Is Managed WordPress Hosting Worth the Extra Cost?
As the popularity of WordPress blogs and websites increases so does the range of hosting services available. This article compares unmanaged aka shared WordPress hosting versus managed WordPress hosting services and discusses whether a managed service might provide you with more value despite the slightly higher cost.
Unmanaged/Shared Hosting V Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting offers WordPress users a virtual support team of WordPress experts that maintain your WordPress site through regular updates, virus scans and daily backups.
Unmanaged WordPress hosting, aka shared hosting, offers WordPress users part of a shared server to house their WordPress site on. They offer features such as email accounts, FTP accounts and storage space but don’t take care of WordPress maintenance.
Time – Unmanaged V Managed Hosting
WordPress sites require regular and ongoing maintenance – it’s a fact! This includes everything from implementing updates and taking site backups to undertaking security checks and it should all be carried out on a regular basis to keep your website fast and secure.
Another common occurrence with WordPress sites is hacking;. WordPress is powered by open source scripts and plugins and so if your WordPress plugins or themes are left outdated it can leave your site accessible to opportunistic hackers.
In our experience, many unmanaged service providers won’t fix the hacking issue for their customers and will sometimes not even notify you when the problems arise. You will be responsible for finding the source of the hack, repairing it and restoring your site – or paying someone to do it for you.
All of these are a necessity for a fully optimised WordPress site, but do you have the time and skills to fix an issue when it arises?
If the answer is no, then you may find more value with a dedicated and Managed WordPress hosting solution.
Quality – Customer Service & Technology
The quality of a host’s customer service and technology should be a significant deciding factor when it comes to choosing between managed or unmanaged hosting.
Managed Hosting providers consider that their server technology and the quality of the technical support offered is imperative for keeping their clients happy.
Unmanaged hosting is often just standard shared hosting optimised for WordPress; this means that the server and resources are not on the same level as a more premium service. Due to the high volumes of customers, you may also experience long waiting periods for technical support.
So, ask yourself, do I spend a lot of time on the phone to my host or chasing ticket responses? If the answer is yes, it might be time to move to a managed WordPress hosting provider.
When comparing hosting packages, the price is often a significant consideration. With dedicated WordPress hosting packages expanding at a rapid rate, many large hosting companies pull their customers in with enticing headline offers starting from only a few pounds per month!
Unmanaged or shared hosting at a low price can often seem like a very tempting option but, it brings into question what do clients get for such a low price?
One of the most apparent differences between unmanaged and managed hosting packages is the price.
Managed hosting services can cost ten times the amount of the cheapest unmanaged services. Managed WordPress Hosting costs on average £8.00 per month compared to a mere £1.00 per month for unmanaged/shared hosting.
Unfortunately, it is our personal experience that these initial offers soon leave customers feeling cheated as clients often end up spending more money on scaling up or adding extras to meet their requirements and receive little in the way of customer support.
Making a Hosting Decision – Unmanaged or Managed WordPress Hosting
Ultimately, deciding on a hosting provider comes down to which two of the three aspects are more important to you – time, quality or cost?
Consider the following:
1. Do you anticipate large volumes or growth in traffic? If the answer is yes, then it’s essential to consider the impact of higher traffic volumes on server speeds.
A shared server can become slow and unresponsive, causing frustration for your visitors and the additional costs per month for a Managed WordPress Hosting solution is probably warranted.
2. Do you spend a great deal of time fixing issues or chasing responses to your technical queries? Unfortunately, many unmanaged/shared hosting providers operate a low cost, high volume business model and this often means they deal with high levels of customer support and limit the availability and technical input that they offer.
If you are frustrated with this, we strongly advise shopping around managed WordPress providers to find a better solution.
3. Have you experienced security breaches? WordPress is extremely popular, but it is open to vulnerabilities. Over the years we have experienced many customers coming to us in sheer frustration at the lack of support offered by their existing hosting provider.
If you don’t have the time to maintain your WordPress site on a regular basis, then a Managed solution is advised.
Avoid unnecessary costs and time wasting with regular updates and premium server technology and Firewalls.
With premium options such as Managed WordPress hosting, the hope is that you get a higher quality of service and you will have more time to focus on other aspects of your website and business.
For peace of mind that your site is being hosted on quality server technology and managed by WordPress experts, then we would recommend a Managed WordPress hosting solution.
However, if you require a quick fix, low-cost solution or have the time and technical knowledge to run and maintain your WordPress site yourself, then an unmanaged/Shared Hosting package may be for you.
If you have any questions about whether a Managed WordPress Hosting service is for you, you’re welcome to ask one of our WordPress experts.
You can read our blog post to learn more about the many options for hosting available for WordPress sites.