WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting: Top Providers

Roben Walker

WordPress is a name known to all website owners, both beginners and experienced webmasters. It is easily the most versatile and customizable content management system that can be used to power any type of website; from simple personal blogs to complex business and e-commerce websites.

You are probably well familiar with all the advantages that WordPress brings to the table, so let’s jump straight to the next, and arguably more critical decision you have to make when launching a new website: Picking the right hosting provider and plan.

We’ll only discuss the two most common types of web hosting for WordPress in this article, which are regular web hosting and WordPress-optimized hosting.

Regular Web Hosting Explained

Normally, when people talk about web hosting they refer to generic shared web hosting, which is the most commonly used type of hosting. This involves multiple sites and user accounts sharing the same physical server and its resources, resulting in it being a much cheaper option than other more advanced solutions (e.g. VPS and dedicated servers).

With a regular web hosting service, you get access to a control panel, such as cPanel, from where you can manage your website’s files, databases, emails, etc. You will have total freedom to install any application, script and/or content management system you’d like to use, including WordPress of course.

Installing and maintaining WordPress on a regular web hosting plan would be your responsibility, although many hosts offer automated tools to assist you with that.

WordPress Hosting Explained

There are actually different types and tiers of WordPress hosting and the specific details can dramatically vary from one provider to another. In general, it refers to a web hosting solution that is specifically designed and optimized to run WordPress sites.

One of the main differences between regular web hosting plans and WordPress hosting plans is that the latter usually come with increased server resources — e.g. CPU, memory, database connections, etc. This should translate into improved site performance and loading speed, but of course, comes at a higher price.

And then you have “fully managed” WordPress hosting where the provider basically handles all of the technical tasks of installing, updating, securing and monitoring the performance of your WP site(s). This is also usually coupled with a more experienced and knowledgeable support team that can better assist you with WordPress-related issues.

Many small business owners who don’t have the knowledge and/or time to deal with the technicalities of hosting a WP site find managed services more convenient. If you are interested in managed WordPress hosting, check out some of the best services at Geeky Way.

Which Are The Best Hosting Providers for WordPress?

Whether you decide to go with a normal web hosting plan and manage your WordPress installation yourself, or you prefer a managed WordPress hosting service where you can worry less about technical aspects and focus more on growing your business, you will find plenty of reliable companies that offer both types.

The following are five of the best hosting services for WordPress that combine solid performance with excellent technical support. You may not often see these names in the repetitive, affiliate marketers’ favorite “top hosts” lists, but these companies are the real deal.

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In an industry dominated by a few overhyped companies that invest most of their energy and resources on marketing and selling while outsourcing support services, KnownHost puts more emphasis on after-sales customer service and technical support that is staffed by knowledgeable US-based agents.

This company does a great job at keeping their customers’ needs and expectations satisfied. They benefit from this fact in the form of word-of-mouth marketing on different online webmaster communities where they are indeed quite well-known and vouched for by users.

KnownHost offers a range of various types of web hosting solutions, but we will only discuss the details of their managed WordPress hosting here.

Server resources: Each plan comes with ample storage space served by fast NVMe SSD devices. You get generous RAM allowance (2 to 4 GB) and unlimited bandwidth.

Control panel: You will be working with cPanel which includes all the tools you need for quick and easy management of your account. This includes a web-based file manager, database management via phpMyAdmin, email, SSL, etc.

Caching: KnownHost uses the premium LiteSpeed web server, which doesn’t only perform better than Apache and other server software, but also allows you to take advantage of the free LiteSpeed Cache plugin for WordPress. This powerful caching tool can remarkably improve your site’s loading speed while reducing the load on your server’s resources.

Staging: You can stage and clone your website for testing and development purposes using the WordPress Toolkit in cPanel.

Backups: Free daily backups are managed by JetBackup within cPanel, which allows you to restore and download backup copies in one click.

Price: The Entry plan costs $11.95 per month and is suitable for one WP website with up to 50 GB disk space. You can have more resources and websites with the more advanced Business and Corporate plans.

Drawbacks: Live chat support isn’t always online but the ticketing system is available 24/7 and they usually resolve technical support requests in a very timely manner.

