Managed WordPress hosting provides exceptional service in the execution of many tasks such as site security and monitoring, backups, site maintenance, and performance.
You might decide to run your WordPress blog on shared hosting because it is cheaper, hosts an unlimited number of sites, and provides a reasonable service in the execution of the tasks mentioned above. A good share hosting company can work well.
However, with shared hosting, you are sharing your resources with other website owners. Sharing in this way means that if someone else’s website gets a lot of traffic, your site my slowdown. With Managed WordPress Hosting, you’ll not notice a slowdown or a server or hardware fail because your website is containerized from such incidents.
Therefore, if you want better speed and security, you may want to consider getting managed WordPress hosting, such as Lightning Base, Namecheap, or SiteGround – companies I will review later on this page. These companies cost a little more than shared hosting, but the peace of mind you get is hard to dismiss.
ADVANTAGES OF MANAGED WORDPRESS HOSTING
This hosting environment is optimized for WordPress. Examples of this optimization include: caching rules on a server level set for maximum speed, and more server resources for your account allocated to make your website faster.
Some Managed WordPress hosts flat out tell their customers that they – the customers – won’t need to install cache plugins because caching is already covered.
If you buy shared hosting or go with a DIY VPS (virtual private server), the machines in those environments would typically be more barebones. You will have to spend time installing plugins and optimizing them to obtain the same speeds that managed WordPress hosts offer out of the gate.
Still, regardless of the hosting you use, the speed of your website is dependent on several factors, such as how much traffic your site gets and the load plugins put on your site. Having Managed WordPress hosting is therefore not an excuse to load your plugins.
If I were a betting man, I would bet that the provision of superior security is one of the top two reasons why blog owners turn to managed WordPress hosting.
Typically with shared hosting, there is some security protection on the hosting environment level. However, if your blog itself is hacked or infected with malware, you’re on your own.
Managed WordPress hosts cover your site a lot better. You are more likely to get free malware scanning and cleanup and more assistance in getting a hacked website cleaned and back online.
When you consider the high cost of hiring an external service to clean up a hacked or malware-affected site, paying for managed WordPress hosting may well be worth it.
ONE CLICK STAGING AREA
Many Managed WordPress Hosts offer this function as a way for you to safely test out changes you’d like to make to your blog without actually making the change to your live blog. Let’s say the tested change (like a new plugin or a new PHP version) makes your blog break. You’ll know not to make that actual change to your live blog. A staging area is a time-saver and a money-saver too.
We all know that having backups are critical for your blog, especially if your blog is a money earner or has a lot of content that took a lot of time to produce. Unfortunately, many people overlook backups until something bad happens – like files are accidentally deleted or overwritten or their blogs are compromised.
Shared hosting services take backups, but more than likely won’t do backups as often as managed WordPress Hosting. Plus, restoring those backups are another story. Restoring backups on a shared hosting account takes some technical knowledge or a lot of courage.
On the other hand, an expected feature of Managed WordPress hosting is automatic daily backups which are stored offsite. Pricier managed WordPress Hosts (those that are about $25/mo or more) also make it easier to restore saved backups than their shared hosting counterparts.
That said, it isn’t advisable to rely solely on the backups of any web host, no matter how good that host might be. Although it is rare, a host might lose your backup, for example, in a natural disaster. The prudent thing to do is to have another backup elsewhere. Check out my discussions on website backups here.
Nothing is worse than opening a chat session with a support person and feeling that you know more about WordPress than the person. That’s not supposed to happen with Managed WordPress Hosting. This service targets customers willing to pay more for superior support, and as such, you can expect support staff to be highly qualified.
Managed WordPress Hosting support people are WordPress specialists. Some of these specialists are WordPress developers and contribute to the WordPress Core. You can expect that support staff is more accessible, handles queries faster, and more accurate than the typical shared hosting support staff.
Managed WordPress Hosting hires not only specialists but also invests heavily in staff training.
EASIER ABILITY TO SCALE
Scalability means the ability to upgrade your hosting when your needs exceed your current plan. A shared hosting company might suspend its service to you if you exceed your resources even before you get a chance to upgrade.
Upgrading can be time-consuming, may require more server knowledge on your part (hopefully you have that knowledge), and may result in downtime. All of these factors could spell “lost profits.”
With Managed WordPress Hosting, increasing server resources is done almost instantly because of the kind of technology used for this hosting. If you are approaching your limits, you are made aware, and an upgrade is one click away – no further action from you.
This “instant upgrade” comes in handy if, for example, your site experiences traffic spikes – say at Christmas time or some other period. There may also be a pay-as-you-go option where you pay only for the server resources you use.
MORE DATA CENTERS
It is not unusual for shared hosting companies to have a couple of data centers in only one country, namely the US. Managed WordPress Hosting companies typically have multiple data centers in different countries on different continents.
Ideally, you want the location of your blog’s server to be as close as possible to where your customers are situated. This “closeness” improves your customers’ loading times of your blog. So, if your business and customers are located in Holland, you’d ideally want your blog to be hosted in a European data center, not a US data center.
