Managed WordPress Hosting Costs
WordPress is the best self-hosted blogging platform on the web, that managed hosting is booming, see costs, pros and cons in this article
Given WordPress’s status as the web’s most popular self-hosted blogging platform, it’s no surprise that the managed WordPress hosting business is booming; see the costs, pros, and cons in this article.
Here, we’ll discuss why you might opt for managed WordPress hosting. We’ll also look at popular shared hosts, compare their plans to WordPress-centric alternatives, and help you determine which hosting arrangement best suits your needs.
What Is Managed WordPress Hosting?
We have a guide about it here on the Visualmodo blog so you can have more info.
Most packages on offer today are managed to some extent. Why? Because running a website is a lot more complicated than you’d think. Many people can create and run a WordPress-powered website without too much trouble. But how many people have network management skills or can create Nginx files and/or apply operating system upgrades to their servers via SSH?
Stored in computers with memory are all websites, processors, hard drives, ports that control internet traffic, and so on. They all need to be taken care of on an operating system level. If there’s a bug in the operating system, it has to be addressed. If malware has made its way into the machine, it must be cleared. That’s just scratching the surface of all the day-to-day things that need to be done to keep your site ticking.
Pros Managed Hosting WordPress
The overwhelming benefit of a managed WordPress hosting environment is that everything about it is completely tailored to running WordPress. General hosts cannot optimize their systems for a specific platform because they need to be able to run so many different types of software. The same server may be running a WordPress site, a Joomla site, a custom-made site using Laravel, a Node server, and so on. There’s just no way to optimize for everything all at once.
The pros of managed WordPress hosting, on the other hand, are that it works exclusively with WordPress, and, as such, it can tailor all their servers — from the operating system and file system to command line tools — for optimal performance. A great example of this type of optimization is website caching. Something that can be made to work much more effectively at a server-side level than it can by simply using front-end WordPress plugins.
More Benefits in Managed WordPress Hosting
Security is another area where the pros of managed WordPress hosting excel. It’s much easier to build a secure system when you know exactly what’s running on it and what the weak points of specific software are. Because hosts understand how WordPress reacts when someone tries logging in with incorrect details, they can build specific tools into the server that lock out any malicious attempts automatically.
The result of all this is a significantly faster, more secure, and more stable hosting architecture. A good analogy is why your TV won’t crash, but your PC may do so occasionally. Even though modern TVs have little computers inside them, they are used for one particular task. PCs, on the other hand, support a huge variety of operations — making them prone to unexpectedly seizing up or going wrong in some unforeseen way.
Managed WordPress hosting systems need only concentrate on a single system: WordPress. This allows them to use WordPress’ various strengths and dampen down its weaknesses, resulting in an environment that does one thing extremely well.
At present, managed WordPress hosting companies offer several different features and pros.
Automatic updates have been a feature of WordPress for quite a while now. However, managed WordPress hosting can take these a step further by automatically applying security fixes as soon as they appear. In the same way, they apply major WordPress version updates to sites. Where possible, some companies will even notify you in advance of such updates to ensure you always have ample time to prepare.
Using the latest version of WordPress is usually enforced with almost all managed WordPress hosts. This not only makes your website more secure, but it also makes the host’s network more secure as a whole, the benefits of which will trickle down to you as a customer.
Because of the popularity of WordPress, specialized hosts can make the backup procedure faster, more efficient, and more reliable. Moreover, having the host make regular backups makes your site easier to restore should things go awry. Having your host make regular backups that can be easily used is possible because the host is in the perfect position to understand the fixed structure of WordPress. This also lends itself to our next feature…
Support Managed WordPress Hosting
Your mileage with support will vary from company to company, but I think it’s safe to say an average managed WordPress host support will (or at least should) know significantly more about WordPress than a regular non-specialist host’s support. Again, since WordPress is just one system, it’s a lot easier to solve any problems that arise.
This is a great feature for developers and/or site managers. A staging environment starts as a perfect copy of your existing site, which is only accessible to you personally (or it has an obscure URL) and is super handy for testing out new plugins/themes or updating/modifying code before applying any changes to your live site.
Regular hosting dashboards aren’t usually very user-friendly because they don’t know which software you’re using. As a result, some will give you a whole host of options — many of which don’t apply to WordPress. While others are so sparse that all they have are a few basic links to manage your database or your files.
Managed WordPress hosting panels have pros and can do all sorts of useful things. Such as providing you with individual statistics on usage/visitors, giving others access to your account, showing you if you have out-of-date plugins, telling you exactly which version of WordPress you’re using, and so on.
As mentioned above, because of the predictable nature of the WordPress environment, a much more efficient server-side caching solution can easily be implemented and dramatically impact your site. Then ensuring that each page is cached as efficiently as possible and for as long as possible.
With better coaching, both the website owner and the hosts are happier. This is because by using the best caching system possible, a website will run faster. And then, it will require fewer server resources, which in turn will help the host to save money.
We’ve already covered some basic aspects of security. Auto updates, better support, and daily backups contribute to security, but there’s much more behind the scenes with managed hosting.
Let’s assume that a popular plugin announces it has a security leak. A general host can’t do anything about this — more likely; they won’t even know about it! WordPress hosts continuously monitor this news and may prohibit installing the plugin immediately. If it’s a particularly nasty security issue, they may even deactivate all these plugins straightaway.
Regarding WordPress-related security issues, WordPress-specific hosts can monitor things more easily. Reacting faster and more efficiently than their counterparts.
