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The Difference Between General Hosting and WordPress Hosting

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The Difference Between General Hosting and WordPress Hosting

In this post we dive into the difference between the two dominant types of web hosting applications, and which one is best for you.

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We come across many hosting providers offering two kinds of shared hosting: general hosting and WordPress hosting. Confused? I was too when I read about these two different, but similar, products. I thought it was just a marketing tactic to encourage more WordPress users to go for their shared hosting, under a different name.

But after some research and asking many experts, I had to change my opinion. There are many differences between general hosting and WordPress hosting.

General shared hosting is configured to cater to the needs of all kinds of users. People who host simple HTML sites, Joomla sites, custom PHP scripts, ruby scripts, etc., on shared hosts. So hosting providers adjust their settings in order to provide a balance to all kind of users.

But WordPress hosting is configured to serve only WordPress site owners. So what’s the actual difference between general hosting and WordPress hosting? Actually, WordPress hosting has the following advantages over general hosting.

1. Better Speed

WordPress hosting is optimized for WordPress sites so we see a significant increase in the speed of our websites. We have to put less effort into optimizing our website since most of the work is already done for us.

Is speed important? Obviously, it's extremely important,  which is a topic I have already covered in my article, Benefits of Faster Website Page Load in 2017, Is It Really Worth It?

2. Security

WordPress is an extremely secure CMS and it’s extremely hard to hack it. Did you just read extremely hard? Yes, it's extremely hard, but not impossible. Hackers can still find a way to get into a WordPress site through outdated plugins, themes, and some of the malfunctioned plugins. WordPress hosting provides some extra layers of security to its users by providing automated backups, plugins for security, etc.

3. Support

Most of the companies providing WordPress hosting invest in WordPress specialists to deal with customer queries related to this CMS. These tech guys can help resolve your WordPress problems much more effectively than a general tech guy.

4. Upgrade and Maintenance

WordPress hosting provides an auto theme and plugin upgrades as well as some basic maintenance for your WordPress site, which you would otherwise have to do yourself. They backup your WordPress data to an offsite location and make it easier for you to retrieve that data when needed.

5. Convenience

You don’t need to bother about security, speed, and maintenance of your site. Isn’t that convenient?

6. Handle More Visitors

When using a WordPress site you don’t have to worry about the CPU resources your site is using or any other similar constraint. You also don’t have to worry about a sudden increase in traffic. Most of WordPress hosting providers allow you to have a specified amount of visitors every month, no matter if they all arrive all at once or one by one. On the other hand, you may get your hosting account suspended if a large wave of visitors hits your website all at once.

7. Value-Added Tools

WordPress hosting providers always have some value added tools to offer to their customers. They could offer you a free subscription to some premium service, premium plugins for free, or something similar to add value to their service.

Disadvantages?

Surely there are a couple of disadvantages as well. First of all, WordPress hosting comes at a much higher cost as compared to a shared host, most of the time.

Secondly, most of hosting providers will allow you to host WordPress sites only on their WordPress hosting service. So if you have a PHP or Ruby on Rails script to try, you will need to buy a different plan.

Recommendations

As long as you can afford it, I would always suggest you go for WordPress hosting for your sites rather than generic hosting. It could eradicate a lot of hassle in the long run.

Curious about what are the best WordPress hosting providers? Here are my recommendations:

  1. Bluehost. They're a little expensive, but provide the best quality. Even WordPress.org recommends Bluehost.
  2. Hostgator. They're not at the top, but definitley one of the best. 
  3. Inmotion. A nice alternative for those on a budget. 

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Topics:
wordpress ,web hosting ,web dev ,shared hosting

Published at DZone with permission of Awais Raza. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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