What is Managed WordPress Hosting? : Advantages and Disadvantages

What is Managed WordPress Hosting advantages and disadvantages 1

Hey guys, and welcome to this article where we’ll discuss what Managed WordPress Hosting is and learn all about their various advantages as well as disadvantages.

Let’s break it up for you. Not every Managed WordPress Hosting offers services that are worth the charges.

Sometimes certain managed platforms only seem to have that managed in their names, and you would know their worth as soon as you begin to dig deeper.

In this article, we will discuss in detail more about Managed WordPress Hosting and the various pros as well as cons that you can expect.

We will also debunk certain myths that will give you more clarity and help you with your decision with regard to going in for a Managed WordPress Hosting, or are you just better off without it. Let’s begin by learning what Managed WordPress Hosting really is;

Managed WordPress Hosting  

There is no agreement on it, not among users or managed hosting companies. Today nothing is holding back a hosting company from adding the badge “managed” to any of their hosting packages.

This is the reason why you must take a close look at the packages they offer before you can commit to Managed Hosting.

You must understand that Managed WordPress Hosting will always offer certain additional benefits and features that you will not receive with a set-up from a standard hosting.

This means that you will not require to manage the set-up; instead, it’s the host’s responsibility to manage it for you. Therefore, it is tagged as ‘managed’.

So, what is really managed for you, what it means actually changes from one host to another. You will come across various claims where they mentioned benefits like enhanced security, good backups, and much more.

But the benefits that they speak about can actually be relatively unclear. There are certain questions that you must ask yourself before you commit to a Managed Hosting, they are;

  • Will the specific managed hosting firm perform regular actions on the server? 
  • Suppose I require something to be done to the website, for instance, installing a plugin; what do they do for me?
  • Will they make certain changes to the website settings in order to enhance the security and speed? Will it be done by their individual initiative, or would I need to get it done?

I will be 100% honest with you that in most cases, the reply is no.

Be it managed WordPress hosting, and you would still require to get all these things done by yourself, especially all hands-on tasks.

Let’s take a look at it now from a user’s perspective. The major difference that you would find between Standard Web Hosting and Managed WordPress Hosting, and I’m talking about even the cheapest ones, is a control panel.

You would have to look at it as how simple it is to utilize and how custom made it could be, especially for WP specific tasks.

I agree that I am definitely oversimplifying certain things, so let’s move on to a detailed perspective looking at the various advantages as well as disadvantages of utilizing a Managed WordPress Hosting.

We have made an extensive list, and I’m confident by the end of it, you would have more clarity on this matter.

Advantages of Managed WordPress Hosting  

Take a look at the various common benefits of utilizing Managed WordPress Hosting in comparison to the way things play out practically: 

Optimized Servers for WP 

Every Managed WordPress host claim that the servers are specially optimized for WP. In certain cases, this can be true to a certain extent; however, I wouldn’t fall for it 100% and wouldn’t make it a sole reason to go in for a Manage WordPress Hosting.

WordPress operates on any and all web servers, and by this, I mean a server that supports database engines and PHP. This we find with all set-ups, so I don’t think this would be an issue with any host.

What we’re trying to say is that there is no particular server setting WP needs in order to operate properly. And having said that manage WP hosts very frequently provide modern set-ups for servers.

They offer powerful hardware and service software that is updated. This may include a new version of PHP, NGINX and the very efficient configurations for VPS.

A Good User Panel Makes it Simple to Utilize 

I’m sure you guys will agree with me that many times this use of panels are complex and confusing. If a present host that you are working with provides the standard Plesk or cPanel, to figure it out as to how to utilize it more efficiently takes a certain amount of time.

Here’s where Managed WordPress Hosting steps in. Many hosts that provide managed packages will also offer access to their tailor-made user panels.

These panels are extremely simple to operate, and they allow the user swift access to multiple features that they tend to utilize the most.

The only downside is that the scope of things that can be achieved via these panels are very limited, especially in comparison to that of cPanel.

The custom-made panel offers a user the convenience of swiftly locating numerous things that they use on a daily basis that includes stats, WP software updates, staging sites, backups and much more.

Reliability 

To have a sense of peace that things will work out smoothly without any added issues is priceless. Many of you can agree with me that; while you were researching and reading up on various hosts, you have definitely come across claims that say they have offered a platform and you do not need to stress about the server.

All you need to do is invest your time in your business by creating new content and growing your clientele. Yes, this seems to be a very common script with many managed hosts. Each one of them has its own version, which is definitely a part of their marketing strategies.

Now the only issue with these managed hosts is that they are more dependable in comparison to shared hosts.

We have been tracking the uptimes of plenty of hosts, and we have been doing this for years together now. Honestly, we have not seen any significant differences.

The cheapest host in the market will offer their customer an uptime of 99.9%. I wouldn’t say all of them provide it; however, the point I’m trying to make is that uptime is not really a factor that cheap hosts have an issue with anymore.

