WordPress Hosting – Shared Vs Dedicated

/ Misc, Wordpress / by Jonas Bates / 11 Comments
This post was published back on October 2, 2010 and may be outdated. Please use caution when following older tutorials or using older code. After reading be sure to check for newer procedures or updates to code.

Deciding which type of web hosting to go with can often be a confusing decision. There are a lot of technical differences between one web hosting server and another. Additionally, when you decide you want to use WordPress on your web hosting server, there are even more issues to put into consideration. The two most popular types of web hosting are a shared server and a dedicated server, and hosting WordPress on one or the other provides different pros and cons for each.

One of the major benefits of hosting WordPress on a dedicated server is control. Dedicated servers give you complete freedom over the machine, and the ability to modify anything to fit your personal preferences. With this freedom, there is the major responsibility of having to handle every technical aspect on your own. This fact can defer users who may not feel completely comfortable with technology away from going with a dedicated web hosting server. However, it can be beneficial if you have the technical aptitude and time required to manage a dedicated server due to the flexibility of being able to tailor the WordPress setup specifically to your needs.

Shared hosting on the other hand shares system resources with other web hosting users. The WordPress installation will reside on a machine that is also home to multiple installations from other users. Basically the machine has multiple environments set up to separate one user from another. If something were to go wrong with the WordPress setup or configuration, you will find yourself stuck at the mercy of the web hosting company to resolve the issue. This lack of control often persuades many to choose a dedicated server. Many users prefer to have the peace of mind that they are able to resolve issues immediately if they do occur. However, shared servers do offer a few positive qualities. It is often much more user-friendly to set up WordPress on a shared server. You also have the added benefit of not having to manage every detail on the server, which can save a considerable amount of time over the alternative.

In conclusion, the shared vs dedicated hosting debate really comes down to personal preference. If you want complete control over the machine that WordPress is installed on, then you would probably prefer to go with a dedicated web hosting server. Alternatively, if you value your time over control, then choosing a shared web hosting server would probably serve as a better fit for you.


Author’s gravatar

“[it] comes down to personal preference.”
Not necessarily; I would love to still be on cheaper and easier shared hosting. Unfortunately most of the blogs/sites I launch become to resource heavy and I inevitably get suspended :-\

Author’s gravatar

Hi Shane,

I would tend to agree with you, but for the majority of users starting off a WordPress blog shared or dedicated hosting is probably more of a personal choice.

I must admit though that some shared hosts are better than others. This site is on shared hosting & gets a fair amount of visitors, but manages to survive comfortably. Although that is only because of a powerful caching system I have set up to cope with resource usage.

Anyway hopefully Jonas, who guest posted this article, will pitch in to show his opinion. 😉

Author’s gravatar

Well i go with shared hosting first then if the site goes bigger move to VPs then least dedicated so Dedicated in last choice when site makes money enough to pay the hosting

Author’s gravatar

What if you have many visitors ? why don’t you say something about that .if you have many visitors you will be forced to move to a dedicated server,you don’t have the option to choose

Author’s gravatar

I can’t answer that as Jonas wrote this post, but my opinion is this.

If you have a large amount of visitors, or your project is predicted to have a large amount of visitors from the start. You shouldn’t even be considering this argument as it’s a given you’d probably need dedicated or virtual hosting to cope with the traffic.

Author’s gravatar


I was just wondering if anyone has subscribed to both shared and dedicated hosting. I am currently in the process of moving to dedicated hosting. I am however sceptical that my server will be shared even though its dedicated. Is there a way to check this?


Author’s gravatar

You could use one of the many who is type sites to see if there are multiple domain names registered to the IP of your dedicated server. This one shows (under reverse IP) that I have at least another 28 sites on the same server as me.

You might already know this, but are you sure it is dedicated and not a VPS or Virtual Private Server, sometimes called VDS (Virtual Dedicated Servers)? VPS (VDS) servers are actually shared, but they run a hypervisor which allows your part of the server to act as if it is a completely separate computer. In reality you are still sharing resources but there are generally fewer users to each computer & since you have a virtual OS you get superuser access to your OS and can install practically anything.

Author’s gravatar

Hi Paul,

Thanks for introducing me to DomainTools.com, i had never heard of it.

Yes, I will be proceding with fully Dedicated Servers no VPS, but I’ve read stories where unauthorized websites were hosted on a Dedicated Server without customer knowledge. I ran the ReverseIP on my shared hosting account, only 1 domain name shows. I’m pretty sure I’m sharing a real server with 20 other domains.

I was just wondering if you knew how I could detect rogue users/domains on my web server if I purchased Dedicated. Flipside, how could I detect if I was given a VPS for Dedicated pricing which is more prevalent.

I run virtualbox which is similar to VPS. The only way I can tell it is virtual is there is no access to the BIOS config. Otherwise everything checks out as a real machine.

Author’s gravatar

I’m no expert on hypervisor OSs and hosting but I can’t find or think of any obvious way to tell if you hosting is truly dedicated other than asking your host for proof that you are the only user on that server. What that proof that would be I’ve no idea.

No problem I use domaintools all the time great little website for checking things out. 😉

I have ran virtualbox and even the virtual version of Win XP that Microsoft offered when Win 7 came out. They are great little tools.

I guess you could try asking you host the exact stats of the server then check the hardware on your server, which you should be able to do with superroot access, and make sure you have access to it all. Normally a VPS only has access to the allocated RAM, HDD, and CPU time so if it’s less than the stats they give you it’s probably virtual. No idea if that works as I can’t try it, but just throwing ideas out there…

Author’s gravatar

Thanks Paul,

I will keep your advice in mind. Good luck with the blog. Good stuff.


Author’s gravatar

No worries. Thank you, hope I was able to help. Good luck to you too. 🙂

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