Managed WordPress Hosts also use an in-house developed content delivery network (CDN) on customer blogs so that those blogs become “located” as near as possible to customers. A CDN allows you access a network of globally diverse servers, and then it “outsources” the delivery of your content.
By “outsourcing,” what I mean is that the CDN takes over a difficult aspect of your host’s job, which is to deliver your blog’s static content (such as images, CSS, JS, and HTML) to your customers. The result is that your blog’s load times get faster. A CDN also offers an additional layer of security for your blog by filtering out bad traffic.
Site speed is a ranking factor for Google. All other things being equal, faster sites rank higher in Google search engines and therefore get more traffic and make more money. Improved speed is another crucial reason why people pay for premium WordPress hosting.
If you are an advanced user, Managed WordPress Hosting often provides access to developer-friendly features that might not be available on shared hosting accounts. These include features such as Git and SSH. With SSH, you get an encrypted connection to your account to easily manage massive files and databases. SSH also allows you access SFTP, a file transfer protocol. SFTP is preferable to FTP because of its stronger underlying security features.
Managed WordPress Host SERVICES To Check Out
I like Lightning Base. It was the first Managed WordPress Host that I used, and I found it easy to use, mainly because it offered cPanel (which I’m familiar with) to access my files.
Many other Managed WordPress Hosting companies use their custom back portals to manage customers’ files. So long as you are comfortable using those portals to achieve what you want to do with your blog, then more power to you.
However, cPanel is the most popular application for managing hosted websites; it is easy to use and intuitive. Most blog owners are likely to be familiar with it and, as a result, might prefer having it as the means of managing their blogs.
Another plus for this company is its pricing, which is terrific. The lowest-priced hosting plan costs $9.95 monthly for one site installation, 1GB of disc space, and 10,000 page views. If you compare that to the $15, $20, or even $30 monthly that many other managed WordPress hosts charge for hosting one site, you see what an excellent price Lightning Base offers, especially for small blogs with moderate traffic. Take a look at Lightning Base’s pricing plan below:
As you can see from the graphic above, there are higher-priced plans that you can take up when the size of your blog and traffic increases. If your blog is well cached and not using any heavyweight plugins, one of the four plans above should fit your needs. If you need resources that exceed the ones in the plans provided, you can contact the company for a custom plan.
Pricing isn’t the only factor that won me over with this company. The fantastic support also did. To this day, I have never received such a high level of support from any hosting company. The owner himself, Chris Piepho, would answer my support questions very promptly and thoroughly. I was shocked. I thought, wow, either this is a one-person operation, or this company is on another level when it comes to customer support – it’s the latter.
The image below represents just one support email I received from Chris:
Other features offered by this company are:
(a) Automatic full-account backups that are sent offsite nightly and retained these for 30 days.
(b) Free site setup and transfer service to bring your blog over to the new server.
(c) Global CDN to improve site speed and security set up for you.
(d) Data centers in Asia, Australia, the US, Europe to improve site loading times.
(e) Customers’ filesystem isolated from each other, and security scans performed regularly to prevent intrusions.
Namecheap EASYWP Managed WordPress Hosting
Namecheap offers prices that are hard to beat. There are three pricing plans to choose: Starter, Turbo, and Supersonic. These plans provide an impressive 10GB, 50GB, and 100GB of storage and allow 50,000, 200,000, and 500,000 visitors per month, respectively.
If you pay monthly, each plan typically costs $3.88, $7.88, and $11.88, respectively. However, there is a first-month discount, so you’ll pay only $1, $2, and $3, respectively.
These prices are even better should you decide to pay the annual cost up front. The one caveat here is that each subscription is only for one site. If you want to host a second site, you’d have to take out another subscription.
There is a no-quibble 30-day money-back guarantee which allows you time to try out the service risk-free.
On Namecheap’s website, they present the following features most enticingly:
(i) An industry-leading 99.9% Uptime is a relevant part of hosting quality.
(ii) Blazingly fast cloud-powered servers that make your site loads fast, thus keeping your customers and Google happy. Its servers are fully containerized, and therefore noisy neighbors won’t slow you down as is the case with shared hosting. The result it claims is 3X faster speed than shared hosting.
(iii) Free CDN – a tool that caches and delivers your website content in quick time from servers around the globe.
(iv) A lower price per month for much more storage and page visits than famous providers like Godaddy and WP Engine.
(vi) Manage all your WordPress websites from one single dashboard, with a single login.
(vii) Live 24/7 chat support. You can expect good support, and that is what you get.
Other features provided include a free service to migrate your blog to Namecheap – though this service is not advertised prominently on the company’s website.
The ubiquitous web hosting management system, cPanel, isn’t offered but rather a customized dashboard to manage all your hosted blogs and your backups. You also get SFTP access, a more secure file access and management protocol, as opposed to FTP.
One disadvantage of this hosting is that executing backups is not as easy as suggested. There are instructions for doing backups but those involve dealing with your database. This isn’t a job for the faint of heart.
Other disadvantages include the lack of a staging area and zero mention on the company’s website about helping customers cleanup their blogs should those blogs get hacked.
