Let’s be real:
Running a WordPress website takes up a lot of time. You’re responsible for all the content updates, marketing campaigns, site design, and so forth. But, you’re also responsible for page speed, security, site updates, etc.… Wouldn’t it be nice if you could take some of the load off running a WordPress website?
This is where managed WordPress hosting comes in.
Whether you’re about to start a blog or you’re considering moving to a new host, wading through WordPress Hosting Reviews and Comparisons can be a real hassle.
What type of hosting should you buy? What fits into your budget? How good is the support?
The list of questions feels endless, but we wanted to help out a bit.
In this post, we wanted to cover the pros and cons of managed WordPress hosting to help guide you through the benefits of this type of host while also showing a few of the downsides.
What is Managed WordPress Hosting?
In a nutshell, managed WordPress hosting takes care of the technical side. Everything like site updates, page speed, and security is handled for you. Many managed WordPress hosts use server level caching, so you don’t even have to worry about installing plugins like W3 Total Cache.
Managed WordPress hosting is a good option for people that lack technical skills or the time to handle the technical side of things themselves. It’s a great option that allows you to focus on creating content.
Pros of Managed Hosting
This is a huge upside to managed hosting. Because you’re paying for a more hands on type of hosting package, you usually get the added benefit of having priority support.
What would you do if you updated a plugin and then your site crashed and you couldn’t even log in to fix it? What if you decided that you wanted to add an SSL certificate to your site or add a WWW to the beginning of your URL?
Left on your own, this could be a nightmare. But with managed hosting and the priority support that a lot of businesses offer, this could be as simple as hopping on a chat and asking a few questions.
Top Speeds and Up-time
In 2016, page speed matters for SEO. If your site always loads slowly and you experience downtime you are pretty much guaranteeing that your site is not going to rank very well.
If your site always loads slowly and you experience downtime you are pretty much guaranteeing that your site is not going to rank very well.
A benefit of managed hosting is that you’re usually moving to a server that can handle more traffic and deliver top page speeds. Many managed hosting providers add features like image compression or other cache features like a Content Deliver Network (CDN) that minimize the impact on a server so that your site can be fast whether a person in America looks at it or someone in England looks at it.
Speed is not a little thing and can make or break an online business so it’s better to have more than less in this area.
A website in its simplest of terms is just data. And data is always at risk of being breached, damaged, and lost for good.
Imagine spend months, even years on a website that helps to pay your bills only to wake up one morning to find that it had been wiped clean or hacked.
Imagine the panic and stress that would ensue after that.
When you switch to managed hosting, most of the time, this situation wouldn’t be as scary as you imagine because most providers offer daily/weekly backups of your site and save that data so that if this did happen, they could restore what you once thought to be lost.
If this doesn’t tip the scale in managed hosting’s favor I don’t know what will.
Cons of Managed Hosting
Now let’s talk about what about some important factors to consider before going in for managed hosting.
Without a doubt, one of the biggest drawbacks for a lot of people is the price that can come with managed WP hosting. Some host providers have decent opt-in prices that are low (around $3.95 per month) but then hike the price when it comes time to renew. However, there are other options out there where prices start at a much higher price.
For example, WPEngine prices start at $29 per month for a single site, but if you have more than one site or a lot of traffic coming to your sites every month then the price can go up to $249 per month.
This is just one instance of pricing, but as you can see, things can get pricey.
Not the Best Option If You’re New To the Web
If you’ve been around the blogging block once or twice and made headway there, then paying the costly amount for managed hosting could quickly balance out as you recuperate the money you’re putting out.
But if you’re new to making money online with a blog, then managed hosting is probably not the best fit for your right now.
When you’re first starting out, you don’t need a very robust hosting provider and you likely wouldn’t make enough to recoup the expense.
However, this isn’t the case with everyone and after a bit more research you may find that this is the best option for you in spite of this.
Okay, so you know what managed WordPress hosting is, but what companies offer this service?
WPEngine is considered by many experts to be the best option out there for managed WordPress hosting. Granted, they are more expensive than shared hosting with their cheapest plan being $29/month – but you get expert WordPress support and reliable performance. Plus, they handle all the maintenance for WordPress.
WP Engine boasts some awesome features such as multiple servers, expert WordPress support, one-click back up and restore, constant security monitoring, and tons of other niceties.
- WPEngine has three data servers (US, UK, and Japan). Your server can be close to your customers and this speeds up the delivery of your content.
- Say good-bye to caching plugins. WPEngine’s EverCache technology automatically handles page, database, and object caching. This in turns gives you faster page loading time.
- WP Engine automatically scans your website for malware, and if by some chance your website gets hacked, they will fix it – for free.
- You get unlimited data transfer.
- You get a separate staging area where you can test out themes and plugins before going live.
- You also get free data back up and restore.
- And best of you, you can get a free 60 day trial to decide whether or not you like the service.
- It’s expensive. WPEngine services cost a little more compared to other Managed WordPress Hosting options that are out there.
