According to W3Techs, WordPress powers nearly 40 per cent of all websites on the internet. If your business is online, there’s a good chance you’re either already running WordPress or you’re thinking about switching to it.
But if you run it on the wrong hosting platform, you could run into all kinds of trouble with WordPress. In this article, we’re going to look at regular web hosting vs WordPress hosting and why it makes such a difference.
What is Web Hosting vs WordPress Hosting?
There are several differences between typical web hosting plans and a hosting service designed for WordPress. The most important ones include:
- Server configuration
- Support for WordPress technologies
Some might seem more important to you than others but they all have a big impact on your website’s performance.
A typical web hosting plan configures the server to meet the widest possible range of needs. This means it’s compatible with almost everything but it isn’t optimized for anything.
WordPress hosts configure the server in a way that works best for WordPress-based sites. While this could limit you from running other software on your server, it means WordPress is more efficient and reliable — giving your website visitors the best possible experience.
Optimized for WordPress Technologies
Most WordPress hosting services use the LAMP stack. This includes several technologies:
- Linux operating system
- Apache webserver
- MySQL database
- PHP programming language
These are the core technologies in WordPress itself so having a server that’s built to work with LAMP means fewer compatibility issues and less chance of your website going down.
At its core, WordPress is a database. When you create a new page on your website, the contents of that page get saved in a database entry.
When a visitor lands on that page on your website, WordPress pulls the content from the database, adds the “theme” code that creates the layout of your site, and sends the whole thing to the visitor.
As your website gets more popular, more visitors could land on a given page at the same time. This creates a lot of overhead for WordPress to manage so the server needs to be able to scale its resources to meet those needs.
With typical hosting, a spike in traffic to your WordPress-based website could mean visitors can’t access it. WordPress hosting can scale up to meet those extra needs so potential visitors don’t click away to your competition.
6 Benefits of WordPress Hosting
The differences we discussed add up to several benefits for WordPress hosting compared to general-purpose hosts. But there are a few other benefits of working with a WordPress hosting service beyond the server itself.
1. More Efficient Server Configurations
With a server optimized for running WordPress, your website will load faster for your visitors.
Studies show that over 50 per cent of users click away if a site takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Optimized WordPress hosting helps ensure you don’t lose those visitors and potential customers before they see what you have to offer.
2. Expert Support
A big advantage of working with a WordPress hosting service is that their support staff are experts in WordPress. They’ll be able to help with things like installing plugins, changing themes, and updating WordPress to a new version.
If you’re working with a general-purpose host, they won’t know much about WordPress. You’ll either have to pay someone else to handle those things or spend a lot of time learning how to do it yourself.
3. Better Security
With so many websites using WordPress, it’s an attractive target for hackers. Keeping your WordPress installation up to date and hardening the server against potential threats is critical if you want to keep your company’s data and visitor information safe.
A WordPress hosting service understands those threats and configures the server to block the most common attacks. With a general-purpose hosting plan, the security will be up to you to manage.
4. Scalable to Meet Your Needs
As your website becomes more popular and your traffic starts to grow, it will put a heavier load on the server. WordPress hosting offers scalable servers that automatically add resources when you need them.
If you get a sudden spike in traffic because your website gets mentioned on another popular site, you don’t need to worry about it crashing or loading extremely slowly. And if the traffic drops back to normal levels afterward, the server can scale back down as well.
5. Automatic Backups
There have been a lot of high-profile data breaches in the last couple of years. Those breaches often end up with a lot of lost data.
Breaches aren’t the only concern about the data on your website though. Hardware failures and human errors can also lead to data loss.
The best way to protect yourself against those potential losses is to have a good backup system. WordPress hosting will automatically back up the information on your website so you can get up and running quickly if you run into a problem.
6. Staging Servers
One of the reasons WordPress is so popular is its strong third-party support. There are thousands of plugins that add functionality to your website and various themes to redesign how it looks.
Adding new themes or plugins can be a bit risky on a live site though. The last thing you want to do is break something that causes your site to go down.
Staging servers let you test those things on a separate server so it won’t affect your live website. Configure everything the way you want, test it to be sure it’s all working, and then update your production site.
WordPress hosting makes it easy to move the staging configuration over to your live site once you’ve fully tested it.
WordPress Hosting Will Make for Happier Website Visitors
Your website is the first experience many customers have with your company. If the site is slow or not available, they’re going to move on and probably never return.
Now that you understand the differences between regular web hosting vs WordPress hosting, it should be clear which will provide a better experience for your users.
JWHost’s managed WordPress hosting plans ensure you get the most out of WordPress. And our team of experts is here to help at every stage, from setting up your new website to keeping it running smoothly. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you grow your business online.