A web hosting sign in front of a server offering Managed WordPress and Shared Hosting options.

Managed WordPress vs. Shared Hosting: Which is the Best Option for Your Website?

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Introduction to Web Hosting

To get your website online, you need a place for all the underlying files and data to be stored, managed, and accessed by visitors. This place is called web hosting.

Your web hosting provider uses physical servers and other technology to allow visitors to actually view your site on the internet. Without web hosting, your website would not actually exist online, even if you own a domain name like ehoustonstudio.com.

There are quite a few companies that specialize in providing web hosting services. They maintain large networks of servers that host thousands of websites. When you sign up for hosting, your site gets space on one of these servers to store all your site’s files and databases.

The server then delivers your website to users whenever they type your URL in the browser. Pretty cool, right?

What’s the Difference Between Managed and Shared Hosting?

As you’re getting ready to create a website, one of the first decisions you need to make is where to host your site. Before you choose the company, you’ll want to decide whether to sign up for shared hosting or managed WordPress hosting. But what exactly do these terms mean?

Shared hosting is when your website shares server space and resources with other sites. Managed WordPress hosting provides servers optimized specifically for WordPress sites, along with expert support.

Let’s look at shared vs. managed WordPress hosting to help you figure out the best home for your website.

A laptop displaying a comparison between Managed WordPress and Shared Hosting for website owners.

Understanding Shared Hosting

With shared hosting, websites from multiple customers are hosted on the same server. This server has limited resources like disk space, bandwidth, memory, and processing power. These resources are shared by all the websites on that server.

The main advantage of shared hosting is that it is budget-friendly. Starting at around $5-10 per month, it is the most affordable hosting option. This makes it popular for new websites, blogs, and small businesses on a tight budget.

However, there are some downsides to consider with shared hosting:

  • Slower performance – With limited resources being shared, sites may load slower when traffic is high.
  • Less stability – Issues with a neighboring site can affect yours.
  • Basic support – Support focuses on server needs rather than WordPress-specific help.
  • Fewer features – Add-ons like backups and security may cost extra.
  • Limited scalability – As your site grows, shared hosting can run out of resources.

Overall, shared hosting works well for smaller, low-traffic websites that don’t require extensive features or support. But for larger or more complex sites, managed WordPress hosting may be the better fit.

Understanding Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress hosting provides a version of web hosting specifically optimized for WordPress users. It offers a suite of features to make managing a WordPress site easier.

These hosts carefully configure the servers and proactively monitor them for any issues. Some key benefits of managed WordPress hosting include:

  • Enhanced security – Providers implement extra protections like firewalls to secure sites.
  • Automatic updates – Hosts (can) manage updates for WordPress itself, plugins, and themes for you.
  • Backups – Daily backups of your site come standard.
  • Expert support – It’s easy to access WordPress-specific support when needed.
  • Staging environments – Creating staging sites allows you to test changes safely before going live.
  • Improved performance – Resources are dedicated to your site for faster speeds.

This specialized service does come at a higher price point than shared hosting. Plans start around $20-$30 per month. However, for busy entrepreneurs, agencies, and established sites, the convenience and features are well worth it.

The hands-off management and robust features make managed WordPress hosting ideal if you want to focus on creating content rather than managing servers. It provides the stability and support larger or business-critical sites require.

Shared Hosting vs Managed WordPress Hosting

Shared hosting and managed WordPress hosting both have their pros and cons. Choosing the right option depends on your budget, needs, and technical skills. Here’s a quick breakdown to help you make that decision:

Shared Hosting

Advantages

  • Budget-friendly
  • Easy setup
  • Good for new sites

Disadvantages

  • Shared resources can slow performance
  • Limited storage and bandwidth
  • Less optimized for WordPress

Managed WordPress Hosting

Advantages

  • Optimized for WordPress
  • Faster speeds and improved security
  • Automatic updates and backups
  • Expert WordPress support

Disadvantages

  • More expensive than shared hosting
  • Potential limits on visitors or storage

In summary, shared hosting works well for smaller budgets and new sites. But managed WordPress hosting is better for performance, security, and support if you can afford the higher cost. Evaluate your needs and technical expertise when deciding.

