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If you’re thinking about launching a website, chances are you are considering using WordPress. It is easily the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world. And it’s free. Throughout the years, the CMS has proved to be a versatile and lasting tool for beginners and pros. This is why WordPress is so widely used. But as powerful as it is, does WordPress come with hosting? Unfortunately, it does not. You’ll have to find your own web hosting for your WordPress site. But you don’t have to do everything yourself. That’s where managed hosting comes in. What is managed WordPress hosting, and can it help your business? Before you click buy on a website design package or hosting plan, weigh your options and determine what will work best for your business.
What is WordPress Hosting?
WordPress hosting is a form of website hosting – providing storage and access to a website- intended for WordPress websites. Because WordPress hosting was designed specifically for the world’s most popular CMS, WordPress sites run especially well on this platform. Most notably, sites with WordPress hosting should expect fast performance. WordPress hosting usually comes with 1-click installation of WordPress, or even with the CMS already pre-installed. This gives you a good head start in launching your site. If you’re new to website ownership or don’t want to spend your precious time doing tedious backend website maintenance tasks, managed WordPress hosting is a great option.
What is Managed WordPress Hosting?
Simply put, managed WordPress hosting is where a provider manages your site and server for you. It’s a hands-off option for business owners who want to outsource site management and spend more time running their business and doing the tasks only they can do. There are many options and plans when it comes to managed WordPress hosting, and some plans include more than others. Generally speaking, managed WordPress hosting includes the website setup, security, backups, maintenance, and performance improvements. And if you have more than one site you need managed, there are plans for that too.
Understanding WordPress Hosting vs. WordPress.com
WordPress is a system that helps you manage your website’s content, but it does not house or store that content for you. Your website must have a home, which is why it’s so important to understand what WordPress hosting is. There is a slight caveat to this answer. If you look into WordPress, you’ll notice WordPress has two distinct websites: WordPress.org and WordPress.com. WordPress.org is the free open-source CMS that is usually discussed when talking about WordPress. WordPress.com offers hosting and limited use of the WordPress CMS. They are not the same thing.
Benefits of Managed WordPress Hosting
There are certainly some benefits to keep in mind. But as with anything, there are two sides to the story. Here are some pros and cons you should consider when thinking about whether WordPress hosting is right for you:
- Fast Performance: Nobody wants to visit a website with slow load times. WordPress hosting servers are optimized for speed. This ensures that your visitors have a smooth and positive experience when navigating your site. Fast-loading content is also a crucial factor in search engine optimization (SEO).
- Enhanced Security: WordPress is the most used content management system on the web. It’s no surprise that WordPress sites are constantly being attacked. Your WordPress hosting is built with security protocols specific to WordPress sites. This adds a layer of protection you can’t get from general hosting services.
- Expert Support: For the most part, using a WordPress hosting service means access to WordPress experts. You can be confident that they’ll know how to resolve any hosting issues you may run into with your site.
- Easy Installation: Though not impossible, WordPress can be a bit of a chore to install for beginners. Most WordPress hosting services offer quick and easy 1-click WordPress installation.
- WordPress-Specific Features: Most WordPress hosting services offer additional features that are specifically tailored to WordPress users. These features can greatly enhance the functionality and performance of your website.
- Limited Hosting Options: You certainly don’t have a shortage of WordPress hosting options. Plenty of companies are set up to tap into the extremely large WordPress market. If anything, there might be too many choices.
- Restricted to WordPress: While this is great for WordPress sites, it does hinder you from starting up any non-WordPress sites. This means having to source a new hosting provider if you ever decide to move away from WordPress as a CMS.
- Plugin Limitations: Most WordPress hosting services don’t allow for full access to all WordPress plug-ins. This is primarily for security reasons as plugins are often the most likely to have vulnerabilities against malicious parties.
- Extra Costs: This is especially true if you go with a managed WordPress hosting service. While there are some strong benefits, they don’t come free. You’ll have to decide whether extra costs are worth it.
Managed vs Unmanaged WordPress Hosting
Comparing managed and unmanaged WordPress hosting can help you decide what will work best for your business. Before you choose, think about your business and what it needs. Below, we review the differences between managed and unmanaged WordPress hosting.
