A Beginner-Friendly Introduction to Managed WordPress Hosting

In setting up your website, you’ve come across the term “managed WordPress hosting” before, but aren’t exactly sure what it means. We’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’ll go over the basics of managed WordPress hosting, including what it is, why you need it, and how to get it. 

Let’s get started.

What Is Managed WordPress Hosting?

Before we dive into what Managed WordPress Hosting is, let’s first discuss what hosting is, just to ensure that we’re all on the same page.

A hosting service is a company that stores your website on its servers. And these servers are connected to the Internet. By using a website host, people can easily find and access your website through their browsers. 

You can also host your website on your own server (i.e. computer), but most people opt against this because it’s pretty complicated and requires a lot of technical know-how. Plus, your website would be subject to your own Internet connection. 

For an easy and professional solution that provides the best possible visitor experience, you need to store your website with a hosting service.

This way, when someone types in your website address in the URL bar or clicks on a link to your website from a Google search page or some other source, they’re taken to your host’s server. Ideally, that server is up and running, and ensures that visitors have immediate access to your website.

You pay a host, instead of using your own server because a host provides a list of benefits that you can’t, such as reliable uptime, fast loading speed, and the ability to meet unexpected traffic surge demands.

There are several different types of web hosting options available. Here’s a look at the most common types:

Shared Hosting

A shared host is the most popular hosting solution because it’s the most affordable. 

With shared hosting, your website “shares” a server with many other websites—sometimes hundreds, sometimes thousands. This is the reason why shared hosting is so cheap. It’s a quick and easy solution for starter websites that won’t receive a lot of traffic and don’t need access to advanced features. 

Because your site is sharing space on a server, you’re also subjected to what’s happening on other sites on your shared server. If one of those sites gets a surge of traffic, it can affect the performance on your own site. It’s not unheard of for hundreds of sites to slow down due to a sharp increase in traffic on one particular site that’s located on the same server. This can create a negative visitor experience on your own site, due to no error on your part. 

Performance issues are the biggest drawback to shared hosting.

Dedicated Hosting

On the opposite side of the coin is dedicated hosting. With a dedicated host, you have an entire server all to yourself. You’re no longer sharing resources with countless other websites. 

But as you can imagine, dedicated hosting is more expensive. Because you have increased flexibility and scalability, you’ll pay a premium for the service. However, if you want more control over your website and the visitor experience you can deliver, dedicated hosting is a great option. It also makes sense for websites that will experience a tremendous amount of traffic. 

However, dedicated hosting isn’t great for beginners primarily because it’s more complicated to maintain. Most dedicated hosting is unmanaged, which means that you’re on your own. That can be desirable because you have complete say over what happens on your website. However, because you also have full control over the server, you’ll need to know how to backup and secure your site. If you choose dedicated hosting, you should either have experience working as a web administrator or be willing to hire someone who does.

There are other types of hosting services, but shared and dedicated are the most common.

So, stuck between these two options, which one should you choose?

Neither. There’s a better solution, and it’s called “managed hosting.” 

Managed Hosting

Managing hosting is a type of hosting service that handles all of the technical elements of maintaining your website. It’s like hiring a web administrator who’s working in the best interest of your website.

Running your own website is complicated and a lot of work. In order to ensure that your website runs smoothly, you must perform specific tasks regularly, such as audits and updates.

If you have a WordPress website, you should seek out managed WordPress hosting. 

Managed WordPress hosting is like hiring a web admin who’s experienced in WordPress. Except you’re likely hiring an entire team of WordPress experts. This team is focused on optimizing your site so that it performs well and delivers an incredible visitor experience. 

So, this begs the question:

What are the Benefits of Managed WordPress Hosting?

Compared to shouldering the burden alone, why should you choose managed WordPress hosting for your site? Here’s a look at the benefits you’ll gain from using this type of hosting:

It’s a Cost-Effective Solution

Sure, managed WordPress hosting is more expensive than a simple shared hosting plan, but it will save you time and money.

When you take into account all of the time you waste by trying to handle all websites needs on your own, including making updates and installing patches, you’ll discover that with managed WordPress hosting, you’re actually saving more than you spend. Instead of doing it all on your own, you’re outsourcing those tasks to a team of experts who can perform quickly and efficiently.

It Provides Peace of Mind

What do you do when your eCommerce website is down on your shared hosting plan? 

This nightmare often happens during the busiest shopping days of the year. And when your website is down, you’re losing money.

But if you have managed WordPress hosting, you don’t have to worry about downtimes. Your team of experts will ensure that your WordPress website is virtually never down. And that guarantee and peace of mind are definitely worth the price.

It’s a Secure Solution

Websites are attacked every day, all day. It’s only a matter of time before your website becomes prey to a malicious actor. And there are many ways to attack a site, such as cross-site scripting, distributed denial-of-service, or a brute force attack. 

You need to protect your company data and your customer’s information, too. 

