While you’ve probably seen managed WordPress hosting touted as an essential upgrade for anyone serious about their website, you may well have a few questions about this type of web hosting.
Firstly, you might be wondering what the benefits of this type of hosting are, and secondly you are probably curious why managed WordPress hosting often costs a lot more than the entry level, shared hosting that is widely available.
So to help you get a better understanding of this increasingly popular form of web hosting, this beginner’s guide to managed web hosting for WordPress aims to answer some of the questions you might have about this type of service.
Getting to Grips with Managed WordPress Hosting
As the name suggests, this type of web hosted is focused solely on WordPress users and their websites. If you are looking for web space to install another type of software on, or host your hand crafted HTML website, then you had better look elsewhere.
However, if you are looking for a home for your WordPress website, then this type of hosting offers an environment that is fully optimized for the world’s favorite online publishing software.
Also as the service is managed, a lot of the day to day tasks that you would otherwise be responsible for are taken off of your hands and managed by the support staff looking after your website.
The Benefits of Managed WordPress Hosting
We’ve just touched on some of the key selling points of this type of hosting, but it’s important to go into them in a little more detail so that you can get a better understanding of how they can actually benefit you and your WordPress website in order to help you decide if this upgraded service is worth the investment or not.
To give you a quick idea of what you can expect from a quality managed WordPress hosting service here are some of the main benefits:
- A fast loading website and increased page speed
- Managed WordPress maintenance and backups
- Improved website and user support
So now that you know the key selling points of this type of web hosting, let’s take a look at each of them in more detail.
Why Site Speed Matters
As the managed WordPress hosting servers and supporting hardware infrastructure are catering to just one type of software, they can be tweaked and configured to meet the needs of that software alone.
This allows the best of these hosts to offer unparalleled performance in terms of website loading times.
As a website owner, page speed and site loading times should be something you are thinking about. A slow loading website can have a negative effect on the usability and conversion rates of your content.
So if you are selling items from your website, or hoping to elicit some kind of response from your visitors, whether it’s signing them up as a subscriber or generating an enquiry about your services, site speed should be of concern to you.
Furthermore, it’s believed that Google looks at the speed of a site to determine how worthy it is to be ranked prominently in their search engine results, with slow websites being pushed down the pecking order.
A slow loading website will not only struggle to attract visitors in the first place, but the negative user experience will also have a detrimental effect on the ability of the website to perform as intended.
WordPress Website Management
Part of the appeal of managed WordPress hosting is that the service includes management of your website. The level of service varies from host to host, but often includes taking care of the updates to the core WordPress software and any plugins you are using.
If you’ve got more than a handful of plugins running on your website, then you will know how often they need updating.
While this is a relatively straightforward task, knowing that someone is keeping the nuts and bolts of your website up to date on your behalf, and therefore much more resistant to hacks and attacks, is very reassuring – not to mention having one less task on your to do list.
A good WordPress managed hosting provider will also take care of keeping your website backed up, and more importantly, restoring those backups should anything go wrong.
Should your website ever get comprised, or you or a co-author accidentally press the wrong button, knowing a restoration is only a few clicks away can be a great relief.
A Team of WordPress Experts on Hand
As many managed WordPress hosts only deal with WordPress, they are able to build up a team of WordPress experts.
The fact that these teams focus entirely on this software, while also gaining impressive levels of exposure to countless WordPress websites, their ability to pre-empt issues and solve problems when they do arise can be hard to beat.
For you, the end user, this means the chances of your website falling victim to a new form of attack or security issue are minimized, but you also have a team of WordPress experts to turn to should you have any questions or queries.
WordPress Managed Web Hosting isn’t for Everyone
After reading the above, you might be ready to sign on the dotted line and upgrade the hosting of your website to one that is faster, more secure, managed, and supported by a team of WordPress experts.
However, managed WordPress hosting isn’t for everyone. The cost can be a prohibitive factor for many users. While this extra investment, compared to entry level shared hosting, does bring many benefits to the table, the higher monthly tariffs can be out of range for some new website owners.
The good news in this department is that as this space is getting more competitive, prices are definitely coming down. However, due to the increased costs in delivering this type of hosting, it’s unlikely they will ever reach the bargain basement levels of shared hosting.
Entry level shared hosting packages also often offer eye watering packages, including unlimited server space, unlimited bandwidth, the ability to host an unlimited number of websites, and countless other useful features.
A good managed hosting package on the other hand, will offer much more realistic packages, and won’t be able to compete on these terms.
However, these impressive extras of shared hosting are often be a ruse, proving the old adage that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Another potential issue to consider is the relative lack of freedom you can get with managed WordPress hosting.
Unlike more generic hosting packages, you aren’t free to install other applications and software on your web space, and with some hosts there are certain plugins that are prohibited.
This is all down to the fact that the web hosting servers are configured in a specific way in order to offer higher levels of performance and security to WordPress websites.
Other scripts that could negatively affect performance are therefore not allowed.
If you need the freedom to be able to install additional software or custom scripts, but still want higher levels of performance, then managed VPS hosting may be a better option.
Is WordPress Managed Hosting for You?
So now that you have a better understanding of what managed WordPress is, including what the advantages are, as well as some of the disadvantages, it’s up to you do decide if it is the right type of web hosting for you.
Personally speaking, if you are only using WordPress and have the budget for managed WordPress hosting, it’s well worth shopping around for a suitable host that offers this type of service.
The benefits far outweigh the negatives and if your budget can stretch to it, managed hosting has the potential to be a great investment.
Managed WP Hosting Companies
Bluehost offers fast, secure and simple managed WordPress hosting option at a very affordable price.
- From $12.49 per month
- Built on a VPS platform
- Integrated with ManageWP and MOJO Marketplace
- Includes SiteLock, advanced CDN and SiteLock WAF
- No hidden fees, anytime money-back guarantee
SiteGround is a great option for those who don’t want to spend money on expensive hosting providers. SiteGround provides managed WordPress hosting at a very affordable price.
- From $3.95 per month (60% off regular price)
- Free WordPress Install & Free Domain
- More Secure with Autoupdates
- Free WordPress Transfer
- Faster WordPress with CDN & Cache
MediaTemple is a popular premium hosting provider offering fast, secure and premium managed WP hosting.
- From $29 per month
- Fast & simple WordPress hosting
- Automatic WordPress core & security updates
- Unlimited bandwidth
- 1-click staging environment
- All-in-one control panel
- Includes 3 WordPress installs