WordPress has become somewhat of a legend in the website-building community. It powers over 40% of all websites in existence today. Due to high demand, many service providers now offer custom WordPress hosting plans.
Still, not all WordPress hosting is equal, and today we’ll be taking a closer look at WordPress VPS hosting.
What is WordPress Hosting?
WordPress hosting refers to web hosting plans that have been purpose-configured to run the WordPress Content Management System (CMS). The critical thing to understand is that WordPress hosting is quite a generic term.
The most basic WordPress hosting plans are simply those that meet the minimum prerequisites to run WordPress. These prerequisites include support for PHP, MySQL/MariaDB database, and either the Apache or Nginx web server.
Some service providers will offer more advanced features with their WordPress hosting plans. These extras can widely vary – from WordPress-optimized servers to special management tools for WordPress administration.
Types of WordPress Hosting Services
WordPress can run on pretty much any type of web hosting plan. However, as a web application, it is more resource-intensive than most static websites. As such, hosting providers have to consider the optimal running of CMS-built websites.
The most common WordPress hosting plans offered are likely to fall into three key categories. These are Shared, Managed, and VPS solutions.
Shared WordPress Hosting
Shared hosting plans are generally the cheapest form of web hosting. These extremely cost-effective solutions are lightweight, easy to manage, and widely available. Still, while most shared hosting packages can run WordPress, it isn’t always the best idea.
As the name implies, shared hosting means that all hosting accounts jointly use the same server resources. After all, this is part of what helps keep the cost of the plans so low.
At the same time, shared hosting servers often host up to hundreds of accounts per server. This congestion can lead to poor website performance due to potentially high resource demand.
Shared hosting comes with lower levels of security as well since accounts don’t operate in isolated environments. If another client on the same server gets a virus infection, your account may be affected as well. The same goes for instances of a security breach or other forms of attack.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting plans are types of packages where the hosting provider will take on the responsibility for your hosting plan’s technical support. While the exact services provided may vary from host to host, they will, in general, include a few extra feats.
Managed WordPress hosting plans may cover:
- WordPress core and plugin updates
- Server and website security
- Website performance and reliability
- Backups and restore
- Application-specific support
This WordPress hosting category allows you to take a hands-off approach towards your site’s technical performance. Since the host takes those responsibilities, you are free to focus on other areas like content, marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), promotion, and more.
While this may sound great, keep in mind that Managed WordPress hosting seldom comes cheap. It often comes at a higher price compared to shared WP deals.
VPS WordPress Hosting
Virtual Private Server – otherwise known as VPS, comes with distinct advantages when running WordPress sites. This category of hosting offers better performance, reliability, and security.
Each VPS plan sits on a virtual environment within a server. This account isolation is what gives virtual servers many of the advantages clients enjoy. For instance, users can run their own custom Operating System (OS), web server, database, or web-building software.
VPS accounts get a dedicated set of resources as well. These are available on-demand, and other websites on the same server do not access them. The high resource availability is part of what helps VPS solutions optimize your site performance.
The account isolation improves the integrity and security of your website as well. As long as you ensure your own account is safe – other users on the same machine can’t affect you in any way.
These advantages often come at the price of increased cost over shared hosting. VPS is also a bit more complex to manage and will require some knowledge of server administration and networking.
How to Check Your Current Resource Usage?
Closer attention to system resource consumption is needed since WordPress requires more processing power to operate smoothly. If your website starts taking too much CPU and RAM – your loading speeds and uptime will soon start to suffer.
Sites that lack resources may:
- Load slowly
- Fail to load at times
- Display error messages
You can check how many resources your site currently consumes from your hosting control panel. Most web solutions like cPanel, SPanel, or Plesk have a neat dashboard for system resource display.
Some control panels will also have a Resource Monitor, which shows resources consumed over time. This information can help you get a general idea of whether you need more server power or the culprit was some sudden traffic spikes.
As WordPress sites grow, they tend to consume more resources. The more plugins and content you add on – the more CPU and RAM you need for the smooth running of your website.
When Do You Need WordPress VPS Hosting?
There are clear distinctions between the types of WordPress hosting plans. Because of this, each type can be more suited for specific use cases. If you’re unsure of the type of hosting you need – consider the kind of website you plan to run.
Some sites that we recommend using WordPress VPS hosting include:
Ecommerce projects are some of the best candidates for WordPress VPS hosting. While the primary reason for this is performance, the plans can benefit store owners in numerous other ways.
Storing and processing personal and financial client information means an increased need for security. This area is fully covered by VPS plans. A security breach can damage you and your customers financially and result in irreparable brand damage.
