types of WordPress hosting plans

Ever looked at a WordPress host’s offerings only to be confused by jargony phrases like “shared”, “VPS”, “dedicated” and more? What do all these words mean? Do they matter? And which one should you choose when browsing through all these different types of WordPress hosting plans?

Beyond understanding the basic terminology, the key to making the right decision is to know what each type of WordPress hosting plan brings to the table, and how it can benefit you. That way, you’ll understand which plan you should choose and when it might be time for an upgrade.

In this article, we’ll teach you all about the four main types of WordPress hosting plans. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get started!

The four main types of WordPress hosting plans, in a nutshell

If you’re in a hurry, you can see how each type of WordPress hosting plan compares to the others in the following table. We used a score ranging from 1 to 5 to rate each feature:

Four main types of WordPress hosting plans
Shared HostingVirtual Private ServersCloud HostingDedicated Servers
Best forBeginners launching first siteSites with medium trafficEveryone, depending on the planSites with high traffic (100k+ visits)
Speed1-23-44-54-5
Stability4-54-554-5
Scalability1355
Options to customize1-2555
Hosts to considerSiteGround // A2 HostingInMotion Hosting // HostGatorKinsta // A2 Hosting // WP EngineInMotion Hosting

Some of these scores are listed as ranges, since plans and features tend to vary between web hosts. As for pricing, there are too many options available to provide consistent averages, but you can take a look at our recommended providers to find one that fits your budget.

Finally, keep in mind that these suggestions aren’t meant to be the final word on the subject. They’re merely based on our own observations. If none of the providers we’ve listed meet your needs, there are plenty of other popular WordPress hosting companies out there.

Every type of WordPress hosting plan in more detail

Before we get into the details for each of these types of WordPress hosting plans, we want to point out that you’ll still need to look for an actual hosting provider after you’ve made your choice. In this post, we’re discussing the types of plans offered by hosts – not specific WordPress hosting companies.

When you’re in the market for a new web host, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the following criteria:

  1. Scalability
  2. Security
  3. Support
  4. Reputation

You can read all about these elements in our guide to choosing a WordPress hosting company. For now, let’s focus on the most popular types of plans these WordPress hosting companies offer.

Note. Here’s a quick video to add some more context to the topic:


1. Shared hosting plans for WordPress

When you use a shared hosting plan, you’re one of many customers splitting the use of a single server.

At first glance, shared plans may not sound all that compelling, but they have their benefits:

  • Low prices: Sharing servers among more than one site enables providers to pass their savings onto you.
  • Easy to set up: Shared hosting plans are usually simple to use, and in some cases, your host will even set up WordPress for you.

Shared hosting is the perfect option if you’re creating your first website or would like to take things slow and upgrade as the need arises. The best part is that almost every provider offers shared hosting plans at relatively low prices.

Interesting shared hosting plans for WordPress: SiteGround, A2 Hosting

Types of WordPress hosting plans: An example of a shared hosting plan.

A2 Hosting review offers some of the most affordable (and speedy) shared hosting plans around. Here’s our A2 Hosting review.

2. Virtual private server plans

Like shared hosting, Virtual Private Servers (VPSs) have you sharing hardware with other users. However, in this case, you get your own “virtual space” all to yourself.

So even though you don’t have access to the whole server, you still have more isolation than with a shared plan. This has a few benefits:

  • Dedicated resources: Each VPS is basically its own computer, which means you don’t need to share resources with other users.
  • Increased customization: Most VPSs enable you to customize several aspects of their configuration, including which OS to use and the amount of power you want.
  • Relatively cheap: While more costly than shared hosting, VPSs are still relatively inexpensive.

Many hosts offer two types of VPSs – managed and unmanaged. The first is perfect for users who want to enjoy the benefits of this type of plan without having to make tons of manual changes, and the latter is ideal if you have some experience configuring servers. Keep in mind, though, that managed VPSs tend to be more expensive than their counterparts.

Interesting virtual private server plans: InMotion Hosting, HostGator

InMotion vps

InMotion Hosting might not be the cheapest VPS host, but it offers an excellent experience. Here’s our InMotion Hosting review.

3. Cloud hosting plans

Among the various types of WordPress hosting plans, this one is very different from the options we’ve covered so far.

Technically it offers VPSs, but each virtual ‘machine’ is distributed through multiple servers (hence the ‘cloud’ moniker).

Here’s how that can benefit you:

  • Excellent stability: Since your machine is balanced between multiple servers, downtime becomes almost non-existent.
  • Superb scalability: Since you’re using a VPS that draws from more than one server, you can always increase its resources to deal with influxes of traffic.

This type of plan is still relatively new to the hosting world. However, it offers a great middle option between VPSs and dedicated servers. Cloud hosting plans are cheaper than the latter and tend to be more stable than the former. If you think you’ve outgrown your VPS or you’re looking for a comparable solution that can handle more traffic, this is the obvious choice.

Interesting cloud hosting plans: Kinsta, A2 Hosting, WP Engine

An example of cloud hosting plans.

HostGator offers a number of interesting cloud hosting plans.

4. Dedicated server plans

With a dedicated server, you don’t have to share hosting resources with any other users.

As the name implies, you get a physical server all to yourself.

There are several benefits to such an arrangement, including:

  • Dedicated resources: Just as with VPSs – only in this case, you usually get more robust hardware.
  • Superior customization: You have your own server all to yourself, so you’re free to tinker with it.
  • Scalability: The resources you get with most dedicated server plans should be enough to keep your site running in top shape even as it expands.

That list of features sounds ideal. As you can no doubt imagine, though, having your own server isn’t cheap. If you don’t have a website that is already generating revenue – or some starting capital of your own – opting for a dedicated server right off the bat usually isn’t the best choice.

Interesting dedicated server plans: InMotion Hosting

Conclusion

Picking the perfect provider and the right WordPress hosting plan are equally important. Ultimately, the type of WordPress hosting plan you choose will determine what resources you have available, and therefore impact your site’s performance. Understanding all the options and knowing which one best fits your needs is crucial to making an informed decision.

Here are the four most popular types of WordPress hosting plans you can pick from:

  1. Shared hosting: A low-cost option that’s perfect for small websites.
  2. Virtual private servers: Ideal if you’re looking for a ‘dedicated’ solution at reasonable prices.
  3. Cloud hosting: A middle point between VPSs and dedicated servers, with outstanding scalability.
  4. Dedicated servers: The way to go for established websites that require dedicated resources.

Do you have any questions about how to pick the perfect WordPress hosting plan for your needs? Feel free to ask us in the comments section below!

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