You look puzzled from all that WordPress host hunting. A, B and C have great features, but C, D and E are cheaper? Can’t decide which host to pick? Well, we’ve got the antidote right here! This list covers some of the most trusted Managed WordPress Hosting companies on the Internet, which requires a sizable investment but guarantees peace of mind.
Before we get started, there’s something you should know. Managed hosting means that if something goes wrong with your WordPress installation, your host is going to fix it – not you. Be it a hard drive failure or a missing semicolon (that rarely happens) that renders the site offline, you can kick back with a beer (or a movie or both) and leave your host to fix it. We’ve tried to keep the details to a minimum, so that you won’t have to spend much time reading. So let’s begin:
WPEngine – Managed WordPress Hosting
Outside the WordPress.com hosting domain, the first name that comes to mind is WPEngine. They’re one of most popular managed WordPress hosting providers – brands like HTC, foursquare and SoundCloud use WPEngine. They have positive reviews spread across the interwebs (Google WPEngine and you’ll know what I’m talking about). They have an excellent traffic based pricing model, starting at 29 USD a month. What I love about their service is they offer an array of unique features:
- Staging area: It lets you create a replica of your site and test new themes and plugins there before applying it to your main site
- One-click restore points
- Pre-built caching techniques which proves better compatibility and performance. In simpler terms, not need for caching plugins
- Firewall and malware scanning
- Evercache Technology for faster load times
- Selected plugins and themes from the millions available in the market
- Continuous protection from hacking attempts, and if hacked, a free fix!
You want a specialized WordPress host with servers tweaked for ultimate WordPress performance, and support that knows WordPress inside-out? But you don’t want to spend whole lot of money for an expensive managed host that lacks the good old features like free domain, email service, ftp, and more? Then SiteGround is your choice! Specialized WordPress hosting that does not miss a thing – unique WordPress speed, security and support at an affordable price.
- Pre-built WordPress Caching
- Automatic WordPress upgrades
- One click WordPress install
- WordPress staging area
- Free WordPress migrations
- Free CDN for faster load times
- Choice of 3 server locations
- 24/7 WordPress help (phone chat & ticketing)
- Free email, domain name
- Unlimited data transfer
Previously covered in our CDN post, mT is a brilliant cloud based service which provides excellent WordPress hosting based on their unique GPU architecture which gives the end-user insight into how my apps are contributing to the server load. The user can quickly see if a WordPress plugin is coded inefficiently or if there are broken links in his site. Every customer is allocated a fixed amount of GPU’s also prevent inconsiderate users from consuming system resources with runaway scripts. Here’s a summary:
- Starts at 20 USD per month
- 100GB storage, 1TB bandwidth
- Host up to 100 domains and 1000 email accounts
- CDN is also available as an addon
Kahuna Host is partnered with premium theme providers and industry leaders such as Organic Themes, Press 75, Headway Themes, etc, to provide their customers with a list of beautiful themes to choose from and state of the art cloud hosting. Their packages start at 20 USD a month which they say is enough for 30k visits a month. They have a good client showcase which makes them a worthy mention in our list.
Rackspace Cloud Sites is an excellent solution for small companies which manage several WordPress sites. Plans start at 150 USD per month and you can host all of your websites in one location, while only paying for one account. Backed with “fanatical support” – Rackspace has quite a few positive reviews online. These are the features:
- 24x7x365 chat, phone or ticket support
- Unlimited domains
- 50GB storage
- 500GB bandwidth
- 10,000 Compute Cycles
Page.ly is a well known managed WordPress hosting provider where they put security first. They’ve got a plethora of custom security features and core hardware improvements that guarantees top-notch WordPress performance. Plans start at 24 USD per month, for 25k visitors a day, with more custom plans. Here are some of its features:
- Automatic Upgrades: WordPress Core & Plugin Upgrades
- Nightly Backups
- Enterprise Security Real Time Malware scanning and removal coupled with Redundant Firewalls and DDoS protection
- Superior Speed: Advanced Varnish caching layer for and average of 54 millisecond load times
- Enterprise DNS which contributes to the 54ms load time
- Edgecast CDN (optional)
- Dedicated IP(s) (optional)
- WordPress Multisite (optional)
WPWebHost offers free CDN, free lifetime domain name, a hand-picked list of themes and plugins along with a migration service. Their packages start from 4.95 USD per month for <30k visitors a month. The pricing model is broadly classified based on number of monthly visitors. They’ve got an appealing customer testimonial base with an even more impressive showcase.
LiquidWeb is one of those well known managed hosting companies that have existed since the stone age (1997). They offer managed hosting services for any imaginable form of hosting be it dedicated, shared or VPS. Managed hosting for WordPress is like icing on the cake which is again sub-divided into 3 categories. These guys are pros – they actually promise 100% uptime and 30 minutes or less initial response time – mmm.. makes me wanna order pizza. Since they offer a wide range of hosting packages, its hard to suggest a staring plan. Its best if you contact their support stating your requirements.
