Business success in today’s world requires you to have an online presence, which would most likely be a website – one you can use to share information, tips, your products and services, and through which customers can reach you to engage your services.
Successfully running a website means that you have to handle a lot of things at once – website design, development and administration, social media marketing, content creation, website hosting, and a whole lot of other stuff. Your choice of hosting provider would considerably reduce the load on you, and help you focus on your business.
A hosting provider is responsible for the set up, running, and administration of the server(s) on which your website data resides. Small and medium scale businesses will naturally opt for hosting providers that offer packages well suited to their needs and budget. The most popular hosting packages available to you are shared WordPress hosting, DIY VPS WordPress hosting, and Managed WordPress hosting.
This article serves as a detailed guide on why Managed WordPress Hosting may just be the right choice for your business.
What is Managed WordPress Hosting?
Managed WordPress hosting is a fully optimized, high performance WordPress hosting package that shifts the server administration to the hosting provider, giving you enough room to focus on your business.
Investing in a managed WordPress hosting may seem a lot, especially when compared to a shared hosting plan. This may be true when starting out, but will eventually save cost in the long run.
To help you make the right choice, let’s consider the pros and cons of the three most popular hosting packages.
Shared WordPress Hosting is most attractive to those that are just starting out, who prefer to go for a low cost hosting package. A typical shared hosting package could be bought from $2.99 to $25 a month, and can be purchased from most hosting providers out there in the market. Some well-known hosting providers are GoDaddy, Namecheap, BlueHost, SiteGround, HostGator etc.
This package is relatively easy to get started, affordable, and comes with the option of multiple add-on domains to enable you host 2 or more domains on the plan. This is a good option for those who are beginners, and need to run their site on a shoe-string budget.
Other benefits are support, SSL certificates, easy administration of Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.
As the name implies, a shared hosting package is one where multiple sites are hosted on a server, with all sharing same resources on the server. Too little sites on a server and you get good services, while too many sites running on the server will degrade performance.
Unfortunately, the number of sites running on a particular server isn’t disclosed so you can hardly find that out for yourself. The “cheapness” of shared hosting means that the hosting provider makes very little profit from subscribers, and may be tempted to crowd their servers in order to break even in business.
Another downside to a shared hosting plan is the vulnerability that sites are exposed to. An attack on any of the hosted sites exposes all sites running on the server. In some cases leading to server shutdown, this affects all hosted sites on the server.
There is a limit to the traffic that a shared WordPress hosting can accommodate, and once that is exceeded the site owner is advised to move their site to a more robust plan, preferably managed WordPress hosting.
2. DIY VPS WordPress Hosting
A DIY (do it yourself) VPS WordPress hosting appeals mostly to startups who still lack some technical knowledge on WordPress development, installation and administration. Their goal is to save money while achieving high performance with their site.
This hosting package can be bought from providers like Linode, Vultr VPS, Digital Ocean, and most often ServerPilot tool to ease management. A small VPS could cost anything from $5 upwards to $15 or more.
With DIY VPS WordPress hosting, you enjoy the twin benefits of lower cost compared to Managed WordPress hosting, and better performance.
The downside to this approach is that so much time and resources are spent in server administration, and that there is only little time left for running the business. Unless your business offers web hosting related services, another disadvantage of DIY VPS WordPress hosting can backfire if you’re not careful with server configuration.
3. Managed WordPress Hosting
Small to medium sized businesses would love this. You get good returns on your investment in managed WordPress hosting since the server and WordPress administration are managed by experts who are well-equipped for the job. This package is designed to scale with your business, optimize for WordPress, save you time and money. Prices range from $15 to $50 a month.
Benefits of Managed WordPress Hosting
1. You Enjoy High Priority Support
Shared WordPress hosting providers usually have lots of users of this package, with a tendency to overstretch their resources including support. This definitely leads to longer ticket times and a lack of responsiveness on tickets raised. An unattended ticket may prolong the downtime of a site, negatively impacting the revenue and image of the business.
With managed WordPress hosting, you have high priority support in the form of faster response times, highly responsive, and a 24-hour availability of support. Since these providers mainly deal with WordPress websites, their support teams possess a high level of expertise and are able to accurately deal with situations that arise.
2. Web Hosting Optimized for High Performance
You will agree with me that majority of site owners are very keen on performance. A high performance managed WordPress hosting has its environments optimized to work with WordPress.
Using shared hosting or DIY VPS WordPress hosting may be on more bare bone machines that require you to spend time installing software and other plugins to attain same speed as a Managed WordPress installation.
High performance entails that your hosting provider is up-to-date with its architecture and technology, utilizing the latest versions of PHP 7, MariaDB, HTTP/2 and NGINX. This is a combination that is proven to deliver one of the best gains in terms of speed.
