In the context of a website, web hosting is your house. In order to have a solid website, you need a house with a strong foundation. That said, choosing a web hosting service will always be a crucial part of website creation. Even if your website is already created, you might need to migrate to a new house to get a stronger foundation. If your website is built with WordPress, using a managed WordPress hosting service is a great idea.
What is a managed WordPress hosting?
Being the most popular CMS in the world, many web hosting providers offer a service specialized for WordPress. In a very simple word, a managed WordPress hosting is the type of web hosting service where the technical aspects related to the server configuration are handled by the associated provider. The provider will optimize their server configuration to make the hosted WordPress sites run faster. In addition, they also take care of other aspects such as security, backup, and WordPress updates.
A managed WordPress hosting is especially a suited option for small businesses that have no dedicated team to handle server administration. You can focus on the site content instead of server maintenance and configuration.
Pros: 5 Reasons to Use Managed WordPress Hosting
1. You Can Focus on Your Business Growth
One of the main benefits of using a managed WordPress hosting is that you can put your focus on things that matter more for your business. If you are a blogger, you can focus on creating blog posts and setting up newsletters. If you have an e-commerce website, you can focus on planning, executing, and evaluating your marketing campaigns. You don’t need to think about technical aspects such as server configuration, backups, security, and other aspects related to your site operational. Your hosting provider takes care of it. It even will update your WordPress when a new version is available.
2. Better Site Performance with Caching and CDN
Both CDN and caching are two crucial elements when it comes to site performance optimization. The combination of the two will make your website load faster.
With a CDN (Content Delivery Network), you have distributed data centers in different locations (countries). This plays a massive role in speeding up your website as your visitors will be served by the nearest data center according to their location. Caching, meanwhile, makes the pages on your website load faster as your server doesn’t need to perform recurring data processing to serve same requests from different clients (web browsers). Instead, your server serves the requests by retrieving the data from caching memory.
Most managed WordPress hosting providers bundle their hosting plans with both CDN and caching services.
3. Easier to Manage Your Site with Simplified Panel
Chances are you already familiar with cPanel. It is a web hosting control panel used by most web hosting providers to make it easier for you to manage your websites. cPanel is usually included on shared hosting plans.
While cPanel offers GUI-based tool to manage your website, its default features are too complex to manage a WordPress site as it is not designed specifically for WordPress. Most managed WordPress hosting providers offer a simpler panel designed specifically to manage WordPress sites. You won’t see unnecessary menu items and settings on your panel. Here are the screenshots of the panel of SiteGround and Bluehost.
4. You Can Create a Staging Environment More Effortlessly
WordPress, theme, and the plugins you use are actively developed. In a certain period, they might have a major release. Before using the latest release of a certain WordPress product on your live site, you can try it on a staging site first to make sure everything works properly.
What is a staging site?
A staging site is a clone of your live website. It allows you to test a major release of a theme, plugin, or even WordPress. Using a staging site to test the major release of a WordPress product is a great idea because when the product is still buggy, you can postpone the implementation on your live site. Save time, save energy.
You can also create a stating site if you want to make a major change to your website (e.g., redesign).
Most managed WordPress hosting providers come with a feature to create a stating site with a single click.
5. Scheduled Backups
Backup has always been a key part of website maintenance. If you don’t backup your website, you will lose it when something bad suddenly happens to your website. Such as server crash, malware attack to misconfiguration causing your website cannot be accessed. If you have backup files, you can simply restore your website if it is experiencing a certain fatal issue.
Scheduled backup is a main feature most managed WordPress hosting providers offer. Some providers develop their own backup tool, while some use a third-party backup service. Bluehost, for instance, uses a backup service from CodeGuard.
Most providers also offer both file access and database access in case you want to make a manual backup.
The Cons of Managed WordPress Hosting
While a managed WordPress hosting offers easiness of website administration and optimization, it doesn’t mean it has no drawback. The main issue with managed WordPress hosting is regarding the plugins you can install on your website.
Some managed WordPress hosting providers don’t allow you to install certain plugins, especially plugin types which are included in the service bundle such as backup plugin and caching plugin. The plugin install restriction is usually meant to avoid redundancy with the hosting ecosystem or to prevent plugin conflict.
Here is the list of popular plugins that are disallowed by managed WordPress hosting providers:
- BackupBuddy: Disallowed by Flywheel and Kinsta
- BackUpWordPress: Disallowed by Flywheel and WP Engine
- BackWPup: Disallowed by Flywheel and Kinsta
- iThemes Security: Discouraged by Flywheel
- W3 Total Cache: Disallowed by Flywheel, Pressable, WP Engine
- WP Super Cache: Disallowed by Flywheel, Pressable, WP Engine
Best Managed WordPress Hosting Providers
Bluehost is one of the prominent web hosting providers that offer a managed WordPress hosting service. It offers 3 managed WordPress hosting plans as follows:
- Build: $19.95 /month
- Grow: $24.95 /month
- Scale: 37.95 /month
The managed WordPress hosting service from Bluehost is bundled with popular services and tools like CodeGuard (backup service), SiteLock (malware protection), Jetpack (analytics), and Cloudflare (CDN and caching).
