If you’re getting started with building a WordPress website you may have heard the term managed web hosting. If you’re anything like I was, sometimes you may not fully understand some of the terms that are being branded about.
Assuming you’ve done a little research, you will see there are many providers and the prices are much higher than for ordinary shared hosting.
In this article, I will explain what makes managed hosting different and if you really need it for your site. As so many people use WordPress, this post will be specifically about managed WordPress hosting.
What is Web Hosting?
Before we take a look a managed WP hosting let’s have a reminder of what hosting is.
A web host is a server where people store their websites. A server is a computer that is always connected to the internet. It’s called a server because it serves up your website when someone types your domain name in a browser.
Your website is a collection of files. You store all your website files (HTML files, CSS files, images, videos, etc) on a server. Web hosting refers to a company that rents out space on their servers, for you to store your website.
The most common and cheapest form of hosting is shared hosting. With this form of hosting, hundreds or even thousands of website are stored on the same server. There will be limits on the speed, security, traffic and bandwidth because the resources are shared between many sites.
The servers are optimized to cater to the most common needs of websites and support different software. The support is for all the different Content Management Systems and is hence pretty general. For specific problems, you will probably be left to search for yourself.
What is Managed WordPress Hosting?
Now we know what web hosting is let’s see what additional services managed WordPress hosting gives us.
As WordPress has become more and more popular, the web hosts have developed a special hosting service, managed WordPress hosting, aimed at WP users.
This service takes care of all the technical aspects of running WordPress. The idea is the managed WordPress hosting takes care of security, back-ups, speed, uptime… giving you more time to get on with building your site and running your business.
Unmanaged or Managed WordPress Hosting?
If you are just getting started or have a small website shared hosting is probably the best alternative. However, if you are building a business site it is worth considering managed hosting.
I recently had a problem with one of my sites on shared hosting, which meant I didn’t receive the forms people were filling out. This was because the server was blacklisted, due to other sites hosted on the same server sending out spam.(websites on the same server use the same IP address)
I only found out by accident but who knows how much lost business it caused. So you can see the dangers with shared hosting!
As a business owner, it’s definitely worth considering managed hosting to protect your income. You won’t have to worry about security, backups, downtime, growing your traffic too quickly, spikes in traffic and in addition you will have great support.
You will be able to concentrate all your efforts on building your business!
The Pros and Cons of Managed Hosting
Faster Than Ordinary Hosting
The server is set up specifically to cater for WordPress. This is in contrast with ordinary or shared hosting that has to deal with many different types of website building software.
Everything from the hardware to software is set up to cater for WordPress only and configured by experts to give the best performance possible. Managed WordPress hosting can often save 1 or 2 seconds on a site’s loading time.
This might not sound to be much but when researching this article I came across some interesting facts and stats on Kissmetrics. One of these was that a website with a 1-second delay can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. This translates into a website earning $1,000 per day would lose $25,000 per year.
As loading time is also a ranking factor if your site doesn’t load as fast as some of your competitors this could also eat into your bottom line. Additionally, for a slow loading site, the customer experience won’t be as good.
Rapid Expert Support
The support staff are usually WordPress experts. If you have a problem with your site they can usually identify the problem and rectify it in a very short time.
They can also advise against using plugins that might slow your site. It can be very comforting to know you have support like this if you’re a newbie or even for someone who is more experienced.
I haven’t been able to access this site a few times, I contacted the managed hosting support and in a few minutes my site was back online. Having support like this is probably worth the extra price by itself.
Although the different types of hosting have security in place to stop intruders, managed hosting takes security to another level. Because WordPress is so popular it’s a big target for the hackers, there are almost constant attempts to breach the security in the system.
Hackers are continually looking for ways to compromise the core software, themes, and plugins. Your managed hosting experts will continually scan for malware, block hacking attempts and keep all hardware and software updated.
It’s easy to make a mistake when playing around with some of the more technical aspects of WordPress. Managed WordPress hosts make sure that your data is safe. If you break your site you can easily revert to a previous version.
Can Handle Huge Traffic
Ordinary shared hosting might crash if you have a spike in traffic. Managed hosting can handle additional traffic without crashing.
Not all managed hosting offer this service yet but most seem to be moving towards including it. A staging environment allows you to create an exact copy of your site on a separate domain.
The advantage of doing this is you can make changes to your staging site before implementing the changes on your public site. You can test new plugins, change some code on your theme or even show clients how their site will look after you make some proposed changes.
As you would expect managed hosting has a higher price than shared hosting. The cheapest plans start at around $20 per month which is a lot more than the $4 to $10 for shared hosting.
However, if you’re running a business site which earns you a living or extra income then this extra cost is justified. If for nothing else, for the peace of mind the extra security and back-ups will give you.
On the other hand, if you just run a personal blog, better to stick with the shared hosting and save your money.
Limitations on Plugins
Some managed WordPress hosts won’t allow you to use certain plugins. This could be because the action is performed by the server, for example caching or anti-spam filters, the plugin is a risk to security, the plugin could slow down your site or the plugin uses too many server resources.
So if your site requires a certain plugin to function and it’s not allowed by the host you might need to find another host. Although this might be slightly annoying it is done for your own benefit.
Only WordPress Allowed
Although it might be obvious, you can only run WordPress on managed WordPress hosting. Other content management systems cannot be handled.
It’s difficult to compare costs because the different hosting providers include different levels of cover.
- the amount of storage space for your website will vary from host to host
- the number of visitors allowed per month will differ
- SSL certificates might be free or paid
- some hosts include a WordPress site builder others don’t
- the number of sites you can host also varies
For example, hosting for one site from the well known managed hosting providers:
- WP Engine $29 per month
- Pressable 1 – 5 sites $20.85 per month
- Pressidium $24.90 per month
- Dream Host $15.95 per month
Below is a table that compares the price for hosting multiple sites and the different features they offer.
There are a couple terms there where a definition could come in handy.
- Full redundancy – your website is stored on 2 servers that are both running all the time. If one server goes down for any reason the other server will take its place.
- BotNet Security – a botnet attack is a way of forcing entry into sites that have weak username and password combinations
Wealthy Affiliate Managed Hosting
As you can see, if you’re going to be hosting a few sites, Wealthy Affiliate is the cheapest option by far. Not only a hosting platform they also offer training on how to set up an online business, a free keyword tool and a community that’s knowledgeable and helpful.
So, if you’re thinking of starting your own online business or if you have several sites already and are looking for managed WordPress hosting, it’s worth checking them out.
They offer a free trail that allows you to create 2 free websites and have a look around before deciding.
If you have a business website or build client sites I think it makes sense to pay more for managed WordPress hosting. You will have the peace of mind that your site is secure and backed up. In addition, you have excellent support if you run into any problems.
Where should you go for your hosting? I have been hosting at Wealthy Affiliate for nearly 3 years now. I have never had any security problems, the speed is good and I haven’t experienced any downtime. When I’ve needed support they have been really fast to reply or get my site back online.
Compared to the other managed web hosts they seem to offer awesome value, considering you get much more than just the hosting. Therefore if you’re interested in fast, reliable, secure managed WordPress hosting, combined with an online internet marketing training platform and a friendly community Wealthy Affiliate could be a great choice for you.
Try Wealthy Affiliate Hosting and Training, click here for 7-day free trial then $19 for 1st month.
If you have any experience with managed WordPress hosting I would appreciate your feedback or any questions please leave them below.