Best managed WordPress hosting: speed, security, & ease of use
In this article, I’ve shortlisted the best managed WordPress hosting providers as well as outlined the pros and cons of this hosting solution.
WordPress hosting tends to be the best buzzword to sell a hosting plan. Often, these plans don’t even have anything more than regular shared hosting. But when we add managed in front of it, things change.
Talking of managed WordPress hosting, it’s a solution that’s meant to make hosting WordPress sites a tiny bit easier, more efficient, secure, and faster. That’s due to specific server and software stacks, tools, and other features that should be in any good WordPress hosting.
So in this post, I took the top managed WordPress hosting providers to the test. Are they really capable of making hosting less of a hassle, or is it the same as regular hosting?
Some really are capable. Below, you’ll find the best managed WordPress hosting providers around.
Best managed WordPress hosting: ranked
- SiteGround – best managed WordPress hosting overall
- Bluehost – affordable managed WordPress hosting
- Liquid Web – premium-level managed WordPress platform
- DreamHost – best managed WordPress hosting for simplicity
- WP Engine – best agency solution for managed WordPress hosting
- Flywheel – fully managed and easy to use WordPress hosting
|Features||WordPress staging, caching, Ultrafast PHP, backups|
|Best for||Small and medium business websites|
Among the 3 WordPress-recommended providers, SiteGround is (unsurprisingly) an extremely popular choice for managed WordPress hosting. Fully optimized for the platform, the provider banks on its amazing customer support and wonderful WordPress-centric features to attract users.
So, what earns a spot on the best managed WordPress hosting list for SiteGround exactly?
- Full focus on WordPress platform: SiteGround does allow hosting other content management systems, but the primary focus is on WordPress. All tools in the control panel are made to make WP easier. Plus, SiteGround is constantly developing software to speed up and secure WordPress sites specifically.
- WordPress staging: SiteGround has a tool integrated into its control panel to create an exact copy of your site. You can use this copy as a playground for testing changes without visitors noticing. You can then push those changes to the live version in a couple of clicks.
- 3-level caching that includes NGINX Direct Delivery, Dynamic Cache, and Memcached works to speed up your WordPress site for visitors. You can find the settings on the control panel as well as WordPress installation.
- Ultrafast PHP: SiteGround developed a custom setup of PHP that combines security and speed for even better page load times without vulnerability issues.
- Apart from the rich tools and features, there’s also the human factor. SiteGround has been known to offer unparalleled customer service. Friendly, efficient, and knowledgeable, you can reach its agents via live chat, phone, and ticket.
Overall, SiteGround dazzles with its many powerful WordPress features and outstanding customer support.
SiteGround offers 3 managed WordPress Hosting plans: StartUp ($6.99/month), GrowBig ($9.99/month), and GoGeek ($14.99/month).
The provider is definitely not cheap for shared hosting. But to be honest, it doesn’t easily compare to the services such as Bluehost or Hostinger. You’d put it with Kinsta or WP Engine, which have even higher entry prices.
Nonetheless, the plans all come with: daily backups, SSL certificates, and email accounts.
- StartUp comes with one website, 10GB of storage, and can receive up to 10 000 visits monthly. For smaller projects like personal blogs and portfolios, this plan is sufficient. Sadly, staging and Ultrafast PHP are not included.
- If you need more resources, GrowBig is next in line. It offers unlimited websites, 20GB of storage and can accommodate up to 25 000 visits monthly. Staging and Ultrafast PHP are on.
- For resource-intensive websites, GoGeek can be a good option. It comes with unlimited websites, 40GB of storage and can support up to 100 000 visits monthly. Additionally, it adds a white-label hosting feature if you are hosting your clients' sites or want to resell.
Apart from the regular plans, there’s Cloud hosting when you need to scale. $100/mo starting point is best for enterprises, big and popular online stores, and high-traffic news channels.
Fortunately, SiteGround has a pretty standard 30-day money-back guarantee in case you want to kick it to the curb. Keep in mind, though, that this guarantee doesn’t extend to certain products such as domain name and domain privacy.
All things considered, I’d pick GrowBig as the best value starting point. It offers all the perks of managed WordPress hosting without a huge price tag.
Among the biggest perks of SiteGround is the performance. Thanks to all the investments in the infrastructure and software, the provider delivers reliable and speedy results.
