Today I thought I would shed some light on hosting – specifically managed WordPress hosting. Maybe you have seen this as an option when investigating hosting plans for your website, and aren’t sure what it means. And why it costs more, and whether you need it. Hopefully after reading this post you will be able to make this decision.
Managed WordPress hosting is offered by some companies that have taken the time to specialise in hosting WordPress websites. There is a higher price tag for you as the website owner, but there are also several benefits, which are:
- All technical aspects of maintaining a WordPress site are taken care of by the hosting company so you can get on with running your business.
- The hosting environment is fine tuned to work with WordPress specifically, removing a lot of the teething problems found with DIY solutions. These hosting plans also offer the latest in architecture and server software.
- Site security is improved as the hosting company implements various steps to keep out hackers, prevent malware and keep your site up & running 24/7.
- Site speed is improved as most managed hosting includes some form of caching, with an additional option to serve up the website resources via a content delivery network (CDN). Talking about CDNs is another whole topic but in a nutshell a CDN makes use of distributed server resources — these cache a version of the site in different locations & the site is then loaded from the server that is closest to the website visitor, making loading times much faster.
- You receive premium support from the hosting company should you have any problems with anything.
- Full site backups are taken automatically on a regular basis, which is great for peace of mind.
- The solution is more robust and will grow with you – important if you are running an online store that has a lot of products / orders and needs to scale up regularly or for any site with a growing number of visitors or bandwidth requirements.
- Staging environments* which allow you to make a working copy of your site allowing you to test major plugin updates (for example WooCommerce) or theme updates before applying these to your live site.
* Not all managed hosting offers this option. We recommend choosing a company that has made WordPress hosting its only focus.
Note: There are a few drawbacks that you should be aware of before you commit to managed hosting, and these are:
- Managed WordPress hosting often does not include email – so you will need to signup for a G Suite account (or similar) which will cost you extra.
- Some WordPress plugins are disallowed by the hosting company, so do check this list especially if you have an existing site you are moving to managed hosting and you rely on a plugin that won’t be allowed.
- Automatic updates – whilst having updates applied automatically doesn’t cause any issue 9 times out of 10 it can occasionally break your site or theme, so being able to wait a few days for any bugs to be ironed out before applying an update can be useful sometimes.
Your alternative to managed WordPress hosting is the more common shared hosting (which is low cost and providers are a dime a dozen) or hosting on a virtual private server (VPS) which gets you closer to some of the managed hosting benefits (premium support and great server architecture for example) but requires a lot of DIY in the technical space for you, and can cost almost as much as managed hosting sometimes.
Managed hosting for your WordPress site makes a lot of sense, especially if your online business has outgrown it’s initial space, or you don’t have a reliable developer on retainer or someone within your business who is technically savvy and able to keep up with the admin. Our premium monthly care plan therefore includes managed hosting, and delivers several other important benefits to your business. Please contact us to discuss which option may be right for you.