If you are looking for a robust and reliable managed WordPress hosting solution for your website or business, I’m sure you must have come across at least a dozen names claiming to be the best in the industry.
While they have their own basis for claiming the “best” title, ideally, not everyone can hold the top position.
Some hosting companies don’t even have a 100% managed hosting plan, yet they label it as a “managed WordPress hosting plan”. Ending up buying such a plan without proper insight can lead you to square one.
To dodge all that nuisance, first, you need to understand managed WordPress hosting and later see which hosting provider fits your needs for the best price available.
If you don’t want to read this entire article but just want a good option: check out SiteGround.SiteGround is one of the leading names when it comes to WordPress hosting. They have unique performance optimization, high security standards and are one of the most affordable solutions in the market.
In this article, I’ll first do an introduction to managed WordPress hosting and weigh its pros and cons to give you a better understanding. Then, I’ll list and explore our top 5 picks for the best WordPress hosting providers and help you decide which one to go for.
Let’s dive in!
If you’d rather jump directly to the list of best hosting providers, click here.
Web hosting is a big industry and attracts all sorts of customers. From novice bloggers to backed developers and website builders, everyone needs a host to run their website.
While setting up a website might be a cakewalk for advanced users, it can be a bit tricky if you are not technically savvy and know your way around a website’s backend.
To cater to the user base who’d prefer focusing on what they are good at rather than regularly keeping up with updates and security patches, hosting companies started offering managed WordPress hosting plans.
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Basically, in managed WordPress hosting, the host does all the “heavy lifting” on the server-side while users can focus on their business, blog, or website.
This means that the website host takes care of the basic and regular hosting admin tasks such as setting up WordPress, website security, managing updates, daily backups, uptime, performance, speed, etc.
Another important aspect of managed WordPress hosting is its WordPress-focused optimized servers. Setting up a host isn’t easy at its core. You may figure out and set up a host after spending a day or two on it, but its performance will significantly differ from a host built with a focus on speed and performance.
Due to this reason, even many web development agencies and professional developers choose to go with managed hosting for their clients because they can rely on the server architecture while delivering high-performing websites to their clients.
To put a cherry on the top, managed WordPress hosting comes with a team of highly experienced support staff. Since they are experienced in working on fully managed WordPress websites, you can expect them to know their way around the technical caverns of WordPress.
Whether you need a fully managed hosting website or a simple shared hosting depends on your needs and goals.
Before deciding on the type of hosting, try to answer these questions:
- Are you tech-savvy? Can you identify problems in your hosting and pull your website out of crisis?
- Is your website seeing a sudden rise or spikes in traffic?
- Is constant uptime without any interruptions important for your website?
- Would you say data security is a big concern for you? Are you hosting critical data on your website that you can’t afford to lose in case of a cyber attack?
- Would you rather prefer focusing on your website project than spending time to make sure your website is secure and running?
By answering those questions, you can decide if managed WordPress hosting is the right choice for you.
By opting for fully Managed WordPress hosting, you get peace of mind that your website is managed by a team of experts who specialize in the niche. Furthermore, since the host is responsible for protecting your website from any cyber or phishing attacks, you can expect them to keep everything up to industry security standards.
So, if you relate to these points, I’d recommend you go with reliable managed WordPress hosting.
To better understand it, think of it like buying furniture. You can go to a carpenter and explain your needs, and they will take care of everything from designing, creating a layout, and getting it installed in your home correctly, or you can get a standard set from IKEA and set it up yourself.
Leaving all these technical tasks related to your website in the hands of experts has a variety of benefits. While there are no set industry standards for managed WordPress hosting, and almost every hosting provider has its own custom offering, it is easy to identify features and benefits you can expect from a standard managed WordPress hosting (at least a good one!)
Improved performance – Managed WordPress hosting servers are configured specifically to cater to WordPress websites. Since the servers are created more efficiently, you can expect optimal speed and dependency on the server-side with quickly delivering and loading assets. This can result in reducing the page load time significantly.
