Some tech industry insiders will tell you managed WordPress hosting is merely an added cost to avoid, but those same people can probably perform most tasks associated with managing a website in their sleep. That’s simply not the case for many others, and choosing a managed WordPress hosting service can save plenty of time and headaches down the road.
What is managed hosting for WordPress?
What is managed hosting for WordPress? A managed WordPress hosting company has been called a concierge service for web hosting, in which the technical aspects of running WordPress sites are handled by the host.
Even though WordPress offers one of the simplest ways to set up a blog or website, most hosting plans leave the gruntwork to the website owners, who might not have the technical expertise to adequately manage, secure and optimize the speed of their web pages.
By choosing a managed WordPress hosting service, site owners can let the host worry about the performance of their websites while they focus on creating content and marketing their efforts. The managed WordPress host will take care of technical tasks dealing with unmetered traffic, server-side caching, staging environments, daily backups, collabotor options and SSL, to name just a few, while providing technical support.
What are the benefits of managed WordPress hosting?
Managed WordPress hosting offers website owners extra functionality and benefits that make it faster and easier to manage their WordPress sites, while boosting overall speed, performance and security. A small business owner who chooses a managed WordPress hosting service will be rewarded with the following benefits:
Simple site setup and management – When a small business owner chooses a managed hosting service, WordPress is automatically installed with the applicable plugins. The site owner then can manage their website using a dedicated dashboard that focuses on WordPress, as opposed to the cluttered options often available with a generic dashboard used by various platforms.
Enhanced security – Security threats never cease, but how much time does the average small business owner have to dedicate to their WordPress site’s security? Even installing and updating plugins and other security software takes ongoing time and effort. By choosing a managed WordPress hosting package, the host takes care of the site’s security, detecting harmful attacks, removing malware and repairing damage caused by hackers.
Faster loading speeds – Sites hosted by a managed WordPress service provider generally load significantly faster than their competitors since the managed hosting provider utilizes strategically-located data centers around the world. Plus, a managed WorldPress hosting provider will handle the site’s performance optimization to make sure everything is set for optimal speeds at all times.
Simple scalability – The goal of any small business and website is to grow, but what happens when traffic soars? Small business owners using shared hosting will have to upgrade to dedicated servers once they start exceeding their website traffic goals, which can be a costly and time-consuming task. Managed WordPress hosting, however, provides hassle-free scalability without the the time and effort needed for a migration.
Worry-free maintenance – Small business owners save time and money by choosing a managed WordPress hosting service because the host manages their website maintenance, including updates, security and backups. Rather than automatically udpating everything as soon as new themes and plugins are available, a managed WordPress hosting service will update products only when they are tested and stable. Meanwhile, security patches are applied immediately before new forms of malware have a chance to attack. Hosts also automatically backup websites and manage the storage of those backups, saving time and potential disaster without the purchase of additional premium options.
Premium support – While some providers of shared hosting services offer user support, most WordPress users are left to their own devices. By choosing a managed WordPress hosting service, site owners gain access to top-level support to help them efficiently and effectively address any technical issues.
Our Methodology for Choosing the Best Managed WordPress Hosting
When we set out to identify the best managed WordPress hosting options for small business owners, we focus on a blend of performance, support, and value-added features. Here’s how we assess the suitability of these services:
Performance and Uptime (10/10)
For any online business, website uptime is non-negotiable. We rate hosts that offer high-performance hardware, optimized for WordPress, with a track record of near-perfect uptimes highest on our scale.
Customer Support (9/10)
Responsive, knowledgeable customer support is vital. We look for managed WordPress hosting services that provide 24/7 support with a variety of contact methods including live chat, phone, and email.
Security Features (9/10)
Robust security protocols are essential to protect against data breaches and cyber threats. We favor hosts that offer regular backups, malware scanning, and advanced firewall protection.
As your business grows, your hosting needs to grow with you. We seek out hosting options that offer easy scalability so you can upgrade your resources without experiencing downtime.
Ease of Use (8/10)
An intuitive control panel and streamlined processes for managing WordPress installations, plugins, and updates are key for time-strapped entrepreneurs.
Pricing and Value (7/10)
Cost is a significant factor for small businesses. We balance the pricing of hosting services with the features and performance they offer to ensure you’re getting value for your money.
Developer Tools and Extras (7/10)
Additional tools such as staging environments, Git integration, and site migration services are also important, especially for businesses that are developing or iterating their sites continuously.
Ecosystem and Plugins (6/10)
A managed WordPress host that offers a rich ecosystem of themes and plugins adds convenience, ensuring compatibility and potentially reducing costs associated with site design and functionality.
12 Best Managed WordPress Hosting Options
There are so many options when it come to web hosting providers, it’s hard to choose the best provider without making a thorough managed WordPress hosting comparison. Which managed WordPress hosting service is right for your small business website?
To help you decide, we took a closer look at 12 of the best managed WordPress hosting companies:
One of the most popular and best-rated managed WordPress host providers, SiteGround offers the simplicity and flexibility of managed WordPress hosting without the restrictions of traditional managed hosting services. SiteGround is known for fast servers powered by the Google Cloud platform, superior WordPress site security, automatic WordPress updates, free backups, accessible developer tools and 24/7 expert support.
Pricing: Right now, Siteground is offering 73% off its managed WordPress hosting services. Prices range from just $3.99 a month for one website, 10 GB of web space and 10,000 monthly visitors to $10.69 a month for unlimited websites, 40 GB of web space and 400,000 monthly visitors.
2. InMotion Hosting
InMotion offers scalable WordPress hosting solutions to meet the demands of a small business website. InMotion features pre-stalled WordPress for quick and easy setup, free SSL and simple management with its drag-and-drop page builder that is compatible with WordPress themes.
Advanced users enjoy the WordPress Command Line Interface support, which lets them manage their WordPress websites using command lines.
Pricing: The InMotion pricing scheme varies, depending on how long a user subscribes. Users can subscribe on a month-by-month basis for $25.99, which features up to six websites and 200 GB of SSD storage, but they can save when subscribing for one, two or three years. By purchasing a 3-year subscription, InMotion users gain access to managed WordPress hosting plan prices ranging from $5.99 a month for one website and 50 GB of SSD storage to $17.99 a month for up to six websites and 200 GB of SSD storage.
The popular web hosting provider DreamHost DreamPress offers a reliable and proven managed WordPress hosting plan. Sites hosted by DreamPress boast faster than average loading speeds that remain stable with high traffic, and users gain access to a custom control panel and free SSL.
Pricing: The basic DreamPress managed WordPress hosting plan, which is buildt for as many as 100,000 monthly visitors and includes 30 GB of SSD storage, starts at $12 a month. Users can upgrade to plans with more features, such as the DreamPress Pro plan, which is built for as many as 1 million monthly visitors and includes 120 GB of SSD storage, for $71.95 a month.
The trusted hosting service boasts one of the earliest origins, having started in 1996, and it’s now one of the largest managed WordPress hosting companies. Bluehost users enjoy 24/7 expert support, a reliable security firewall, and free domains, SSL and CDN.
Pricing: Bluehost plans include everything needed to start a professional WordPress website, starting at $19.95 a month. All plans include unlimited websites, domains and web storage, and Bluehost plans have no traffic limits.
Plans can be upgraded to as much as $49.95 to include options like PayPayl integration and Blue Sky Chat support.
5. WP Engine
Sites hosted by WP Engine have been called practically hacker-proof, and the managed WordPress hosting company is known for its superior customer service. WP Engine managed WordPress hosting offers automatic security updates, daily backups, automatic caching and one-click restore points. It’s considered an ideal choice for users less comfortable with the technical side of running a small business.
Pricing: WP Engine offers a variety of plans to meet various small business’ needs. Plans range from $20 a month, which supports a single website with 25,000 monthly visitors and includes 10 GB of storage, to $50 a month for managed WordPress hosting that supports three websites with 75,000 monthly visitors and includes 15 GB of storage.
6. Liquid Web
Liquid Web is a trusted leader in the web hosting industry, and the company is known for its superior customer service, which the company calls “heroic support.” Liquid Web’s managed WordPress hosting servers are designed for speed, performance and security, and users enjoy features like automatic updates and an intuitive dashboard.
Pricing: Liquid Web’s managed WordPress hosting plans start at $13.30 a month for three months, then $19 a month thereafter, which supports a single website and includes 14 GB of storage. Plans increase in price with more features up to $149 a month for as many as 25 sites and 100 GB of storage.
A smaller player on the managed WordPress hosting stage, Kinsta is known for its high-quality hosting platform and its highly optimized platform designed specificially for WordPress. Plus, the hosting service supports a large number of visitors, perfect for the automatic scaling of a successful small business.
Pricing: Kinsta’s specialized plans start at $30 a month for managed WordPress hosting service that supports one website with 25,000 monthly visitors and includes 10 GB of disk space. Premium plans are available, ranging from $60 a month, which includes a 30-day money-back-guarantee, to $400 a month for a plan that supports 40 websites with 600,000 monthly visitors and includes 60 GB of disk space.
Namecheap’s managed WordPress hosting services are designed to make it fast and simple to set up a new small business website. Website owners relying on Namecheap enjoy a user-friendly dashboard for easy and efficient website management, superior performance and loading times about three times faster than a standard WordPress site with shared hosting.
Pricing: After a 30-day free trial, Namecheap’s managed WordPress hosting plans start at only $3.88 a month for a first website with as many as 50,000 visitors a month, and it includes 10 GB of SSD storage space. Users can upgrade their plan to support more traffic and include more features like free SSL and CDN, up to $11.88 a month for 500,000 monthly website visitors and 100 GB of SSD storage.
Presslabs features high-performance managed WordPress hosting known for its speed, security and reliability. Designed for website owners with rapid growth in mind, Presslabs hosts clients anticipating high traffic in the near future, and its highly-specialized dashboards feature tools designed for intelligence and smooth development.
