Before creating a website, WordPress web creators need to pick a hosting service provider and select a plan. This is one of the first decisions made in the web creation process, and it’s an important one.
Hosting directly impacts website performance, which has a pronounced effect on the user experience. A fast-loading, responsive website will outperform a sluggish and unresponsive one in most metrics that matter – conversion rate, search engine ranking, overall profitability, and more.
There are hundreds of thousands of hosting options on the market, and most of them meet WordPress’s minimum requirements. Most hosting providers offer the same basic packages with a broadly similar set of features and add-ons.
Hosting is a mature and competitive industry, yet it has grown at a rate of 15% for the last two decades. Since many hosting companies have been around since the beginning, you may think that all hosting services are roughly the same. That’s not quite the case. There are still a few stand-out options that WordPress web creators should be aware of in 2022.
To show what those options are and how they impact the WordPress web creation process, we need to cover the most prominent WordPress hosting options, and talk about the main options it offers to customers.
Shared hosting is the most inexpensive hosting option most providers offer. In a shared hosting solution, your website shares server resources with multiple other websites. The practical benefit is that you don’t have to pay for an entire dedicated server and you don’t need to learn any technical skills to configure your server.
This has made shared hosting the most popular choice among hosting services, but it comes with drawbacks. Sharing server resources means you cannot be certain how your website will perform during peak periods. It also makes securing your website more challenging – you have very limited control over how your web server works and what security solutions it uses.
Consider this scenario: if your website shares a server with a website that has been compromised by cybercriminals, security firms may blacklist the compromised website’s IP address. That would mean your website is also blacklisted, since you share the same server (and thus the same IP).
As cybersecurity takes center stage in today’s volatile geopolitical environment, more web creators are choosing hosts with best-in-class security technologies. Cyberattacks don’t just happen to major enterprises and large-scale infrastructure providers. 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses, and the number is growing every year.
Nevertheless, shared hosting is often the package of choice for startups and entrepreneurs who need to cut costs. Low monthly prices make it easier for web creators to focus on building their brand until they achieve profitability. At that point, making the switch to dedicated or cloud hosting becomes a top priority.
Dedicated hosting gives web creators total control over their web servers, enabling reliable performance and total customization. With a dedicated hosting solution, there is no threat of your IP address being blacklisted due to some other website’s activities – yours is the only site on that device.
Dedicated hosting plans include everything from renting a single small-scale server to leasing an entire data center. They may contain extra features like additional IP addresses, failover protection, and advanced security and backup solutions. If there are special features that you can’t live without, there is probably a dedicated hosting service out there willing to meet your needs.
Many high quality dedicated hosting plans come with substantial IT support. This can be very useful because the responsibility for configuring your dedicated server falls squarely on your shoulders. You (or a hired IT specialist) will do all the work of implementing software, securing your server, and optimizing its performance.
Unsurprisingly, this is a popular option among enterprises and large institutions. Organizations with large budgets can afford to rent servers (or entire data centers) as needed, and often at a lower price compared to the cost of building their own on-premises solution.
Today’s growth-oriented web creators often start with dedicated hosting from the very beginning. They know it will provide enough server resources to handle long-term growth and high traffic periods. They also know they’ll end up paying for server resources they do not use, at least in the short-term, and accept that as a business cost.
That price difference can be substantial. Purchasing dedicated hosting from a major provider like BlueHost or HostGator can cost twenty to thirty times as much as a shared hosting plan. For cash-strapped startups and online retailers, this fixed cost cuts deeply into profitability and growth.
Cloud technology has brought significant change to the hosting industry. Instead of making web creators choose between sharing a single server or configuring their own, some hosts provide scalable, on-demand hosting through a managed service contract.
In this scenario, the server doesn’t have to be a physical device in a data center. It can be virtualized as a cloud service, and managed entirely by the hosting provider. This way, customers pay for exactly the resources they use, and can flexibly scale their services as needed.
Cloud hosting occupies an important middle ground between shared and dedicated hosting. Its growth patterns show that cloud hosting is beginning to replace shared hosting for many web creators. With a compound annual growth rate of 18.3%, cloud hosting is currently outperforming both hosting alternative options.
Compatibility and pre-installed software are two other key benefits to cloud hosting. Many new hosting providers address specific niche markets that use particular technologies and platforms, providing hosting that is optimized for that use case scenario.
For example, Elementor’s built-in cloud hosting solution comes with WordPress pre-installed. The company’s top-rated code-free website builder and several valuable security solutions are also implemented from the very start.
This makes it easy for web creators to skip the laborious, technical process of configuring a dedicated server without compromising on hosting performance. Your cloud-hosted website has access to the resources it needs, when it needs them, and comes pre-optimized for performance efficiency.
Choose your hosting plan with an eye for scalability
As your business grows, its hosting needs will change. Migrating from a shared hosting plan to a dedicated server can be expensive and time-consuming. Scalable cloud-hosting solutions offer a flexible solution for managing growth without having to purchase server resources you’re not sure you will end up using. Scalable cloud hosting is an ideal choice for web creators on every side of the spectrum, from freelancers to established businesses alike.