Expert support – Since it requires a knowledgeable staff to set up and work around a fully managed WordPress server, you can rely on them to help you avoid a difficult situation. The team’s focus is not to learn about various CMS solutions in the market, rather excel at a single CMS, i.e., WordPress. Also, since managed WordPress hosting is considered a premium offering, you can expect 24/7 chat or ticket support with most hosting providers out there.
Improved security – Security is essential in today’s age, whether running a hobby blog or a full-fledged eCommerce store. Opting for managed WordPress hosting does not make your website magically secure from all possible vulnerabilities, but you’ll get the benefits of a more robust infrastructure.
Even after all those firewalls and security updates, if your website ends up getting hacked, you can rely on the support team to help you out. This is not the same level of support you can expect from shared or standard hosting. Also, almost every managed WordPress hosting comes with daily backups, so for scenarios where you want an immediate solution, you can simply request the technical team to restore your website to a previous stable version.
Automatic daily backups – Regularly backing up your website is one of the most recommended tips in the WordPress space. There are quite a few scenarios where you can end up needing that recent backup. It could be because of malware, a hacked website, blocked access, issues with plugins and compatibility, or something totally different. In these scenarios, restoring to a stable version can save a lot of time if there is no solution in sight.
No downtime – Managed WordPress hosts are designed to take sudden traffic spikes and traffic surges. Even on the server-side, the architecture is built to withstand uncertainties in the web host and other factors that can affect the uptime of your website. Some managed hosting providers even come with a 99.9+% uptime guarantee to showcase their efficiency on server levels.
Easy website management – With managed WP hosting, you won’t be spending much time in the hosting interface, but when you are in there, you get a custom dashboard with access to almost everything necessary in a single space to facilitate efficient management. So even if you have multiple websites in the same hosting plan, you can manage them from the same dashboard.
Less dependency on plugins – Many WordPress websites depend on plugins to provide some crucial functionality like daily backups, caching, and even security. With a reliable managed WordPress hosting plan, you get all of these things out of the box. This, in turn, can reduce the plugin load on your website and make it even faster.
SSL Certificates – Traditionally, getting an SSL certificate for your website requires lots of back and forth communication between your host and SSL provider. With managed WP hosting plans that come with SSL assistance, you can leave most of the work to them, and you can get your SSL certificate set up in no time. Most hosts have partnerships with Let’s Encrypt, and it barely takes a few clicks to add a lock icon next to your website’s address in a browser.
Smooth sailing – The most significant benefit of getting managed WordPress hosting is that you don’t have to worry about routine tasks related to website maintenance such as backups, updates, security, downtime, etc. Most of it is handled efficiently by the experts. This way, you can focus on the work you should be focusing on in the first place.
Like everything else in the universe, there are downsides to managed WordPress hosting as well. Broadly, the cons depend on usage, needs, budget, etc. So, to truly justify an aspect as a con, first, it is better to access the goals and priorities of the users.
Higher price – As mentioned earlier, managed WordPress hosting costs relatively more than any shared hosting provider. While the higher price is usually justified with the plethora of features, you need to access the offering, especially when working with a tight budget. If the cost is a concern for you, it’s wise to check every known managed WP hosting provider out there and compare their prices. Most of them have different pricing slabs for different needs, and sometimes they can be even more affordable than you think.
WordPress only hosting – Going with managed WordPress hosting means locking yourself with a plan designed to cater only to WordPress websites. So, if you want to host a Drupal or Magento website in the future, you need to buy a different server altogether to host those websites. But, of course, if you work exclusively on WordPress, this shouldn’t be a concern.
Restrictions with plugins – Plugins are great for extending your website’s functionality but managed WordPress hosts might not let you install some plugins due to security reasons. With the idea of boycotting or restricting anything that can put your website at risk, you might find it difficult to install plugins that have security vulnerabilities that can trickle down on your website. Most hosts base their decision on the reports of reliable resources like WPScans and Wordfence before boycotting a plugin.
No domain and email – If you have been using shared hosting, I’m sure you are used to getting a free domain for a year with your hosting plan. Unfortunately, this is not the case with most managed WordPress hosting providers out there, and as a result, you have to rely on another company for those features. Again, this is because most managed hosting providers prefer focusing on providing a reliable managed solution rather than spreading their company’s resources thin. But if you are using decent 3rd party services like G Suite or Zoho for emails, this should not be an issue.
I’m sure now you’re familiar with managed WordPress hosting and its pros and cons. So let’s take a deep dive into our top picks in the industry and explore their features.
- Cloudways (check our Cloudways review)
- SiteGround (check our SiteGround review)
- Kinsta (check our Kinsta review)
- WP Engine
- FlyWheelFlywheel (check our Flywheel review)
If you are running a small business with limited requirements from a host, Cloudways is a good alternative. Unlike most hosting companies, Cloudways only offers managed WordPress hosting, which shows their commitment towards quality and service over money.
Cloudways is a well-known cloud hosting platform that lets you host websites on cloud servers of your choice. You can choose from the IaaS platforms such as DigitalOcean, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Vultr, and Linode.
Let’s take a look at the features of the platform.
Performance: All servers on Cloudways have dedicated resources to help you maximize server performance. The hosting is SSD-based, so that you can expect higher performance and reduced page load times. Moreover, you get Cloudways CDN that delivers superior global load time, and it is relatively easy to integrate and get going.
Security: With Cloudways, you get dedicated OS-level firewalls to filter out malicious traffic along with free SSL installation with Let’s Encrypt. You also get an added layer of protection to defend your website from malicious and brute-force login attacks, and you can activate two-factor authentication to secure your hosting account even further.
Support: You get 24x7x365 round-the-clock live chat support with all plans. While there are support levels you can opt for by paying extra, most of the good stuff is available in the free plan. If you are running a mission-critical website where every second matters, you can go with Advanced or Premium support, which comes with an additional monthly price of $100 and $500, respectively.
Control & collaboration: You can collaborate with your entire team in a single account to split the project between relevant teams. If you are delivering websites to your clients, you can quickly transfer ownership of the website to your clients from the dashboard. This feature is only useful for businesses and agencies creating websites for clients.
Other notable features: You get one-click backup and restore, easily scaling for handling traffic surges, one-click staging and cloning as needed, and a highly flexible dashboard to help you get your task done efficiently.
Regarding pricing, you get the option to pay as you go. Firstly you need to choose the IaaS platform and check the prices for different servers and usages.
For instance, if you plan to go with DigitalOcean servers, you can go with plans ranging from $10/mo to $80/mo depending on resources allotted. On the other hand, if you go with AWS, the price starts at $36.51/mo for 2GB RAM and 20GB storage on servers and goes up to $247.33/mo for 16 GB RAM and 20 GB server storage space.
SiteGround is one of the leading names when it comes to web hosting. They have unique performance optimization and security standards which is why they are on our list of recommended WordPress hosting solutions.
Apart from being a reliable solution, they are one of the most affordable solutions in the market. But, before we discuss the pricing, let’s take a look at the features first.
Performance: With SSD-based servers, you get a platform powered by Google Cloud to give you a reliable server built to sustain any bumps on the road. For caching, you get NGINX direct delivery enabled for all sites by default. On top of that, the system works with the SuperCacher service to give fast load time for hosted websites.
Security: For security, you get automatic WordPress updates to keep your website up to date with the latest security patches and updates. The host provides custom firewall rules on the server level by keeping track of WordPress’s known vulnerabilities. According to the changelog and claims, SiteGround provided security updates even before the developers released a security notification. You also get access to the SiteGround security plugin to add an extra filter layer on the application level.
Support: With one of the best-rated hosting support teams, SiteGround offers 24/7 round-the-clock help with skilled WordPress experts to assist or help you whenever needed.