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ChemiCloud is one of the outstanding modern web hosting companies offering cloud-based shared and VPS hosting services. They have been in business for a few years now during which they’ve built and maintained a solid reputation of reliability.

This provider is particularly a great choice for beginners because you won’t find many other hosts with a support team that is as patient, friendly and helpful as ChemiCloud’s.

Let’s examine some of the characteristics of their WordPress hosting plans.

Server resources: The resources available with the shared WP hosting plans should be adequate for small to medium sites. You are allowed 20 GB NVMe SSD storage alongside 1 CPU core, 1 GB RAM and unlimited bandwidth with the Starter package. More storage, CPU and RAM are available with the Pro and Turbo packages.

Control panel: ChemiCloud uses no other than the world-famous and feature-rich cPanel that both beginners and advanced users favor the most.

Caching: You have the option to use the free LiteSpeed Cache plugin which is designed and optimized for WordPress sites. If you pick the Turbo plan, you also get advanced server-side caching features for MySQL and PHP.

Staging: If you install WordPress through the Softaculous automated tool in cPanel, you will be able to create a staging environment for your site through this tool as well. However, the staging functionality is only available with the Pro and Turbo plans.

Backups: Off-site daily backups are included with each plan at no extra charge. You can manage and restore backup copies using the JetBackup tool in cPanel. The number of days for which backup copies are kept varies from one plan to another.

Price: The regular price of the Starter plan is $12.95 per month with monthly billing. If you sign up for a yearly plan, you get a one-time 50% discount that is automatically applied to your first invoice.

Drawbacks: Some advanced features — such as malware protection and advanced server-side caching — are only available with the Turbo plan. Also, staging is not available with the Starter plan.

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Pressable is a fully managed WordPress hosting solution that is mainly aimed at professional and agency websites. This service is run by Automattic; the company that is founded by the co-founder of WordPress and which owns the WordPress.com platform and several other WP-related services and products.

The team behind Pressable is very experienced with WordPress and WooCommerce so you can rest assured that they’ll be able to fix any technical issue you throw their way in a timely manner. Their whole platform is custom built to cater to WordPress sites and nothing else.

Let’s look at the main features of Pressable’s managed WP hosting service.

Server resources: There aren’t any hard limits on the server resources (CPU and memory) that you can use, nor do they have limits on monthly bandwidth. Each plan is primarily limited by the total number of monthly website visits, and in case your audience grows and you need more visits, you can either upgrade your plan or add more visits to your current plan for an additional fee.

Control panel: Pressable has their own custom control panel that is clean and easy to use even for a novice user.

Caching: There are several built-in caching mechanisms for static and dynamic content which are enabled by default. You can manage these caches via the control panel or through their custom plugin which you can install on your website.

Staging: You can create a clone of your website for staging purposes from the Pressable control panel. However, they don’t currently have a “push” functionality, so in order to publish the changes from the staging environment, you will have to convert the staging site to a live site and then reassign your domain name to the new site from the control panel.

Backups: Automatic backups of the file system are created daily while database backups are generated hourly. These are retained for 30 days and can be accessed and restored from your account’s dashboard.

Price: The Personal plan will run you $25 per month if paid monthly, or $20.83 per month with annual billing.

Drawbacks: This premium service may be too costly for non-commercial websites. They don’t have a web-based file manager but you can access your server’s files using SFTP. Email hosting is only available as a paid add-on with a 90-day free trial.

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Rocket is another fully managed hosting service for WordPress and WooCommerce. It’s called Rocket because the main goal of the company is to offer the fastest hosting experience for WP sites, and they do an impressive job at that thanks primarily to the enterprise-grade CDN that is built into their platform.

Being a fully managed service means everything comes preconfigured and ready to use out of the box, including WordPress installation, backups, staging, security, CDN, etc.

This is not a cheap service for a small website but rather a premium solution targeted at small business owners, enterprises, and agencies. You get personalized support from a skilled team that is available 24/7.

Rocket takes their business and customers very seriously and they are one of the most transparent companies in the industry. Even the CEO himself gets involved with answering support requests.

