Web developers help in creating websites for many people. They select the host and tell you what plan to select, and so on. The biggest task in front of them when they take up a client project is of finding the right web host.
If their choice is right, the client’s web business will flourish. But, if the web host is a misfit for the client’s site, then the client’s business could fail. It is a tough decision to make.
There are many web hosts available today. And most of them come at affordable prices. In fact, most host services are white-labelled to 3rd parties.
This means that sometimes you may come across companies that will do the hosting for the site but will have no direct control over the servers involved.
- 1 Who Offers Managed WordPress Hosting?
- 2 Meaning of Managed WordPress Hosting
- 3 Managed WordPress Hosting Benefits
- 3.1 1. Optimized Servers for WordPress
- 3.2 2. Easy-to-use Control Panel
- 3.3 3. Reliable
- 3.4 4. Completely Managed for You
- 3.5 5. Better Website Speed
- 3.6 6. Security
- 3.7 7. Automated Backups and Updates
- 3.8 8. Automated WP Installation
- 3.9 9. Guided Migrations
- 3.10 10. Great Customer Support
- 3.11 11. One Click Staging
- 3.12 12. Extra Features
- 4 The Disadvantages of Managed WordPress Hosting
- 5 Should you go for Managed WordPress Hosting?
Who Offers Managed WordPress Hosting?
Back in the day, the web hosting business was simple. It was a service that involved the host providing the hardware while the code was provided by the client.
However, today, hosts handle the entire managing of WordPress. Managed WordPress Hosting is in demand today.
A few of the greatest players in the web hosting category are Pagely and WP Engine. Traditional web host companies like GoDaddy and Media Temple are also some of the big players. The managed WordPress hosting offered by them is specialized.
In all this, we definitely cannot forget to mention WordPress VIP and WordPress.com. The hosting offered by them is high-end.
Traditional web hosting companies actually provide developers with a general platform where they can build on. But, a managed WordPress hosting only focuses on managing WordPress.
They actually get the software installed for you. Also, they get the servers tuned to help maximize the developer’s site’s performance.
Managed hosts let WordPress users concentrate on the day-to-day working of their business than figure out the server logistics. It is like they can forget it after it is set up.
You need to, however, remember that if you wish to use better services, there is a price to pay. Various web hosts have various plans offering various services or add-ons.
A basic web host typically bills based on the various server resources used. But, bills of managed WordPress hosting are related to the installation of WordPress.
A typical shared web host would cost nearly $10 per month, and an entry-level VPS (Virtual Private Server) could cost $30 per month if a reputed vendor is involved.
In the case of managed WordPress hosting, they charge a minimum of $20 per month just for the installation of a single WordPress hosting.
Apart from the billing metrics, there are few other differences when you choose to use managed hosting. One of the other major differences is that on a managed site, the per-user resource allocation is just a small part of whatis available on a traditional host.
Say, for instance, while most hosts offer astronomical or unlimited storage caps, many of the managed hosts for entry-level plans offer a storage space of 5GB to 20GB.
Also, in terms of bandwidth, the billing done by managed hosts is done based on the visits. Or if not, their bandwidth caps are low between 5GB to 20GB.
Meaning of Managed WordPress Hosting
You may be wondering as to what is the actual meaning of managed WordPress hosting.
Well, there is no such set definition for it among hosting companies neither among users.
Any hosting firm could have the badge ‘managed’ used any of their hosting plans. Hence you need to really check what is being offered to you as a package before you sign up for it with the managed host.
What you should expect from managed WordPress hosts are certain extra benefits and features that you will not get from standard hosting companies.
Managed hosts do the managing of your setup. You are not required to manage it. This is why it is called a ‘managed’ host.
What each managed host can manage for you depends on the host you have chosen. Not all managed hosts offer the same benefits.
Some of the benefits they offer are backups, peace of mind, improved security, and many more. But, these benefits may still remain unclear depending on your host.
What does the company do on a regular basis for me in a Managed WordPress Hosting plan?
Now that you know that a managed host manages the site for you, you will wonder what all is included in this managing job of theirs.
For example, you may want to do something on your site, like adding a plugin. You will wonder if they will help you with it or whether you can do it without their help.
Since they manage the site, you will also have this question as to if they will change your website settings on their own to help improve the security or speed of your site.
Well, to be frank, the answer is no.
Though it is a ‘managed’ hosting, you as a user will still have to take care of all the hands-on work.
As a user, the control panel is the big difference between modern standard web hosting and managed WordPress hosting. How easily one can use it and how customized it is in terms of performing tasks related to WordPress hosting makes the difference.
Let’s have a deeper look at managed WordPress hosting to know its benefits and disadvantages.
