Managed WordPress hosting has been gaining in popularity over the last few years. When you take into consideration the popularity of WordPress, it’s no wonder that many hosting companies are turning toward offering hosting packages optimized for WordPress, specifically.
But, how do you know if managed WordPress hosting is the right choice for you? When is the right time to upgrade and what is managed WordPress hosting anyway?
In this article, we’ll answer those questions.
What is Managed WordPress Hosting?
Managed WordPress hosting is different from other hosting plans because it uses a server optimized for WordPress installs combined with a set of services that take care of the technical details of maintaining your site.
Some of these services include improved security and malware scanning, uptime monitoring, WordPress updates, regular (often daily) backups, staging features and version control for WordPress developers, and more.
The beauty of managed WordPress hosting is that you get an optimized WordPress website that will help you grow your business without having to worry about speed, security, backups, and other technical details.
Additionally, if your website outgrows your current managed plan, it is a lot easier to scale and adjust the resources such as disk space and memory.
Benefits of Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting includes several benefits.
1. Better Security
Managed WordPress hosting plans include daily malware scans to protect your site from the latest threats as well as security monitoring to make sure nothing gets through. Servers used for managed WordPress hosting plans will also use a firewall and offer DDOS protection as well as a variety of other security measures.
2. Premium Support
Unlike other hosting plans, customer service staff will be highly knowledgeable not only in general hosting features but they will also be experts in WordPress. They will be able to diagnose problems faster and offer solutions as well as advice on WordPress performance.
3. Faster Loading Times
Managed WordPress hosting providers offer servers that were configured to run WordPress along with various improvements and configurations such as server-level caching and the latest versions of PHP, MySQL, and Apache which are needed for WordPress. This means your site will load fast even when it receives a sudden influx of traffic.
4. Better Uptime
Thanks to optimized servers, your website will have a better uptime than with shared hosting as well as be able to handle a lot more visitors than on a shared hosting plan.
5. Automatic Backups and Updates
Lastly, keeping your site updated and backed up is crucial for making sure your site is protected in case the worst happens. With managed hosting, you never have to worry about remembering to manually backup your site or update WordPress to the latest version.
Cons of Managed WordPress Hosting
Before diving into signs that you’re ready for managed WordPress hosting, let’s discuss the cons of these types of plans.
The most obvious disadvantage of managed WordPress hosting is the fact that you cannot install any other software on the server. This makes sense since the servers have been pre-configured and optimized to run WordPress so installing applications like MediaWiki or Joomla is not possible. If you anticipate a need to run sites based on many platforms, this might not be the best solution for you.
2. Plugin Limitations
Some managed hosting providers will limit which plugins you can install. Caching plugins are often not allowed on managed servers because caching is handled at the server level. Some providers will also prevent you from installing plugins which have been known to have security issues in the past.
Even though this seems restrictive, it’s worth mentioning that the limitations are in place for your website’s benefit so it pays off to find a plugin alternative if you find out that you cannot use your favorite plugin anymore. You can also turn to support and ask for their suggestions on alternative plugins or ways to achieve the desired functionality.
3. More Expensive
Managed WordPress hosting is more expensive than shared hosting plans. But if you’re a business owner or an established blogger then the additional cost will be well worth the price in exchange for all the benefits mentioned above.
Three Signs Your Website Needs Managed WordPress Hosting
Now that we’ve covered the pros and cons, let’s take a look at most common signs that suggest your website is ready for an upgrade.
1. Your Site Is Slow and Sluggish
A slow and sluggish website damages your brand reputation, hurts your SEO, and it leads to a loss of revenue. If you’ve tried everything you can to optimize your site and it’s still loading slow then the culprit could be your hosting provider.
2. Your Website Is Getting High Amounts of Traffic
If your website is starting to get popular and receives a lot of traffic on a daily basis, it’s time to upgrade that shared hosting plan to a managed WordPress hosting plan.
Switching to managed hosting is also a great idea if you’re planning to add more features such as an online store or a membership area which require not only better performance but also better security.
3. You Don’t Want to Deal With the Technical Aspects of Having a Website
Lastly, managed WordPress hosting is the best solution if you don’t want to waste your time working on your website but want to focus on running and growing your business instead.
If you don’t know how to properly maintain your site or don’t have the time to do it, then managed hosting is a perfect choice.
Managed WordPress hosting offers a lot of benefits but it’s not for everyone. If you’re just getting started with your website, then a shared hosting plan will serve you for quite a while. Upgrade to managed WordPress hosting if your site needs better performance and security and you want to spend more time working on your business.