We have tried and tested a couple of cheap managed hosting providers and noticed that they have never struggled to deliver 99.9% uptime.

Managing Everything for You 

Unfortunately, if any host claims to manage the server for you, I must say it is not true. Suppose you have the cheapest managed hosting provider, then you will realize that you really do not have to manage any server related tasks anyway.

The managed hosting company actually takes care of all the primary tasks that are involved in the successful operation of the web server, even if you have gone in for the cheapest shared set-up.

Now suppose if something malfunctions while you are working on an affordable hosting plan, it is definitely not your responsibility to identify the issue and to fix it.

As a user, all you need to do is connect with the host’s customer assistance team, and they will identify the issue and also fix it for you.

Enhanced Website Speed and Performance 

Plenty of Managed WordPress Hosting companies claim to offer their customers enhanced performance in comparison to Shared Hosting; these claims are oftentimes made in order to increase their sales.

But if you look at it actually should be true because they promise to offer servers that are specially optimized for WP.

Of course, I especially would want this to be accurate information, based on numerous experiences that have been conducted in terms of performance, but unfortunately, from a personal experience, I can say that we haven’t really found any major difference.

Although I would like to point out that the numerous tests that we set up and conducted are all at entry-level, and the sites were very simple and not too complex, moreover the level received high traffic.

The performance balance can definitely change if the site receives high traffic with thousands of guests visiting every day.

I have another thing that I would like to highlight is the web hosting companies frequently enhance their performance metrics.

This is done by integrating the website with certain caching mechanisms as well as CDNs. This is indeed an excellent perk as you will not have to worry about setting up this all by yourself. You can be assured that the configuration is accurate right from the beginning. 

Enhanced Security 

Enhanced site security is frequently advertised as a key advantage of many Managed WordPress hosts.

Well, if you look at it, in a way, it is true; however, I wouldn’t say it is true for every host and always. Yes, I agree that Managed WordPress Hosting has increased security in comparison to Shared Hosting services; however, this definitely does not have much to do when your hosting being especially for WP.

It is more likely true because it utilizes an overall set-up that is of supreme quality, and it doesn’t really matter if it is for WP or not.

Frequently we have noticed that managed platforms provide mechanisms for DDoS protections that we are always ready to fight and blocked any such attacks at the application and network layer. They also deflect these attacks by utilizing WAF.

In addition, certain Managed WordPress Hosting companies will offer you immediate access to a premium version of the plugin they include, Liquid Web’s – iThemes Security and Bluehost WP Pro – CodeGuard.

These services are specially built for WP, and they provide added protection, easy restoration in times of any trouble and malware scans.

Auto Backups and Updates

Any managed WordPress host that values its reputation will definitely offer its customers automated backups and updates.

The customer does not have to stress about keeping their website updated because the managed hosting company will handle it for them. 

Having said this, we could also look at the fact that a simple click of a button is not really a difficult task, so spending that extra money on this particular feature does not make sense to us; however, if this is something that you prefer to do then go for it.

At times backups can get extremely tricky. While selecting a Managed WordPress Host, you must always ensure that they have a certain way of restoring your data easily alongside the automated backups.

If you look at it, backup is good only if you can utilize it to restore the website swiftly. Simply having your host backup all your data and to not have a swift restore for the site makes absolutely no sense.

You must always look for a simple ‘restore’ icon that you could simply click on, and by doing so, everything can be back to the way it was in no time.

Auto WP installation 

Always remember that all Managed Hostings will allow you to install WP while you are signing up, which will involve a few clicks. It sounds great; however, you will receive this feature with all the cheapest shared hosts too. So, we don’t find this to be very impressive.

Concierge Website Migration 

Many users who are switching their hosts will definitely be looking forward to moving their existing websites.

Now Managed Hosting will assist you with the entire transition, and we have also seen certain hosts that also provide these migrations for free.

Migration simply means a different thing for every company. Certain companies will help you with the migration if you are moving from a certain specific list of specific companies, while some will help you to move to no matter which company you are switching from.

So always make sure that you are checking all the terms and conditions before you decide to move over.

Also, remember that if you’re planning to move a classic WordPress site from one host to another, it is not all that difficult. The entire process can be completed within 10 minutes with the help of the Duplicator; it is a very handy tool.

Great Customer Support 

Hosting companies definitely want their clients to believe that they offer the finest expert support in the market. But, many times, we have noticed these are simply marketing gimmicks. From our experience, I can see not every time things are awesome.

I agree that you will generally get assistance faster with a managed package in comparison to a shared one; however, the quality of help always matters, and I cannot say that every host offers the similar quality.

For instance, we have noticed that managed WordPress hosting companies always try and send their customers’ knowledge-rich articles instead of solving the issue immediately.

