Managed WordPress Hosting vs Shared Hosting
The difference between Managed and Shared WordPress hosting is deceptively complicated, and comes down to the intent of use. That is not to say how you intend to use the server, but how your webhost intends your server to be used. It’s very easy to get confused about this.
On Shared WordPress Hosting, a website shares the resources with other sites on the same server. The server is also built out to support a variety of web applications, including WordPress, but also Drupal, phpBB, and pretty much any other tool you can think up. In order to support all those programs, the server is built out in a generic way that supports them all equally well, but not one significantly better than another. At the same time, this allows you to integrate WordPress with other, non-WordPress tools, like MediaWiki or ZenPhoto Gallery.
By comparison, Managed WordPress Hosting is built completely with WordPress in mind. From the ground up, the server was designed for WordPress, customized to handle practically any configuration of WordPress installed. The catch there is it’s only customized for WordPress.
While WordPress and the majority of plugins run perfectly, attempting to add in non-WordPress tools will result in unexpected outcomes. At best, the use is unsupported. At the worst, they may not work at all.
Because WordPress managed hosting is so heavily customized, it costs more than Shared hosting, and often even more than a standard VPS.
This is both paying for the convenience of the managed server as well as the added support and features that normally would need to be self-provided.
Additional server power, additional support, and minimal headaches of server administration can be worthwhile for non-technical users, or technical users who would rather spend their time elsewhere.