Posted on September 12, 2016
If you are looking for a good WordPress hosting platform, the main requirement is secure and fast-loading websites. We will look specifically at handpicked selection of robust managed WordPress hosting solutions.
Specialized WordPress hosts are often at a higher cost than your basic shared hosts – however, they provide premium features, and are optimized specifically for WordPress. We recommend using a managed host for your business, and there are several good managed hosts out there to choose from.
In this article, we’ll review and compare the top managed WordPress hosts (including their features and pricing) to help you make an informed decision.
What Is Managed WordPress Hosting?
WordPress now powers 28% of all websites. Due to the popularity of WordPress, many web hosting companies are now specialising in WordPress and offer managed WordPress hosting. They look after all the technical aspects of hosting which offers a hassle-free user experience- so they can focus on their business.
In case of managed WordPress hosting, the host provides premium support to the customers and they also look after security, speed, WP updates, daily backups, website uptime and scalability. The support is provided by the experts who have years of experience instead of someone just reading the manual.
How Managed WordPress Hosting differs from Shared Hosting ?
Standard shared hosting is the cheapest means of hosting a website – with this method, hundreds or thousands of hosting accounts are placed on the same server. This limits the speed, scalability, and security of your website because server resources are shared between all of the accounts.
With shared hosting, servers are optimized to provide the most common needs of websites, regardless of which Content Management System (CMS) powers them. Support provided is very generalized, with CMS-specific issues often being referred out to the respective support forums.
Pros and Cons of Managed WordPress Hosting
Advantages of Managed WordPress Hosting
- Speed: Managed WordPress Hosting servers are specifically configured for WordPress. As a result, they are blazing fast for any amount of traffic.
- Security: The tight security layer provided by managed hosts makes sure to block the hacking attempts and actively scans for malware.
- Premium Support: Expert support is provided by people who have relevant experience in the field. You can count on them to solve problem faster and they also advice against using plugins which can affect performance.
- Daily Backups: Best managed WordPress hosts provide daily backups and offer restore points in case if required.
- Automatic Updates: Updates are automatic so the user doesn’t need to worry for them.
- No Downtime: Managed hosting solutions are able to cope with the high amount of traffic and your website will probably never go down.
- Developer Tools: Depending on host to host, services like Staging area and Version Control etc. are provided.
Disadvantages of Managed WordPress Hosting
- Price: Managed WordPress hosting is for business websites, or for professional or serious bloggers. The average plan starts from $30 and can go upto several hundred dollars per month. The basic package allows a certain number of visitors per month to your website. If the visitors increase, you have to shell out extra money and increase the “limit” by upgrading to package which allows more visitors.For a high-traffic site, the price can go upto hundreds of dollars/month.
- Less Control: You have less control as technical aspects of your website are taken care of by the hosting providers. It doesn’t mean you can’t add new stuff on your dashboard; you will be able to do all the stuff except the updates. The updates and Cache plugins will be taken care of by the managed hosting providers.
You are probably wondering, why do I need Managed Hosting Solutions and why should I spend so much.
When do you need Managed WordPress Hosting ?
If you are a beginner starting a blog, then there is NO NEED for spending the money on managed hosting.
You can start out with many web hosting solutions available. I recommend Bluehost which is also the official WordPress hosting providers.
But if you are a small or medium sized business or a website which receives high traffic, then it is advisable to opt for Managed WordPress Hosting. Everything from automatic updates, daily backups, security will be done for you. And you will be able to spend more time on your business.
The Top Managed WordPress Hosts Compared
Managed hosting – especially managed WordPress hosting – is a growing market. Each year we see new hosts joining the market, which does make your decision process harder. We’ve had to keep our list manageable, so couldn’t compare all managed WordPress hosts out there – it means your favorite may not have made the list.
We created our list of the top managed WordPress hosts based on a number of factors, taking into account their industry reputation, presence, and their rating by industry insiders. Here’s our top ten – not listed in any particular order.
WP Engine is one of the best known and highest rated managed WordPress hosts around. Current figures have them serving over 30,000 customers all around the world. They are definitely one of the pricier managed WordPress hosting options, with their lowest plan starting at $29 per month, but they focus on fast loading times, secure servers, and great support.