- There are some limitations. Pretty much, any plugin that consumes resources aren’t allowed on WPEngine. For example, if you’ve been using EWWW Image Optimizer plugin to optimize your images, then you’ll have to say good-bye to that plug-in. You can check out this list to see which plugins that WPEngine has banned.
Pagely offers managed WordPress hosting with emphasis on security. Their servers are powered by Amazon Cloud, which gives you the performance, redundancy, and scalability as other big name brands that use Pagely like Netflix, Visa, and Disney. Not only that, but Pagely offers you world-class customer service from WordPress experts.
- Pagely uses their PressCache to speed up the delivery of your webpages.
- Pagely uses PressArmor to secure your website, and in case your website gets hacked, they work to clean it up and restore it to pristine condition.
- Your entire site and databases get backed up daily and stored on Amazon’s s3 cloud storage.
- Pagely offers a 30-day back guarantee.
- Pagely is definitely more expensive compared to other hosting plans, with their cheapest plan starting at $99/month.
- Pagely is an option better suited for large businesses. For people starting out it, Pagely might not be the best option.
If you don’t have or want to spend a lot of money on hosting, then Siteground might prove the best solution. Their plans start at $2.95 per month and you’ll get access to many of the same features that shared hosting offers such as one click installs, free installs, etc. And while most of the managed WordPress hosting plans specialize in – well WordPress – Siteground also offers plans for those who prefer to use Joomla.
- Unlimited data transfers
- Ability to host an unlimited number of domains
- Free WordPress install and/or migration
- Automatic WordPress updates
- Security to protect against hacking
- Automatic caching
- WordPress staging to allow you to test out designs and plugins before going live
- 24/7 customer support
- The biggest con with Siteground is that you’ll be forced to sign up for the Geeky package, which is $8.95 to take advantage of the full managed WordPress hosting services such as their premium automatic backup and restore or their level 3 Supercache – which covers automatic cache for static and dynamic content as well as databases.
Flywheel is one of the newer WordPress managed hosts, and they have positioned themselves as a managed WordPress hosting service for creatives, freelancing, and designers.
Some of the things that really set Flywheel apart from other services are the ability to create free demo sites and various tools that allow multiple designers to work on a site before it’s launched. But perhaps the best feature yet is their client transfer billing: this allows you to create a website on your own account for a client and then when you’re reading, you transfer the website and billing to that client.
Flywheel also has a dashboard that allows you to manage all your sites. Plus, you get customer service from WordPress experts – many of who also happens to be designers.
- One click staging
- Server level caching
- Malware monitoring
- Daily automatic back ups
- Managed WordPress updates
- Fast loading times
- You only pay for demo sites when they go live
- Custom plans available
- More expensive than shared webhosting, and it may take awhile to get used to the new dashboard.
- CDN and SSL support cost extra, but are included in their professional plan, which start at $75/month.
Bluehost, who has built a solid reputation on their outstanding customer service, offers a variety of services including managed WordPress hosting at affordable prices. They can also boast that WordPress.org has been recommending them since 2005.
Their most popular plan (and cheapest starting at $12.95/month) allows up to 100 million visits, 30GB of storage and backup, and offers up to 5 managed WordPress websites.
- Bluehost offers Sitelock Security, advanced CDN, and Sitelock WAF
- Automated backups of your websites
- Money back guarantee
- Enhanced cPanel
- 24/7 customer service
- Bluehost doesn’t offer as much as other managed WordPress hosts.
There are a variety of managed WordPress hosts available to meet your needs. And you don’t always need a Microsoft sized budget in order to be able to enjoy the convenience of managed WordPress websites.
Siteground is perhaps the most affordable, and the one that works most resembled the shared hosting many new bloggers are used to. It’s a great option for bloggers and developers.
But if you’re a creative, you might find Flywheel more suited to your needs. You won’t have to deal with any technical jargon. And the dashboard – while it will take some getting used to – is actually pretty sleek.
Small businesses just starting out might find Pagely a bit to expensive – after all their cheapest plan starts at $99/month. But it’s great for developers and you know you’ll be getting the same performance that many big brands trust.
WPEngine falls in the middle ground because it offers you a little bit of everything while not being outrageously priced. You get access to many features that make managed WordPress hosting an awesome solution while not having to give up awesome customer support and scalability.
Bluehost may not be feature rich, but it gives you what you need to take the worry out of maintaining the tech side of your WordPress website. It’s been around for a while and they are known for having outstanding customer service. And if you don’t need all the bells and whistles, then Bluehost is definitely a good choice.
If you don’t need a self-hosted solution, then WordPress.com too is a good way to go. It obviously has restrictions around the themes & plugins that you can use – but if you want a complete hands-off solution, then this is it.
Wrapping It Up
Managed WordPress hosting can be a great option for your depending on your website, the level of help you’ll need for site maintenance, and your budget.
If you can swing the higher price point then it can be one of the best investments for your site and online business.