What Is Managed WordPress Hosting?
If you want the best hosting for your WordPress website, look no further than a managed plan. In this guide, we’ll explain what managed WordPress hosting is and if it could be a good fit for your website.
If you're building a WordPress website for the first time, it can be difficult to know what kind of web hosting plan you should use. Every provider claims their service the best, and they all offer different types of plans. Two of the most popular options for WordPress users are shared and managed hosting and your choice between them is critical to your site's success.
To put it in perspective, not all hosting plans (and providers) are made equal. Some of them are faster, safer, and include more features. If you want to have the best possible experience, you'll probably want to go with managed hosting since these plans come with more bells, whistles, and security features than a basic shared plan.
In this article, we'll talk more about what managed WordPress hosting is and who should consider using it. Then we'll introduce you to our managed WordPress hosting plans, and help you pick the right one. Let's get started!
An Introduction to Managed WordPress Hosting
When you sign up with a regular hosting company, you often get access to an account dashboard, and that's it. What you do with your server space is entirely up to you. If your website slows down or you run into an error, you’ll need to fix it. Of course, you can rely on your provider’s support team to help you, but with managed hosting, you’ll likely never run into some common problems in the first place. So let's discuss the upsides of managed hosting:
- Better performance. Managed WordPress hosting services strive to optimize every website they host so it runs as quickly as possible on the platform. That doesn't mean you can upload hundreds of unoptimized images to a page and still expect it to load fast, though. It just means your server is fine-tuned to run quickly.
- Increased security. This type of provider usually makes a point of keeping all of the software in your server up to date, which helps a lot with security vulnerabilities. In the case of WordPress, managed hosts will always update you to the latest version and sometimes even block unsafe plugins.
- More specialized support teams. With managed WordPress hosting, you can expect to talk to people who know the platform well. This means they can help you solve problems more efficiently.
- Access to WordPress-specific features. A lot of these services provide features specific to WordPress users. For example, you may get complimentary access to premium plugins, site builders, and more.
It's important to understand that managed WordPress hosting is all about providing you with a better experience. You can still run a successful website using a traditional hosting plan, but the ride might not be as smooth.
Who Should (And Shouldn't) Consider Using Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting services are a fantastic option if you want an experience that just works. You might still run into performance or security issues, of course, but they're far rarer when your provider is at the server’s helm.
However, one potential downside is that managed WordPress hosting also happens to be more expensive than other plans. For example, you can find shared hosting plans starting around (or below) the $5 mark. Managed hosting, on the other hand, usually begins in the $10–20 range. To be fair, that's a pretty good bargain when you consider the features managed hosting includes.
With that in mind, let's talk about who should consider using this particular service:
- You don't like performing maintenance tasks. A lot of managed services take care of tasks such as automating your backups, keeping track of analytics for your site, and updating WordPress core and its plugins. All of these tasks are important for modern websites, but not everyone likes staying on top of them. If you fall into that category, consider using a managed hosting provider.
- You have a decent hosting budget. If you can afford to spend $10–20 (or more) on hosting per month without it becoming a burden, a managed service may be ideal. Do remember to shop around, though, since prices can vary wildly between providers.
- If you want support from WordPress specialists. Most top web hosts employ capable support staff. However, not all of them know WordPress well enough to help you if you run into complex issues. Managed WordPress hosts, on the other hand, can afford to bring on specialists to keep their clientele happy.
- You run a website that makes you money. If you intend to run an online store or any other type of income-generating site, managed hosting makes sense. It tends to offer a better experience than its counterparts, and your earnings should more than balance out hosting costs.
So far, we've only talked about who should consider using managed hosting, so let's look at the other side of the coin. Managed services are excellent, but they’re not necessary for all websites. If you're the kind of person who doesn't mind optimizing your site or carrying out menial tasks, the host you choose will be less of a concern.
Likewise, if you want to run a modest website (such as a small, personal blog or portfolio), shared hosting should be more than enough to handle it. You'll save money in the long run, and you can always upgrade your plan (or migrate to a managed host) down the road.
Why You Should Consider Using DreamHost's Managed WordPress Hosting Plans
DreamHost offers plans for all types of websites — shared hosting, Virtual Private Servers (VPS), and dedicated plans. When it comes to managed WordPress services, however, we offer three DreamPress plans that can handle almost anything you throw at them. Plus, they provide a lot of extra features, including around-the-clock support and concierge services in some cases.
What’s more, all of our DreamPress plans come with the platform pre-installed. This includes a selection of themes and plugins that can benefit most websites, all set up in advance so you can start working on content right away. Our managed plans also enable you to use the WordPress Command Line (WP-CLI).
To summarise each plan:
- DreamPress Basic ($16.95): This plan supports one website, provides you with 10 GB of storage, and comes with the free version of Jetpack pre-installed.
- DreamPress Plus ($24.95): Our medium tier supports a single website, up to 50 GB of storage, and comes with the professional version of Jetpack (including VaultPress). It also enables you to call our concierge support service up to three times per month.
- DreamPress Advanced ($35.95): With this plan, you can host up to three websites with 80 GB of storage. You also get Jetpack's professional version (including VaultPress) and up to five calls to our concierge support service.
In most cases, managed WordPress hosting offers more features than shared plans. You get top-notch performance, increased security, and support specialists who are well-versed in WordPress. As you might expect, all these upsides come with a higher price tag, but if you want a worry-free experience, managed hosting is worth the investment. As far as our own plans go, we offer DreamPress, three tiers of managed WordPress hosting, for all types of websites.