It comes with EverCache, so no external caching plugins are needed, and regular scans for hacking attempts keep your site safe and secure.
- One-click backup and restore, as well as automated daily backups.
- 24/7 technical support from on-site WordPress experts.
- Malware scans and firewalls to protect your data.
- Proprietary caching technology for scalability and speed.
- Easy-to-use staging area for testing.
The best WPEngine feature is Staging Sites.
A staging site is an independent clone of your live production site that can be easily created to test plugins, themes, and custom code. You can also copy the staging site back to the live site at any time after making changes. Each WordPress install at WP Engine can have its own staging site.
Professional developers can also deploy to their servers using Git push.
Note: WP Engine now offers billing transfer to clients. And they have also announced free Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates on all accounts.
Price: From $29 per month | More Information
SiteGround stands out in the hosting world by offering premium WordPress hosting features at shared hosting pricing. With their lowest plan starting at $3.95 per month, they are among the cheapest managed options. The full range of managed features requires a higher priced plan, but you can access WordPress automatic updates, daily backups, isolated accounts, and anti-hack systems on even their cheapest plans.
- Built-in WordPress auto-installer for easy setup.
- Automatic updates to WordPress core files and plugins.
- SuperCacher to improve site performance.
- Staging sites for testing (on their GoGeek plan).
- 24/7 WordPress expert support.
Note: SiteGround offers free SSL Certificates via Let’s Encrypt (install via cPanel in your account). Also comes with Git, WP-CLI pre-installed, and offers WordPress migration for no added cost.
SiteGround partners with Cloudflare to bring their customers enhanced speed and security., if you want to use MaxCDN, you will have to use a third-party plugin such as W3 Total Cache or WP Total Cache plugin.
Price: From $3.95 per month | More Information
3. Media Temple
Known more for their shared and cloud hosting, Media Temple jumped onto the managed WordPress hosting bandwagon with a bang. With their lowest plan starting at $20 per month, Media Temple is not a budget provider. However, they provide a solid set of managed hosting features including WordPress core updates, automatic daily backups, and 24/7 uptime monitoring.
- Automatic WordPress core updates.
- Automated daily backups.
- One-click site staging and site cloning.
- Load-balanced, SSD servers with multiple caching layers.
- Certified WordPress support technicians providing round-the-clock support.
- Exclusive Media Temple-designed themes.
Price: From $20 per month | More Information
Pagely sets itself apart by focusing on offering managed WordPress hosting built on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Developed for Amazon’s sprawling online empire, AWS is nothing if not scalable. Pagely’s fully managed services offer performance at scale, with plans starting at $99 per month. For that, you get automated updates and backups, built-in caching, and top-notch site security.
- Automatic WordPress core and plugin updates.
- Automated daily backups.
- Global CDN for faster loading.
- Included cache and DNS services.
Price: From $99 per month | More Information
5. Liquid Web
Liquid Web had already established itself in the cloud and dedicated server hosting world, before joining the managed WordPress hosting market. As owners of their own data centers, Liquid Web promises both performance and superior support for your WordPress websites on their fully managed Virtual Private Servers (VPS). With plans starting at $89 per month, you get access to the standard managed WordPress hosting features.
- Automatic core and plugin updates.
- Automated snapshot backups.
- Built-in custom CDN for faster load times.
- Optimized SSD storage.
Price: From $89 per month | More Information
Synthesis is the product of some of the most successful WordPress minds around. The folks over at StudioPress, creators of the Genesis framework, saw room in the world for a managed WordPress host that also provides SEO, marketing, and copywriting tools to help you grow your website. Starting at $47 per month, the Synthesis plans provide not only the standard managed WordPress hosting features, but performance optimized hardware, the Genesis framework, and tools for content marketing like keyword research.
- Managed performance VPS hosting.
- Included marketing and SEO tools.
- Genesis framework provided.
- Automated updates and backups.
- 24/7 expert support.