Over 2 months, SiteGround had an uptime of 99.99%. Just 3 outages that lasted a total of 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, the server response time was very speedy too. 217ms average fits into the recommended 600ms with enough room to spare.
SiteGround doesn’t lag behind when it comes to loading websites too. It took 1.1 seconds to load a fully built WordPress site.
There are a couple of other numbers that show speed:
- Time to first byte (TTFB) is 90ms. To put it in perspective, Google suggests not going over 600ms, while 200ms would be perfect. So SiteGround is twice as fast.
- Largest Contentful Paint is 872ms. In a perfect world, it shouldn’t go over 2.5 seconds.
So in terms of performance, it really is difficult to beat SiteGround. It goes for speed and reliability.
All in all, SiteGround is the best-managed WordPress provider overall. For the price, it delivers a CMS-centered solution with many helpful tools. Plus, the focus on performance is obvious.
- Easy to use WordPress-focused control panel
- Servers in 4 continents
- Tools for boosting WordPress speed
- Efficient customer support
- Shared hosting platform
- Free domain is not included
|Features||Free domain and SSL, staging, WordPress website builder, auto-setup|
|Best for||Flexible WordPress hosting options|
One of the most well-known providers, Bluehost has a wide range of hosting solutions. However, it mainly focuses on WordPress and is one of only 3 providers endorsed by the platform. For the most part, its appeals lie in its functional dashboard and WordPress-centric features.
So what’s there specifically?
- Automatic WordPress setup process: once you first log in to your brand new account, Bluehost will take you through a setup process. It’s meant for automatically installing WordPress and configuring it to your needs. Theme installation included.
- All-in-one marketing and configuration center built into the dashboard. Here, you can manage performance and marketing activities from a single dashboard. This includes SEO, social media, traffic source, and email marketing list. By the way, CDN setup only takes 2 clicks.
- Website builder built onto WordPress: Bluehost has its own website builder that starts off just like any other website builder. But once you’re done picking through the color palette and font options, you’ll have a possibility to continue editing in WordPress. That’s a great tool for beginners that are not fully comfortable with doing everything through the CMS yet. It leaves that option open.
- WordPress staging: each WordPress installation gets a plugin with a bunch of helpful tools, staging included. In just a couple of clicks, you’ll be able to work with a copy of your website without interrupting the experience of visitors. Similarly, you’ll be able to implement changes to the live version in just a couple of clicks.
Overall, it’s easy to understand why Bluehost is one of the best managed WordPress providers when you look at its comprehensive features and tools.
Bluehost has both shared hosting that features all the WordPress-specific tools (starting at $3.95/mo) for smaller sites and Managed WordPress hosting (starting at $9.95/mo) for larger sites. I really can’t exclude shared hosting from this list, as it does offer amazing features for an affordable price. Plus, not everyone has a big and popular site to take advantage of more premium plans.
Both options feature quite a few similarities: a free domain and SSL, staging, and CDN are all there. Yet, the differences are obvious when it comes to resources:
- Shared hosting ($3.95-$13.95/mo) goes from 1 to unlimited sites with 50GB SSD to unlimited SSD. Most of the plans feature just the basics mentioned, while the most expensive one also adds daily backups, domain privacy, and dedicated IP.
- Managed WordPress ($9.95-$27.95/mo) allows hosting just 1 website no matter which of the plans you choose. Storage goes from 20GB to 80GB SSD. Additional features include domain privacy, malware scanning and removal, and daily backups. To spice it up, the most expensive plan can support up to 500 000 visitors monthly and adds SEO Tools, Jetoack Professional license, easy PayPal integration, among a bunch of other perks.
For future scaling, both VPS ($19.95/mo) and dedicated servers ($79.99/mo) are available.
Plus, you have 30-days to get a refund (excluding additional services), so you can test Bluehost yourself to see if it fits.
Now, I really like the value of all the features that even the cheapest shared hosting plan brings. At the same time, if you’re looking for Managed WordPress hosting, the mid-tier Grow plan seems to be the best option to start with.
First things first, Bluehost is not a performance-oriented provider. It delivers steady results but doesn’t try to be the fastest among the bunch.
Over a bit more than 2 months, Bluehost remained up for 99.99% of the time. This is excellent considering that it has no uptime guarantee.
The response time was pretty good too, averaging at 361ms. The first half of the test was quite bumpy yet improved for the second half.
