Is WordPress managed Hosting Really Worth its High Cost
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Is WordPress managed Hosting Really Worth its High Cost

WordPress managed hosting is one of the options many WordPress users prefer when choosing their webhost. Due to its hassle free lifestyle, being taken care of by the company, this has been a better option for most people to use. But using a managed WordPress simply means you have to spend out of the ordinary in your budget, and if not perfectly plan, you may run out of money. But before we go ahead, we will like to set some new foundation for a newbie reading this article.

What is WordPress Managed Hosting?

Managed WordPress hosting is a managed service where all technical( includes security, speed, WordPress updates, daily backups, website uptime, and scalability) aspects of running WordPress is managed by the web host.

The major idea behind managed WordPress hosting is to offer a completely hassle-free experience, so you can focus on running your business and doing what you are good at.

The best parts about Managed WordPress hosting is the premium support. Your support is provided by WordPress experts with lots of experience rather than someone who is reading a support manual.

In other words, by managing your server for you, hosts kill two birds with one stone: Saving you from yourself, and saving themselves from hordes of support tickets.

Let’s call this type of management server level management — and, unless you specifically search for bare metal servers, you’ll most likely see all such features included in your chosen hosting package.

There is, however, another branch of managed hosting services that allows you to perform many common higher-level tasks on your server, for example website backups. Let’s call this second branch of services application level management.

Application level management services are the type offered in managed WordPress hosting plans. Features will likely include: Server-level caching (and many other performance-specific services); automated daily site backups; core WordPress updates; website migrations and malware scanning; the ability to quickly and easily create staging sites; on-demand WordPress-specific one-click backups, and more (we’ll go through many of these in a moment).

Features of Managed WordPress Hosting

  • Faster speeds: Servers configured for WordPress, whether private or shared, really can make your website faster. Nearly all WordPress hosting providers use server configurations that speed up load times. Some boost speed even further with built-in caching, so you don’t have to fiddle with caching plugins.
  • Enhanced security: Hosts scan your site periodically for malware and offer advanced security features that prevent hackers from accessing your site at all (these features vary among providers). In the event malware does weasel its way into your website, many hosts will remove it for no additional charge.
  • Comprehensive support: Customer support techs will know WordPress inside and out. You can ask them WordPress questions in addition to more general hosting-related questions.
  • Automatic updates: Most managed hosting providers test WordPress updates and implement them for you, so security updates become an afterthought.

As demand for managed WordPress hosting grows, many vendors augment these core features with functionality tailored to specific use cases. Let’s look at how several hosts in this space build hosting packages for WordPress users.

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Best WordPress Managed Hosting

Kinsta

Kinsta managed WordPress hosting is powered by Google Cloud, and offers a range of affordable hosting options that are fast, secure and ready for scale:

  • Price of least expensive package: $30/mo
  • Support types: 24/7 email
  • Security: Hardware firewalls, SSL support, DDoS detection, Uptime monitoring
  • Extras: Staging areas for development, can choose one of the 15 Google Cloud Platform regional data centers

DreamPress (DreamHost)

For WordPress users craving something more robust than shared hosting, DreamHost’s “DreamPress” package delivers all the fundamental managed hosting benefits. Prices are a bit lower than most other US-based providers:

  • Price of least expensive package: $16.95/mo
  • Support types: 24/7 phone on weekdays, daytime phone on weekends, live chat, email
  • Security: Web app firewall rules and various “advanced” security features
  • Extras: Use any theme or plugin, optional cloud backups. No bandwidth limits and no number of users caps (or overage charges). Includes free Let’s Encrypt certificate

Flywheel

Flywheel targets designers and developers by providing collaboration tools that streamline the development process. Hosting packages also include production-ready demo sites that clients can approve before anything goes live. Here are the details:

  • Price of least expensive package: $15/mo
  • Support types: Phone, email, live chat
  • Security: Malware scanning + removal
  • Extras: Designer/developer tools, automated backups, built-in caching, free migrations

SiteGround

Bulgaria-based SiteGround offers managed WordPress hosting at a price comparable to many standard, shared hosting packages. Thanks to a CDN and data centers on three continents, SiteGround offers fast speeds from anywhere in the world. US readers should note that prices are listed in euros:

  • Price of least expensive package: €3.95/mo
  • Support types: Phone, help desk, live chat
  • Security: Malware scanning, server-level monitoring, plugin audits
  • Extras: Built-in caching for an additional charge, free migrations

WP Engine

A long-established managed hosting provider, WP Engine uses proprietary caching technology that provides, according to its website, “the fastest WordPress hosting around.” Prices aren’t the lowest, but the company claims its speed and support are unbeatable. Here’s what you get:

  • Price of least expensive package: $29/mo
  • Support types: Live chat, help desk; phone support is available for packages that include more than one install.
  • Security: Malware scanning + removal
  • Extras: Built-in caching, site staging area for developers, curated plugins

Media Temple

Long known for providing responsive, 24/7 support for its shared hosting service, Media Temple launched its first managed WordPress hosting plan in 2014:

  • Price of least expensive package: $29/mo
  • Support types: 24/7 phone, live chat, help desk
  • Security: Malware scanning, one-click restore from backups
  • Extras: Built-in caching, site staging area, “all-in-one” dashboard with an intuitive UI, up to three WordPress installs with the least expensive plan

Pressable

Formerly known as ZippyKid, Pressable offers three plans at competitive price points. Its least expensive package allows up to five WordPress installs:

  • Price of least expensive package: $25/mo
  • Support types: Help desk
  • Security: Malware scanning + removal
  • Extras: Built-in caching, site staging tools, optional SSL support
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Keeping the selling points of managed hosting in mind – and we’ll concede they’re compelling – let’s switch gears and examine “typical,” shared web hosting. You might be surprised at the benefits less expensive hosts can offer.

