What is managed wordpress hosting?
Managed hosting, by definition is an IT provisioning model in which a service provider leases dedicated servers and associated hardware to a single client. The equipment is at the hosting provider’s facility and managed there by the service provider.
Simply, it means that your hosting company takes care of backend of your website. In case of managed wordpress hosting, it will take care of installation, optimization, backup of your wordpress based website.
Now, the question that comes to mind is, why would you even think about managed hosting? Especially when you can do that on your own? There are several articles and tutorials available online, which you can use to do this on your own. Isn’t it?
The answer: It’s not that easy
Normally these benefits of using wordpress can be depicted as the infographic below, but you will read, there is more to it then point based pro and cons list.
Now let’s break these features down and study them in more detail.
1. Self hosting requires constant maintenance:
When you self host wordpress, the work not done with one time installation of wordpress. WordPress is versatile platform. Which means it has lots of customization to offer.
This versatility comes at the cost of simplicity. When you install WordPress (shared or on your own), it requires setup and then optimization for best results. This require installation of plugins, setting up of Nginx/Apache (if hosting on your own), setting up of various settings in plugins etc.
Now, here, apart from settings of server, plugins, themes and wordpress itself are constantly updated.
These updates take care of bugs, security risks etc. discovered in existing version.
It is recommended to keep your backend software updated to latest version for as best webmaster’s practice.
Thus, the requirement to regularly maintain your wordpress installation for updates.
In managed hosting, this is taken care of by solution provider. Right from optimized server setup to wordpress settings. For you it is click and forget experience.
2. Resources needs to be managed for growth on regular basis:
When you install wordpress on shared hosting, you are sharing resources with 100s of website on same server. [This is how they are able to offer you hosting at such cheap price]
Thus, resources available to your website are limited. This doesn’t effect most of websites as website traffic is medium at most.
But, when your website traffic grows (which you will) then you will hit a limit of current plan. In most cases, your hosting provider will throttle your service, till you upgrade to higher plan.
This process is tedious and expensive (your shared host will move you to dedicated resource for a fee of course). And, if you choose to do on your own, then you need to again set up all settings, to take care of bigger resources.
Managed hosting is designed for scale. There resources are designed grow to take care of traffic load as and when it grows. No effort or configuration required. You just need to click on required package and everything is taken care of at the backend. User experience for your website remains same!
3. Safety and security of website isn’t easy task:
As per this post by WordPress.org, by 2017, SSL will be basic requirement to install wordpress. It’s not that difficult to install SSL on your wordpress website, but then it requires proper configuration. If not properly done, then your installation can have partially insecure content, which is flagged by browsers like chrome.
With managed wordpress hosting, this as well as other points are built into the package:
- SSL included
- Daily Backup
- Regular patching up of servers against latest security issues
- Ongoing protection of servers against brute force, DDoS attacks
and many more..
When a hosting company provides shared hosting, they are giving you resources which are shared by many other websites. They are not responsible about installation and configuration of your wordpress installation. Thus, given a choice between an average server vs optimized server, they tend to provide low paying customer the cheaper solution. This is how they earn profit by offering such low prices.
But in case of managed hosting, they are responsible for more than just hosting. There are service features, which are committed. Means services should be able to match them. This requires, security and safety features built into the system, right at server level.
Thus the ‘managed’ part of hosting.
This leads to final point of managed wordpress hosting. The customer service.
4. Dedicated and knowledgeable customer service:
The last and most important feature of any service is customer service. And, customer reps who know about the stuff. Not someone who is just reading from script.
From my (and few trusted people’s) experience with Siteground (Best Value for money, read more here), Kinsta (expensive, suitable for big site only), Bluehost (Average customer support, knowledgeable, little expensive) and Flywheel, I can comfortable say that customer support of these hosting companies for managed hosting is quite good.
Most of staff who are looking at back end of managed wordpress hosting are dedicated to wordpress only. Thus their knowledge about product is as deep as it gets. Which means you don’t need to spend time on google to understand your problem. In most cases, you won’t have any problem and even if you do, customer care will be actually able to understand it and solve it for you.
End Note : If you are serious about making money online, then having your own website is absolute must. But I would recommend against buying the expensive plan right at the beginning. You need to test your idea first, work upon it and at the same time keep the cost down. If you are unsure, you start with shared hosting, which is good option and least expensive. But it strongly suggested not to host your content on free websites. This way your ownership on your creation will always be partial.
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