Now, page loading times are nothing impressive yet still fit into all the recommended benchmarks. Bluehost loaded a WordPress website in 1.8 seconds.
Other metrics show why the page load time is higher than, let’s say, SiteGround’s:
- TTFB is 1 second, which is higher than recommended max of 600ms. So it’s a 1-second delay till the visitor sees anything happening with the page.
- Largest Contentful Paint is the same 1.8 seconds as the fully loaded time. So once anything starts happening, Bluehost loads the site in a flash.
Overall, Bluehost is reliable yet steady. It’s not the fastest but still manages to deliver good results.
To put it all together, Bluehost is a very beginner-friendly WordPress option that has great tools, features, and prices. Keep in mind that it does not focus on performance, so you won’t get the speediest results. Steady – definitely.
- Easy to use platform with automatic setup
- WordPress staging area
- Functional WordPress management dashboard
- Website builder for WordPress
- Performance is not the focus of the provider
- Servers only in the US
3. Liquid Web
|Features||Automatic backups, website staging, premium builder for WordPress|
|Best for||Large business projects|
Liquid Web has carved a place for itself in the industry by offering various powerful fully-managed hosting solutions. Managed WordPress hosting is one of them. Its plans are deployed on Nexcess’ cloud infrastructure and come with heaps of features.
Among the many, some of the most attractive are:
- For starters, Liquid Web has the basics covered. Among the essentials offered are free migration, automatic WordPress and plugin updates, automatic daily backups, and a website builder — Beaver Builder Lite.
- Plus, its plans also include one-click staging to make it easier to test your site. You can even create a stencil from an existing site and use it as a blueprint to quickly build a new WordPress site. Useful for designers, developers, and agencies.
- All of its WordPress plans very conveniently come with iThemes Sync and iThemes Security Pro, too. iThemes Sync helps to easily update all plugins and themes via one central dashboard. Meanwhile, iThemes Security Pro fixes common WordPress security issues such as brute force attacks.
Overall, Liquid Web certainly has a ton of features for all aspects of WordPress. It has pretty much all you need for easy management, performance, and security.
Liquid Web pricing
Liquid Web has a pretty complex pricing structure, but the 7 plans that it has start at $9.50/mo.
Talking about the pricing structure, you have 2 options. Pay yearly or choose monthly billing. Monthly billing comes with a big discount for 6 months, but then the pricing is higher than the yearly option.
Nonetheless, all plans come with 30-day backups, unlimited email accounts, Beaver Builder Lite, iThemes Security Pro, and iThemes Sync.
The resources are very much scalable:
- The cheapest plan allows hosting one site. It includes 15GB storage and 2TB bandwidth. The price is $150/year or $9.95/mo for the first 6 months and $19/mo later.
- The most expensive plan can host 250 sites with 800GB storage and 10TB bandwidth. The price is $9 990 a year or $499.50/mo for the first 6 months and $999/mo later.
So you get a very affordable entry option and some of the most expensive plans on the other side of things. Plus, there are all the in-between options depending on how many (and how big) you plan your websites to be.
At the same time, there’s no active money-back policy. But as far as many users experience goes, Liquid Web is refunding for unused service usually.
With Liquid Web, there’s no one “best value” option. The plans are all the same in terms of features, so you can pick the level of resources that you need without sacrificing. To try out, you can grab a completely free 14-day trial that doesn’t require credit card info.
Liquid Web performance
When it comes to performance, Liquid Web has a lot to be proud of. That includes both reliability and speed.
2 months and counting, the uptime is >99.99%. That’s just 3 outages and a total of 3 minutes of downtime.
The response time was very stable too, averaging at 393ms. This fits well into the recommended 600ms.
Next up, we have page load times, and this is a little bit messy. Liquid Web loads WordPress website in 1.8 seconds, same as Bluehost.
Other metrics are okay, but not too impressive:
- Time to First Byte is 804ms, which doesn’t fit into the recommended 600ms.
- Largest Contentful Paint is 1.5 seconds. Which does fit into the recommended 2.5 seconds.
Considering how advanced this platform is, that’s a pretty mediocre result. Sure, you still have lots of room for optimization with caching and CDN.
Altogether, Liquid Web is a brilliant managed WordPress option for larger projects and advanced website needs. The performance needs a bit of work for each individual site, yet the security and tools that you get are worth the price.
