Managed WordPress Hosting vs VPS (Buyer’s Guide)

by Jason Cosper
Managed WordPress Hosting vs VPS (Buyer’s Guide) thumbnail

Choosing a hosting plan is one of the most important considerations when creating a website since it affects your site’s speed, security, and availability. VPS and managed WordPress are two popular options. However, you might not fully understand the difference between these two choices.

Fortunately, choosing a hosting provider is easier when you know what you’re looking for. While there are pros and cons to both managed WordPress hosting and VPS hosting, they are suitable for different kinds of web users.

In this post, we’ll introduce you to VPS vs. managed WordPress hosting. Then, we’ll explore the main pros and cons of each type of hosting. Let’s get started!

An Introduction to Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress hosting is a package that includes the usual server space and resources for your website. You’ll also get access to additional site management services, such as security, migration tools, database maintenance, and optimization. Additionally, the hosting plan is designed specifically for WordPress websites.

For instance, at DreamHost, our managed WordPress hosting plans provide built-in caching for fast performance:

managed WordPress hosting

We also throw in a free migration service and a staging area so that you can test out changes before altering your live site. What’s more, you’ll get a pre-installed SSL certificate, daily backups, and 24/7 expert support.

Due to the inclusion of additional services, managed WordPress hosting is typically an excellent option for beginners. Alternatively, it can be a great choice for users who don’t want the responsibility of ongoing site maintenance.

Running a website can be demanding. Therefore, choosing a managed hosting solution can free up time for you to focus on creating content and growing your business.

Managed WordPress Hosting: Pros & Cons

The Pros of Managed WordPress Hosting

There are many advantages to choosing managed WordPress hosting over other solutions:


Managed hosting is one of the most stress-free ways to set up your website. You don’t have to worry about running updates or backing up your site, among other administrative tasks.


Since your website is in the hands of trusted professionals, if anything goes wrong, it’s often sorted out quickly. Plus, you can benefit from advanced security features like malware scanning and defense against cyber attacks.


Managed hosting providers have the resources to handle sharp traffic spikes as opposed to other setups like shared hosting. As a result, you don’t have to worry about your site going down during busy periods.

WordPress-Specific Perks

Many managed WordPress hosting providers provide extra features to benefit your WordPress site such as one-click installs, staging environments, and version control.


Managed WordPress hosting servers are often optimized for WordPress performance and fast loading times.


Not only can you access quick help with server-related issues, but support teams have been trained to work with WordPress. Therefore, you can access expert advice related specifically to the CMS.

At DreamHost, we pride ourselves on top-notch support because we understand how frustrating it can be when things go wrong:

hosting customer support

You can browse our knowledge base to find quick, convenient solutions. Alternatively, you can join a discussion forum to get tried-and-tested advice from real users. If you’re still stuck, you can log in to your panel and reach our tech support team, who are available 24/7.

The Cons of Managed WordPress Hosting

While there are many benefits to choosing managed hosting plans, it’s also important to be aware of the drawbacks:

Less Control

This can sometimes be a good thing if you don’t want accountability. However, if you’re an experienced user who can manage your server settings, you’re placing your site in control of others. Additionally, you might be unable to use some plugins if they’re incompatible with your host’s architecture.

Limited Use 

Typically, managed hosting providers only work with WordPress. Therefore, solutions don’t always account for other CMS platforms or development use cases. Plus, most plans only accommodate a limited number of websites, so paying for extra sites can quickly become expensive.


With all the additional services included in managed WordPress hosting, you might end up paying more than VPS hosting. However, prices are more competitive than ever due to the popularity of this hosting method. Plus, you’re essentially gaining access to a dedicated web team since many providers offer 24/7 support and handle everything for you.

Overall, if you use lots of third-party software for added functionality or you’d like the flexibility to configure your server, managed WordPress hosting might not be the best choice for you.

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An Introduction to VPS Hosting

With VPS hosting, your website will be hosted on a virtualized part of a server. It works similarly to shared hosting since you still share a physical server. However, your files and resources are separate from other websites on the server.

VPS eliminates the main drawback of shared hosting since downtime is less likely to occur from competing for resources. Instead, each website hosted on the server will be allocated a set amount of files.

