One of the best things about shared hosting is the low monthly price. One of the worst things about shared hosting is the low monthly price. The reality that both statements are correct presents a constant challenge to customers who are slowly outgrowing their initial decision to use shared hosting.
Before we start talking about when it makes sense to leave shared hosting and upgrade to a Managed WordPress solution, let’s highlight why so many people start off with shared hosting.
The 3 reasons people start with shared hosting
While there may be many reasons why people choose shared hosting for their first WordPress and WooCommerce sites, there are three that rise to the surface anytime you find yourself talking about hosting.
First, the low price can’t be beat.
Ask anyone and they’ll tell you they’re looking for lower prices. This isn’t anything new.
In the days before wireless phones, where people paid for phone lines, there was a constant desire to look for lower prices for both local and long distance calls. That’s partly because no one understood the complexity that was hidden from them.
Hosting is very similar. Since everything technical has been abstracted away, it all seems easy and therefore, it shouldn’t cost that much. Shared hosting offers monthly hosting at prices lower than a complicated Starbucks order.
Second, no one knows what resources they’ll eventually need.
Another dynamic when it comes to hosting is that few people can predict how well their site will do (in terms of traffic) and how that relates to the resources they’ll need.
Homeowners face a similar challenge when considering solar panels. They’re often asked by professionals to evaluate how many kilowatts of energy they’ll consume in a day or month. Most of us have no idea because it’s a resource that we don’t measure directly or need to keep track of.
When it comes to hosting, it’s hard to know if you’ll need a lot of CPU or a little, whether you will see consistently high RAM utilization or whether it will peak at random intervals. When you don’t know, sometimes it’s just easier to buy an inexpensive plan to start with and see how it goes.
Third, most of us underestimate the need for advanced support.
The third and final reason most people get their start with shared hosting is that they don’t place a high value on advanced support. If you’ve never hosted anything before, it’s especially easy to hope that everything will work out and you’ll never need to make a phone call.
Most customers of shared hosting assume that support will be there when they need it and rarely test to see if that’s actually true. Then, when they really need support, it’s somewhat shocking to discover that it doesn’t perform the way we assumed it would.
Signs that it’s time to shift to Managed WordPress Hosting
As you can imagine, the signs that it’s time to shift to managed hosting are the very reasons why someone may have chosen shared hosting to begin with:
Low prices create slow performance
Those low monthly prices are available because your website was placed on a shared infrastructure that houses thousands of other sites. The assumption is that you won’t get enough traffic to create a problem, and when you have a problem you won’t notice it. Often you’ll notice your site getting slower over time. That simply means the server your site is on is getting more and more packed. That’s what high density shared hosting is all about – packing the most sites on a set of servers. Slow performance is a sure sign that it’s time to think about making a move.
Slow performance and connection errors require more resources
Even worse than a site that gets slower and slower over time is a site that stops loading or presents 502 errors (or 503, 504, etc.). Even if you don’t see these errors, your customers will. More importantly, your website will be “down” for those customers, which can impact your brand or revenue. These errors tell you that you need more server resources and likely a different configuration of your setup, but that isn’t available for $4/month.
Poor support experiences mean you need better expertise
The third way to figure out you need to shift from shared hosting to managed WordPress hosting is potentially the easiest one to spot. If you submit a ticket and the majority of the work is put back on your plate, you know it’s potentially time to make a change. Hosting companies that offer managed WordPress plans staff their support with experts who understand what you’re going thru and can help you. Shared hosting often doesn’t want you getting on the phone at all, redirects you to their knowledge base articles, and invites you to solve your own problem.
When is it time to make the move to Managed WordPress?
The answer to the question is rather simple – the time to make the move from shared hosting to Managed WordPress is whenever you experience any of the following:
- A site that is so slow that customers leave before the page loads
- A site that seems to consistently get slower, month over month
- A site that gets connection errors / becomes unavailable for others
- When support organizations want you to do most of the work yourself
When you experience any of these situations, you may want to check out Nexcess Managed WordPress or WooCommerce hosting.