Managed WordPress Hosting Benefits
We have listed below some of the common benefits of managed WordPress hosting providers compared to how they actually work out practically:
1. Optimized Servers for WordPress
Every company offering managed WordPress hosting will say that their servers are specially optimized to use WordPress. To an extent, this may hold true. However, this cannot be the only reason for you to choose managed WordPress hosting.
WordPress hosting is flexible in that you can use it on any server supported by PHO and database engine. This is the same with other hosting setups today.
Basically, to run a managed WordPress hosting, no particular server settings are needed.
Having said that, what is often offered overall by managed WordPress hosting are server setups that are modern. These setups include extra power hardware that is sometimes hosted by other providers outside of the hosting company, like Google Cloud.
They also have server software that is more up-to-date, like Nginx, extra efficient VPS configurations, and the latest PHP versions.
2. Easy-to-use Control Panel
One may find user panels to be confusing. Figuring out how to effectively use it will need some time. This applies even if the cPanel of the industry standard is offered to you by your web host.
This is what makes the managed WordPress hosting different. Many hosts offer managed services also let you have access to their customized user panels, which can be worked with easily. And, they let you access the features that you are most likely to use a lot.
The one disadvantage of this is that the possibility of what could be done using these panels is not much as compared to the cPanel.
These panels, every one of them, helps you find things quickly like staging sites, backups, stats, software updates for WordPress, and many more.
Managed servers let you focus on things that are more important, like trying to find new clients and creating content for your business, instead of worrying about how to manage your server.
You will find a different version of the above story given by all companies offering managed WordPress hosting in their company’s marketing material.
However, there is only one problem. Managed hosts actually are not more reliable as compared to shared hosts. There is no much significant difference. 99.99 percent uptime is also provided by cheap hosts today.
Definitely, not all cheap hosts can provide this percentage of uptime. But the truth stands that cheap hosts no longer struggle with this uptime percentage anymore.
4. Completely Managed for You
Managed WordPress hosting providers manage your server for you. It takes care of handling core tasks that are responsible for the running of the webserver. You do not need to learn how to run it.
But, even cheap hosts don’t make you manage these tasks by yourself. Whether you are on a managed or a shared cheap setup, the web hosting company will take care of any tasks related to server management.
Even if there is a breakdown while using a shared cheap host, you will not have to manage it. You just have to call their customer support, and they will help fix it for you.
5. Better Website Speed
When you use a shared host, which is a managed WordPress host, there is a better performance. These servers, after all, are optimized especially for managed WordPress hosting.
The performance, however, does depend on the amount of traffic you receive on your website.
Also, most web hosts try to improve their performance metrics. They do this by getting your website integrated with CDNs and caching mechanisms. The best part is that the hosting company does this setup for you.
You can relax when it comes to the setup. You will not have to check even if the configurations have been done properly. Everything is handled for you.
Something that one can boast about managed WordPress hosting is that it provides greatly improved security to the website.
This is, however, not always true when you try to compare it with all hosts.
Managed WordPress host platforms are generally safer than inexpensive shared hosts. But, this has nothing to do with the fact that the managed host services revolve around WordPress.
In fact, the security is better because of the setup of high-quality hosting irrespective of whether WordPress is being used or not.
DDoS protection is often offered by managed platforms. These are prepared to handle attacks that happen at both application and network layers. Or, they can deflect these attacks by using WAF (Web Application Firewall).
Besides, few managed WordPress hosts let you access premium plugins like CodeGuard or iThemesSecurity. These solutions are built for WordPress. They offer extra protection, easy restorations if need be, and malware scans.
7. Automated Backups and Updates
Getting automatic backups and updates is made possible by using managed WordPress hosting.
It is no rocket science. Since the host does the setup and managing of the WordPress for you, you have nothing to worry about.
The host helps keep your site updated. You do not have to pay extra for a separate button to let you update your site on your own.
Backups could be tricky. While selecting the managed WordPress host for your site, check if they offer easy restoration apart from the automated backups.
A backup can be beneficial only if it can be used to quickly restore your website. Getting the SQL dump of your entire site’s database is no good otherwise.
What you actually need is to just click the restore button so that everything can get restored to normal easily.
8. Automated WP Installation
When you sign up for a managed platform, it will allow you to install WordPress easily with just a few clicks.
Sounds great, right? But, you need to also note that this feature is also provided by cheap shared hosts too. It is not a feature exclusively provide for WordPress.
9. Guided Migrations
When changing hosts, many users also try to shift their current sites. You will get help from managed hosts to do this transition. Some may even do the migrations for free for you.
But, the definition of migrations differs between companies. Some companies will help you with the migration only if few particular companies are involved.
At the same time, few others will offer full concierge migrations irrespective of the companies involved. When you decide to move your site to a different host, make sure to check this new host’s terms.