- Advanced platform designed for WordPress
- Premium website builder for WordPress
- Strong security features
- 99.95% uptime SLA
- Premium-level prices
- Free domain is not included
|Features||Website staging, website builder, caching, daily backups|
|Best for||Small and medium businesses, blogs, and news sites|
Another WordPress-recommended provider, DreamHost offers a very popular managed WordPress hosting solution — DreamPress. Designed to deliver a hassle-free WordPress experience, DreamPress mainly targets businesses. But, it can also be the perfect solution for individuals.
A true managed WordPress host, DreamPress offers extensive tools/features to enhance the platform.
- For starters, DreamPress simplifies staging by offering a one-click setup. Here, you can safely test changes to your website before rolling them out. When you’re ready, you can easily and quickly push the changes to your live site with just one click.
- Besides that, DreamPress comes with built-in caching. This means that you don’t have to fuss around with caching plugins to speed up your WordPress site. Plus, while there are many plugins around, DreamPress’ built-in version is in a different league. It features multiple layers of advanced caching — something unachievable with only plugins.
- Additionally, DreamPress also has a pretty nifty backup system in place. With this system, you get automated daily backups, on-demand backups, and one-click restore. You can easily access your backups via an intuitive and user-friendly interface whenever you need it.
- DreamPress has other WordPress-focused features, too. This includes unlimited CDN for the premium plans, Jetpack plugins, website builder, and more.
In a nutshell, DreamHost’s extensive and varied tools/features are all you need to start and grow your WordPress site.
DreamHost has 3 managed WordPress plans on a DreamPress platform that start at $16.95/mo.
All 3 plans can only host one WordPress website and include unmetered bandwidth. There are also freebies like free migration, an SSL certificate, automatic updates, and domain.
- DreamPress is built for 100 000 monthly visitors and comes with 30GB SSD storage. This plan is more than sufficient for most people.
- If you’ve outgrown DreamPress and need more resources, DreamPress Plus is for you. It can support up to 300 000 visits and come with 60GB SSD storage.
- DreamPress Pro, meanwhile, is an advanced solution for those who require high-level resources. It’s great for big enterprises, popular blogs, and high-traffic websites. The plan can accommodate up to 1 million monthly visitors and comes with 120GB SSD storage.
To access the lowest price, you’ll need to sign up for a year. Relatively, that’s not too bad. Even better, DreamHost doesn’t raise its prices when it’s time for renewal. Monthly rates have a nice discount for the first 3 months, but then it’s more expensive than the yearly option.
Unfortunately, unlike its shared hosting plans, DreamHost doesn’t offer a 97-day money-back policy here. Instead, there’s only a 30-day guarantee for managed WordPress hosting.
Because the features in all plans are the same, the best value depends on what you need. So you can choose to pay for the resources that you need. Also, you can get a discount on monthly option, yet renewal will be higher later.
DreamHost's straightforward approach extends to the performance too. It’s very reliable and steady without the unnecessary bling.
Over 2 months, DreamHost kept its uptime at >99.99%. Just a 1-minute outage in total.
The response time was great too. It averaged at 231ms.
Now, the page load times were steady. DreamHost fully loaded a WordPress site in 1.6 seconds. That’s a good average result on this list.
What I really liked was other metrics:
- TTFB was 219ms, fitting perfectly into the recommended 600ms.
- Largest Contentful Paint loaded in 1.4 seconds; that’s 1 second and 100ms faster than the recommended maximum.
So in the performance department, DreamHost is both fast and reliable.
To sum it up, DreamHost does a pretty darn good job when it comes to hosting WordPress sites. Its performance is as steady as it gets, and the tools included are enough to help you out a lot.
- Easy to use and straightforward panel
- Good pricing structure
- Technical side of WordPress is fully managed
- Great performance results
- You can host only 1 website
- Servers only in the US
5. WP Engine
|Features||Custom control panel for WordPress, 3-environment staging, custom caching|
|Best for||Agencies and freelancers that develop sites for clients|
WP Engine is one of the first and most popular managed WordPress hosting providers around. It offers WordPress-only hosting on Google Cloud servers. WP Engine is expensive but, in exchange, its plans are loaded with premium features and tools. This includes exclusive StudioPress themes, a custom dashboard, and development tools.