Price: From $47 per month | More Information
Built on the infrastructure of cloud hosting giant Rackspace, Pressable is a managed WordPress host that aims to provide top notch customer satisfaction. With plans starting at $25 per month, Pressable is affordable for smaller businesses and offers optimized servers, one-click staging, and intrusion detection systems.
- Dedicated WordPress expert support.
- Managed upgrades and daily backups.
- Malware scanning and intrusion detection.
- Premium CDN for faster content delivery.
Price: From $25 per month | More Information
Flywheel is a relatively new addition to the managed WordPress hosting marketplace. Designed primarily for designers and creative agencies, Flywheel has rethought the concept of a web hosting control panel to create a beautiful interface. Plans start at $15 per month and include managed updates and backups, as well as project collaboration tools and expert support. There is no PHPmyadmin as they have their own DB interface. Consider this before opting for Flywheel. I haven’t heard any bad reviews from anyone till date about FlyWheel.
- Managed updates and automated backups.
- Malware monitoring.
- Unlimited project collaborators.
- Free demo sites.
Note: The best FlyWheel feature is the ability to create accounts for clients and seamlessly transition billing.
In September 2016, Flywheel announced free Simple SSL for all accounts.
Price: From $15 per month | More Information
From the folks at DreamHost comes DreamPress – a managed WordPress hosting solution focused on security, speed, and quality support. It’s positioned as a fully managed upgrade from DreamPress’ basic shared hosting plan. With managed plans starting at $16.95 per month, it’s certainly not a budget provider, though it could be ideal for individual site owners and small companies. You get a lot of functionality for the price, although DreamPress does lack support for multiple sites and automatic backups.
- No bandwidth or visitor limits.
- Automatic WordPress core updates.
- 24/7 expert support.
- Multiple layers of caching to ensure site speed.
- Pre-installed Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate.
Price: $16.95 per month | More Information
Bluehost is another very well known name in the shared hosting world, not least because of their relationship with and support for WordPress. Like GoDaddy and other hosts on our list, they created a managed WordPress hosting offering to complement their existing services. Starting at $12.49 per month, Bluehost’s plans are far more affordable than most other managed WordPress hosts.
Bluehost may be a good start for smaller businesses dipping their toe into the managed hosting waters. If you are already a Bluehost customer, this offering could be an easy sideways step to managed hosting. However, there are other comparable hosts for the price that might make more sense.
Price: From $12.49 per month | More Information
GoDaddy is probably the best known web hosting brand in the world, and their shared hosting is the first stop for thousands of small businesses. Admittedly, their past relationship with the WordPress community is rocky, with a history of poor customer service and support (as discussed in the comments section below). However, recently GoDaddy have begun to focus more seriously on the WordPress market, acquiring WordPress site management tool ManageWP, and offering a managed WordPress hosting package of their own. Hosted on premium WordPress optimized hardware, plans start as low as $7.99 per month.
- Automated WordPress core and plugin updates.
- Automated daily backups and one-click restore.
- Access to thousands of free themes and plugins.
- Free Microsoft Office 365 email.
Price: From $7.99 per month | More Information
My Top Picks
is for developers and bloggers who want features such as Git integration, a staging area, and SSL support at low prices. They offer shared hosting plans for as low as 3.95$ per month which is good for starters. They also offer high performance Cloud Hosting for $80 per month for advanced users and high traffic businesses. They also offer free migration and have a quick support system. Though support staff is not very knowledgeable.
is for people who are not developers. They also offer free site migrations and make the life hassle-free. Their entry-level plan comes for $15/mo which is 50% less than what WP Engine offer (30$/mo).
The best feature offered by them is good for freelancers. They can easily create accounts for clients and seamlessly transition the billing.
Are you a developer working on large projects, go with Pagely. They have advanced website setups, requiring VPS servers, have powerful CDNs, and top-tier machines .
WP Engine offers the customers the option of choosing a data center located in US, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific. With data centers across four continents and a global CDN network, they deliver lightning fast experiences that help improve SEO and conversion rates for customers.
We’ve looked at the features different hosts provide, as well as given you some tips on how to choose the best host for your needs – so you should now have all of the information you need to choose the right host for you!