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What exactly is WordPress hosting?

Photo by Fikret tozak / Unsplash

You've probably heard of WordPress if you've been thinking about pouring your creativity into a personal blog, launching an online start-up, or upgrading your business with a professional website - and if you've heard of WordPress, you've probably also heard of WordPress hosting.

WordPress hosting is a type of web hosting service designed specifically for WordPress, which means its packages are pre-configured to maximize its power. While there is no industry standard for WordPress hosting and packages vary from provider to provider, they all serve the same purpose: to make using WordPress simple, quick, and secure.

While you don't need to buy a WordPress-specific package to use WordPress, choosing a top WordPress host will improve your website's performance, security, and time-saving features like one-click WordPress installation (or having it pre-installed) and automatic WordPress updates.

So, if you're thinking about getting WordPress hosting and want to learn more about it, you've come to the right place.

We'll look at the inner workings of WordPress, its overall cost, the benefits of using it as your site-building tool of choice, and the common misunderstandings people have about the various types of hosting that support the most popular content management system (CMS) under the digital sun.

Although it is possible to create a successful WordPress site without using a WordPress-specific hosting solution, these are frequently packed with useful features that will help your site's performance in the long run.

In layman's terms, the WordPress hosting solution is similar to standard shared hosting packages but includes a few WordPress-specific features such as superior security (because WordPress is an open-source software), quick setup, fast performance, automatic updates, improved plugin functionality, simple-to-add SSL certificates, and knowledgeable customer support specializing in WordPress.

However, sooner or later, you'll come across a web hosting provider that advertises its shared hosting packages as WordPress hosting but provides nothing WordPress-specific aside from one-click installation. And, given that most popular hosts provide cPanel, which includes a one-click WordPress installer, this is merely an unfortunate upsell.

WordPress hosting prices

While WordPress is a free, open-source software, you will need to spend some money on a domain name and web hosting service.

Fortunately, there are plenty of low-cost, entry-level hosting services on the market that don't skimp on features or performance.

Bluehost's entry-level, WordPress-specific hosting plan, for example, starts at $2.75 per month and includes a free domain for one year, a free SSL certificate, a free CDN, and round-the-clock customer support - all of which are essential at the start.

HostGator starts at $3.98 per month, Hostinger at $3.99, and InMotion Hosting at a slightly higher $4.99 per month - and all of these hosts offer excellent value for money.

WordPress hosting as opposed to web hosting
The primary distinction between these two is that web hosting is a broader term than WordPress hosting, referring to any type of hosting service that rents a portion of the company's server space to store the site's files and allows it to exist on the internet.

WordPress hosting, on the other hand, refers to a specialized service designed for WordPress sites. While it can also use a shared server to host multiple sites at the same time, unlike standard web hosting, each site on this server is built with WordPress.

Additionally, WordPress hosting includes CMS-optimized resources (such as increased PHP memory), access to themes, extensions, and plugins, and additional services that aim to simplify the process of creating and running a WordPress site.

Advantages of WordPress Hosting

While the benefits of WordPress hosting vary depending on the provider, we almost always see lightning-fast speed, superior level of WordPress-specific security, and up-to-date software.

Also, if you're not particularly tech-savvy, you'll appreciate the ease of installation, specialized customer support, and overall usability of such a solution.

Who should make use of WordPress hosting?
Because WordPress was designed with non-techies and tech-wizards in mind, even if you have little to no experience with it, you'll figure out how everything works in no time. Simply follow a few step-by-step instructions and don't forget to contact support if you get stuck.

If you don't have the time to handle everything yourself, a WordPress-specific hosting solution can relieve some of the burden, saving you both time and trouble - and for only a few dollars per month.

If you want to avoid managing your site entirely, you can opt for fully managed WordPress hosting - but be prepared to pay a premium.

Is WordPress hosting required to run WordPress?

No, WordPress does not require WordPress-specific hosting; you can install WordPress from a cPanel or manually via FTP by downloading the latest version from and following an official how-to guide.

However, there are a few WordPress server recommendations to look for when selecting a web hosting provider. These include PHP 7.4 or higher, MySQL 5.7 or higher (or MariaDB 10.2 or higher), HTTPS support, and Nginx or Apache with the mod rewrite module.

Also, make sure you have at least 1GB of storage space, 512MB of RAM, and a processor that runs at 1.0GHz or higher.

WordPress shared hosting vs. WordPress managed hosting
While these are the two most popular options for WordPress sites, if you're new to building a WordPress site, you may be confused about them - so let's clear that up.

Managed WordPress hosting, as the name implies, includes a set of services that relieve users of the never-ending task of site maintenance, allowing them to focus on other tasks. However, this type of liberty comes at a high cost.

A managed WordPress solution should at the very least include installation, updates, security checks, and regular backups of your site.

Apart from being significantly less expensive, standard shared WordPress hosting falls short of its managed counterpart - unless you enjoy dealing with technical issues.

Is WordPress hosting suitable for you?
Because WordPress hosting is tailored to simplify site creation, increase security, and speed up a WordPress site, if you're thinking about starting one, you should look into the best WordPress hosting solution currently available.

If you're just getting started, one of the unmanaged WordPress hosting solutions should suffice - and it's as cheap as some shared hosting packages.

If you already have a business website and want to focus on growing your business rather than site maintenance, managed WordPress hosting may be your best bet.