Two people working in an office with headsets on, comparing Managed WordPress and Shared Hosting options for their website.

E. Houston Studio Managed Hosting Recommendations

Managed WordPress hosting providers are typically all fantastic at what they do. I recommend and use Pressable and Flywheel for their customer support, features, and pricing options that work no matter where you are in you business.

Pressable

Pressable offers a variety of features to help you optimize your website, such as:

  • 30 days of free daily backups
  • Free staging environment
  • Free site migration
  • Free global content delivery network
  • 100% uptime guarantee
  • Jetpack Security (on most plans)

Pressable is my most recommended web host for clients who manage their own sites once they’re live. If you don’t want to worry about updating plugins on your site and the potential issues that come with this critical maintenance step, you can let Pressable take care of all of that for you for just $3 a month (at the time of this writing)! You’ll also get reports on site performance before and after updates along with backups during each step of the process to make sure you can easily restore a previous version of your site.

Currently, you won’t find Pressable’s most affordable Entry Plan featured on their website, but I am able to offer the entry level hosting plan exclusively as an affiliate and fan of Pressable!

Where WordPress Works Best

Flywheel

Flywheel is another managed WordPress hosting provider that has a lot of great features going for it. All of their plans come with:

*If you’re looking for a mobile-responsive, easy-to-install, accessible, customizable premium WordPress theme, I highly recommend one of the StudioPress themes for your website. By choosing Flywheel as your host, you’ll have access to a selection of these themes for free to use with your website!

Note: I also offer a Quick Start WordPress Website Setup Service with your choice of any of the StudioPress themes in my agency collection, no matter which hosting provider you decide to use.

This site (E. Houston Studio) is hosted on Flywheel, and in addition to the features mentioned above, I really enjoy logging onto their user-friendly dashboard. They also created a free tool called Local, which lets you develop your website right on your computer before pushing it live! And anytime you want to make changes to your site without the risk of messing up the live website, you can pull it down to Local to work on it, and then have your changes go live.

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My Shared Hosting Recommendations

For budget-friendly shared hosting, two of the best options are:

BigScoots

BigScoots offers affordable shared hosting with a focus on flexibility and customer support. BigScoots has been so efficient and helpful in my experience with migrating sites to their platform.

Note: BigScoots does offer both shared and managed WordPress hosting. If you are looking for the more economical shared hosting option, make sure you select “Shared” under “Web Hosting” in the Products dropdown menu:

A screen shot of a website with the words 'managed options'.

SiteGround

SiteGround is also known for their fast, reliable performance and excellent customer service.

Several of my websites were originally hosted on SiteGround, and I still recommend them, even though I decided to migrate my SiteGround sites to BigScoots. I was always happy with their service and the overall user experience, but I found that BigScoots’ pricing for hosting multiple smaller websites made them the better option for me. SiteGround does offer some amazing deals throughout the year, though, especially if you’re a new customer!

Ad - Web Hosting from SiteGround - Crafted for easy site management. Click to learn more.

While shared hosting isn’t always known to come with the best support, I think you’ll be pleased choosing either of these shared hosting providers for your website. Both BigScoots and SiteGround shared hosting plans come with:

  • Free SSL certificates
  • 24/7 support
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Free site migration

Which Hosting Provider Will You Choose?

The right choice depends on your specific needs and priorities. For brand new sites with limited traffic, shared hosting offers an affordable starting point. But for larger or higher traffic sites, managed WordPress hosting provides optimized servers and expert support.

Keep in mind, you’re not locked into one host forever. Many find it beneficial to start with shared hosting when initially launching their site and later upgrade to managed WordPress hosting as their needs grow.

No matter where you are in your website journey, I’m here to help guide you in choosing the ideal hosting plan. Please feel free to reach out with any questions—I’m happy to provide personalized hosting recommendations based on your website goals and budget.

Ready to get started? Fill out the form below so we can chat about launching your site with the perfect hosting solution!

Contact E. Houston Studio for Hosting Recommendations:

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