- One of WP Engine’s most celebrated features is its inclusion of StudioPress’ 35+ premium themes and the Genesis Framework in all of its plans. These themes simplify the design process so that you can have your site up and running quickly. Plus, all the themes are search-engine-optimized, too.
- Additionally, WP Engine’s plans also come with its custom-made dashboard. Fresh and intuitive, the dashboard covers all you need to run and manage your WordPress site. This includes domain, file, and database editors as well as more advanced tools.
- Besides that, WP Engine offers its users access to dev/stage/prod environments to facilitate development workflow, too. You can safely build in the isolated development environment, test the changes in staging, and easily push the changes to your live site once you’re done.
- Plus, the provider offers various speed-related features to boost the performance of your WordPress site. Among them are a global CDN to route local requests to the nearest server and WP Engine’s proprietary caching technology — EverCache.
All in all, WP Engine has quite a collection of powerful features/tools to improve and enhance WordPress hosting.
WP Engine pricing
WP Engine offers 4 managed WordPress plans starting at $22.50/mo for a standard package. Additionally, you can choose each of the plans with a specialty setup – Plus, Secure, or eCommerce for a higher price with extra features.
All the plans include a free SSL certificate and CDN, access to the Genesis Framework and 35+ StudioPress themes, EverCache, and dev/stage/prod environments.
- Startup comes with one website limit, 10GB of storage, 50GB bandwidth, and can receive up to 25 000 visits/month. It has all the basics for a small website or a personal blog.
- Professional comes with up to 3 sites, 15 GB storage, 75 GB bandwidth, and can receive around 75 000 monthly visits.
- Growth, as its name suggests, is perfect for growing websites and businesses. It offers 20GB storage, 200GB bandwidth, and up to 10 website slots. Plus, it can support up to 100 000 visits/month.
- Scale, meanwhile, is great for resource-hungry websites. It includes 30 website slots, 50GB storage, and 500GB bandwidth. Also, it can accommodate up to 400 000 visits/month, too.
Additionally, you can contact WP Engine and configure a custom plan with a higher level of resources.
Now, for a piece of good news: WP Engine has a 60-day money-back policy for hosting services. If you’re not happy with the provider or the plan, you can get your money back if you cancel within 60 days. Just contact the support.
When it comes to best value, it’s, of course, best to pay yearly. We also have a special discount for the introductory term. As for the plans, it depends on your needs. For a single project, Starter or Professional looks great. Meanwhile, agencies get the best cost-per-site with Scale.
WP Engine performance
If you’re looking for reliability, WP Engine’s infrastructure is what you should go for. Speed is an added bonus.
Over 2 months, WP Engine stayed online 100% of the time, outperforming its 99.95% uptime guarantee.
The response time was also very stable, averaging at 489ms. No peaks or downs whatsoever.
The page loading speed is great too. WP Engine loaded a WordPress website in 1.1 seconds, with other metrics being impressive too.
- Time to First Byte is just 140ms, several times better than the recommended maximum.
- Largest Contentful Paint didn’t reach 1 second, which is an excellent result.
So once again, I might be repeating myself – WP Engine’s infrastructure is definitely for those who seek the best performance and stability.
Altogether, WP Engine mainly caters to bigger businesses that need a reliable platform for their sites. It has all the infrastructure and tools for agencies as well as popular sites to remain on top of their game.
- Top-tier performance
- Cloud infrastructure with multiple server locations
- Custom and easy to use interface
- Premium-level prices
- Emails and domains are not included
|Features||Workflow tools, staging, managed security, caching, CDN|
|Best for||Fully managed platform for creatives and agencies|
A WordPress-exclusive managed cloud hosting provider, Flywheel has quite a reputation in the industry. For the most part, Flywheel sets itself apart by offering powerful features to enhance the WordPress experience. This includes various tools for development, collaboration, performance, as well as excellent perks.
One of Flywheel’s top offerings is its set of collaboration tools. As part of an effort to streamline workflow, Flywheel offers:
- Invitation to collaborate – allows you to give others access to a site without password-sharing.
- Organizations – all team members are on the same dashboard and have access to the organization’s websites.
- Billing transfer – enables you to create a website on your account and then transfer the site along with its billing over to the client.
Besides that, Flywheel also doubles down with some speed-related tools. For starters, it’s powered by Google Cloud Platform (GCP). That’s great as GCP has some of the best infrastructures around that deliver low latency and high reliability.