One-Click staging tool: For making major changes, it’s better to do testing on a staging environment before releasing the update. For this, SiteGround has a built-in staging tool that lets you set up a staging environment without affecting your live site. This feature is only available with GrowBig and GrowGeek plans (more on this later).
Other Notable Features:
- Free SSL certificate with Let’s Encrypt, and it comes pre-installed, so no setup is required. You can integrate it within minutes of migrating your website.
- Email service to help you create email accounts with the webmail interface for your organization or business.
- Collaboration tools: To help you work on your projects with your team, you can use collaboration and tools.
- Dev toolkit: If you are an intermediate or advanced user, you can use developer tools like WP-CLI SSH access, PHP version control, Git integration, Multisite SFTP to manage your websites easily.
- Daily backups: You get 30 backups of your website stored in different locations for added security. Users can also generate backups on demand with and anytime restore the backups with a couple of clicks.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, SiteGround is one of the most affordable managed WordPress hosting solutions out there. There are three pricing slabs with plans starting at $14.99/mo (StartUp). For this price, you get one website hosting with 10 GB of space and 10,000 monthly visits. For GrowBig, the regular price is $24.99 per month for unlimited websites, 20 GB web space, unmetered traffic, and access to all features, including Staging and on-demand backup copies.
The GoGeek(Premium) plan costs $39.99/mo, and you get everything in GrowBig along with white-labeling capability, highest-tier resources, and priority support.
Kinsta might not have the same number of customers as other hosting solutions out there, but they have earned a spot on the list with their sub-par hosting platform and unmatched customer support practices.
Kinsta is not a mass-market-focused solution, and their focus on performance has brought them to the limelight over the last couple of years.
Although Kinsta started as a premium-only solution with prices starting at $100/mo, they changed their focus and began offering plans starting at $30/mo in late-2017.
Kinsta has all the premium features you’d expect from a managed WordPress hosting solution, such as automatic backups, server-level caching, staging tools, and priority support. Let’s see what Kinsta has to offer in more detail.
Performance: Kinsta is known for its next-generation architecture powered by the technology they implement to power their servers. Kinsta’s hosting architecture is powered by Nginx, PHP 8.0, LXD software containers, MariaDB, and optimized VMs to optimize their servers for faster load time.
Security: Kinsta has a powerful server-level firewall powered by Cloudflare and uses standard security measures like firewall and SSL support. 24/7 uptime monitoring, software-based restrictions, hardware firewalls, and DDoS protection are some of the security updates and measures that come bundled with every Kinsta plan.
Support: Since Kinsta is a dedicated managed hosting provider, its focus on providing good quality customer support is commendable. Kinsta offers 24/7 access to a WordPress t
Ease of use: Kista has an impressive website management tool, myKinsta admin, to help users manage their website. You get standard controls in an easy-to-use interface to perform daily tasks like creating a staging server, clone site, detailed site analytics, etc. For WordPress developers, the dashboard supports advanced developer tools like WP-CLI, SSH, Git, and Kinsta’s free APM tool for debugging WordPress. Here’s what the dashboard looks like:
Kinsta’s plans start at $30/mo. You get a standard WordPress installation, 25,000 visits, 10 GB disk space, a free SSL, and CDN for this price. If you want to host three or more websites, you need to go with the Business 1 plan that costs $100/mo. For this price, you get 5 WordPress websites, 100,000 visits, 30 GB disk space, Free SSL, CDN, and staging. Likewise, the following plans’ prices increment with respective allocated resources. If you are looking for the most expensive plan, it costs $1500/mo and offers 150 WordPress installs, 3 million visits, 250 GB disk space, and all features that Kinsta has to offer.
No doubt Kinsta is a little more expensive option than other hosting providers listed in this article. But it’s worth mentioning that in terms of providing quality service, Kinsta has outdone its competitors and ranks the highest in Managed WordPress hosting category on G2.
WP Engine is a well-known managed WordPress hosting provider hosting over 1.5 million websites hosted on their platform. It is often ranked as the most trusted hosting provider in the industry, and they live up to that claim.
