Serverless hosting is one possible future hosting option for WordPress that is starting to taking shape.

Is it worth trying right now?

THE CONCEPT

Well, that’s a new thing that even the most advanced users don’t know about and it’s quite interesting.

Serverless setups are a bit of a new architecture that allows dynamic applications to be served as a static website:

  • The backend is managed behind the scene, out of public reach.
  • Once the website is published, it’s transformed into an entirely static site and pushed through a CDN in most cases.

Shifter, for example, uses S3 to host the resulting static files and rely on CloudFront to distribute them. We could see other setups in the future using different storage services and CDNs.

WHY GET ONE?

You picked the shared hosting because:

  • You read about it
  • You got an invite to test it

Price range (/m)

  • Free with limits
  • $20/m
  • $15/m if paid annually

PROS

So far, there is only a few companies are providing the service:

We will probably see more WordPress serverless hosting providers once the technology proves to be reliable.

PROS

Serverless hosting is only at its debut. If done right, it can give a lot of benefits to WordPress.

Hiding the administration to the public will help secure WordPress in an unprecedented way. It’s only the static version of the website that accessible. There is no database or programming language to exploit and hack in order to gain access to the backend and eventually the server itself.

Sending static files through a CDN helps dramatically increase the performance. We know that for sure as most WordPress properties managers rely on caching systems pair with CDNs. And it’s blazing fast when a request hits a cached asset delivered from a CDN.

So, how about if everything was waiting for your visitors’ requests on a CDN, ready to ship? There won’t be any cache hit test, processing or database search in order to find the right content or build the right resulting page.

And how about if it uses a 99.99% uptime and worldwide availability storage and delivery service like AWS? Yeah, I’ll let you imagine

Recap.

  • Security
  • Performance

CONS

The architecture behind serverless WordPress hosting is still in the development phase. No one can risk using it for production.

But things are evolving steadily to the right direction.

The pricing can be an issue. It will seem a bit exaggerated for a new concept or technology compared to a fully managed WordPress hosting with a server-side caching boost (known to work and perform).

Serverless WP hosting will need to more demonstrative about the reliability of the technology. That’s the key, in my opinion, to nullify any misconception or restraint to use that type of hosting.

Recap.

  • Dependability
  • Price

As any technology, it needs to be thoroughly tested before using it for production. But for now, it’s too risky to bet on it.

It doesn’t hurt to keep checking it. Serverless hosting is one of the possible future hosting options for WordPress after all

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