A good website is essential for running a business. It can be used to provide customers with information, engage in marketing, and of course, make direct sales. For millions of businesses around the world, the best way to build and manage a website is through the content management system WordPress.
If you want to run a WordPress-based website, you need to have a good hosting solution that keeps your site up and running smoothly. For many people, this means opting for managed WordPress hosting.
Below we explain what managed WordPress hosting is, how it is different from unmanaged hosting, when it may be appropriate, and answer the following questions:
- Is managed WordPress hosting right for your business?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of managed hosting?
- How do I find a good managed WordPress hosting provider?
What is Managed WordPress Hosting?
Unless you have the physical servers for your website in your own datacenter, all hosting is going to be managed to one degree or another. In most cases, this means that the web hosting company manages the physical servers, the network connectivity, and a variety of other back-end tasks.
When looking at managed WordPress hosting, the provider also takes on many of the tasks associated with keeping the server up and running smoothly. For example, they schedule the data backups so that your site can be restored if something goes wrong.
They will also make sure that the operating system, database, and even WordPress are kept up to date with the latest stable versions, which is essential for avoiding security risks and other problems. These are all things that you might be responsible for with traditional unmanaged hosting.
Having the hosting company manage these things leaves only the day-to-day operation of the site in your hands. You can log in, update the content, add new posts, and even select any plugins that you need. If you ever have questions or concerns with WordPress itself, the hosting company is there to assist with anything you need to help ensure your site looks and loads just the way you want it.
When shopping for managed WordPress hosting, however, it is important to know that there is not a set list of features that every hosting company provides. You will want to look closely at the exact list of services each hosting company offers to ensure you are getting everything you need.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Managed WordPress Hosting
Offloading these tasks associated with running your website provides you with a variety of benefits. Of course, there are some downsides to be aware of. Understanding the various pros and cons of managed WordPress hosting helps you to decide if it is a good option for your company.
The importance of each of these pros and cons for your business depends on a number of factors including your web hosting experience, employee skills, budget, and more.
Pros of Managed WordPress Hosting:
- No Technical Knowledge Needed – You do not need to have any technical knowledge of hosting a site. All of that back-end work will be done for you.
- You Can Focus on Site Data – Creating and managing your website simply means designing it and creating the content to meet the needs of your customers.
- Improved Security – Managed WordPress hosting is kept up to date with the latest security patches and other system updates. This helps to protect your data from potential hackers, viruses, or other problems.
- Experts Managing Your Site – You have a team of experts managing the back end of your site so you can be confident that everything is handled properly.
- Backup & Restoration Service – Getting your site backed up properly is critical for ensuring you recover from a problem, should one occur. Most managed hosting services take care of all of your backup settings for you.
Cons of Managed WordPress Hosting:
- More Expensive – Managed hosting is quite a bit more expensive than an unmanaged or semi-managed alternative. If you are just looking for the cheapest web hosting options, a managed solution likely isn’t right for you.
- Forced Updates – Most managed WordPress services automatically update your site to the latest version shortly after it is released. Some people would rather wait a while before updating to ensure it is stable.
- Possible Limits on Plugins – Some managed hosting services will have limits on what WordPress plugins you can use since they are the ones supporting it.
- No Firm Meaning – Not all hosting providers offer the same services with their managed WordPress packages.
There may be other downsides to choosing managed WordPress hosting for your site based on the type of site you are running, which services you offer, and other factors. However, these are going to be the most common complaints people have when considering this type of hosting solution.
Costs Associated with Managed WordPress Hosting
Whenever you opt for managed web hosting, you can expect it to cost quite a bit more than an unmanaged option. This is because you will end up paying for all of the time and expertise that the hosting company provides. While there is no doubt that your monthly bill will go up, many people are surprised at how affordable it still is.
For example, when looking at hosting options from the popular company, Bluehost you can get unmanaged solutions for $2.75 per month, or you can move to managed WordPress hosting for $9.95. This is a big jump, but when you think of all the perks you get for that additional money, most people will think that it is worth it.
In almost all cases, the added expenses will come in the form of a higher monthly bill. In rare cases, a hosting company may offer managed services for a set amount each month plus additional support at an hourly rate. This, however, is generally reserved for more complicated sites that will need regular service to keep them running right.
Is Managed WordPress Hosting Right for You?
Managed WordPress hosting is a great option to consider. While it definitely has a lot of advantages for many people, there are also situations where it is not worth the extra money.
If, for example, you are tech-savvy and don’t mind spending a little time each month making sure your website is fully backed up and updated, you won’t want to waste the money on these services.
On the other hand, if you are already busy enough with running your business and you don’t want to worry about making sure every little thing is done with your site’s hosting, it is an excellent option.
If you do decide that you want to pay the extra money to get the managed services, it is important that you sign up for hosting from a reputable company. Finding the right company for managed WordPress hosting is not difficult. Once you find the right one for you, they will be able to keep your site running smoothly for years to come.
Need a great web host? Want to save some time? This shortlist is your best place to begin: