Websites are an individual's or a company's online business card, as well as being the most important marketing tool at your disposal. A website's quality and its performance can be the deciding factor for a customer, who will either do business with you or not based on your site: so it pays to get websites right.
While you can enlist the best website builders (opens in new tab) and utilize the best web hosting (opens in new tab) services, the other option many businesses use is WordPress (opens in new tab), where they can create and host a site using the best WordPress hosting (opens in new tab) providers, or utilize its CMS for enterprise content management (opens in new tab).
However, if not given the right levels of care and attention, a WordPress website can degenerate to being slow, buggy, and insecure. To keep a WordPress site running smoothly can take a lot of time and effort, but managed WordPress hosting is a specific type of web hosting that does this for you, meaning you have time to focus on your business.
Here, we'll take a look at some advantages of managed vs unmanaged hosting (opens in new tab), with a particular focus on managed WordPress hosting.
What is managed WordPress hosting?
Let’s break down the concept of managed WordPress hosting into its composite parts.
Web hosting refers to storing a website on a publicly-accessible computer server, so that anyone can visit it using a web browser. You rent some server space, upload your website, and point your domain name to it. This is also known as unmanaged hosting, as you’ll handle all of the maintenance, security, and backups yourself.
Managed hosting is the next step up, and means the web hosting company will perform some of the day-to-day duties for you. The provider will take an active role in securing your server, updating software, taking backups, and making performance tweaks.
Managed WordPress hosting (opens in new tab) is a specific type of managed hosting that focuses on WordPress websites. On top of handling day-to-day server management tasks, a managed WordPress hosting service takes care of administering and optimizing your WordPress software. You don’t have to worry about any of the underlying nuts and bolts and can instead focus on providing great content for your visitors.
The top seven benefits of managed WordPress hosting
Managed hosting clearly has several benefits. Let’s look at some of the reasons you might choose managed WordPress hosting over unmanaged hosting.
Certainly, the most noticeable benefit of managed hosting is how simpler your life is if you choose it over an unmanaged solution. If you have an existing website, the support team will help migrate your website across to your new host.
Managed WordPress hosting is particularly useful for beginners. Setting up an entire website on an unmanaged hosting environment is too complicated for people without existing experience in the field, and you’ll spend days or weeks trying to get up to speed on how to control and manage everything.
As technical challenges are handled by the web host, you can do more with your web hosting. For example, you could run several websites targeting different customers without having to think about how it all works under the hood, because the managed WordPress hosting company will take care of the details for you.
Modern internet users do not tolerate slow websites. If a web page takes longer than a few seconds to load, visitors will head elsewhere with their business. It’s bad enough you’ll lose their custom, but Google will also interpret the visitors’ actions as disapproval of your website, downgrading your website in search engine results.
So, you should always be taking pains to make sure your website is running as quickly as possible. If you’re managing your own website, you have a mountain of things to do to keep your website running quickly. You’ll need to ensure the server configuration is sound, there’s a caching solution in place, and that your website is free of superfluous code, plugins, and images.
Managed WordPress hosting takes care of this for you, keeping your WordPress site running fast at all times.
If you choose managed WordPress hosting, you’ll have a team of technical experts at your beck and call. Many managed hosting companies have 24/7 support and can be contacted through email, phone, and live chat.
Unmanaged hosting typically has much weaker support, and it's certainly less personalized. You’re expected to fix most issues on your own, with the hosting company setting limitations on what they’ll help with and what they won’t. If you don’t come from a technical background, managed hosting, specifically for WordPress, makes much more sense.
4. Additional services
Besides giving you increased support, managed WordPress hosting will offer a range of extra services that make your website run more smoothly. For example, most managed hosting companies will handle your backups and software updates for you.
Managed WordPress hosting will update your sites, maintain your file caching system, and perform a range of administrative tasks that keep your WordPress site secure and performing well. Without managed hosting, your in-house team will have to spend their precious time on these mundane but important tasks.
5. Increased security
Attackers are constantly trying to compromise the security of websites to access private customer information or to use the website as a launching point for further attacks. Keeping your website up to date and patching any potential security holes is a full-time job, and it's worth knowing how your web hosting impacts security (opens in new tab).
Managed hosting greatly simplifies this task, as the web host will implement a security strategy for you. They’ll make sure there are preventative measures in place, monitor your website for any suspicious activity, and be ready to restore your website from a recent backup if a significant breach were to occur.
One of the most important web hosting considerations is scalability. Many business websites have relatively low traffic throughout the year, but experience huge spikes of visitors around holidays or during sales events. A web hosting service that runs fine when you have few visitors but crashes when you’re busy is completely useless.
Massive surges in traffic are hard to handle on your own. Managed hosting takes the problem off your hands, as the website host will respond to any traffic surge by allocating more resources to your website. Managed WordPress hosting usually includes a service where your popular pages and files are cached automatically, so that the stress on your WordPress database is reduced.
Good managed hosting companies have the staff and infrastructure to take care of any expected or unexpected surges in traffic promptly and effectively.
7. More value for your money
Companies on a budget often gravitate towards unmanaged hosting as they assume managed hosting is expensive. In fact, managed hosting is almost on a par with unmanaged hosting in price, with some managed hosting packages costing less than $10 a month.
Considering the enormous amount of extra value you get from managed WordPress hosting, it’s now a really compelling choice.
Managed hosting can save you a headache
Managed WordPress hosting doesn’t require technical know-how, and saves you from having to worry about cyber-attacks, bugs, crashes, and a whole heap of potential performance issues that can tank your website. Managed hosting generally doesn’t cost much more than unmanaged hosting, and offers you peace of mind.
Choose managed WordPress hosting for a faster website that can easily scale when you experience traffic spikes. Save yourself from having to worry about the minutiae of running a website, by opting for a hosting solution that takes care of it for you.
Further reading on WordPress, web hosting, and website builders
When it comes to WordPress hosting (opens in new tab), identify a chosen host in our roundup of the best WordPress hosting (opens in new tab); discover the differences between web hosting vs WordPress hosting (opens in new tab); and learn more about managed WordPress hosting (opens in new tab).
For hosting in general, understand how your web hosting impacts security (opens in new tab), how to avoid common hosting mistakes (opens in new tab), domain privacy (opens in new tab), and how hosting can affect SEO (opens in new tab).
With website builders, some of the best WordPress website builders (opens in new tab) rank among the best website builders (opens in new tab). It's worth learning how to build a website with WordPress (opens in new tab), discovering the biggest WordPress website mistakes, and how to fix them (opens in new tab), and how the CMS compares in our feature pitting WordPress vs Wix vs Squarespace (opens in new tab).