WP Engine is designed to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, so even if you are searching for a host that can power a high-traffic website, probably WP Engine can manage that easily.
To host their customer websites, WP Engine partners with Google, AWS, and New Relic. You can select the data center you want to host your websites on while choosing a plan.
The company is often in the news for winning awards, hosting conferences, contributing to WordPress core and community, and publishing research-backed content to power their users.
No doubt, WP Engine has done a flawless job in maintaining its brand image. Let’s look at how they take care of their customers and the features that come with their plans.
Since WP Engine is highly revered in the industry, I’ll only cover the features that will help you compare it with other solutions.
Performance: WP Engine claims to improve the site speed by 40% after migrating to their platform. This is backed by a robust infrastructure optimized for WordPress with a 99.99% uptime SLA. In addition, you get access to a global network of data centers, managed CDN, and WP Engine’s Evercache caching solution to keep your website’s performance optimal.
Security: WP Engine incorporates all standard security solutions to protect the websites hosted on their servers. In addition, the platform has completed a SOC 2 Type II examination for security standards. As a result, a fully managed website firewall, DDoS protection, Encrypted network, and multiple layers platform protection works together to block off 109 million+ attacks every day.
Support: WP Engine provides 24x7x365 powerful support by WordPress experts. They also have a well-managed documentation and help center to find quick solutions. Their support is no less than that of Kinsta or Cloudways.
Agency/developer tools: WP Engine hosts many features to help developers and agencies manage your clients’ websites efficiently. Automated billing systems, reseller hosting options, payment portals, etc., come bundled with their enterprise plans.
Other Notable Features:
EverCache: WP Engine has developed a powerful caching system specifically for boosting WordPress websites.
Daily automatic backups: You get daily automated daily backups with every WP Engine plan.
Unlimited migrations: 1 or 100, WP Engine’s migration plugin lets you migrate unlimited websites. The plugin does the heavy lifting and notifies you once the process is complete.
WordPress toolkit: Every plan gives you access to the robust Genesis framework and all themes from StudioPress. All ten themes combined cost more than $1200, but you get them free with every WP Engine plan.
WP Engine offers plans for almost all customer segments ranging from small businesses to enterprise clients and agencies. WP Engine’s plans start at $25/mo, for which you can host one website with a traffic limit of 25K per month.
You can even get a 30-website hosting plan with a traffic limit of 400k/mo for $242 per month. If you are looking forward to hosting more websites, WP Engine can provide a custom plan, or you can simply pay $20 for every additional website.
Last but not least on our list is FlyWheel. If you manage websites and clients as a professional or business, FlyWheel probably is the perfect option.
FlyWheel is not focused on providing tools for the end-users but on businesses managing multiple websites as it has a dedicated suite of developer tools. But it does not mean they won’t entertain you if you want to host your hobby blog on their platform.
FlyWheel started back in 2012 and created a highly valued platform that powered many website maintainers and agencies in running their business. Their goal was clear from day one, i.e., making a client-focused managed hosting solution. Over the years, FlyWheel has developed a suite of developer tools to help agencies and developers to manage their clients efficiently. Let’s dive into the features.
Local development application: FlyWheel has developed the most popular local WordPress development application – Local by FlyWheel. It lets you create a local WordPress environment with a few clicks. Once the local development is completed, you can take the website online within a few minutes.
Agency focused: FlyWheel comes with advanced workflow management tools to help you manage multiple clients sites easily. Team management tools, multiple logins, user restrictions, and managed billings are notable client-focused developer tools for agencies and maintainers.
Performance: FlyWheel’s servers are optimized particularly for WordPress websites. In addition, you get FlyCache, FlyWheel’s proprietary caching engine, to work efficiently with their CDN to deliver faster load time.
Reliable support: Coming to support, FlyWheel offers 24/4 live chat support from WordPress experts and phone support during business hours for higher-priced plans ($250+). If you are a regular user, you might not need high-tier paid support for your business.
