No doubt about it, WordPress is one of the best ways to build a website. But how much thought did you give to choosing your Web host?
For most people, the answer is “not much.” People don’t often spend a lot of timing choosing the best Web host for their WordPress sites. But it’s more important than you might think. It affects everything, including the speed, reliability and security of their sites. In fact, a good Web host is one of eight simple ways to improve your website’s performance.
But chances are, you probably chose the cheapest or easiest Web host, right?
If you are a loyal WordPress user, it might be worth considering a new type of hosting: ‘Managed WordPress Hosting.’
It’s a Web host service designed specifically for WordPress which will make your website faster, more secure and easier to manage.
The only downside? It’s a little more expensive than the average shared host. So the big question we’ll answer in this post is this: Is managed WordPress hosting worth the extra cost?
Before we answer that, let’s go back to basics:
What is Managed WordPress Hosting?
Managed WordPress Hosting is a type of hosting designed specifically (and highly optimized) for WordPress websites.
To understand how it works, we first have to understand the role of a Web host. A Web host provides the space and resources for you to create a site. Think of it like a plot of Internet land where you can build your website.
With Managed WordPress Hosting, that plot of land is built specifically for WordPress websites. That means all the resources are super-charged and fine-tuned for WordPress.
Managed WordPress Hosting also acts as an automatic ‘assistant’ for your site. It automatically updates your website behind-the-scenes. In some cases, it backs up your data and automatically scans for security problems. It handles all the technical aspects so you don’t have to worry.
All-in-all, it’s faster, more secure and less hassle.
Managed WordPress Hosting is now offered by most of the major Web hosting companies, including HostGator and WP Engine. Pricing plans start at as little as $3.95 per month, but are more commonly priced at around $15-$20.
Pros of Managed WordPress Hosting
1. Speed: The loading speed of your website all begins with your Web host. A fast host improves everything from your SEO to your website conversions. It’s that important. Managed WordPress hosting is super-charged to optimize speed and performance.
How? The servers are tuned to optimize WordPress load times because they don’t have to cater to other platforms. Some hosts also include default caching (which speeds up load times and saves you from installing fiddly caching plug-ins).
We measured the speed of various Managed WordPress hosts using Bitcatcha’s server speed checker and they really do outperform typical shared hosts.
2. Security: Managed WordPress Hosting is generally more secure against hackers, and there are two reasons for this. First, it only hosts WordPress sites, so there are fewer holes for hackers to penetrate. Second, these hosts automatically scan for malware and security updates. It will close any loopholes before hackers can attack your site.
3. Auto-updates and backups: Managed WordPress hosting automatically keeps things ticking over in the background. It will update your WordPress site and all your plug-ins. (You can also be assured that all other WordPress sites on the server are automatically updated, which is another security bonus). It backs up your site daily so you’ll never lose work. It means you can focus on the core of your business, not the technical stuff.
4. Premium support: Most Managed WordPress hosts offer a premium 24/7 support service. You can chat with experts, usually within minutes. This feature alone is often worth the price, especially when something goes wrong.
5. Uptime (reliability): Managed WordPress Hosting typically offers much larger bandwidth and visitor limits. In other words, you can get a flood of traffic and your website won’t go down.
6. Specifically optimized for WordPress: Think of it this way… if you have a Ferrari, you want a Ferrari engine under the hood. The car will still work with a generic engine, but it will be faster and more efficient with a tailor-made Ferrari engine. It’s the same with WordPress. It simply works more efficiently with a WordPress-optimized host.
Cons of Managed WordPress Hosting
1. Less access to the technical parts: If you’re a developer that likes to tweak and change things behind-the-scenes, you might be disappointed. Managed WordPress Hosting takes care of everything, which is great for some, but limiting for others.
2. Restricted choice of WordPress plugins: Managed hosting often restricts which plug-ins you can install on your site. That’s because some plug-ins are too heavy or insecure; they might slow your site down or put it at risk. Having said that, most of your favorite plug-ins will be a-okay.
3. You can only use WordPress: If you also like to build websites on other platforms (like Drupal), you can’t. But then, you probably already guessed that!
4. Cost: Managed WordPress Hosting is generally more expensive than a traditional shared host. Although it’s possible to find a managed host for $3.99, they’re more commonly found at $15-$20. For the price, however, you get a lot more power and security for your money.
Do You Really Need Managed WordPress Hosting?
If you simply run a personal blog or small website, you probably don’t need to pay extra for Managed WordPress Hosting (yet!). A simple ‘shared’ host will be more than sufficient to handle small amounts of traffic, and you shouldn’t pay for more resources than you need.
BUT, if you start to see your visitor numbers creep up, it might be time to upgrade. If you stay on a cheap ‘shared’ server, lots of traffic will slow your site down significantly.
If you run a small business website or you have plans to increase your traffic, then you would definitely benefit from upgrading. As the visitors flood in, a managed host will handle the extra load without any dip in performance or speed.
When it comes to running an online business, you also need a host that is super-fast, safe from hackers and reliable. And you need a host that doesn’t cause any hassle. Managed WordPress Hosting takes care of all the technical aspects, so you can focus on creating content, generating leads, and running your business.
If you don’t have the technical know-how (or the time) to tweak and optimize your site for speed, uptime and security, you should also consider Managed WordPress Hosting. It takes away the burden of manually updating your site and making complex changes. Your time is probably better spent running your business!
In summary, you should consider Managed WordPress Hosting if you:
The additional speed, security and reliability are worth the extra cost for business owners and medium-large website owners.
Now that you've learned the pros and cons of Manged WordPress Hosting, keep reading to find out which Managed WordPress Host is right for you.