Hosting is a critical element of any website today, and with many different types of hosting packages, it can be difficult to know where to begin. After many years of hosting my blog, I’ve happily landed at WPEngine and love it for the performance and customer service. With that in mind, in this blog post, we’re going to take a look at managed hosting for WordPress. What is it? Is it a good option?
First thing’s first, what is managed WordPress Hosting? Managed WordPress Hosting is a service whereby your web host manages the technical aspects of running your WordPress site. To be clear, it’s not a service where your web host creates your WordPress site, they simply manage things like security, back-ups, updates, speed and consistent high performance.
For those that aren’t technically minded, or simply don’t have the time to manage all the nitty-gritty parts of their website, then managed WordPress hosting is a user-friendly option.
Generally speaking, with most web hosts who offer managed WordPress hosting, you’ll receive exceptional premium support, where the support is provided by actual WordPress experts who know exactly what they’re doing. Managed WordPress hosting can be a little more expensive than your standard shared hosting, for example, GoDaddy’s basic plan starts at $2.99 per month (usually $5.99, with 50% off), but if you’re willing to pay the extra, then it’s certainly worth it.
As with most things, there are pros and cons of managed WordPress hosting, so we’ve put a list together for you to decide whether it’s right for you:
High Speeds: Because managed WordPress hosting servers are designed specifically for WordPress websites, you likely won’t be sharing your server with as many other customers as you would with shared hosting. Higher speeds mean more traffic; if your website or blog loads within 3 seconds, which it will with WordPress hosting, then customers will stay longer on your website, and you’ll receive a higher SERP SEO with Google.
Quality Support: As we mentioned earlier, the support you’ll receive from a managed WordPress hosting plan will be top-notch. The WordPress experts at your beck and call really are experts, they know what they’re doing, so you can ditch the back and forth nonsense and be reassured that your problems and queries will get sorted straight away. As well as providing support, they can also advise you on which WordPress plugins would and wouldn’t suit your website, giving you tailor-made help whenever you need it.
Updates and Back-ups: Because the technicalities of WordPress are managed by your web host, you won’t have to worry about updating your website to the latest version of WordPress, or be concerned about daily back-ups. These features are all dealt with in-house by your web host, so you’ll receive automatic updates without any conflicts, and daily back-up runs in case anything goes wrong.
This enhances the convenience factor considerably, lessening your workload. However, you will still need to make sure you’re keeping on tops of the likes of SEO and PPC for your site. Your host won’t cover elements like this. You can view PPC data with separate tools to make sure you’re maximizing your advertising streams to full effect.
That all sounds pretty good, right? Well, it is, but there are a few downsides too, which may or may not affect you depending on why managed WordPress hosting is suitable for you:
Cost: Most managed WordPress hosting plans will set you back at least $10 per month, if you choose their unlimited options (which is advised for WordPress hosting, due to WordPress plugins, database back-ups, etc.). It may not sound like a lot, but when you compare it to shared hosting which is generally around the $2 mark, there’s quite a difference. However, if you consider how much it would cost you to pay for someone to manage your WordPress website, with the added security and speed features, it’s actually very reasonably priced.
Limited to WordPress: This may sound obvious, but it’s worth pointing out. If you choose managed WordPress hosting, the likelihood is that you’ll only be able to host a WordPress website. But, if you’re looking at WordPress hosting, then you’re probably not wanting to use another CMS, or create your own website outside of WordPress.
Limited Control: Because someone else will be managing your WordPress website, you won’t have as much control over the technical aspects, such as, security, speed, back-ups etc. Again, a moot point if the reason you’re choosing managed WordPress hosting is for someone else to run things because you can’t/don’t want to/don’t have to.
To be honest, if you’re using managed WordPress hosting for the right reasons, then there aren’t really that many cons we can think of that would put you off. If you’re a small-time blogger, or have a personal website, then this type of hosting probably isn’t for you. You can easily find a web host that offers shared hosting with 1-click installs for WordPress, with a much more affordable price tag. However, if you’re a growing business, or your website generates a lot of traffic, then managed WordPress hosting would certainly be beneficial.
If you’re looking for a stress-free option that isn’t time-consuming, or you don’t have the technical skills but are willing to pay someone else to deal with that side of things for you, choosing a managed WordPress hosting provider should be a consideration. It all comes down to weighing up whether the ‘managed’ side of things is worth paying for, dependent on the type of website you have, or the type of business you run. There are plenty of web hosting providers available that can offer managed WordPress hosting, such as, WP Engine, and SiteGround. It’s certainly worth having a look at the offers on the market, as web hosts are well known for offering enticing deals and sales to draw you in.
A lot of people do not think their choice of host matters, but it does make a big difference when it comes to cost and site performance, so take the time to assess all of your options carefully.