Online businesses require plenty of attention to stay competitive. With so many websites for users to choose from, business owners need to stay on their toes to keep up with demand and create a website that continues to be rewarding, engaging and easy to use, as well as ticking all the boxes that make it prominent in searches and appealing to online search algorithms.
To see great results, you need to create and maintain effective online marketing, social media engagement, content, site optimisation and security and go with a reliable, fast and secure host.
You must also ensure your site is bug-free, all your connections and links are operating correctly, and your pages are showing perfectly across desktops and mobile devices.
With a long to-do list, on top of your day-to-day staff management, project running, and service offering, it can become hard to keep all the requirements for a high-functioning and efficient website well-oiled and updated. That is why a managed WordPress hosting service can help boost your online business capacity, freeing you up to focus on other aspects of your business and leaving your website to the experts.
Regarding website hosting options, many businesses opt for shared hosting or small Virtual Private Servers (VPS). This is usually to do with price. These options come with a minor cost, which can be appealing when starting, but there are significant impacts from heading down the cheaper hosting road.
Part of what makes these platforms cost-effective is the do-it-yourself (DIY) hosting option, but you need to keep in mind that the work to maintain and update your website needs to be done by someone who might be yourself, or it might be someone in-house like your IT team or savvy marketing officer. This also costs money (and time away from other projects), so when calculating the costs, consider the total cost of doing it yourself and how effective and reliable your current self-managed systems will be.
If you are using your website as a hobby business and are not invested in it, then small might be a better option; however, if you are serious about your business offering and are looking to create a viable and robust online presence, then you need to be looking at more significant, more capable hosts that offer absolute security and the ability to scale and grow with your business demands.
A managed WordPress host lets you go head-to-head with your industry’s best-performing online companies.
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What Is Managed WordPress Hosting?
A managed WordPress hosting plan offers private compartmentalised space on a server and automated WordPress management, including installations, updates and backups, as well as service centre support and dashboards with alerts, messages and current information about your site performance and issues.
In terms of work hours, it will be cheaper than DIY because many of the systems provided are automated and programmed to look after the day-to-day behind the screens on your online business, keeping everything ship-shape with frequent scans, system checks and data backups.
As well as the background work of assisting with plugin errors and maintaining many updates, Managed WordPress Hosting comes with a range of added features, including security certificates and incredible speeds to help bump your website higher up on search engine rankings.
What Are My WordPress Hosting Options?
There are different pricing tiers to choose from. Remember that when it comes to hosting prices, you get what you pay for, so it’s well worth investing in the best host you can afford for your business.
Shared WordPress Hosting
Ranging from $3 to $25 a month, shared hosting has the lowest cost and is suited to start-up businesses. You will probably be familiar with hosts in this range, like SiteGround, Dreamhost, Bluehost and GoDaddy.
Read the terms and conditions carefully; paying the lowest price probably comes without support, and you may be charged extra per ticket. This can quickly add up, especially if you start, as you can expect to make many mistakes while learning the ropes.
You also need to be aware of the limits in place, and these hosts favour clients that don’t use a lot of resources; if your site ends up being busy, you may see reduced speeds and problems with your website loading times. There is no loss to their business if you get fed up and leave; it creates space for a new client and frees up their server if you quit. Server space can get a little crowded in shared conditions. You may be sharing with hundreds of other websites, which can cause lag, server issues, and higher security risks.
Don’t take those low prices at face value, either. There is a wide range of fees that are not initially included, which can also cost you in the long run. This includes renewal fees, SSL certificates, domain registrations and any migrations.
If you don’t have the budget for Managed WordPress Hosting and expect less traffic while you set up and find your feet, this can be a good option. Make your choice carefully and be ready to be hit with extra costs as you build. You must switch to a more flexible and higher-capacity host once your website volume outgrows your host capacity.
DIY VPS WordPress Hosting
VPS WordPress hosting offers access to virtual private servers. Each WordPress site is housed in an isolated compartment on a server, giving you greater privacy and security and higher performance than shared hosting.
With VPS WordPress hosting, there is no support at all. You will be responsible for all maintenance, installations, backups, updates and troubleshooting.
