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Is Managed WordPress Hosting Right For You?

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For anyone who wants to create a website using WordPress, the array of hosting options can be bewildering: shared, virtual private server, cloud, dedicated server, and an abundance of other designations that are largely marketing jargon. But there’s another way to break down WordPress hosting aside from thinking about its hardware configuration, and it’s one that will have a greater impact on the experience of novice WordPress users. WordPress users have to choose between unmanaged hosting, managed hosting, and software-as-a-service hosting via WordPress.com (and some other SaaS hosts).

Software-as-a-Service hosting takes care of everything for you, from the installation of WordPress and its plugins to backup management and security. That sounds good, but it comes at a price. SaaS offerings tend to be tightly controlled. In order to offer a consistent experience to users and keep support costs down, WordPress.com imposes strict limitations on site configuration and monetization options, which is fine if you just want to throw up a blog, but it’s not ideal if you want generate income and have control over content.

Unmanaged WordPress hosting is the complete opposite. The most you’ll get is a one-click installation of WordPress, and everything else is up to you. What that means differs depending on the type of hosting: unmanaged shared hosting can be fairly straightforward provided nothing goes wrong; unmanaged virtual private servers usually require you to have at least some Linux server management experience.

Managed hosting is the middle way. Managed WordPress hosting takes care of the configuration, optimization, and security of your WordPress installation without limiting your freedom in the way that a SaaS platform might. For the vast majority of businesses and bloggers, managed hosting is the best option.

Security

Because of its enormous popularity, WordPress sites are prey to every hacker who makes a living causing misery for webmasters. WordPress itself isn’t inherently insecure relative to other content management systems (although, everything is broken), but it is the number one target because millions of sites use WordPress. Managed hosting will take care of securing your server and your WordPress installation so that you don’t have to worry so much about security. Unless you’re experienced with server management, WordPress, PHP, and MySQL, it’s probably not wise go it alone.

Optimization

A successful website is a fast website, and throwing your WordPress installation onto a generic shared hosting account isn’t going to get you the best possible performance. Managed WordPress hosting providers have the expertise to make sure that WordPress performs at its best. Again, this is something you could do yourself, but the learning curve is steep.

Support

Unmanaged hosting accounts give you a spot on a server and some bandwidth. The hosting company will support you so far as that goes, but if you have WordPress specific problems, you’re going to have to figure out the solutions yourself. WordPress managed hosting providers provide WordPress support as part of the package.

Convenience

As I’ve said, you could learn how to manage and optimize a Linux server. And you could put in the hours to understand exactly how WordPress works and monitor the WordPress security landscape for news of exploits, but is that how you want to spend your time? If you’d rather be writing content, designing your site, building a community, or running your business, then managed hosting is the convenient, efficient, and low friction option.

About the Author

graemeGraeme Caldwell works as an inbound marketer for Nexcess, a leading provider of Magento and WordPress hosting. Follow Nexcess on Twitter at @nexcess, Like them on Facebook and check out their tech/hosting blog, http://blog.nexcess.net/.

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One Comment

  1. Great post! We wrote a similar one recently, check it out and let us know what you think: https://www.hostgator.com/blog/2016/09/08/is-managed-wordpress-worth-it/

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