Here are more details about Rocket’s WordPress hosting:

Server resources: Plans aren’t limited to a specific amount of CPU or memory, but there are limits on the number of websites you can host and monthly bandwidth. You can see an estimate of how many monthly visits each plan is suitable for, but unlike many of their competitors, they don’t have a cap on the number of monthly visitors.

Control panel: Rocket has developed their own custom control panel from where you can easily create and manage your sites. You get to choose the primary server location for each site from more than 20 worldwide data centers.

Caching: The Cloudflare Enterprise CDN is integrated into Rocket’s platform with tiered caching systems activated and optimized from the get-go. You will find a button to clear the cache in your account’s dashboard and you’ll also find statistics about your site’s cache hit ratio, among other key statistics.

Staging: From the control panel, you have the option to create a staging site for testing any changes and/or updates before publishing them to the live version of your site.

Backups: Daily backups of your website are generated automatically and kept for 14 days. You can also manually create a backup copy from the dashboard.

Price: The entry-level Starter plan costs $30 per month with monthly billing or $25 per month with annual billing. They have a 30-day money-back guarantee should you decide not to continue with this host for whatever reason.

Drawbacks: Rocket doesn’t offer email hosting so you will have to use a third-party email service (e.g. Google Workspace) to set up custom email addresses for your domain. They also don’t offer DNS management, which means you’ll have to configure DNS settings either through your domain registrar or by using a third-party DNS service.

You may have never heard about this relatively small web host before but you’d be grateful to try them out. Ethernet Servers is based in the UK and they deploy servers in different worldwide locations including the UK, USA, Europe and others. The servers are super fast, the prices are low, and the support team will not fail you.

These guys aren’t into marketing gimmicks or “special discount” tricks. They are among the few hosts that don’t charge you double (or even triple) the price if you choose monthly billing. This makes them a suitable option for those starting out on a small budget and not yet ready to commit to a long-term plan.

Ethernet Servers doesn’t have WordPress-specific plans, but their normal web hosting plans include everything you need to run a WP site efficiently. Here’s a brief breakdown of what’s included:

Server resources: All shared hosting plans come with 1 CPU core, 3 GB RAM, unlimited bandwidth, and varying amounts of NVMe SSD storage. They also include unlimited databases and email accounts.

Control panel: cPanel is used for all shared plans and it comes with an automated, one-click installer for WordPress and many other content management systems and apps.

Caching: Since their servers are powered by LiteSpeed, you can install and activate the free LiteSpeed Cache plugin which is managed through the WordPress admin dashboard.

Staging: The Softaculous tool in cPanel can be used to automatically install WordPress, and it also includes a staging feature with an option to push changes from the staging site to the live site in one click.

Backups: Daily off-site backups are created and managed using the JetBackup tool that you can access from the cPanel dashboard.

Price: Ethernet Servers is one of the most affordable web hosts out there where you get a good bang for the buck. The most basic Silver plan costs $2.95 per month when you pay monthly. A lower price is offered with longer billing terms.

Drawbacks: Support via live chat isn’t available all the time, but they do have 24/7 email support available.

WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting: Overview

The following table summarizes the main features and differences between WordPress hosting and regular/shared web hosting. Keep in mind though that certain features vary from one company to another so these specifications are not strict.

WordPress Hosting Web Hosting
Usability WordPress sites only Any type of site or app
Server resources Higher allowances More restricted
WP installation Automated Manual or automatic
WP updates Usually automated Usually manual
Caching Built-in or preinstalled plugins Not usually included
Staging Custom or third-party tool Third-party tool or plugin
Email hosting Not always available Included
Site security WP-optimized security tools and settings General security tools and configurations
Price More costly plans Relatively cheaper

Conclusion

You can host a WordPress website on any web hosting service that supports PHP and MySQL (most plans do). However, given the extraordinary popularity of WordPress, many hosting companies offer plans that are fine-tuned for this particular content management system.

WordPress hosting — especially services that are fully managed — may cost you extra money but it often comes with better performance and various integrated tools that are essential for WP sites. Small business owners who choose fully managed WordPress hosting can potentially save themselves a lot of time and worry down the road.

 

WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting: Top Providers

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