WordPress powers over 40% of all websites, making it the world’s most popular CMS.
As a WordPress site owner, choosing the right hosting for your needs is critical to get the best performance, security, and scalability.
Shared hosting plans are common for WordPress, but come with limitations on resources.
VPS (virtual private server) hosting has emerged as an appealing alternative, providing guaranteed resources in an isolated environment.
In this guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of using VPS hosting for WordPress installations to help you decide if it’s the right choice.
The Pros of VPS Hosting for WordPress
Guaranteed Resources and Performance
The main appeal of VPS hosting is having dedicated resources allocated exclusively for your site, unlike shared hosting where you compete for resources.
This ensures consistent, predictable high performance. Your WordPress site doesn’t slow down when neighboring accounts spike in traffic.
Resources like CPU, memory, and storage can also be customized to optimize your WordPress configuration.
Ability to Scale Vertically
With shared hosting, you’re limited to the available resources on the server. With VPS, you can easily scale your hosting plan vertically without migration hassles.
If your WordPress site grows and requires more RAM, faster CPUs, or additional storage, your VPS can be upgraded to add resources. This level of flexibility aids future growth.
Full Root Access and Control
VPS plans give you full root/administrator access to the server environment. This allows for extensive customization and system-level changes optimized for your WordPress setup.
You can use htaccess rules, install software like caching plugins, configure server stacks like NGINX and PHP, and apply security enhancements.
Better Security and Isolation
Shared hosts are more vulnerable to attacks that may take down other sites. With a VPS, your WordPress site is isolated in its own container.
The private server limits your exposure to malicious actors and “noisy neighbors”. You can also implement security measures like VPN/firewalls and restricting remote access.
Support for High Traffic Sites
For WordPress sites that get heavy visitor traffic, shared hosts may struggle to keep up. The bandwidth and computing resources of a VPS can comfortably handle hundreds of concurrent users.
Caching also becomes more effective with the dedicated resources to spare. Large media libraries and ecommerce stores benefit from this capacity.
The Cons of VPS Hosting for WordPress
More Technical Expertise Required
Fully managed shared hosting is designed to be simple even for beginners. With the flexibility of VPS comes complexity.
You either need technical skills or a managed VPS provider. Optimizing WordPress performance on a VPS involves decisions related to server config, caching, security, and infrastructure best practices.
Potentially Higher Costs
High quality managed VPS plans often have a higher monthly cost than basic shared hosting packages.
The isolated environment and ability to customize resources come at a premium.
However, the performance gains often justify the higher prices for more complex or high traffic sites. Cheaper unmanaged VPS options also exist.
It’s easy to over-provision RAM, storage, and other resources on a VPS beyond what your WordPress site actually needs.
While shared hosting effectively forces you to scale as needed, a VPS allows overbuying capacity now in hopes of supporting future growth.
Finding the ideal resource balance takes trial and error.
Lack of Automatic Backups
Many shared hosts perform automatic daily backups of your WordPress site. With a VPS, while you have full control, backups are your own responsibility.
You’ll need to implement a remote backup solution and test restoration to avoid losing data in the event of failures. Disaster recovery requires more planning.
Isolation Can Limit Options
Certain shared hosting features like website builders, staging environments, and auto-updates may not be available on an isolated VPS.
The extent of features depends on your VPS provider and management level. Some limitations exist due to the private nature of the hosting environment.
VPS hosting can provide WordPress sites with improved performance, security, scalability and control compared to shared hosting.
The ability to customize resources and server configuration to your exact needs are powerful benefits.
However, VPS does require more technical expertise and careful planning around security, backups, and infrastructure monitoring.
Weigh these pros and cons based on your specific site’s current and future demands. For most SMBs, quality managed VPS solutions can be an excellent step up from basic shared hosting.
When evaluating VPS hosting for your WordPress website, look for providers that specialize in optimized WP infrastructure with essential security protections, caching technology, and WordPress specific management.
With the right managed VPS provider, you can offload infrastructure headaches while gaining flexibility to scale and tune your hosting for the best WP experience.