Managed WordPress hosting seem to be all the rage nowadays but are they the best webhosting option for you?!
Let’s compare their advantages and disadvantages against other popular webhosting options like:
- Shared hosting
- Managed control panel
- VPS hosting
- Dedicated server
PROS of Managed WordPress Hosting
- WordPress-specific – friendly UI and support specifically catered to WordPress. This is refreshing compared to those old-school cluttered webhosting panels full of options you never use.
- Good performance – much faster pageload speeds for frontend users and also backend admins. Many of them come with server-side caching already enabled so users don’t have to mess with cache plugins.
- Updated servers – latest versions of PHP, MySQL.
- Security features – usually a more secure environment, and some even have free repair services if you ever get hacked.
- Staging/backup features – most managed hosts have really convenient 1-click staging and backup features. This is great for non-techy users who wouldn’t know how to set up staging otherwise, and also for developers who regularly make changes.
- Good support – typically have better support than the usual cheap shared hosting.
- Allow access to other users – really convenient and secure way to give limited access to contractors or other employees without giving your main password.
CONS of Managed WordPress Hosting
- Expensive – your charged by the number of sites, and also amount of traffic you have. Managed hosting is especially expensive and perhaps even overkill if you want to host many small unimportant sites, or have 1 site with millions of traffic (it costs as much as a dedicated server!).
- Plugin restrictions – I don’t mind when they restrict resource-abusive plugins or other plugins with security/compatibility issues. My gripe is when they restrict certain cache plugins or important plugins that some clients need.
- Not the fastest – I really hate that most managed WordPress hosts aren’t even that fast in terms of speed despite them marketing themselves to be. Not surprisingly, many of them have stepped off the “fastest host” marketing labels and now rebranding themselves as “premium hosting”.
- Limited storage – managed hosts only allow 5-10GB of storage per $30. This might be all you need though and also note that backups don’t count against your storage.
- No .htaccess compatibility – because almost all managed hosts use NGINX, they don’t have htaccess. This can be a problem if you need htaccess to do certain functions or for certain plugins. Sure, you can do redirects and other stuff with a plugin, but that creates extra PHP-processing for each page load which slows down your site.
- No email hosting – this is especially critical if you want a cheap webhosting server that can host a domain AND its emails. But not necessary if you’re already hosting your emails with a more reliable 3rd-party service like G-Suite, Office 365, Rackspace, Zoho, MXroute, etc.
Is Managed WordPress hosting right for you?
Managed WordPress hosting is GOOD if you…
- Have only 1 or 2 main sites, with fewer than 20-25k monthly visitors each.
- Want solid performance and support.
- Like 1-click staging and backup features.
- Don’t know how to choose a webhost otherwise and just want a safe option.
- Don’t mind paying extra for webhosting, and also a little more for 3rd-party email hosting.
Shared hosting is a better option if you…
- Just want a cheap webhosting account for a bunch of small unimportant sites.
- Don’t mind slightly slower speeds. (Although some shared hosting is even faster than some managed hosts!)
- Want email hosting included.
- Don’t need much support.
- Don’t need to share access with other users.
- Know how to choose a decent-enough shared host that uses updated modules and features.
VPS hosting is a better option if you…
- Want even faster performance.
- Know how to manage a server or choose a good managed VPS provider.
- Have many sites and or have lots of traffic. (Much cheaper to have VPS than managed hosting!)
- Need lots of storage.
- Need specific modules or other server customizations that webhosts wouldn’t allow.
- Want to create separate accounts for different users.
- Want to have your own hosting service with your own brand.
- Want a specific datacenter location (that other webhosts don’t have).
Dedicated hosting is a better option if you…
- Want all the features and flexibility of a VPS but want even more speed and ability to handle more traffic.
- Have really heavy applications that need strictly dedicated resources.