Popular Types of Hosting Plans for Your WordPress Website
WordPress has become the go-to solution when it comes to not only content management but building just about any type of website. For a sense of the numbers, consider a recent Forbes article that estimated 75 million websites run on WordPress, which equals a little over a quarter of all websites. That’s what you might call pervasive use.
But choosing your content management system (CMS) is only only part of the equation. In order for anyone to see your website, you need to decide which kind of Hosting Plans for WordPress you want. Without hosting, it might as well be at the bottom of a well. The following are the most popular WordPress based hosting setups.
1. Shared Hosting
For most people, this is an adequate out-of-the-gate solution to get your website up and running. As the name suggests, you will share resources with hundreds (maybe thousands) of other website owners, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It gets you a web presence at a modest price, anywhere from $5 – $10 per month. As you might guess, there can be a downside to web hosting model.
With shared hosting, you have all these website owners vying to use a finite resource – the server’s bandwidth and memory space. Think of it like a feed trough for hogs. The farmer throws the feed out and it’s a free for all. Big hogs push smaller ones out of the way and end up with more of the food. That’s the way it is with shared hosting – well, it’s not an exact replica of slopping hogs, but you get the idea.
A website that needs more resources will take them from the slower websites, causing slow loading and reaction times for all members of the shared Hosting Plans for WordPress. If you have a simple website that is primarily informational, it probably won’t be a big deal, but if you rely on streaming audio or video or a large interactive database, there could be trouble.
2. Cloud Hosting
The concept of cloud hosting is more of a technical innovation than a completely separate type of hosting. Most other hosting setups incorporate the concept of a cloud server no matter what other permutation they might choose. For example, a web host who sells shared space on a server might choose to go the cloud route because it is easier to add space when needed. Let’s backtrack slightly and provide a definition.
Until recently, it was traditional for a web host to setup a server locally – such as in a home office – and sell space on it to website owners around the world. As the ‘cloud’ matures, more and more hosting companies have decided to buy cloud servers that are physically located somewhere else. They can increase or decrease the amount of space as demand changes. This turns out to be great for everyone involved.
Cloud hosting eliminates, or at least greatly reduces, the problem of a resource hog website causing everyone else’s to run slowly or shut down. Your host’s system automatically detects a surge in demand and adds more cloud server space accordingly. As your website gains popularity, this is probably the first upgrade you would look to make from (or even within) your shared plan.
3. Virtual Private Server
A virtual private server (VPS) eliminates the problem of a bandwidth-consuming neighbor at the trough beside you. With a VPS setup, we’re still talking about a single physical server, but one that has been walled off into separate accounts so that each customer is allotted a certain amount of space that cannot be encroached upon by others. In short, your space is yours and nothing anyone else does will change that.
For most website owners and online entrepreneurs, a VPS is the end game. Unless you’re running a seriously band intensive website, the ability to secure a reliable amount of hard disk space and computing resources is all you’ll ever need.
A VPS is priced based on the processing speed and memory space you want. Generally, this lands somewhere between $50 and $200 monthly. Granted, this price is substantially higher than shared hosting, but you gain peace of mind in the process, and it’s cheaper than the next type of hosting we’ll discuss – a dedicated server.
4. Dedicated Hosting
If you decide to go the dedicated server route, it means that you will be renting an entire physical server from your web host company. You will have full control to do whatever you like with it and can rest assured that no other client will encroach on your domain. If your business grows to the point of discussing a dedicated server, it’s a good bet you’re making enough money that the expense will be negligible.
Keep in mind that with a dedicated server there will be more cost than other WordPress based hosting setups. You’re starting with what is essentially a blank slate. You’re going to need someone in the organization with serious computer skills to get the thing set up and keep it running. While the web hosting company probably offers a certain amount of troubleshooting, it will come at a price. The bottom line is you need to be prepared to add in the cost of this system administrator when pondering whether to make the upgrade.
5. The Bottom Line
There is one type of Hosting Plans for WordPress we haven’t mentioned yet – self service. If you’ve got mad computing skills and don’t want to rely on a single other human being to get your website online and keep it there, going the self service route might be your choice. Keep in mind that you’ll need to buy the server, configure the software, provide adequate heating and cooling for the machinery, provide backup power and system redundancy to the nth degree, as well as consign yourself to worrying about the system’s status every waking moment for the rest of your life. Sound like fun?
If it does, hit yourself in the head once, sharply, to make sure you still think it’s a good idea. I’m having a little fun with this last one but the point is sincere. From shared hosting to self service hosting – and depending upon how hands-on you want to be – there are plenty of different ways to get your website on the internet.