If you’re building a new website, you want to keep the costs down while making sure that you end up with an easy to use, reliable website that’s a delight for visitors. One of the many budget decisions ahead of you is whether you need managed WordPress hosting, or can make do with regular, unmanaged hosting?
It’s true that managed WordPress hosting costs more, but it could be worth the extra dollars each month. It’s a tricky choice to make, so here are some things to bear in mind to help you make an informed decision.
Essentially, when you use non-managed, “regular” hosting for your WordPress website, the host is only responsible for maintaining the server that you use. The server is like your website’s physical home, and the host makes sure that it’s always in good working order.
But that’s as far as the host would go. When it comes to your site’s performance, security, and operating conditions, it’s all on your shoulders. Updating WordPress core, plugins, and themes; ensuring the site is backed up daily; scanning for security risks; and other routine website maintenance tasks are all your responsibility.
In contrast, managed WordPress hosting means that the host’s experts take care of all these obligations, as well as other issues that affect the technical well-being of your site. A managed WordPress host also helps create staging sites so you can test out new website ideas before they go live, enable smooth website migration, and carry out ongoing tweaks and refinements to make sure that your site is always operating at peak speed and performance.
It’s important to understand that managed WordPress hosting isn’t the same as using a virtual private server (VPS), also known as private WordPress hosting. Shared hosting means that the server which hosts your site is also home to other websites - probably hundreds of them.
Shared hosting costs less than private hosting, but the flip side is that your site has to share resources. If another site on the same server sees its traffic spike, it can cause your site to load more slowly. Similarly, once hackers penetrate one site, it’s much easier for them to move on to the other sites that share the same server.
Using a VPS means that your website gets its own exclusive space on the server. It doesn’t actually have a whole server to itself, but it’s separated from the other sites on the server (that’s why it’s called a virtual private server). If you really want your own private server without any other websites on it, you’re talking about a dedicated hosting plan.
Whether you’re using shared or private hosting, you’ll find that managed WordPress hosting is still valuable to protect your site security, ensure site performance and speed, and maintain your site on an ongoing basis.
It’s true that managed WordPress hosting costs more than unmanaged hosting, so if you're seriously counting your pennies you’re probably wondering whether you can get away with the lower-cost option.
We can’t make the decision for you, but we can tell you who would be better able to cope without expert managed WordPress hosting in their corner.
Business owners who are also techies
You need a certain level of technical knowledge to manage a WordPress site. You need to know how to migrate WordPress sites and create staging sites, what to do if there’s a security issue, and how to keep your site at peak performance.
Business owners with time on their hands
Managing a WordPress website doesn’t just require technical knowledge. You also need to have enough time to stay on top of every update, run backups every day, and drop everything to respond when your site goes down or slows down. Do most business owners have that kind of time to spare?
Small businesses with an in-house WordPress expert
Some businesses already have a tech expert in-house, one who has the time to maintain their WordPress site as well as taking care of the business network and dealing with other cybersecurity issues, and is knowledgeable about WordPress maintenance. If you’ve got someone like that on your staff, congratulations, you’ve won the lottery.
Website owners that don’t need a reliable, high-performance site
Managed WordPress hosting means that your website has higher uptime and faster page loads, so that you don’t lose out on customers because your website is down or the site takes too long to load. If that’s not important for your business, you might be able to get by without managed hosting.
If you’ve decided that managed WordPress hosting is worth it for your business, the next step is to choose a company to provide it. Here are some of the things to look for during your search:
We hope we managed to explain why you need managed WordPress hosting. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about managed WordPress hosting services, or any WordPress question at all!