Shared web hosting benefits

“Shared” hosting refers to an arrangement in which your website lives on the same server as others’ websites. The primary benefit of this arrangement is more sites for less cost – and for small publishers, cost savings can be a serious deal breaker.

Here’s a rundown of a few popular shared hosts’ least expensive hosting packages. When it comes to costs and features, they all look really similar:

  • DreamHost (standard)
    • $8.95/mo
    • 24/7 phone support + help desk + live chat
    • Unlimited domains
  • Bluehost
    • $4.95/mo
    • 24/7 phone support + help desk + live chat
    • Unlimited domains
  • Hostgator
    • $3.96/mo
    • 24/7 phone support + help desk + live chat
    • One domain for least expensive plan, unlimited domains for $6.36/mo
  • Laughing Squid
    • $6/mo
    • Daytime phone support + help desk
    • One domain

Downsides of Managed WordPress Hosting

So, with all these great features and all the nice things we’ve said so far, could there be any downsides? Well, of course, there are always a few.

WORDPRESS ONLY

We wouldn’t consider this a downside as such, but it’s still worth mentioning. There’s absolutely no way you can get any other site on a managed WordPress host. Some of them give you more freedom than others, but, although you may technically be able to also run a Joomla site, for example, we pretty much guarantee it would be taken down as soon as it were discovered.

LOSS OF FLEXIBILITY

As we mentioned above, WordPress hosts have stricter policies than their counterparts, resulting in a better architecture that more than makes up for any inconveniences (in my opinion). That said, some plugins may be banned — with good reason. Third-party caching plugins, for example, are typically not allowed, and neither are many other plugins that have a bad track record, often because of security and/or performance concerns. On the other hand, is this really so bad? After all, no one wants a plugin that’s insecure or eats up all their available site resources/memory.

INCREASED PRICE

Creating a quality managed WordPress hosting experience requires considerable know-how, technology and money. The machines that house your websites tend to be a lot more powerful, and the cost is passed down to the humble site owner. There are some low-cost options out there, but, in general, the lowest you’ll want to go is about $30 per month. The next tier is usually around $100 per month, with prices generally rising pretty steeply after that.

When Is Managed WordPress Hosting worth the Extra Cost?

In my opinion, it’s black and white: If you can afford it and only need to run WordPress, go straight for managed WordPress hosting! There are some exceptions, which we’ll get into in a moment, but this is my general advice.

Let’s look at cases where managed WordPress hosting is not worth the extra cost.

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ARE YOUR SITES TEST OR DEVELOPMENT SITES?

If you’re creating a quick test site or developing something online, you don’t need all the power that comes with a managed package. A shared host will likely have more frequent downtimes and be significantly slower, but this shouldn’t be an issue in this situation — and the $5 per month cost will be much easier to stomach (especially if you’re developing multiple sites/ideas at the same time).

ARE YOU ON A BUDGET?

We’ve all been there: Sometimes the extra few dollars is just too much. If you have no choice, don’t fret too much — especially when just setting out. If you’re on a tight budget, saving money early on and switching hosts when you can safely afford to do so is a reasonable tactic (unless performance really is critical for your site/idea from the outset).

DO YOU HAVE MISSION CRITICAL NON-WORDPRESS COMPONENTS?

Some websites may run on WordPress, but have some outlying code that the site simply can’t function without. In these situations, you’ll need to use a high-quality general host that allows you to run anything freely instead.

ARE YOUR SITES LOW-TRAFFIC?

If you have a low-traffic site that can live with a little downtime (a personal site, perhaps, that you’ve no intention of ever turning into a business), you simply may not need managed WordPress hosting at all. Sure, we all love seeing our website up 100% of the time and loading in less than a second, but if you have a personal blog that’s visited by only a thousand or so people a month does it really make a difference if it’s only up 99% of the time and loads in two or three seconds?

DO YOU HAVE MANY SITES?

Most hosts limit the number of WordPress installs you can have. With managed WordPress hosting, the deal is: ‘Sure, you can have 30 sites, but hand over $350 a month please!’ If all of those sites are money-makers that’s fine, of course, but be prepared to pay per site (or opt for a special multi-site deal). If you do have a high number of sites, it may be better to leave the low-traffic ones where they are, and only use managed WordPress hosting for the main ones.

Final Conclussion

For the extra cost, managed WordPress hosting is the right choice for large businesses with growing websites, or users who expect their sites to grow rapidly. The key is in finding the right host, one which focuses on the features that are most important to you (speed, security, or support).

If you’re not ready to take on the added cost, or are comfortable managing your own WordPress site, then you should stick with a basic, shared hosting plan for the time being.

We hope you found our guide helpful. What kind of hosting do you prefer? Have you chosen managed hosting over shared? What are the extra features you cannot live without? Be sure to let us know in the comments below or ask any questions you might have.

CMSFolks Editorial Crew

Editorial Staff at CMSFolks is a team of WordPress experts led by Ajayi Adekunle. Site maintained by CMSFolks Studio.

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