If you need a marketing tool, Bluehost also offers it. The Bluehost panel comes with a feature to monitor your site traffic, SEO performance, and social media performance. Bluehost itself is one of the web hosting providers recommended by WordPress.org.
SiteGround is one of the most popular web hosting providers. It is recommended by some big names in the WordPress industry, including WordPress.org, WooCommerce, Elementor, and Elegant Themes. SiteGround offers three managed WordPress hosting plans:
- StartUp: $14.99 /month
- GrowBig: $24.99 /month
- GoGeek: $39.99 /month
The cheapest plan offered by SiteGround — StartUp — is capable of handling up to 10,000 visitors per month, suited for small businesses that have just getting started. SiteGround also offers a feature to make it easier for you to upgrade to a higher plan. SiteGround is now powered by Google Cloud Platform. When you register to a certain plan, including all managed WordPress hosting plans, your website will be hosted on Google Cloud Platform. Please note that on-demand backup and staging features are only available on the GrowBig and GoGeek plans.
HostGator is another popular web hosting provider. Has been around since 2002. It also offers three managed WordPress hosting plans which you can use to host your WordPress site.
- Started Plan: $5.95 /month
- Standard Plan: $7.95 /month
- Business Plan: $9.95 /month
The cheapest plan offered by HostGator is capable of handling up to 100,000 visitors per month, making it an ideal choice for bloggers who rely on PPC or CPM ads. HostGator is especially a great option if you are looking for a hosting provider that offers live chat support.
If you are looking for a web hosting service that is powered by Google Cloud Platform then Kinsta is one of the options you can go to. Kinsta offers a premium hosting service for WordPress users. All features we recommend above are available on Kinsta, no matter the plan you use. Kinsta offers a default caching plugin which runs the caching process at the server-level. The cheapest plan of the managed WordPress hosting services offered by Kinsta is capable of handling 25,000 visitors per month. Kinsta itself offers 10 managed WordPress hosting plans:
- Starter: $30 /month
- Pro: $60 /month
- Business 1: $100 /month
- Business 2: $200 /month
- Business 3: $300 /month
- Business 4: $400 /month
- Enterprise 1: $600 /month
- Enterprise 2: $900 /month
- Enterprise 3: $1,200 /month
- Enterprise 4: $1,500 /month
If you use the Kinsta service, your site will be powered by Nginx web server and MariaDB database. If you are interested to try Kinsta, you visit this page to try its demo.
5. WP Engine
WP Engine is a direct competitor of Kinsta. WP Engine uses the technology of Google Cloud Platform and AWS to provide a premium hosting service for WordPress users. WP Engine is a great option if you want to have a WordPress site with a solid performance. The WP Engine service is integrated with Cloudflare to deliver CDN service to your site. There are 3 managed WordPress hosting plans offered by WP Engine:
- Startup: $25 /month
- Growth: $95 /month
- Scale: $241 /month
If you need more advanced resources, there is also Custom plan you can subscribe to.
Pressable is another hosting provider that offers a premium hosting service for WordPress users. It is now owned by Automattic, the company behind Jetpack, WooCommerce, WordPress VIP, and WordPress.com. Registering to a Pressable plan you will get the premium version of the Jetpack plugin. Since Pressable is now owned by Automattic, it uses the Automattic’s WordPress architecture. Here are the managed WordPress hosting plans offered by Pressable:
- Personal: $25 /month
- Starter: $45 /month
- Pro: $90 /month
- Premium: $155 /month
Pressable also comes with all features we recommend above. In addition, it also comes with handy features like the ability to add collaborators and SFTP for safer file transfer.
7. A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting is one of the web hosting providers recommended by Elementor, the most popular page builder plugins. It also offers managed WordPress hosting plans to host your WordPress site. A2 Hosting is especially a great option if you are already familiar with Plesk as it uses this control panel. When registering to one of the managed WordPress hosting plans offered by A2 Hosting, you will get a free license of Jetpack Personal. Features like the ability to create a staging site, free CDN (powered by CloudFlare), and WP-CLI are available on A2 Hosting. Here are the managed WordPress hosting plans offered by A2 Hosting:
- 1-Site: $11.99 /month
- 3-Site: $18.99 /month
- Unlimited: $36.98 /month
If you are looking for a managed WordPress hosting that can specifically handle 100,000 visitors per month, DreamHost might is the one you are looking for. The plan that is capable of handling such a visitor number has a storage space of 30GB. DreamHost offers a built-in server-level caching to help your site to run faster. Features like on-demand backup, ability to create a staging site, CDN, and live chat are available on DreamHost. Here are the plans offered by DreamHost:
- DreamPress: $16.95 /month
- DreamPress Plus: $24.95 /month
- DreamPress Pro: $71.95 /month
The Bottom Line
Managed WordPress hosting is a smart solution if you have a business-oriented WordPress website. Be it a blog, e-commerce, review site, and so on. Especially if you have no dedicated team to take care of the site performance optimization and security. Using a managed WordPress hosting allows you to put more focus on things that matter more for your business. From content creation, marketing, to design.
You can expect more on the site performance as the server environment is optimized exclusively for WordPress. Also, most managed WordPress hosting providers add more security layers to give a more guaranteed security.