Shared hosting vs managed hosting – what is the difference and why should I care?

Our provider Kinsta provides managed WordPress hosting, whereas cheaper hosting is most likely shared hosting.

Managed WordPress hosting gives you added WordPress-specific services and performance tweaks – it is like a concierge service for your WordPress site, whereas regular shared hosting leaves much of the work to you when it comes to backups, WordPress optimization, and more.

Managed WordPress hosting is a set of services, performance optimizations, and other value-adds. These added features:

  • can help make your site load faster because every configuration is specifically set up to be optimized for WordPress
  • give you tools that make it simple to install and manage WordPress, as well as tools like staging sites to help you safely make changes to your WordPress site
  • help maintain your site for you with features like automatic updates and automatic backups
  • better secure your WordPress site with security rules and features that are specifically focused on WordPress

Shared hosting is about hosts trying to keep their costs down by cramming lots of different websites onto a single server. You’ll share your server’s resources with tens or hundreds of other sites which means that your site might slow down because of something happening on someone else’s site. Quality shared hosts will avoid overloading their servers to stop this from happening – ultra-budget shared hosts will usually oversell the space.

You get what you pay for

We’re not saying that shared hosting doesn’t have a place. If you are running a personal blog or you have little funds, then it is better than nothing. But consider what your website is worth to your business. It is one of the most important assets your business has, so it is well worth investing in hosting that will:

  • load quickly and efficiently – speed is a ranking factor with Google
  • include essential security features to make sure your site is not vulnerable to the increasing number of hacks
  • include security certificates so you can run your website and protect your client information – this inspires trust
  • include essential backup features
  • has great uptime so your website is always available when your customers need it
  • has reliable support with quick turn around time – this is critical to your business

But I have never had problems with my hosting!

One of my favourite stories is one of my clients who, when discussing her hosting account that she had held with us for many years, told me she was looking at transferring her site to cheaper hosting so she could save a few dollars. I told her all the reasons why she should reconsider, including all the many critical things that her current hosting was providing her that cheaper hosting would not include, to which she said:

“But I have never had problems with my hosting!”

To which I replied:

That is because you have good hosting.”

When your website hosting works, it just works. You shouldn’t have to think about it much at all. But bad or cheaper hosting can cause more headaches than you can imagine, and I have been through it all – having dealt with cheaper hosting in the early days of my career.

This is why we cannot recommend cheap hosting providers – we already know where that story goes, and we don’t want that kind of pain for ourselves or our clients.

The moral of the story

So the moral of the story is – cheaper hosting is false economy when it comes to a business website.

You don’t want to spend hours tearing your hair out over technical issues that you can’t get support for, or miss out on customers because your website is not fast or secure.

Remind yourself – this is one of the most important business assets you will ever have.

It is worth investing in.

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