Plus, Flywheel also uses its proprietary caching technology, FlyCache, to minimize load times for coming-back visitors. Additionally, it utilizes a CDN powered by Fastly to speed up page load for global audiences by serving cached content from the server closest to your visitor
Overall, Flywheel offers some of the most comprehensive features seen in managed WordPress plans.
Flywheel offers 4 plans that start at a pretty affordable $13/mo. There’s also an option to get a custom plan that matches your needs.
The 4 plans have some common features. Among them are free SSL certificates, StudioPress themes, auto-healing technology, and development tools.
- Tiny comes with one website limit, 5GB storage, and 20GB bandwidth. It can receive up to 5 000 monthly visits. Go with it if you have smaller projects like personal blogs and portfolios.
- Meanwhile, Starter offers a website, 10GB storage, and 50GB bandwidth. It can support up to 25 000 monthly visits. If you’ve outgrown Tiny, Starter is for you.
- Freelance is perfect for high-traffic websites. It can host 10 websites with 20GB storage, 200GB bandwidth, and can receive up to 100 000 monthly visits.
- Finally, larger businesses and enterprises would suit the Agency plan, as it can support up to 400 000 monthly visitors. It comes with a 30 websites limit, 50GB of storage, and 500GB of bandwidth.
Unfortunately, you can only access these deals if you sign up to be billed annually. If you’re paying monthly, the prices are a fair bit higher.
On the bright side, Flywheel has a 30-day money-back policy for hosting plans. However, if you have a monthly subscription, you only have a 72-hours window to cancel.
The value depends on your needs as all plans have the same features. For personal use, I’d suggest Starter. Meanwhile, Agency offers the best cost-per-site ratios for agencies and businesses.
Flywheel is based on the same Cloud infrastructure as WP Engine, and we can see the trend – steady and reliable performance at all times.
I only had a chance of monitoring Flywheel for 2 weeks, but it remained online 100% of the time.
The response time had a bump when all the testing was done, yet still managed to average at a very good 371ms.
Page loading time was even more impressive; Flywheel delivered a WordPress site in 881ms. That’s the best result on the list.
Other metrics were impressive too:
- TTFB is just 68ms. Fastest on the list as well.
- Largest Contetful Pain was the same 881ms. So absolutely no delay till the website loaded.
One thing that allows such good performance is that Flywheel is a completely managed WordPress platform. You don’t get access to many advanced settings yourself, so the provider works to optimize everything to the fullest.
All in all, if you have no interest in technical details but want the best possible results – Flywheel is the best provider for you. You do lose some degree of control, though.
- Top-tier performance
- Cloud infrastructure with multiple server locations
- Workflow and collaboration tools
- Premium-level prices
- Less control over the server
Best managed WordPress hosting: final recommendations
Managed WordPress hosting is the best solution to both simplify and enhance the WordPress experience. However, it certainly is no easy feat to find the best of the bunch with so many providers around.
So, here’s a quick recap of the best options out there and their strengths:
- SiteGround focuses on offering comprehensive WordPress features and amazing customer support for its managed WordPress plans.
- Bluehost delivers affordable and reliable managed WordPress hosting with a powerful control panel.
- Liquid Web offers premium managed WordPress hosting for large projects that require the highest level of reliability.
- DreamHost offers extensive tools and features for all aspects of WordPress on a powerful DreamPress platform.
- WP Engine is a premium WordPress-exclusive hosting provider operating on the cloud infrastructure.
- Flywheel is a fully managed WordPress hosting solution on a cloud infrastructure aiming to ease the work of creatives.
Advantages of managed WordPress hosting
An extremely popular hosting option, managed WordPress hosting remains in demand because of its many advantages. For starters, you won't need to worry about technicalities or take care of security. Speed is also usually the priority of the provider. Not to mention expert support.
Technicalities are out
Good managed WordPress hosting providers take care of a powerful software and hardware stack that works to benefit WordPress specifically.
Currently, the optimal stack for WordPress hosting in terms of software is:
- Latest PHP version
- Nginx or LiteSpeed webserver technology
- FastCGI/PHP-FPN/LSAPI PHP handlers
These have to be installed and configured to work well together. So if you need a powerful option, VPS could be the choice. But all the above technicalities would be your responsibility, which is a complex task to set everything correctly. Meanwhile, managed WordPress hosts are expected to take care of the optimal software stack.