If you have some WordPress or web development experience and are confident with running your background tasks and troubleshooting website issues, you might prefer a WordPress VPS host. This is another money-saving option, but again, you need to add the cost of someone (maybe you) using time from other tasks to keep the website running. ServerPilot and RunCloud tools can make this a more accessible and more streamlined experience.
This option is still in the lower budget price range, but because the servers are private, you get more security, better service and better speed than shared servers.
Typical hosts in this bracket include Vultr, Linode and DigitalOcean. Make sure your WordPress operations are perfect, and you can stay ahead of your business responsibilities; there is no point saving a few bucks on your server costs only to be haemorrhaging money through poor quality or unchecked nagging issues.
There are also hosts like CloudWays who offer all the benefits of a DIY VPS for your WordPress site and technical support similar to that of a Managed WordPress Hosting provider.
Managed WordPress Hosting
This is the best option for small to medium-sized businesses. A managed host can handle high traffic and includes extras that will save you time and money in the long run, like fees, personal support and troubleshooting assistance, fast response times, and expert understanding of WordPress and SSL certificates.
This is the ideal option because it ensures your website is given the best attention, security and performance, without you having to check in, update or troubleshoot. That gives you time to work on other aspects of your business or for your in-house IT team to focus on looking after your staff’s IT needs, developing your software or creating new apps for your business.
The cost of a Managed WordPress Hosting plan will depend on your website size and any specialised needs you might have. Expect a price range from $25 to $150 monthly for most sites and even more than this for complex cases.
Reasons to Choose Managed WordPress Hosting
You need to choose the best option for your business website needs and the current budget available to you. As your business grows, so will your income, so you can upgrade to more sophisticated hosting options once you have the funding and demand to make this work. The key is to understand what your options are and how these options impact your business so you can make informed professional decisions. Many companies choose on price alone without understanding what they can expect from their web host or ongoing website needs.
Some significant benefits come with spending more on your website management, including:
- High speeds
- Expert WordPress support
- Top security
- The ability to scale as your business grows
- Development pages for easy testing
- Automated backups, installations and updates
- Added development tools
Here are the nine top reasons why it pays to go with a Managed WordPress Host if you can:
Don’t discount the power of superior support. It probably doesn’t rank very high on your checklist when you are looking at web host quotes, but in all honesty, I’d put support as your number one priority. As well as being prompt with getting back to you, they are also experts in working with WordPress, meaning that they don’t have to research the answer; they know these systems like the back of their hand and can organise a fix with you then and there.
Most support systems run 24/7, allowing you to get answers to problems when you find them and have them fixed before your users are online. If you experience issues while users are active, you can get a response and fix them fast to help them continue their buying journey.
You can also expect your host to be the main one finding issues with your site. They have automated checks that run frequently (i.e. every five minutes) to sweep their host websites and check for errors, and in most cases, a fix will be applied within minutes.
Your support team is also there if you run into any issues. If you need help bringing a new idea to life, understanding an aspect of your site or making changes, they can give you the best advice on what plugins and steps you need to take to make it happen.
Speed is so important not just to your users but also to search algorithms. When your website is automatically optimised, it enables super-fast loading times and fewer errors and displays problems.
Different options are available with other hosts, but full-page and server-level caching are standard offerings from quality-managed hosts. This enables your web page to be stored on the server so users can access the information faster without the caching plugins you’ll need for cheaper services (sometimes to no avail).
Another element that assists with speed is PHP versions. Ensure your host offers the most up-to-date PHP as soon as it becomes available and current HTTP and MariaDB for speed boost combinations.
You want your website to load quickly, especially in high-traffic periods.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Access to a content delivery network (CDN) can help speed up your site’s media responsiveness. This is important for big media files you might have. CDN uses a network of servers that operate globally, storing your media cache in multiple locations so that the server closest to the user has instant access. If you are locally based, this won’t be as big of a drawcard. However, if you have international users, having a server based in the users’ home country will drastically improve the speed and performance of file access and delivery. Most hosts will offer some Cloud-based network to achieve global CDN. Just make sure their security measures are up to their promises.