With managed WordPress hosting, your team will do continuous software updates to protect your site from hackers. You’ll receive virus and spam protection along with necessary security patches to shore up any vulnerabilities on your site. Your site will also receive daily backups to ensure that you never need to start over, even in the worst-case scenario.

It Manages Your Site’s Technical Details for You

One of the biggest benefits of managed WordPress hosting is that your team of WordPress experts actually manages your site’s backend. This frees you up to do the tasks that will grow your business or community. What a relief to know that you don’t need to worry about installing your website to a server, identifying and troubleshooting error messages, or other basic administrative tasks. Your managed host will do it all for you.

It’s Always Updated

If you managed your website on your own dedicated server, you would be responsible for all updates to your site. That’s a lot of pressure, which is why you should consider hiring a web admin if you do go that route. 

And while shared hosting does provide a basic level of updates, you’ll still be largely responsible for the performance of your WordPress website. You can’t rely on your shared host, who hosts many thousands of websites, to know how to optimize your WordPress-specific sites. At best, shared hosting offers generic maintenance.

However, with managed WordPress hosting, your team will apply the right optimization strategies to ensure that your website is working at peak efficiency. And you can always reach out to your team if you have questions or concerns, and they can provide customized support.

It Ensures a Quick Loading Website

If getting found through a Google search is important to you, you need managed WordPress hosting. Here’s why:

Your site’s loading speed is one of the top considerations for your ranking on Google. If you want to rank higher in the search results for a particular search, you must ensure that your website is loading as quickly as possible. 

And that’s not always possible with shared hosting, especially the budget options. 

But if you use managed WordPress hosting, your website will load quickly—guaranteed. Top-tier performance is one of the main reasons to pay for a premium hosting service. Because your site is continually managed and always optimized, you’ll never experience a slow down in your traffic, even if you get a surge of traffic. 

It Gives You Access to a Team of WordPress Specialists

Who better to manage your WordPress site than WordPress.com experts? With a team of experienced specialists who understand the ins and outs of WordPress, you can be sure that your site will always enjoy top-rated performance with lightning-fast load speeds. 

If you ever have a question or encounter a dilemma with your website, you can reach out to your team of experts—24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You can access priority support via live chat or email.

It Gives You Control

Even though your website is managed by a team of experts, you don’t give up control over your website. If you want to add plugins, you can do that. If you want to change themes, you can do that, too. We’re just here to help you succeed in whatever you hope to accomplish with your website.

Is Managed WordPress Hosting a Good Option?

To help you assess whether or not WordPress managed hosting is the right option for you, answer these questions:

Are you an experienced WordPress user? 

If you’re an expert-level WordPress user, you may be able to accomplish a lot of the tasks on your own. But if you don’t want to get lost in the technical weeds, or if you simply want to put your attention on running your business (and not just your site), you’re a great candidate for managed WordPress hosting.

Do you expect a steady stream of traffic?

You may have zero visitors now, but what about next month or next year? You need a hosting service that can handle your traffic as you gain more visitors over time. If you anticipate getting more traffic as you build awareness amongst your target audience, you should invest in managed WordPress hosting now (and not later). Transferring from a shared host to a managed host can be rocky and it’s infinitely better to start off with a good foundation. 

Are you busy?

Running a business is a full-time job. So is managing a website. In any given week, you’re writing content, creating an SEO strategy, sending out newsletters, and tracking your website performance. With all of the tasks on your to-do list, it’s easy to forget about under the hood maintenance, such as backups and updates. So hiring a team to manage these aspects of your site is a good idea.

Are You on a Budget?

If you’ve heard of managed WordPress hosting before, no doubt you’ve compared the prices between it and shared hosting. And you’ve probably suffered some sticker shock. 

The fee for managed WordPress hosting is significantly higher than that of shared hosting. You can get shared hosting for less than a cup of coffee at a fancy coffee shop. Some shared hosts charge unbelievably low monthly fees, sometimes dropping below $3. Whereas managed WordPress hosting can run you into possibly hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

But don’t let that scare you away from managed WordPress Hosting.

Some companies charge a premium for managed hosting of your WordPress site, but not us. At WordPress.com, it’s our mission to democratize publishing and eCommerce—a mission that doesn’t only apply to our software, but also extends to our hosting service. 

This is why we offer best-in-class managed hosting for as little as $4 a month (so, an extra-large cup of fancy coffee). And if you’re using a website to power your business, you can access all of the security, SEO, and 24/7 support features that managed WordPress hosting provides for $25 a month. If you’re counting, that’s like 6 coffees per month. Okay, enough with the coffee metaphors, but you get the idea. 

Managed WordPress hosting can be affordable and budget-friendly when you work with WordPress.com, and it’s certainly a smart solution for hosting your website.

Let our experts build your custom WordPress.com website.

Whether you need a landing page or a full ecommerce site, an online learning academy or an interactive informational site for your business, we can build it for you.

Apply now

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The WordPress.com Team

At WordPress.com, our mission is to democratize publishing one website at a time. Create a free website or build a blog with ease on WordPress.com. Dozens of free, customizable, mobile-ready designs and themes.

More by The WordPress.com Team

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