3. Cost-saving in The Long Run
The low cost of shared hosting tends to attract a lot of site owners, who in turn load multiple websites on a single server. In some cases, they overcrowd the servers because users of the shared hosting package tend to make use of very little server resources.
Whenever a website on shared hosting begins to experience surge in traffic, there is an adverse effect on the sharers of the server, leading to very slow load speed or unavailability of those sites. Not a good position to be in for any business!
For a Managed WordPress hosting, cost of set up may seem on the high side; however, this is justified in the long run. Your WordPress installation is given the most professional attention, ensuring that your site experiences almost 100% uptime, and page load speed optimized. You enjoy maximum value for every penny spent.
4. Designed to Scale with Your Business
Businesses grow over time. With this growth comes an increase in traffic and demand on bandwidth and disk space. A website on shared hosting package will be forced to upgrade to a dedicated server, or temporarily shut down by the hosting provider until the upgrade is completed. Even when migration is immediate, there are some technical issues that have to be handled before successful migration.
DIY VPS WordPress hosting may not be that complicated, but time and resources have to be put in for the migration to be successful.
In contrast, a Managed WordPress hosting is designed to be scalable. As the demand for more server resources increase, the hosting company handles this from the backend, without much input from you. No downtimes whatsoever, and if you are approaching any pre-determined limits, you are duly notified.
5. Automatic Backups
Data is the lifeblood of any enterprise, and your business isn’t exempt from this. Imagine that there is an unexpected incident that results in a loss of all the data on your host’s server? The loss would be tremendous, and in some cases irreparable. It is important to be prepared for any eventuality that may be experienced through frequent and automatic backups.
For most shared WordPress hosting, automatic backup is an added service and so attracts additional charges, while DIY VPS WordPress hosting requires you to set up your own backup system, which will cost you some additional bucks.
Managed WordPress hosting comes with automatic backups in the package. With multiple options for manual backups and with a click of the button, download a full WordPress site at any time, hourly or at frequent backups.
6. More Time to Focus on Your Business
The biggest advantage of choosing a managed WordPress hosting is its ability to free up your time, so you can focus more time and resources on your core competencies. This leads to efficiency in specialization in business. While trained experts handle everything about your server and WordPress administration, the time saved from this decision can be further invested into different parts of the business.
Any other approach (Shared and DIY VPS WordPress hosting) would see you dabbling into technical stuff that might not give you optimum results, yet consuming your resources and time.
7. One-Click Staging Environments
One-click staging environments offer developed environments that let you clone your site with just a click of the button. Every now and then there is the need for testing new changes, PHP versions, plugins, and updates. For these tests, it is not advisable to run them on your production site to avoid mishaps. A managed WordPress hosting offers the benefit of a development site which is accessible via a test URL.
SSH, FTP and phyMyAdmin are also ways to access the developed site in order to perform desired changes, after which you can push the changes to your live site from your dashboard.
8. High Level Security
Security can never be downplayed when it comes to protecting your site from attacks, be it malware, DDOs, ransomeware. These attacks are coordinated and executed with the goal of causing you losses. A successful attack no matter the extent will cause your business to restore, and during that time it will be unavailable.
Each of the 3 hosting packages has some form of security, however they come with their pros and cons. Shared WordPress hosted sites are prone to “cross-site contamination”, a situation brought about from sharing same server with other sites. Not much technical assistance is provided if your site is hacked or encounters malware.
For DIY VPS WordPress hosting, the responsibility for security remains yours. Your level of expertise and tools available to you will determine the level of security enjoyed.
A managed WordPress hosting comes with built-in security features that work to prevent your site against these attacks. Included are WordPress-specific security features, backups and restore in the case of anything happening to your data and premium support among many other security benefits!
9. Strategically Located Data Centers
Managed WordPress hosting servers are strategically positioned for global reach. Latency is the time and delay it takes for a piece of data to travel over a network. The further the distance, the greater the latency in the data transfers.
For example, if it takes 5 minutes to travel a distance of 100 miles, covering a distance of 200 miles would take 10 minutes to cover. Understanding latency, the further the distance apart, the more the latency, and the more time taken to deliver data over the network.
With a good understanding of this, managed WordPress hosting providers position their servers to ensure that latency is reduced as much as possible.
That is not to say that the other 2 alternative hosting packages put you at a disadvantage. They both come with their advantages, especially if you run a specific kind of business, or yours is a startup seeking to minimize cost.
The benefits of Managed WordPress hosting are myriad, and the ones mentioned here are not exhaustive as there are many more. The most important take away from this is that it is an option that allows you to focus on your strengths, while you outsource other activities to those best suited to serve them.
Would you want to make your dreams materialize by setting up your own profit ready website? If yes, follow me to my resource page and learn how to get started today