Isolated Server Containers
Shared hosting puts you side by side with hundreds, maybe even thousands, of other websites. With Managed WordPress Hosting, every site is isolated in its server container, giving you added security and better performance. Along with your website, your container also holds all the software your site needs to run, so the container doesn’t need to search outside to locate resources like PHP, MySQL, Linux and Nginx.
This gives you absolute privacy and better security. You also get this service with a DIY VPS; however, standard volume capacity is more significant with the right Managed WordPress Host.
Ability to Scale
Scalability is another important aspect that is easy to overlook until you need it. Most shared servers have a low ceiling when it comes to being able to meet your traffic demands. This can be frosting if you lose out when you are going strong. When your traffic volume spikes, you need your server host to be there for you and get all those customers across the line.
Every business will have unique traffic patterns. Depending on what you’re offering and when, you may experience explosive and sustained growth, peaks and troughs or patterned spikes.
Whatever your business requirements, you need your server to give every user fast and reliable access regardless of volume. You need access to scalable hosting options without paying for new agreements and breaking existing contracts.
If you use DIY servers, the VPS options can make it easier to scale as needed, although it will require some experience and know-how.
Some Managed WordPress Hosting packages have set limits. If you go over this, you will be notified and can choose instant and easy upgrades from there to meet your business’s needs. At the same time, if you are not using your expected volume, you can just as quickly scale down until you reach capacity again.
It would help if you got server management assistance like automated data backups free of charge with your Managed WordPress Hosting.
You can opt for the backup periods that best suit your needs (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly) and have manual backups stored if you are ready to launch, update, or migrate.
Regardless of whether it’s something significant, like your entire WooCommerce shop or a database copy, you should expect automatic and reliable backups and access to downloadable files.
Having flexible and automated options for your WordPress data backup and storage saves time and allows you to leave it to the experts instead of fiddling with backup plugins.
To protect yourself from hackers and malware, you must ensure secure web access and use providers with strong protection through firewalls and security technologies. This includes their server security, cloud provider security and DNS security. Any quality, managed hosting provider will have what you need to be secure and then some.
Unlike other hosting options, your managed WordPress host will most likely provide support if your website falls into a hacker’s hands, in addition to providing the tools to help prevent malware attacks.
A big hold-up with upgrades, changes and new website capabilities is testing. It’s essential to test everything possible off your website to ensure it’s the right fit and will gel with your existing online masterpiece so you don’t crash your entire website. That sounds like solid advice, but who has time to copy their website to a development site, test and migrate the changes before adding plugins, committing to changes or upgrading to different PHP versions?
Most Managed WordPress hosting packages have one-click staging environments to act as your development site (shortened to dev).
With one click, you can explore your dev site in as much detail as if it were real and push any changes you approve through to production.
When an end-user types a domain name into their web browser, DNS servers convert requests to IP addresses, determining which server they will reach. The better the translation and server choice, the faster the user will be presented with their chosen website. Reliable DNS providers also protect your website from DDoS attacks.
To make the most of this service, look for premium DNS providers (and hosts that offer multiple options). This isn’t something you can receive from a shared hosting provider or the DIY option, and if you go with these, you’ll need to buy them separately. With managed WordPress hosting, however, premium DNS should be included in the price, so look for a host that partners with fast and reliable DNS providers such as Cloudflare, Amazon, DNS Made Easy and Dyn.
Now that you have a solid understanding of what makes Managed WordPress Hosting such a valuable investment, all you need to do is choose your host. There are plenty of options with different packages and prices, which can make it challenging to decide. A little research will go a long way in helping you narrow down to find the right fit for your business.
When comparing hosts, look for a service that will:
- Offer professional and accessible support
- Improve website performance
- Run automatic server and platform updates
- Include easy migration options,
- Scale according to your traffic needs
- Offer extras as part of the service cost
We highly recommend WP Engine, which has repeatedly proven to go above and beyond to get your WordPress business site performing at the highest possible capacity. As well as our recommended WP Engine, you can check out these quality Managed WordPress Hosting providers.
Looking at the top reasons for choosing a WordPress Host will help you compare your providers and select the one that will offer you the very best value to suit your needs. You can also see what other users think about each host by reading online reviews, and be sure to have accessible support high on your priority list.
If you need any advice or have questions about choosing the best-managed WordPress hosting for your business, reach out to the team at Chillybin today.