Let’s face it, you can build almost any kind of website using WordPress even though I disagree to say it is always the most ideal. However I cannot deny the fact that it truly is the most favored CMS/blogging platform in the past 5 years, supported by an almost infinite numbers of plugins and regular updates. So there is nothing wrong to pick it as the engine to power your website.
What is Managed WordPress Hosting and Why You Might Need It
I say ‘might’ because you practically can install WordPress in almost any web hosting plan, that is the beauty of WordPress and one of the reasons that has made it so popular. There are a number of advantages by choosing hosting services that are customized only for WordPress. I am going to narrow them down to the top 3 reasons:
- Support. Most web hosting services do not offer support for the applications you install on their servers. Typically, your developers are responsible to enable the website or application they are developing to be able to run on the production server. Managed WordPress hostings however, have WP experts as part of their support team so they will be able to assist customers that are experiencing issues with their WP sites.
- Speed. Like any PHP CMS or application, WordPress with huge database or bloated plugins can easily exhaust the server resources and eventually add the load times. Managed WordPress hosting servers have been configured and optimized to handle these and should reduce the page load time significantly.
- Security. As the most popular PHP application, WordPress is always a tempting target to hackers and malicious scripts. While you are always responsible for the security of your own blog/site, WP hosting will be an added layer of security with by constantly monitoring your code’s health including automatic WP updates.
Specialized service comes with a more premium price, understandable because it is targeting a niche market. If you are looking for a typical $5/month hosting, then you are probably better to choose a generic shared hosting plan.
However my research goal is to offer options of managed WordPress hosting plans for personal or small business use with maximum monthly price plan of $30. Above that, unless you are making money directly from your website or it generates thousands of visitors per day, it may not be worth it in my humble opinion.
WordPress Hosting Plans Comparison
|Number of site||1||1||1||1||1|
|Bandwidth/visits limit||25,000 visitors||5GB||Unlimited||5,000 Visits or 250GB Bandwidth||10,000 Pageviews or 10GB Transfer|
|Automatic backups||daily||14 day retention to S3||daily||included||daily|
|SSL option||+$10/mo||$120/yr (incl. 1 dedicated IP)|
|Dedicated IP||at additional cost||$120/yr (incl. SSL)|
Which One to Choose?
Managed WordPress hosting has become a promising business with many companies jumping in even though the market is quite limited. Price will be the biggest factor in making a decision to switch your server or selecting one for a new project.
WPEngine was probably the first and is still one of the best option you have out there, unfortunately it is also the most expensive. Its Personal plan has limited options with no dedicated IP and SSL support.
On the other end, there is Lightning Base. While it is a relatively new name, at least to my ears, their Personal plan offer is very interesting and has most of the options I need for hosting an e-commerce WordPress projects while keeping the server budget reasonable.
Do you have other hosting suggestions? Please post your comments below.
Please keep in mind that choosing the best provider is only one part of getting the best performance out of your WordPress installation. Before considering to switch to another hosting, you might want to consider optimizing your WordPress site. This post is a good reference to start.