Is Managed WordPress Hosting Worth It Or Can You Do It Yourself?

WordPress websites require constant care and attention, especially when the site has a large number of daily visitors. “Managing” WordPress includes optimizing WordPress for speed, security, efficiency, fault tolerance, scalability, and even disaster recovery. This means ensuring that the WordPress website is always available to visitors and that there is minimal downtime. This article looks at whether you really need “managed” WordPress hosting or whether any ordinary shared hosting will suffice as well. The goal of this article is to introduce a novice or novice WordPress webmaster to decipher the jargon and hype created about “managed” WordPress hosting.

What is managed WordPress hosting?

Managed WordPress hosting is when you outsource the management of your WordPress installation to your hosting company (or a specialized agency, who will do it for you). It may be called a special type of hosting that may have been optimized for WordPress or special tools that will enhance the overall WordPress experience.

Most “managed” hosting providers provide services specially tuned for WordPress which can broadly be categorized as caching tools, web application firewalls, version control tools, content delivery network routing (CDN), staging areas and more.

Is there a difference between ordinary shared hosting for WordPress and managed WordPress hosting?

Yes and No. Some hosts that provide managed WordPress hosting indicate the exact distinction between their WordPress plans and ordinary hosting plans. They also mention that you can add more features for a price. They often sell features like CDN and version control as additional packages that you have to pay for. If a provider hasn’t specifically mentioned that they offer “managed” WordPress hosting, you can assume that their WordPress plans have minor variations from their regular shared hosting plans.

Can You “Do It Yourself” For WordPress Hosting?

The short answer is Yes, but with certain limitations. Let’s take a look at some options that “Managed WordPress” providers sell, and also list the alternatives that are available to ordinary shared hosting.

website speed

Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) cache the static parts of your website as images and serve the images directly to the visitor from their servers. You can always buy a CDN solution to increase the speed and availability of your website. This can be purchased separately from your shared hosting account. Options like CloudFlare, Photon, MaxCDN can be purchased separately when you need them.

WordPress also includes great plugins like W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, and WP Fastest Cache that will do the caching on your hosting account. This will be similar technology used by Manage WordPress Providers. However, some providers will have their own proprietary software to do the caching, which may be significantly faster or use a different technology. Many of them also use HTTP Accelerator like Varnish to speed up pages at the web server level, something you may only be able to achieve if you have your own server.

website security

Most hosting providers have multiple levels of security implemented by default on their servers. This means that web application firewalls are implemented by default. You can also use reverse proxy services like CloudFlare to improve the level of security.

Developer tools and aids

While you may not be able to set up a professional staging area for your website, you can make do with a couple of WordPress plugins, which will be able to provide you with some limited staging features. An ideal plugin is SitePush, which can easily move content and code between WordPress sites and also push your site’s database to a development site or push new code to a test site. The same applies to version control tools like git as well. However, some of these programs may require you to have server-level control, which may only be possible if you have your own server. This can be a costly affair and it may be worth taking the managed solution.

Do You Really Need Managed WordPress Hosting?

WordPress Managed Services support it and perform routine tasks on your behalf. They may also have some unique technology to offer. They come at a price, but if you feel like you can’t handle your website on your own, you’re better off with that service. If you’re a bit tech-savvy and have a bit of programming knowledge, you can do it yourself and achieve reasonably good results without paying a fortune. Having a managed service on a very high traffic site will definitely show some performance improvements. But if your daily visitors are in the thousands, then you will notice only a marginal difference. Be sure to do a cost-benefit analysis and open a trial account before putting your money into it.

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