Optimization
- Comprehensive Knowledgebase (it’s still growing)
- Relevant and Timely Blog Articles
- 24/7/365 Support
- Network Infrastructure and Hardware Management
- Comprehensive Security (including virus and spam protection)
- Website Setup, Administration, Management, and Support
- Free SSL Certificate and Annual Renewal
- Octane Command Center (the ultimate WordPress management portal)
- Freebies (i.e., Divi Theme, premium content, etc.)
- One-Click MultiSite
- Nightly Backups
- DNS and CDN
- Web Application Firewall (WAF)
- Staging Environment
Choosing the right hosting provider for your company is as difficult a decision as it is an important one. Shared hosting is obviously not an option, with the noted exceptions above, due to its many inherent flaws. It’s unlikely that you need a dedicated server, and unless you have a jack-of-all-trades tech guru at your disposal, neither is a VPS. That leaves managed WordPress hosting, or better yet, managed WordPress hosting with WP Octane, as the best option. Sign up today!