For this reason, VPS hosting combines many of the best features of shared hosting and dedicated hosting. While the server doesn’t belong to you entirely, it’s a much cheaper alternative that comes close to a dedicated instance.

Typically, you’ll benefit from more control and flexibility with VPS hosting compared to managed hosting plans. Still, fully taking advantage of this solution can require some technical knowledge. Plus, it may also require more time and effort to maintain, and you’ll be solely responsible for managing your site.

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VPS Hosting: Pros & Cons

The Pros of VPS Hosting

While it may not be the right choice for every user, there are many benefits to choosing VPS hosting for your website.


You’ll be in the front seat of running and maintaining your site. This unlocks many possibilities, such as configuring your server to your exact specifications and installing third-party software.


Unlike managed WordPress hosting, you aren’t bound to WordPress. In fact, you can host any kind of application on any system you like.


Rather than discussing what you can do with VPS hosting, it’s easier to talk about what you can’t do (and there isn’t much). You can pretty much achieve anything you want as long as you possess the technical knowledge to configure it.


Managed WordPress hosting takes care of all your security needs. However, if you know what you’re doing, you can enjoy air-tight security with VPS hosting. There will be fewer sites on your server with solid separation, so the risk of cross-infection is significantly reduced.

As a result, VPS hosting is a versatile, flexible hosting option. It’s particularly well-suited to experienced users who can thoroughly enjoy the freedom that it provides.

The Cons of VPS Hosting

Before you get too excited about VPS hosting, it’s vital to consider the main pitfalls of this option:

Challenging for Beginners

VPS hosting generally isn’t a great fit for beginners. In fact, even experienced users might struggle with some of the tasks. For example, you’ll need to be able to administer a server, and build and manage the application you want to host.

Requires More Time

While you might be able to establish your website fairly quickly, certain tasks like website maintenance and security management can require significant time and effort.


Not all of your VPS options will be fully managed. Being solely responsible for your site with no experts to help you out can be daunting.


Renting a VPS can be expensive because providers can’t put as many customers on one server. However, prices differ drastically depending on the setup, bandwidth, and hardware options. While some managed hosting plans might seem pricey, bear in mind that you get access to a ton of additional services and expert support.

This is one of the reasons we offer managed VPS hosting:

VPS hosting

Managed VPS hosting aims to address the main issues of unmanaged hosting. You can rent a VPS server while accessing many other useful services that make this a more manageable and beginner-friendly alternative.

Of course, you can still enjoy blazing performance by configuring your server resources. However, you can also benefit from one-click SSL installation, unlimited domains, and automatic software updates. As a result, you can combine the convenience of managed hosting packages with the freedom that VPS provides.

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VPS vs. Managed WordPress Hosting

Here is a quick overview of the differences between VPS vs. managed WordPress hosting:

 Managed WordPress HostingVPS Hosting
Requires more timeNoYes
Ultimate freedomNoYes
Suitable for WordPressYesYes
Automated featuresYesNo

If you have the technical know-how and don’t mind spending more time and effort on your site, VPS hosting is an excellent choice. What’s more, you can enjoy complete control and flexibility over your site, which makes this setup great for creating custom solutions.

However, for beginners or businesses that don’t have extra time to invest in site management, managed hosting is the simpler option. Plus, you will benefit from additional services and expert support to troubleshoot issues quickly.

Choose the Right Hosting Solution for Your Website

It can be difficult to choose a web hosting solution. However, this process is easier when you know what to look for. While VPS hosting is a great option for users with technical skills, managed WordPress hosting is an excellent choice for beginners.

You can enjoy complete freedom, control, and flexibility with a VPS. However, it can be more demanding being solely responsible for your site. On the other hand, managed WordPress hosting takes care of all the technical aspects of running a website, freeing up time to invest in your business.

At DreamHost, we offer a range of solutions to suit all kinds of users, from managed WordPress hosting to managed VPS hosting. Whichever option you choose, you will enjoy 24/7 support, fast speeds, and unmetered bandwidth. Check out our plans to get started!

Jason is DreamHost’s WordPress Product Advocate, based out of Bakersfield, CA. He is currently working on making our DreamPress product even better. In his free time, he likes to curl up on the couch and watch scary movies with his wife Sarah and three very small dogs. Follow him on Twitter.