What is Managed WordPress Hosting?
Hosting is a crucial part for all online businesses. It is essential to have a hosting plan that serves your needs so that you can provide a fast and secure website for your visitors, which is often times an important factor when your customers decide whether they will choose your product or service over the many others that exist. Having the right hosting plan therefore directly affects your earnings. There is a variety of options you can choose from, but today we will be talking about two options you can choose from – shared and managed hosting.
Shared WordPress Hosting
Shared Hosting is a cheaper option because hundreds or even thousands of users use the same server and they share memory, storage, bandwidth or processing power. This is how they offer ‘unlimited’ plans that are not really unlimited. That can bring a lot of issues. As an example, the server has a fixed amount of memory. If any of the hundreds of sites exceeds its fair share at one time (e.g. gets more visitors than normal), all the other sites are going to be affected. They are going to run slowly or in the worst case, they will not load at all. Often times hosts might be unable to resolve this issue in a timely manner and your site will be down for days while they try to spin up a new server and perform all of the migrations.
Another issue that’s quite common is if one of the websites that is sharing the server is engaging in malicious activity and gets penalized, your site is likely to be penalized along with it because your site is on the same server. For example, if a website is sending out a bunch of spam emails from the same IP address as your website, you will begin to see that your emails to your clients will bounce because you might be flagged for spam. When Shared Hosting environments let thousands of websites on the same server, you are never quite sure who is also on the server with you. And when you make a living from your website, that is a big risk to take.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed Hosting is a much better option when you start receiving regular heavy traffic because the speed of your website will go down on a server that is not optimized for WordPress or on a server that is shared.
What is covered by Managed Hosting?
- Configuration for WordPress – The server is specifically built for WordPress, which means it will speed up the load time of your website – something that both site visitors and Google will like.
- More Security – Managed hosts take their security seriously and will scan your site for malware which will prevent hackers from accessing your site. Shared Hosting rarely offers this as a feature.
- Customer Service and Support – With WordPress experts, the support team actually understands the problem you are having when issues arise.
- Automatic Core Updates – With Managed Hosting, new versions of WordPress are updated automatically, something that Shared Hosting does not cover.
- Website backups
– This is very important in case that something goes wrong. Managed
Hosting usually has website back-ups enabled by default on a daily
basis. Shared Hosting generally does not have this enabled.
- Scalability – Scalability of the system to accommodate the growth of your site. Part of what you are paying for on Managed Hosting is the clearance of the server in the case that you get a big spike in traffic. Managed Hosting generally puts fewer sites on a server and has more headroom per site. This translates into a site that can handle 100-100,000’s of visitors gracefully.
Fully Managed WordPress Hosting
Fully Managed Hosting is the next step up when it comes to hosting. If your website is critical to your company’s success, you really need to consider Fully Managed Hosting. Fully Managed Hosting has servers that are specifically built for WordPress of course, but the difference is the company actually ensures your website is loading fast and does not break causing you to lose out on revenue. Instead of just managing the servers behind your website, the company also manages the other half of the equation, your website.
What is covered by Fully Managed Hosting?
- Specific WordPress Servers – Fully Managed Hosting, like Managed Hosting, has servers that were specifically built with WordPress in mind.
- More security – Like Managed Hosting, security is a priority here, however, now we’re on the next level. Fully Managed hosts have DDoS protection, so if you get targeted by a botnet, your site will be fine. On top of that, Fully Managed Hosting often includes daily security scans as well as site hardening techniques to ensure you are protected.
- Customer service and support – This is where Fully Managed Hosting really shines, you no longer have to worry about a plugin breaking your website, or a form not working. Fully Managed Hosting means that the hosting company will make sure your site loads fast and works for every visitor. This almost entirely removes the need for you to even deal with customer support because you will not have to fix anything yourself. Yet of course things do go wrong, and when that happens, Fully Managed Hosting companies have WordPress experts on standby ready to help.
- Automatic Core & Plugin updates – Like Managed Hosting, Fully Managed Hosting handles core WordPress updates. However, they go the next step in also updating your websites plugins. This means you really do not have to worry about a thing in terms of your sites plugins and updates.
- Website backups – Fully Managed Hosting usually has real-time backups of your website so that you can be assured you are always protected if something should happen.
- Scalability – Fully Managed Hosting can handle any number of visitors to your site. Often they have built the entire server around your website and thus you can sleep well knowing that if your site gets picked up on Reddit, it will keep displaying perfectly to your customers.
Managed Hosting vs Fully Managed Hosting
There are different companies offering “Managed Hosting”, however, make sure you understand what that truly means because many only offer a certain part of it. They will ensure that the server your site is on is running well, but when it comes to keeping your site updated, it is up to you. For example, services like WP Engine, GoDaddy, Flywheel, and Bluehost all promote their service as Managed Hosting, but they only take care of the server and of the basic WordPress core updates. They do not update the plugins on your website, which update frequently. This is a big difference if you don’t want to hire a developer to always be ensuring your website is running well. If you are not updating the plugins on your website every time an update is made, your site will not be as secure and you will become vulnerable to attacks. Once you do update your plugins, there is a chance that it will break because the plugin producer might have changed how something works or the WordPress version might be different. It is a nightmare to have to deal with yourself.
We manage 50+ websites and there are plugin updates at least 3 or 4 times per week on average. Therefore, you constantly have to make sure that everything is updated properly and the site is working the way you want – and this is what Fully Managed Hosting covers. A WordPress website is not a static asset that you can build and leave alone month after month. The above-mentioned companies put your website on their platform or you put it there yourself. They make sure the website is loading and that there is no problem from their side, but they do not manage the website in what is a called ‘Fully Managed Hosting’. This means you are responsible for your site as a whole.
Make sure that when you sign up for hosting, that you really consider if you would rather have Managed Hosting or Fully Managed Hosting. At Growth Labs, we offer Fully Managed WordPress Hosting. Our Fully Managed Hosting ensures:
- That your site is loading fast and that there aren’t problems for anyone reaching the site – no matter the amount of visitors you have.
- That the site is backed up and secured on a daily, hourly, or even minute by minute basis.
- That all the plugins are updated properly and that there are not any issues with an outdated WordPress theme. We constantly are checking for new updates, and ensuring they update properly and do not break your site.
- That your website is optimized and is running at its peak efficiency.
This is Fully Managed Hosting – taking care of both backend and the actual website so that you do not have to worry about anything.
A broken website can lead to frustrated customers and can even deter customers from coming back to your site. Make sure you are covered with Fully Managed Hosting.