Managed WordPress Hosting Cons
So, with all these great features and all the nice things I’ve said so far, could there be any cons to managed WordPress hosting? Well, of course, there are always a few.
I wouldn’t consider this a managed WordPress hosting cons. There’s absolutely no way you can get any other site on a managed WordPress host. Some offer more freedom than others, but you might technically be able to run a Joomla.
As I mentioned above, WordPress hosts have stricter policies than their counterparts, resulting in a better architecture that makes up for any inconveniences. That said, for a good reason, some plugins can leave. Does not use third-party caching plugins or others with a bad track record. This is usually due to security or performance issues. Is this considered one of the cons of managed WordPress hosting? After all, no one wants an insecure plugin that eats up all their available site resources/memory.
Creating a quality-managed WordPress hosting experience requires know-how, technology, money, and considerable costs. The machines that house your websites tend to be much more powerful. And pass the cost on to the humble site owner. There are some low-cost options, but generally, the lowest you’ll want is about $30 per month. The next tier is usually around $100 per month, with prices rising steeply afterward.
The Costs Of Managed Hosting WordPress
If you can afford it and only need to run WordPress, go straight for managed WordPress hosting! There are some exceptions, which I’ll get into in a moment, but this is my general advice. Look at cases where managed WordPress hosting is not worth the extra costs.
If you’re creating a quick test site or developing something online, you don’t need all the power of a managed package. A shared host will likely have more frequent downtimes and be significantly slower, but this shouldn’t be an issue. The $5 per month cost will be much easier to stomach.
With managed WordPress hosting, the deal is, ‘Sure, you can have 30 websites, but hand over $350 a month, please!’. If all these sites are profitable, that’s fine, but it will also pay per site. If you have a lot of sites, it might be best to leave the low-traffic ones where they are. Instead, use only the best-managed WordPress hosting for the main ones.
You have a low-traffic site that can live with a bit of downtime; you may not need managed WordPress hosting. 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 visited by only a thousand or so people a month, does it make a difference if it’s only up 99% of the time and loads in two or three seconds?
Out Of WordPress Tools
Some websites may run on WordPress but have some remote code that the site 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.
We’ve all been there: Sometimes, the extra few dollars are 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 it is a reasonable tactic.
Do Not Do That in Managed WordPress Hosting
Before we get to our list of the most managed WordPress hosting, I would like to warn you about some common cons and pitfalls when choosing this type of host.
Shared x Managed
Some hosting companies, such as SiteGround, boast managed WordPress hosting on their website, but they aren’t really ‘true’ managed WordPress hosting.
SiteGround is indeed a competent host with great customer support, but their WordPress infrastructure is essentially the same as both their general shared hosting services. Their Joomla architecture — is not something we’re looking for. This is a common pattern with many hosts. Just because they advertise ‘managed WordPress hosting’ doesn’t necessarily mean they’re as ‘managed’ as more specialist hosts.
Another rule of thumb: You cannot buy good hosting for only a few dollars a month. If something seems too good to be true, it almost always is — especially in the hosting world.
Note: I’ve only included companies with architectures explicitly built for WordPress for the recommended managed WordPress hosts below. And also features that uniquely support the platform.
Understand Your Bills
Managed WordPress hosts will generally try to charge you for the exact resources that your site uses. However, keeping an eye on bandwidth/monthly visitor count is also essential. Some hosts may charge you an additional fee if you exceed your assigned monthly limit.
Some hosts will give you a fixed bandwidth, while others will give you a monthly visitor cap. I’m not keen on the latter and even think it is slightly unfair. My blog, for example, may use 10KB of bandwidth per page load, which means I use up just 1GB of bandwidth for 100,000 visitors. A very large news site that uses 650KB, however, would use up a whopping 65GB (i.e., way more server resources) for the same number of monthly visitors!
The actual cost of hosting is done by bandwidth, not visitor count. This is why I think the visitor-based pricing model is far from the best way of going about things.
The costs make it pretty clear that managed WordPress hosting can become relatively expensive quite quickly. These companies are so good at optimizing WordPress, however, that your website will tick along exceptionally well on servers with considerably lower specs than your current shared or VPS.
Because of the added performance alone, the $29 range is a no-brainer. If you have a website that is important to you – especially if it generates money. You should almost certainly move it to managed WordPress hosting.
Even if you’re currently on a $50-a-month VPS, you’ll likely do well to switch to a $30-a-month tier — and even save yourself money in the process. Ask your potential managed host and tell them your data usage stats, but you’ll likely be within limits in most cases. If your site doesn’t fit into the $30-a-month range, I’d seriously consider the switch to the $100 tier for the same reasons as the shared crowd. You’re essentially investing in the future of your website/business and may well see equally valuable performance gains almost straight away.
The higher price ranges can seem quite strange to most SMBs. Still, for many large sites with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month, this figure is nothing out of the ordinary. After a certain volume, you must factor in higher managed WordPress hosting costs.
Even if you have a large site, the optimizations that managed WordPress hosting offers can provide a huge benefit. I’ve witnessed a managed WordPress host shave $3,000 a month from a large client’s hosting bill simply by optimizing their file storage practices!
Concluding About Managed WordPress Hosting
For most websites, while managed WordPress hosting can be considerably more expensive than shared hosting, the benefits are worth any additional costs. We hope we have helped you understand WordPress’s self-hosted web blog platform, managed hosting its costs, pros, and cons.
In short: using managed WordPress hosting doesn’t just give you a well-tuned environment. Your site will be ready to thrive and withstand traffic spikes, but it will also give you peace of mind about added reliability and security.