When it comes to hosting a WordPress site, there are a variety of options available, from basic shared hosting to VPS and dedicated servers. However, for many users, managing a WordPress site on a Linux server can be time-consuming and take away from their ability to design better websites and work with more customers. For these users, there are two main choices: general shared hosting or managed WordPress hosting.
While both options are shared, there are some misconceptions that need to be addressed in order to better understand each. General shared hosting services are inexpensive and host multiple customers per server, allocating few resources for each. These services are best suited for small websites, blogs, microsites, and corporate sites with low traffic. However, for medium to large sites that require fast performance, general shared hosting services are not sufficient. This is where managed WordPress hosting services come in.
Managed WordPress hosting services allow for more resource allocation per customer, fewer customers per server, larger amounts of traffic, and higher CPU usage patterns than general hosting services. They also provide an easy-to-use control panel and backups, but they are more expensive. If you want your WordPress site to succeed, it is recommended that you do not use a cheap hosting service.
So what features should you look for in a managed WordPress hosting service provider? Here are some key factors to consider:
Easy-to-Use Control Panel: While using a managed WordPress hosting service means you will still be sharing resources with other users, you will have more CPU time, faster resources, and lower latency. Many managed WordPress hosting services use cPanel as their control panel, which is easy to use and provides complete control over your files, database, and emails. Some providers may use custom interfaces, which can also be good as long as they are not outdated.
PHP7: PHP7 was introduced last year and is rapidly growing in adoption. WordPress is fully compatible with PHP7, so it is important to make sure your managed WordPress hosting service supports it. This will significantly reduce the latency and response time of your site.
Good Webserver Stack: Respected managed WordPress hosting services usually have a very good webserver stack with all kinds of caching mechanisms built into it. Look for providers that use Varnish, nginx as a proxy with Apache, or REDIS. Avoid providers that rely solely on Apache, as this can hurt your site’s performance.
More Features and Backup: Automated backups are almost a must-have, and the best managed WordPress hosting services will even offer staging sites, which are great for developing for WordPress.
Performance: Performance is one of the most important features in any good managed WordPress hosting service. Look for providers that respond to the first query in less than 700ms, as this is considered to be hosted on a good service. Ask for a test site before proceeding.
Good Support: Having good support behind every ticket is more important than very fast response times. Look for providers with professional staff who know what they are doing. Some managed WordPress hosting services may offer partial help if your site is having problems, while others may not help at all if your problem is not related to the hosting itself. Managed services represent more peace of mind, but the price will increase accordingly.
In conclusion, deciding on a managed WordPress hosting service can be a difficult task, but the most important factors to consider are performance, support, and ease of use. Remember not to decide solely on price. If you have tried several managed WordPress hosting services, share your experiences in the comments below.