I’ve used this service to my delight. It offers excellent pricing, performance, security, and multiple data centers across three continents. Its basic plan offers 10 GB disk space for one website hosted, daily backups, and 10,000 monthly visitor allowance.
Should you exceed your traffic allowance, you will get an email notification, and your limit is raised automatically. You’ll get time to upgrade your plan to regularize your hosting.
You can see from the graphic above that there is a significant first-year discount across all plans, but after the renewals kick in – standard pricing applies. Still, standard prices are competitive. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee.
SiteGround has a very pro-active approach to security. Features such as auto-updates of your WordPress core and plugins, zero-day vulnerability fixes, custom application firewall rules, intrusion prevention, and detection systems are standard across all plans.
For an additional $19.80 per year, you can get SG Site Scanner, a monitoring service that checks your blog daily and immediately notifies you if your blog has been hacked or injected with malicious code.
The scanner is powered by Sucuri – one of the leading providers of malware and blacklist scan services. The service won’t clean up your site for free should your website get compromised – you’ll have to pay for a cleanup from Sucuri.
If you are a developer, you will love the fact that blogs on SiteGround’s GoGeek plan come with Git pre-installed so that you can create repositories of your site.
The support this company offers is excellent. Phone, chat, and ticket support are available 24/7. I would reach out by chat or ticket and get a fast and helpful response. My site speed was great too. A twenty-page blog I had hosted with them loaded pretty quickly.
I also liked the fact that I was able to pay for this service via Paypal – which was a lot more convenient for me and very convenient for customers without credit cards. PayPal isn’t advertised upfront as a payment option, but if you contact support, it will set you up with this option.
Overall, SiteGround is an excellent Managed WordPress Host for the price.
Do You Need Managed WordPress Hostings?
Can You Afford It?
If you are on a tight budget, you’d probably want to save money by buying shared hosting instead. It’s cheaper and allows you to host more sites on a single plan.
Managed WordPress hosting will typically be more secure than shared hosting. If you use shared hosting, you should utilize a robust security plugin and also have an excellent backup plugin to reduce the risk of a data compromise dramatically.
I remember years ago when WP Engine Managed WordPress Hosting first opened for business, I excitedly signed up with it. My blog at the time was new and wasn’t generating income yet, and funds were tight with me. The cost of WP Engine at the time was $25 monthly to host one site with only a maximum of 25,000 monthly visits allowed.
I think I stayed with the company for about two months before I canceled. I liked the added security the company provided, but every fiber of my being screamed – “$25 to host just one site with no more than 25,000 monthly visits is way too expensive.”
If you have a WordPress site that is earning decent income or one that has a lot of content, it’s a lot easier to justify the extra costs of Managed WordPress Hosting. But if funds are limited and you’d still like to take advantage of Managed WordPress Hosting, I highly recommend Lightning Base and Siteground Managed WordPress Hosts.
IS YOUR BLOG VALUABLE?
If you have a valuable blog, take that as one that is earning you some good money, or one that has a copious amount of content, or one for which you have big plans, you might want to use Managed WordPress Hosting.
Imagine a scenario where on your basic hosting account, you have a profitable blog that you put a lot of time and effort into only to have it compromised. As a result, it’s not earning anymore, or the content is erased forever, or it costs you an arm and a leg to restore the blog? These are situations you’d rather not be in – wouldn’t you say?
Take the same scenario above, but this time your blog is hosted on a Managed WordPress service instead. You’d more likely have access to daily backups, hacker cleanup help, easy blog restoration, and support from WordPress experts. Also, in this case, security would be more robust than that of basic hosting so, you’d face a lower risk of compromise.
ARE YOU A NEWBIE?
Hosting might involve tasks like routine server maintenance, executing and restoring backups, cleaning up malware, repairing a broken site, and scaling up resources to handle a traffic surge. These tasks can be time-consuming and intimidating for the seasoned, let alone for the newbie.
If you have never done those tasks before, Managed WordPress Hosting, which takes care of those tasks for you, is a great option.
DO YOU PREFER CPANEL?
cPanel is a web hosting control panel that facilitates the management of a web hosting server. The majority of shared hosting plans use it, and I would imagine most people with hosting have at least a modicum of familiarity with it.
Many managed WordPress Hosting companies don’t use cPanel but rather a custom setup. I remember WP Engine, had a custom website management portal that I wasn’t comfortable with using.
Maybe I was just lazy or foolish but I just refused to mess about with WP Engine’s portal and I longed for cPanel.
DO YOU HAVE A NON-WORDPRESS SITE?
If you don’t have a WordPress site, then you can’t use WordPress hosting – simple. For your non-WordPress site, you might want to use managed shared hosting or unmanaged shared hosting such as a VPS.
Lightning Base, Namecheap, and SiteGround are three highly cost competitive, Managed WordPress Hosting options. Namecheap Plans offer very generous disc space and traffic allowances.
Lightning Base in particular and SiteGround offer excellent support, great speed, and several other features. All there hosts are great for newbies, but SiteGround also has features that suit advanced users.