Website Hosting or WordPress Managed Hosting?
Is Managed Hosting Worth the Extra Cost for a Genealogy Website?
In the beginning, there were websites. Websites ran on computers that communicate over the internet, Then there were WordPress websites. WordPress made managing websites a lot easier. To run fast and lean, websites that run WordPress have to be tuned, tweaked, and kept up to date.
Some WordPress sites are well managed, others are not, and we all pay the price for poorly managed websites.
Hosting services originally focused on managing the website, leaving WordPress management to their clients.
What is Managed Hosting?
In their article A Beginner Friendly Introduction to WordPress Managed Hosting”, wordpress.com defines web hosting in simple terms.
A hosting service is a company that stores your website on its servers. And these servers are connected to the Internet. By using a website host, people can easily find and access your website through their browsers.
Shared hosting is when your website shares a computer with many other websites, and is the cheapest kind of hosting. Dedicated hosting is more expensive because your website is on a computer of its own.
But what is Managed WordPress Hosting?
Managed WordPress hosting is like hiring a web admin who’s experienced in WordPress. Except you’re likely hiring an entire team of WordPress experts.
WordPress Managed Hosting is usually a form of Shared Hosting. With Managed Hosting, The host takes care of keeping all the foundational software, like databses, webservers, and WordPress versions up to date. You can still load your own plugins and themes, but the host has tuned the server for WordPress, and usually includes some security tools as well. A managed WordPress website is more secure and better tuned.
For myself I found that my websites run a LOT faster, because the computers they run on are tuned specifically for WordPress.
What does this extra service cost?
The Cost of Managed WordPress Hosting.
The table below shows pricing and features of three of the most popular website hosting sites. (Don’t get too excited about free domain names – in another article I show how that may not be your best option)
Comparing 2 years instead of one gives a better sense of the true cost of the hosting plan.
All three of the above plans are reliable. This is for their cheapest plans, which are shared hosting plans, They range from $120-$180 for 2 years. Since web hosting used to cost $300-$600 a month for shared hosting, prices are definitely getting better.
All of them support WordPress, but they are not optimized for WordPress.
All of the above providers are well respected. Pricing ranges from $228 for 2 years to $500. Even the $500 is below the $250-300 a year I used to pay.
Note: in the table above, I misquoted the price of BlueHosts managed WordPress hosting plan. The figures in the first table refer to this plan, making BlueHost the cheapest.
Is Managed WordPress Hosting worth it? Let’s look at the typical plan. I am using SiteGround as an example because it’s the one I use.
When it comes to WordPress, managed service adds an extra layer of convenience for the WordPress site owners. Managed WP hosts like SiteGround will take care of the WordPress updates, keep track of vulnerabilities and offer WAF protection and other security services, and build solutions that specifically offer WordPress performance and security boosts. This additional layer of security, speed and convenience tools is what explains the premium price range compared to regular hosting.
Managed WordPress hosting can cost twice as much as the cheapest hosting plans, but is on par the the more moderately priced dedicated server plans. For me, I love my Managed WordPress Hosting Provider.