Other Notable Features:
Free migrations: FlyWheel offers free migration with all plans, and this is taken care of by their migration plugin.
Automated backups and updates: FlyWheel manages automatic updates and daily backups and stores them upto 30 days. You also get a one-click restore feature to revet your website to an older version easily.
White-labeling: You can white-label temporary domains, client emails, and even the client portal for a more customized experience for your clients. You can add your business branding to show a more
Although FlyWheel is a client-focused solution, their hosting plans start at $15/mo for a single site hosting with 5000 monthly visits and 5GB of storage, effectively positioning them as one of the most affordable managed WordPress hosting solutions in the market.
If you want to host more sites, you can go with their higher-priced plans that range from $30/mo to $290/mo and can host up to 30 websites with 400k monthly visits with their Agency plan. However, it’s important to note their Starter and Freelance hosting plans do not come with a migration dashboard, phone support, dedicated account manager with quarterly business reviews.
Verdict: Our Top Picks for Managed WordPress Hosting
There are various factors to consider while deciding on the ultimate managed WordPress hosting solution. After reviewing the performance of the top hosting providers, it was clear there’s no alpha hosting provider. That’s right!
Every hosting provider in this list stands way above our filter. All of them have every must-have functionality that makes a hosting solution worth going after. So, which one should you go with?
It all depends on your requirements. What do you expect your hosting provider to do? If you can list down your must-have list of features and requirements you can choose the hosting solution for your website easily. Here’s how:
For example, if you are looking for serious hosting which can back you up and deliver nothing but high performance, I’d recommend going with Kinsta. But if you are on a tight budget and want a more affordable solution, go with Cloudways or SiteGround as they offer more affordable plans. Here’s a quick scale to help you out:
- Want to have control over your Cloud Provider (AWS, Google, Digital Ocean, etc.)? Go with Cloudways
- On a tight budget? Go with SiteGround or FlyWheel
- Want an extensive set of agency tools? Go with WP Engine
- Performance & results over anything? Go with Kinsta
Managed WordPress hosting is an offering where the host performs most admin tasks like automatic updates, security, and daily backups so you can focus on growing your website. This offering aims to provide a hassle-free experience, so the customers can focus on the business rather than keeping up with website and security updates.
In addition to the hassle-free experience, managed WordPress hosting comes with premium support with WordPress experts who know their way around WordPress websites.
If you are not a tech-savvy user who finds joy working on the server-side of your website, then managed WordPress hosting is definitely worth the price.
While being more expensive, reliable managed WP hosting providers can make your workflow more organized and autonomously take care of many crucial tasks such as automatic updates, daily backups, security updates, performance optimization, and even migrations. If you don’t want to worry about executing these regular maintenance tasks, managed WordPress hosting is just what you need.
A standard WordPress hosting is a little different than managed WordPress hosting. In a standard/shared WordPress hosting, you get a spot on a server that hosts your websites along with others to cut down the costs. In addition to that, there aren’t many premium services associated with shared hosting. That’s why you can get shared hosting for as low as $5/mo.
Managed WordPress hosts are built on top of shared hosting plans. The key differentiator is the premium services and priority support. With a managed WordPress host like FlyWheel, you can get a powerful managed hosting solution with free backups, migrations, updates, etc., for a starting price of $13 per month.
The best managed WP hosting option depends on your needs. If you are looking for a managed hosting provider to scale your WordPress agency/business, I’d recommend going with an agency-focused hosting provider like WP Engine or Kinsta.
If you are on a tight budget, I’d recommend going with SiteGround’s managed hosting plans.
Before placing an order, make sure you evaluate your requirements and match them with what the hosting provider is offering. This list only covers the top 5 picks if you don’t have particular needs, you can go with any one of them without any problem.
Tell us which hosting provider you picked for your website? Is there a hosting company that we missed that deserves a spot on the list? Tell us in the comments section below!
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