Technically, business websites can run on shared hosting. However, for many of the same reasons that online stores should use VPS, so should business sites. Having a fast and smooth running business page means you are serious about your brand and put actual effort into building it up.
On the flip side, a hacked or defaced business site could be disastrous for your business reputation. The potential loss of trust in such cases far outweighs saving a bit on web hosting.
Digital news or magazine websites often heavily rely on content, so they need a high visitor traffic volume to keep afloat. This combination can lead to significant stress on hosting resources.
WordPress VPS hosting is ideal for such websites in two main ways.
The first is the nature of WordPress as a CMS, making it easy to build and manage content for your site. Secondly, VPS plans are highly scalable, making it easy to increase the amount of system resources at any given time.
Media files like photos usually take a good chunk of resources to store and load. Having that in mind, WordPress is an ideal platform for use as a photo gallery. It allows you to manage your entire portfolio more efficiently, add/remove images, optimize sizes/dimensions, and many more.
Because of this, hosting a WordPress-based photo gallery on a VPS can be very beneficial.
WordPress incorporates a wide range of features, making the CMS a great choice for educational websites. Some examples of these include student databases, video lecture recordings, online tests, and more.
You will likely need a robust hosting plan to manage everything easily and establish a quick connection between lecturers and students.
How to Find the Best WordPress VPS Hosting?
If you’re thinking of going for this type of plan, the next question should be, “how to find the best WordPress VPS hosting?” Web hosting companies often have their advantages and disadvantages in this area.
To get a good WordPress VPS hosting plan, you should consider:
Just because a web hosting business has survived for a long time or has the nicest looking website doesn’t mean they will be great for your particular needs. Customer perception of the brand can be significantly more telling.
Reliable web hosting providers can be quite rare, and when users find one – they generally aren’t shy when discussing them. Look towards moderated forums and review websites such as the Better Business Bureau and TrustPilot to gain more insights for a potential host.
Remember that no provider is perfect, so make sure to check out negative reviews as well. If there is a repetitive issue in numerous reviews – maybe that’s something the host is really lacking.
Hosting resources and tools like free SSL and domain names are a common offering for hosting providers today. To find real value in a hosting plan – look to see if it has any unique advantages over the competition.
For example, ScalaHosting VPS offers SPanel – a free, robust, and highly intuitive cPanel alternative. This makes it a fantastic choice for those seeking to avoid expensive cPanel licensing fees.
While many hosts offer WordPress VPS hosting plans, some do more than the standard WordPress setup on a VPS machine. Keep a lookout for hosts that provide specially WordPress-optimized servers.
In scenarios like this, the host will fine-tune the server performance, tailored specifically to WordPress sites. This technical tinkering can also reflect on the attention to detail the host has, along with their level of expertise.
These examples are of sites that should run on WordPress VPS hosting. In general, though, VPS plans are suitable for a wide range of needs. To see a list of websites that should run on VPS, refer to our article here.
No matter which host you opt for, you will inevitably need to contact customer support sooner or later. Inexperienced or unresponsive support teams can be very frustrating – especially when each second of downtime may cost you money.
Take note of the support channels provided and see if they include live chat, email, a ticketing system, or a self-service database. If possible, try to use their live chat and observe how friendly, knowledgeable, and supportive their agents are.
The advantages of VPS hosting for WordPress are undeniable, but so is the technical expertise required to handle а virtual server. A good host will offer reasonable rates and be able to guide you through a seamless setup even if you’re using a VPS plan for the first time.
Remember that such plans can have many benefits without costing an arm and leg. ScalaHosting VPS solutions start from just $10/mo, just a few dollars over a standard shared deal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Managed WordPress hosting worth it?
Managed WordPress hosting is worth it if you want to focus more on growing your site instead of maintaining it. However, these plans often come at premium prices. The high cost makes them less suitable for running non-commercial websites on a tight budget.
Is VPS better than shared hosting?
Virtual servers are superior to shared ones in many ways. VPS hosting projects perform better, are more secure, and offer immense scalability. These advantages can easily outweigh the additional cost invested in them for many sites.
Does WordPress provide hosting?
WordPress.com offers WordPress and web hosting as a bundle package.
WordPress itself is only a web application, and you can utilize it for free by downloading the self-hosted version for free. In such cases, you need to find a third-party provider to take care of the web hosting aspect.
Why is VPS so expensive?
VPS plans cost more primarily due to the dedicated resources coming with each hosting plan. Moreover, a single physical server houses much fewer customers than a shared machine. As a result, those few customers have to pay more to cover the server’s rental costs.