Security is not your concern anymore
Automatic backups, server-level and Web-application firewalls, malware monitoring and removal, vulnerability assessment, DDoS protection are just some of the security measures that are essential for big WordPress projects.
- Choosing regular hosting, some of the security features are included, but most are paid extras ruled as non-essential features.
- Choosing managed WordPress hosting, I'd be concerned not to find these features included.
Because managed hosting is a more premium service, it's only natural to hope that you don't need to pay extra for anything. Especially when it comes to security.
Speed and optimization
Server-level technicalities are just one thing. Actual speed optimizations come in the shape of caching, content delivery networks, load balancing, and cutting the size of your site.
A good managed WordPress provider will offer you:
- A modern pre-configured caching option with the possibility to customize – LiteSpeed Cache, NGINX direct delivery, Memcached are just a few options.
- A premium plugin or control panel tool for cutting the size of WordPress site – image compression and code optimization being the most essential features.
- Content delivery network integration – Cloudflare is the preferred option, yet other alternatives such as Fastly are great, too.
These are the cornerstones of a fast WordPress website. When you are choosing a managed service, they should come as no-brainers.
If a provider is focusing on WordPress, it's logical to hope that support agents are trained to help with the CMS-specific problems too, right?
- Regular hosting providers mostly offer support that only helps you with the server and control panel. They are not equipped to go into each application that you use.
- Managed WordPress hosting providers are expected to help you with website questions too. This means you low-key have a team of WordPress developers by your side.
Again, it comes down to the money question – you are paying more for a hassle-free service.
Disadvantages of managed WordPress hosting
With its overwhelming advantages, it can be easy to forget that managed WordPress hosting is not free from flaws and drawbacks, either. This includes high costs, considerably less control, plugin restriction, and, of course, you can only host WordPress on it.
More expensive than regular hosting
Managed WordPress hosting is significantly more expensive than shared hosting. You can expect to pay up to hundreds of dollars a month for the more premium plans. Whereas with shared hosting, you can get a plan from as low as $1.39/mo.
That said, you do get quite a few premium features in exchange for this cost. Plus, someone else will tackle the technical side of your WordPress site. So, while managed WordPress hosting prices are on the higher end, it still offers good value for money.
WordPress-only with plugin limitations
As is obvious from its name, managed WordPress hosting is exclusively only for WordPress. So, if you’re looking to make the switch to Joomla or Drupal, your managed WordPress plan will pretty much be useless.
The limitation of managed WordPress hosting is not only limited to CMS. Instead, some providers might also restrict the use of certain plugins. These are usually plugins that are resource-hungry and tend to affect performance. So, it’s not so much a disadvantage, but it’s still worth it to note the limitation.
The strength of managed WordPress hosting may also be its weakness to some people. Since someone else will be handling all the technical aspects, you really don’t have all that much say in it. This means you may even lose access to some cornerstone files such as wp-config.
If you’re someone that prefers to have complete control of your site, this may prove to be an issue. But, in that case, why are you looking at managed WordPress hosting?
All things considered, managed WordPress hosting isn’t necessarily the best solution for everyone. That said, most people would find its pros far outweigh its cons.
Managed WordPress hosting FAQs
What is managed WordPress hosting?
Managed WordPress hosting usually refers to a hosting service that is focused on WordPress sites exclusively. You can expect all technical aspects, such as security, performance, and updates managed for you with expert customer support.
What’s the difference between WordPress hosting and managed WordPress hosting?
The difference between WordPress hosting and managed WordPress hosting is that managed WordPress hosting should be hosting on WordPress-only servers with a custom software stack, and additional features. Meanwhile, WordPress hosting is often a marketing term, with some providers offering a couple of helpful features.
How much does managed WordPress hosting cost?
Managed WordPress hosting cost can be anywhere from as low as a few dollars to hundreds of dollars a month. The prices vary wildly according to what you need in terms of resources, tools, and features. For most users, you can get a suitable and great plan for under $20.00/month.
Is managed WordPress hosting worth it?
Managed WordPress hosting is worth it if you only run WordPress site(s) and want a WordPress expert to handle all aspects of your WordPress site for you. Besides that, managed WordPress usually delivers better performance, security, and support, too. So, if this is what you’re looking for, managed WordPress is absolutely worth it.