There’s no shortage of options when it comes to WordPress hosting. However, the biggest decision for many is the choice between unmanaged and managed WordPress hosting. The latter is often more expensive – so you need to understand what you’ll potentially get for your money.
The fact is, managed hosting comes with a lot of benefits. For example, most managed WordPress hosts will take care of backups for you, as well as keeping your site running in tip-top shape. These perks (among others) are often enough to opt for managed hosting.
In this article, we’re going to break down the major differences between managed and unmanaged WordPress hosting. Then, we’ll go over five key benefits you get from managed services, to help you decide if they’re a good fit. Let’s talk hosting!
Unmanaged and Managed WordPress Hosting: A Quick Comparison
Looking for a suitable hosting provider in the current climate is pretty great. You can find outstanding plans for little outlay, and many providers offer all sorts of perks to get you to sign up.
For example, unmanaged hosts usually offer a boatload of storage and ‘unlimited’ bandwidth, even with shared plans. Others will throw in free domains, automated WordPress setup, round-the-clock support, and more.
Much like any plan, if you choose a good provider, unmanaged hosting can offer amazing value. However, there’s much more value by opting for managed WordPress hosting. For example, managed providers like Kinsta optimize their entire infrastructure exclusively for WordPress. Fine-tuned servers, WordPress optimized caching and database all help to achieve better performance.
In a nutshell, managed WordPress hosting is all about simplifying your workflow, by letting the experts take control of business-critical elements. However, managed hosting can be more expensive. Next, let’s discuss how the positives and subjective negatives combine!
5 Key Benefits of Managed WordPress Hosting
While this section will focus on the general benefits of managed WordPress hosting, chances are that the higher the service’s reputation, the more benefits you’ll enjoy. Let’s start with a broad perk!
1. You Don’t Have to Worry About Day-to-Day Website Maintenance
Running a website is more than just uploading new content and dealing with visitors. For example, you need to make sure your plugins and themes are up to date, backup your site occasionally, and much more besides.
Generally speaking, WordPress enables you to easily take care of site maintenance tasks. However, while each task is minimal, combined they can become a time-sink. One of the primary advantages of managed WordPress hosting is they often take care of these basic maintenance tasks for you.
In practice, this means you’ll get more time to focus on other critical tasks. What’s more, if you currently utilize third-party site maintenance, you could even save money here too!
2. You Get Access to Expert Level WordPress Support
WordPress is by far the most popular Content Management System (CMS) available. This means most reputable web hosts are used to the platform’s quirks and troubleshooting processes.
However, there’s a difference between being acquainted with WordPress and being an expert with the platform. Ideally, you want whoever’s providing you with support to fall into the latter category. WordPress experts are able to troubleshoot issues faster, provide WordPress-specific advice, and generally make your life easier all-around.
Finding this level of technical support is much more common if you opt for a managed WordPress web host. After all, you often pay a bit more than the alternatives, but the cost translates to overall better service.
3. Managed Hosting Offers Better Website Security Out of the Box
WordPress’ popularity is a double-edged sword in some aspects. For example, while the platform is inherently secure, it’s also a prime target for attacks, mainly due to user error (such as forgetting to update WordPress’ core, themes, and plugins). As such, there are many sites vulnerable to security breaches.
Most web hosts take some steps to protect you from attacks. However, managed WordPress hosting often goes a step further. In most cases, you’ll get automatic WordPress, plugin, and theme updates. You also get free Secure Socket Layers (SSL) certificates and setup (in some cases). This is vital for ‘encrypting’ your user’s data, and keeping it out of hackers’ hands.
Finally, automated backups represent a solid ‘reset’ in case the very worst happens. As such, the quality of backups provided by a managed WordPress host is closely aligned with their quality of service.
4. You Get Better Performance for Your Website
If you want your website to succeed, performance is essential. In other words, your pages need to load quickly – both the back- and front-ends.
There are myriad elements that can impact your site’s performance. However, your choice of web host and plan play a significant role. With managed WordPress hosting, you often get a far better performance across the board.
This increase in performance is partly due to better infrastructure, but it’s also because managed hosts often integrate your website with a Content Delivery Network (CDN), use caching plugins, and much more. In other words, they configure WordPress so you get great performance from the moment you set up shop.
5. You Get More Time to Focus on Content Creation
Overall, the biggest benefit of using managed WordPress hosting is the greater control you get over your time. Opting for an unmanaged plan can see you spending a lot of time taking care of maintenance, website optimization, security, and more.
Admittedly, managed hosting can sometimes be more expensive than other plans. However, the time you receive in return could repay that cost manifold.
For example, you can use the extra time to focus on improving your website’s quality and increase your content output. This should let you grow at a faster rate, and offset the cost of using managed hosting.
Managed WordPress hosting offers a lot of perks that other services – especially unmanaged ones – can’t provide. For example, you may get access to one-click staging website functionality and daily backups. Plus, the support provided tends to be of a better quality too.
Let’s recap five of the top benefits of managed WordPress hosting:
- Day-to-day website maintenance is ‘outsourced’ to your host.
- You get access to expert-level WordPress support.
- Managed hosting offers better website security out of the box.
- Performance improvements are usually an inherent aspect.
- You get more time to focus on content creation.
Do you have any questions about whether to opt for managed or unmanaged WordPress hosting? Ask away in the comments section below!
Will Morris is a staff writer at WordCandy. When he’s not writing about WordPress, he likes to gig his stand-up comedy routine on the local circuit.