PressLabs is an adept managed WordPress hosting provider with a pricing model similar to WPEngine, i.e. based on raw pageviews. Their servers are located across 6 data centers across US and Europe. They have just one plan priced at 199 USD per month serving upto 500,000 monthly pageviews. Additional pageviews can be bought as separate packages depending on the rate. This single plan has all the necessary features such as:
- CDN (US and EU)
- High Performance nginx Caching Layer
- Updates of WP Core & Optionally Repository Plugins
- Secure E-mail Sending and sFTP
- Unmetered Disk Space and Bandwidth
- Full Daily Backups
- 24×7 Service Monitoring
- WordPress Expert Support
Developed by Copyblogger Media (they’re the folks behind the industry standard WordPress framework Genesis), Systhesis is “A Serious Solution for Serious Sites” as Yoast likes to put it. Their plans start from 27 USD a month, with daily traffic limit of 2,500 hits. Synthesis is mainly meant for folks using the Genesis Framework, but WooThemes and Thesis is supported too. Their detailed case study is pretty interesting. Here are a few tech specs:
- Custom configuration for NGINX/PHP-FPM webserver which guarantees fast performance
- CloudFlare Railgun support
- Pro Domain Mapping
- WordPress + Genesis Framework support
- 24×7 helpdesk + forum + multisite Support
- Free malware scanning and removal
- Server side scanning by securi
- Daily backups along with personal backups to AWS S3
ZippyKid is an amazing service where they put simplicity first. They have impressive plans with an even more impressive list of clients. Built on custom RackSpace hardware, ZippyKid’s pricing plans are categorized based on the number of pageviews. The initial plan offers starts at 25 USD per month per site with 100,000 pageviews. All their plans come with the following features:
- Managed WordPress core, theme and plugin updates
- Integrated CDN
- F5 Load Balancers
- Rackspace Hybrid Cloud
- Daily Backups
- Malware Scanning & Removal
- Cisco Firewall
- Dedicated IP + SSL + sFTP Support
- Phone/Email/Help Desk Support
With over 1,500 servers spread across three SAS-70 Type II data centers, WordPress.com serves several billion pages every month. Starting at 3,750 USD a month for fully managed cloud hosting and 15k USD per year for the self hosted platform, this is your best bet with the right investment. Companies like TechCrunch, NY Times, Time Magazine, GigaOM who encounter millions of visits every month – all use WordPress.com VIP hosting. With features like embedded CDN, enterprise level spam protection and hourly backups, and a plethora of add-ons you cannot go wrong with this choice. They also offer technical and editorial training for your employees with both online and on-site packages. To summarize:
- Price: 3,750 USD monthly (managed cloud hosting) or 15k USD annually (self-hosted platform)
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth
- 24x7x365 support
Meet WordPress.com VIP’s little sister – WordPress.com Enterprise. This is a recent addition to the WordPress hosting packages packed with some pretty nifty features. Starting at 500 USD per month, they offer the following:
- Access to 100+ plugins, including services from Featured Partners like Facebook and Livefyre.
- Unlimited access to every WordPress.com theme, free or premium.
- Unlimited media storage and bandwidth.
- The ability to run advertising campaigns, with no WordPress.com ads.
- Your choice of analytics, including Google Analytics and Chartbeat.
- Rock-solid hosting and bulletproof security.
- World-class support from WordPress.com experts.
This package costs 200 USD per year and comes with unlimited space and bandwidth, live support, custom domain name and a buck load of themes including 50+ premium themes from the WordPress theme shop. However, you must have a blog on WordPress.com in order to use this package, there aren’t any self hosted packages (like the one in WordPress.com VIP) available. The cost effectiveness makes it a very popular choice for medium traffic websites. The only downside of this is you cannot use your favorite plugins from WordPress.org.
WordPress.com Pro Bundle
If you’re looking for a hassle-free blogging experience at a minimal rate, this is for you. Starting at 99 USD per year, this is by far the best hosting package for beginners and mid-range bloggers. These are its features:
- Free custom domain name: .com, .net, .me or .org
- Advanced customization – change CSS and fonts using TypeKit
- Store dozens of videos with VideoPress
- 13 GB of space and unlimited bandwidth
- Direct email support
The cons are similar to those of the WordPress.com Business package – inability to use 3rd party plugins from WordPress.org and no premium themes included.
To sum it all up, I’d say pick the managed WordPress hosting that suits your budget the most. I wouldn’t recommend going above the 20-30 USD mark for a comparatively new blog. If you’re looking for a great start with little investment, WPWebHost is your best bet as their plans start at 4.95 USD a month. Please remember that a good host is necessary but its important that your invest in good content and/or proper SEO. Happy hunting!