Perhaps while looking for a new web hosting provider, you’ve realized that a lot of web hosting providers are offering managed WordPress services. You’ve also probably noticed these managed WordPress services cost more than standard shared hosting, which you can usually get for $3-$4 a month or less. But what is a managed WordPress service? Why is there a price difference? Are managed WordPress services better than standard shared hosting? Do I need it? Is it worth the cost? What web hosting provider provides the best managed WordPress service?
If these are questions you’ve asked, then you’re in the perfect place. We will go over what managed WordPress services are, why there’s a difference in pricing, the pros and cons of using a managed WordPress service, and the best web hosting providers to obtain managed WordPress services from.
What is a Managed WordPress Service?
Because WordPress is so popular, man web hosting providers have started specializing in WordPress through offering managed WordPress hosting services. In managed WordPress services, the web hosting provider manages all the technical aspects of running WordPress as a concierge. They manage the speed of the website, security, WordPress updates, uptime, daily backups, and scalability.
The idea is to offer a completely hassle-free WordPress installation so you can just focus on designing and updating your website. Managed WordPress services often include WordPress specific support as well, with experts on WordPress available to help you with any issues you may have. This is vastly different from getting standard support with someone reading off a support manual. With managed WordPress services, your WordPress website gets the five star treatment.
Like most things, there are both advantages and disadvantages to using a managed WordPress service. Whether it is ideal for you depends largely on if the pros outweigh the cons for you.
Advantages of Managed WordPress Services
Speed — The servers that your web hosting provider uses for managed WordPress websites will be specially configured to run WordPress faster. Even when you get a ton of traffic, your WordPress site should stay fast and snappy.
Expertise — Unlike regular web hosting support, managed WordPress support representatives are experts on WordPress. They can warn you about plugins that may impact your website’s performance, solve issues with your WordPress website, and more. You will have a barrage of WordPress experts on your side for help.
Security — Managed WordPress services are designed to be hacker-proof. Most managed WordPress service providers utilize a security layer that actively blocks hacking attempts and scans for malware.
Backups — Your managed WordPress service provider will make daily backups of your website for you, so no data gets lost. You will have access to these backups in case you need to revert changes.
Uptime — Managed WordPress servers are designed to stay up at all times, no matter how much traffic your WordPress website receives.
Updates — You will never have to worry about updating your WordPress installation, plugins, or themes. Updates are applied automatically on a daily basis.
Development Tools — It varies by managed WordPress service provider, but you may gain access to dev tools such as a staging area and/or version control, as well as other helpful tools for developing your WordPress website.
Disadvantages of Managed WordPress Services
Limits — You are only allowed to run WordPress websites with a managed WordPress service. You also don’t get access to your directories on the server, or any other general website administration tools. Some plugins will not install because managed WordPress service providers block them due to their tendency to slow down websites. While this isn’t entirely a disadvantage for what you get, it may be a problem for large companies.
Price — Managed WordPress services are significantly more expensive than regular shared web hosting. Some services can cost as much as $30 a month, in comparison to the few dollars a month it usually costs for shared web hosting. However, this is a great deal if your trade off is using a system administrator to run a large website.
Less Control — Those limits mean you have less control over your WordPress website. However, the trade-off is getting someone else to handle the technical aspects for you. So if you’re a novice or just don’t want to bother with the technical aspects, less control shouldn’t be an issue for you.
When Do I Need A Managed WordPress Service?
If you are a beginner who is just starting a blog, managed WordPress services may appeal to you if you’re not interested in learning the technical details to running your website. Managed WordPress services are a quick and easy way to gain a WordPress website without having to go through any of the sticky installation details, and the automated backups can become very useful if you mess up somewhere and need to revert. Additionally, you will never have to worry about your website being secure.
If you have a high-traffic website or own a small business, managed WordPress services may make more sense to you than using regular shared web hosting, as well. If you lack the technical skills to handle any issue that may go wrong with your website, normal shared web hosting can become a real hassle as your website grows. You will need to learn how to keep your site secure, how to keep it fast no matter how much traffic hits it, and will also need to keep up with updates. So it makes sense to use managed WordPress services to help offload the responsibility and work that goes into managing a large website.
Basically, managed WordPress services are for folks that want something that is fast, secure, has top line support, and is completely hassle-free.
The Best Managed WordPress Services
WP Engine — WP Engine is by far the most popular managed WordPress service. They include in-house optimization, a 1-click staging environment, managed updates, free SSL, and more. Their server response time generally stays under a half second no matter what point in the world you call from. They also include CDN integration if you would like to add CloudFlare’s service to your website in a powerful but easy to use custom control panel.
Siteground — Siteground is already known as being a fantastic web hosting provider. Their managed WordPress is great, too. They utilize powerful in-house optimization as well as security to provide the best service possible. Free SSL certificates are included, as well as free website migration. However, the domain is not free with their managed WordPress service, so you will need to purchase this separately.
Bluehost — Bluehost offers an amazing 50% discount to start their managed WordPress service. They also offer a free SSL certificate and free domain. Their managed WordPress service is highly optimized to go blazingly fast, and they are one of the top recommended hosting providers by WordPress itself. You also have the freedom to do more with your website, with WordPress not being required. Their support can sometimes be slow to respond, but their package is attractive enough to be worth the wait.
Liquid Web — Liquid Web offers incredibly fast managed WordPress services, with less than a second response times with requests sent from anywhere in the world. SSL is included in their managed WordPress offerings, and they have plenty of options to upscale your services and support, making them ideal for big business. The only con is their managed WordPress services cost slightly more than other competitors.
DreamHost — DreamHost is another top performer, with server response times being under a half second when sent a request from any point in the world. All of their managed WordPress services come with free SSL and are hosted on SSD drives. With a great custom control panel that is powerful and easy to navigate, DreamHost has set itself as one of the best managed WordPress service providers.
With all of these managed WordPress service providers considered, let’s take a quick look at their pricing and features:
Cost/Month Free Domain Free SSL Staging
Siteground $11.95 No Yes Yes
Liquid Web $22.95 No Yes Yes
Bluehost $19.99 Yes Yes Yes
WP Engine $14.50 No Yes Yes
DreamHost $14.95 No Yes No
WP Engine seems to offer the best value for your money, but you may find a different managed WordPress service provider in this list that fits your specific needs better. No matter which of these managed WordPress service providers you choose, you will find they have the speed, security, and support to make you happy with your WordPress website.