I could give you an example of what we have experienced first-hand. We have used the services of Kinsta for one of our websites, and I could say that their support team is extremely knowledgeable.

They know the ins and outs of the platform; they are so well versed with configurations and every other thing. At times of issues, we remember them hand-holding us through the concern every step of the way. They would never do anything on their own without your consent.

On the other hand, for another website, we were using the services of WP Engine. The team was very helpful in configuring certain things, and they would also get certain things done if we asked them.

They would also try and educate us before we would take on any task, and if they felt that we could not cope up with it, then they would get it done for us. We were totally surprised by the excellent quality that Bluehost offered, and they were also extremely helpful and supportive.

Single Click Staging 

WP is an amazing DIY site platform. They invite their users to conduct plenty of tweaking, testing and customization. WP websites are in a continuous state of progress. The only drawback that we have seen is operating on a live website can create plenty of issues.

This is the point where staging websites are vital. So now, whenever you plan to test certain things out, all you need to do is simply launch the staging site. It is a replica of the working website, and it’s your sandbox.

Here, you can get all the tweaks done without hampering the live website, and once you are done with your configurations, you can deploy to the current website or even delete it.

Managed WordPress Hosting companies make these staging simple as they can. Many of them even offer a single-click staging. This means that the user can launch the staging website within seconds, and once they are satisfied with the changes, they could then push it to the current site or maybe even delete it just with a single click.

So, if you are a user that continuously enjoys tinkering with the website, then this feature can be extremely beneficial for you.

Additional Features and Bonuses 

Managed WordPress Hosting companies frequently provide added bonuses and features to their customers. Now, these bonuses and features may vary from one company to another; however, I would like to share a list of interesting things available;

Bluehost WP Pro – They offer their customers a CodeGuard and SiteLock. 

Pressable – They offer their clients Jetpack Premium. 

WP engine – They offer their clients StudioPress Themes as well as Atomic Block Pro.   

Liquid Web – They offertheir customers iThemes Sync, Security Pro and other additional features if you plan to go in for WooCommerce plans.

Disadvantages of Managed WordPress Hosting  

Now that we have taken a look at all the advantages so let’s also take a quick look at certain disadvantages that you may find with Managed WordPress Hosting.

Expensive 

Alright, so this disadvantage has been pretty obvious; however, I still need to point it out. Managed WordPress Hosting is pretty expensive, especially when compared to Shared Hosting.

If you have done your research, you will notice that Shared Hosting plans are available for under $4 every month. At the same time, Managed WordPress Hosting plans begin to add a monthly price of $15. It is almost three times the cost of Shared Hosting. In addition, other things need to be highlighted, like overage charges.

There are a few that will even cost you a leg and an arm; 

  • You will be charged $2 every 1,000 visits by WP Engine
  • And $1 every thousand visits, which is over and above your traffic allowance for the month

That’s the reason why we always recommend checking the overage prices before you can commit to a plan.

Lack of Email Hosting

To be honest, for us, this is a major drawback, especially for Managed WordPress Hosting. Yes, you don’t need to read it again. I’m serious. An expensive Managed WordPress Hosting can’t handle the email!

So, what do we do? It’s not much that we can do if you are looking forward to keeping the custom email address in the inbox and that too for a few dollars every month (that’s added expenses too).

Limit on Number of Websites 

Many entry-level Managed WordPress Hosting packages will allow the customer to host a single website. So now, if you wish to install more than one WordPress site, that’s going to be an issue.

Difficulty in Moving Out 

At some point, and for some reason, you may want to discontinue your current host and move onto another Managed WordPress host, and when that day comes, you will face numerous challenges.

We have seen that certain hosts prefer to modify files within the WP directory in order to fit the server environments. Now, these modifications will not work well with some other hosts.

For instance, WP Engine has an entire checklist of certain things that require to be completed if you want to discontinue their service and move out. The checklist that they give you will have plenty of files that they would ask you to delete, a few other steps, along with rolling back to the new config.php folder.

This is, of course, an instance with WP Engine, and this may not be a situation with other hosts; however, you would not know about this until the day you actually plan to move out; it’s pretty unfortunate.

Certain Plugins are Banned 

We have noticed that Shared Hosts generally permit the user to operate almost any plugin they prefer; however, Managed Hosting isn’t this understanding. So, before you choose a host, check the list of plugins with them that they would permit you to use on their platform.

Our Thoughts 

All in all, I would say that investing in a Managed WordPress Hosting is always worth it; however, you must do your personal research and learn more about the various limitations and quirks that these hosts may have. You must also have an outlook at the details of certain things like overage charges, the number of websites that are permitted, limitations on disk space, banned plugins and more. You can also check our article on Wix vs. Weebly.

That’s all for this article. Do share with us your opinion and suggestions of Managed WordPress Hosting and also your thoughts about their price tags. Thank you for visiting us today, and we look forward to your thoughts and comments. Take care

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