Unmanaged WordPress Hosting
Unmanaged WordPress hosting is better for business owners who’ve run websites before. The website is set up and then handed off to you so you can run it yourself. When you have an unmanaged WordPress site, you rent hosting space from a hosting company and upload your website to it. Unmanaged hosting is a popular option for newer, smaller businesses that don’t have the budget for managed WordPress hosting or are simply trying to test out the online business environment. While this option is more affordable than managed WordPress hosting, you’ll spend more time maintaining your website, which will take time away from working on your business. Upkeep and design are up to you. And if your site crashes, you’ll have to drop everything and focus on fixing it.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting is more expensive than unmanaged, but everything is built and maintained for you. The site functions more like a part of your business rather than something that needs your attention. And that’s a good thing, considering no one knows how much they may need in the future or what resources they might require. Most site owners assume they’ll be able to access support services, even if they don’t have a managed hosting plan. But if their site goes down in the middle of a product launch, they may be stuck messaging a chatbot and hoping everything works out for the best. Most unmanaged hosting means your site is on a server with many other sites, meaning your site will get slower over time as more websites are added to that server. But with managed hosting, you can get better speed and support, so your site functions at peak levels, which means your business can run more smoothly.
Benefits of Managed WordPress Hosting
Fully managed WordPress hosting can make your life as a business owner much easier. There are many advantages to managed hosting plans:
- Website Setup and Migration: Sure, the YouTube tutorials make it look straightforward to set up a website from scratch or to migrate a website’s content to a new platform. And it is easy – for people who do it regularly. One of the perks of managed hosting is saving the time and energy (and the headache) of setting up or migrating a website. It allows the experts from your hosting provider to step in and do the thing they do best while you focus your time and energy on your business.
- Automatic Backups: Your website’s databases are critical. You can always update your website’s look and feel and even change the theme entirely if you’re using WordPress. But if you don’t back up your site’s databases beforehand, you could lose all your blog posts and comments. Making sure your site is regularly backed up is the difference between a fully functional website loaded with branded content and a massive headache for you as a business owner. With managed hosting, your backups are taken care of, so you don’t have to worry about losing any of the hard work you put into your website.
- Automatic Updates: You started your business to do what you do, not to troubleshoot website issues. With a managed WordPress hosting plan, you get automatic plugin updates and automatic core WordPress updates, so you don’t need to worry about your site going down because one little thing is out of date. Plus, you get access to our WordPress experts, who manage and support sites like yours. Having this level of support means your site is in the hands of people who can help prevent disasters and warn you long before an issue occurs.
- Malware Monitoring: There probably isn’t an elite group of hackers trying to take down your site, but that doesn’t mean bots and malware aren’t a problem. Malware monitoring in managed hosting can expose issues on your server and address them before they become problems. It keeps your site in tiptop shape and keeps your customers’ contact information and credit card data safe.
- Regular Maintenance: Setting and forgetting a website isn’t a great way to run an ecommerce business. A managed WordPress hosting plan is like having a doctor for your website. Maintaining a website ensures it runs smoothly on a constantly changing internet. Ensuring everything is up-to-date and working well with all the internal components keeps your business running smoothly. And just like with your health, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Regular maintenance helps prevent any problems your site might have.
Choosing the Right WordPress Hosting Service
Now that you’ve learned quite a bit more about what WordPress web hosting is, you’re more set than ever to find a service to host your site. You’ll want to select the hosting plan that meets the needs of your website. However, you have a lot of options to choose from. When combing through these many options, keep these following factors in consideration:
- Speed and Performance: Fully managed WordPress hosting is worth it. Your site is a critical component to your business’s success, and as such, it deserves the time and attention it needs to run like a well-oiled machine. With managed WordPress hosting, a faster, more scalable site is at your fingertips.
- Reliability: You always want to consider uptime when shopping for any type of product or service. Make sure to look into reports about uptime/downtime. Make sure you have a host that can keep your site up and running as much as possible.
- Price: You always want to consider price when shopping for any type of product or service. Make sure to shop around and compare prices. As with anything else, keep in mind that expensive doesn’t always mean the best, and cheap doesn’t always mean the worst. Shoot for getting the most value for your dollar.
- Management Features: If you are going the managed WordPress hosting route, take a close look at the management features being offered to you. You’re paying for these services. Make sure you’re getting the ones that are going to make running your site easy for you.
- Technical Support: Beginners can work with WordPress with relative ease, but that doesn’t mean putting up a WordPress website and maintaining it doesn’t come with some technical challenges. Look into your potential hosts’ technical/customer support. Be comfortable knowing that when issues arise, you have somewhere to turn.
Managed WordPress hosting can be a game-changer for your business. It provides you with the peace of mind that your website is in good hands, and allows you to focus on running your business rather than worrying about website maintenance. With the right hosting service, you can experience improved performance, enhanced security, and expert support for your WordPress website. Choose a fully managed WordPress hosting option that meets your specific needs and enjoy the benefits it offers for your online presence.