Pricing: Presslabs’ premium managed WordPress hosting plans start at $99 a month for as many as 150,000 pageviews, plus an extra 30 cents for each additioanl 1,000 pageviews, and the plan includes 5 GB of storage. For $599 a month, web publishers can access managed WordPress hosting service that supports as many as 1 million pageviews plus 10 cents for each additional 1,000 page views. That plan also features 100 GB of storage.
10. WordPress VIP
WordPress VIP is as full managed cloud platform that offers users expert guidance, 24/7 support and expert code review. WordPress VIP customers just send their code to the VIP team, which reviews every line and alerts the user of any issues. VIP also employs engineers to watch for and proactively correct any issues on the customers’ behalf. Standard plans include CDN, hourly backups, security patches, managed infrastructure, domain management and more.
Pricing: Standard WordPress VIP plans start at $2,000 a month, although costs vary based on factors like anticipated monthly traffic, number of applications and service level agreements. Customers should contact WordPress VIP to get a specific quote for their enterprise.
The managed WordPress hosting provider offers a range of reasonably-priced hosting options. HostGator’s website builder features a user-friendly drag-and-drop feature and offers a variety of themes.
Sites hosted by HostGator boast load times as much as 2.5 times faster than similar shared hosting sites, and customers gain access to a cloud-based interface where they can manage their backups, access all their email accounts and allocate server bandwidtch, along with other hosting options.
Pricing: Now discounted by more than 60%, HostGator’s managed WordPress hosting plans range just $2.64 a month, which supports a single website, to $5.08 a month, which supports unlimited websites and includes added upgrades and features like dedicated IP and free SEO tools.
Flywheel’s managed WordPress hosting service is known for the speed of its servers, and its customers enjoy specialized project management and team collaboration tools. Flywheel also offers its managed WordPress hosting customers features like 24/7 live chat service, free SSL, CDN, caching, staging environments and assisted migrations.
Pricing: Flywheel’s managed WordPress hosting plans start at $15 a month to support 1 WordPress site with 5,000 monthly visitors, and it includes 5 GB of storage. Plans increase with additional traffic and features to $200 a month for up to 30 sites and 400,000 monthly visitors with 50 GB of storage. Customers can save by purchasing their plans on an annual basis.
Summary of the Best Managed WordPress Hosting Options
Hosting ServiceMonthly PricingMonthly VisitorsStorageSpecial Features
SiteGround$3.99 – $10.6910,000 – 400,00010 GB – 40 GBGoogle Cloud servers, 24/7 support, free backups
InMotion Hosting$5.99 – $17.99-50 GB – 200 GBFree SSL, WordPress CLI support
DreamPress$12 – $71.95100,000 – 1M30 GB – 120 GBFast loading, free SSL
Bluehost$19.95 – $49.95-UnlimitedFree domain, SSL, CDN
WP Engine$20 – $5025,000 – 75,00010 GB – 15 GBDaily backups, automatic caching
Liquid Web$13.30 – $149-14 GB – 100 GBHeroic support, optimized dashboard
Kinsta$30 – $40025,000 – 600,00010 GB – 60 GBOptimized for WordPress, money-back guarantee
Namecheap$3.88 – $11.8850,000 – 500,00010 GB – 100 GBUser-friendly, 3x faster loading
Presslabs$99 – $599Up to 1M pageviews5 GB – 100 GBHigh-performance, specialized tools
WordPress VIPContact for quote–Expert code review, proactive support
HostGator$2.64 – $5.08–Fast load times, cloud interface
Flywheel$15 – $2005,000 – 400,0005 GB – 50 GBProject management tools, live chat service
Note: The “-” indicates unspecified or varying options that depend on the specific plan or customer requirements. For accurate and current information, it’s recommended to visit each provider’s website, as prices and offerings may change over time.
Managed WordPress hosting acts as a concierge service, handling the technical operation of running WordPress sites so that site owners can focus on content creation and marketing. It’s the perfect blend of convenience, performance, and support designed to alleviate the technical burdens from website owners.
After evaluating numerous services, here are five key takeaways to consider when choosing the best managed WordPress hosting for your business:
Performance and Uptime: The foundation of a good hosting service lies in its performance and reliability. A managed WordPress host should provide optimized hardware and technology specifically for WordPress with a track record of near-perfect uptimes.
Expert Support: Access to knowledgeable and responsive customer support is invaluable. Look for services that offer round-the-clock support, ideally with multiple contact methods including live chat, phone, and email.
Enhanced Security: Cybersecurity is a growing concern. The best managed hosting services will proactively handle your site’s security with regular backups, malware scanning, and advanced firewall protection.
Ease of Scaling: Your hosting should grow with your business. Opt for providers that make it easy to upgrade your service plan without downtime or service interruptions.
Comprehensive Management: Choose a hosting service that takes care of all aspects of website management including updates, maintenance, and backups, allowing you to focus on running your business.
Each managed WordPress hosting provider offers unique features and pricing structures. It’s essential to weigh these against your business needs to find the most suitable option.
Remember, the best choice will offer a harmonious balance of performance, support, and value-added features, tailored to your specific requirements.
Some of the best-managed WordPress hosting options on this list will help optimize your WordPress site or blog to keep your online presence running.Read MoreTechnology Trends, WordPressSmall Business Trends