Duplicator is a tool that lets you move a classic WordPress website within ten minutes from one host to another.
10. Great Customer Support
Customer support is important, and all hosts promise to provide it. It is just that the level of support provided by each is different. For a few, it is just a marketing tactic.
A managed platform will get you to help faster compared to a shared platform. But, do not expect an awesome quality of support.
Say, for instance, you have a query, and you contact the customer support of the managed WordPress host. It will try to direct you towards a knowledge base article instead of solving your problem.
11. One Click Staging
If you wish to try the thing on your own for your website, managed WordPress hosting is the best platform. It lets you customize, test, and tweak.
In other words, WordPress websites are normally at a work-in-progress stage. Cool right. There is just one problem with this. If you have a live site, working on it could create many problems.
Hence staging sites are important. If you wish to test your site, you could first start a staging site which is actually your existing site’s carbon copy. In other words, it is like your sandbox.
Try tweaking and testing as many times there as this will not affect your live site. And, once you are finished doing all that you wanted to do, you could delete this carbon copy, or you could use these changes on your main live site.
Staging is made very easy by managed WordPress hosting. With just a click, you could have your staging site ready in a matter of few seconds. Even moving it or deleting it is easy and quick.
12. Extra Features
There are often a lot of additional features and bonuses offered by managed WordPress hosts. These all purely depend on the host being used.
You get access to iThemes Sync, iThemes Security, and more if you choose Liquid Web’sWooCommerce hosting plan that includes a lot of plugins from Jilt,IconicWP, Astra Pro, and Beaver Builder, Standard.
When you choose WP Engine, you get touse all StudioPress themes and Atomic Blocks Pro.
The Disadvantages of Managed WordPress Hosting
These cost more.
Shared hosting could be got for around 3 to 4 dollars for a month. But, the price of a managed WordPress host starts from around 15 dollars a month. This is 3 to 4 times more than the price of a shared host.
Also, there are overage charges involved that are not advertised by these web hosts.
2. No Email Hosting Support
WordPress hosting is expensive. So you may expect it to handle your emails for you. But it doesn’t. It is one of its main drawbacks.
If you wish to have a customized email address for you, you will need to find a different company that will host the inbox for you at an extra monthly cost.
3. Limited Sites
Many of the managed WordPress hosts at entry-level let you host only one website.
If you wish to install multi-sites, there will be a problem.
4. Difficult Migrations Out of the Plan
There may come a time when you wish to move ours from your managed WordPress platform. Moving out here will not be easy. It will have many challenges.
Certain hosts make changes to the WordPress directory files in order to suit the environment of their server. These modifications will not adjust well when you decide to use another host.
To give an example, WP Engine will make you go through a huge checklist if you decide to move out. There are a lot of things that you are required to do before you move to another host.
Some of the things mentioned in their checklist are deleting few files, going back to a newconfig.php file, and few more steps.
Though every host operates differently, you will only know what you are required to do by your host only once you decide to move out.
5. Few Plugins could be banned
You can run any plugin while on a shared hosting platform. But this does not apply when using managed hosts.
6. Limited Storage
The disk space offered by managed WordPress hosting is normally limited.
Hence, if you try to use large files like media files, for example, you may face issues.
Should you go for Managed WordPress Hosting?
Now that you understand the pros and cons of using a managed WordPress host, you will wonder if you should choose it for hosting your website. Is it worth your time and money?
The answer could be a yes or a no. The answer actually depends on your website type and what all it needs to run effectively.
If your website is a simple WordPress one and has less traffic, then you may not necessarily need a managed host. You may say that you will want the updates and backups to happen automatically. Well, that is possible even without a managed host. You can easily manage the updates on your own, and by using 3rd party plugins, you can have automatic security and backups in place.
Also, you could include your email hosting. All your hosting requirements can be handled for a price of approximately 4 dollars a month.
If you are someone who is not happy with your host either for its reliability, support, or performance, you will prefer the managed host much more then.
This is partly because managed host setups are of high quality and also because they use WordPress-specific features.
Managed WordPress hosts are better when it comes to better handling of increased amounts of traffic. Their support team is also quick in responding to your queries.
Managed WordPress hosts let you launch a staging site if you wish to make some changes to your site without causing any problem to your live site. Launching this carbon copy of your website is easy and quick. And you can delete it once your work is done.
To sum it up, it is worth investing in a managed WordPress host. However, you have to study your host properly before choosing one. A lot depends on the type of your website and its requirements.
Study all the features of the host to see if the disk space allowed is sufficient for your site if any plugins are banned, and many other features mentioned above in this article. You can also check our article on What Is The Difference Between VPS Hosting And A Dedicated Server?