In order to set up WordPress for your personal or business website, you’ll need to set up an account with a web hosting provider – but what kind of hosting do you need? WordPress is the world’s most popular site builder and content management system, and it can be used in all kinds of hosting environments. Yet, installing WordPress on a typical hosting account usually means that you – or someone you select – will be responsible for most, if not all, of the day to day management of every aspect of your WordPress site, including regular updates, security checks and more. Managed WordPress hosting is a specialized, “concierge” hosting service that takes care of all the technical aspects of running your WordPress site, so you don’t have to.
Web Hosting Takes Many Forms
There’s a web hosting plan to suit every need and every budget. Most newcomers to the world of websites opt for the standard type of hosting plans that come with a basic service package offered by all the web’s leading WordPress hosting companies. These packages usually include WordPress as one of many site-building options along with a number of other platforms. Basic hosting is usually shared hosting, too, which means that a multitude of different sites built with different architectures all share space on the host’s servers.
For clients with more complicated needs or larger sites, a number of hosts offer more specialized and exclusive hosting options, such as dedicated hosting packages that provide a server for a single client site, and virtual private server hosting, which partitions a shared site to give certain sites a semi-private space similar to dedicated hosting without the high prices. Managed hosting is another kind of specialized hosting option, a comprehensive solution for keeping a site running smoothly by putting it in the hands of specialized support teams dedicated to a particular kind of platform, such as WordPress.
Because WordPress powers more than 75 million websites worldwide, a number of hosting providers now offer services specifically for WordPress users. Some offer WordPress-focused hosting packages alongside general hosting services, and others dedicate their entire platforms exclusively to WordPress sites. Managed WordPress hosting is available in both of these hosting environments with space provided on servers that are configured specifically for WordPress.
How Does a Managed WordPress Hosting Plan Work?
Managed WordPress hosting can offer a virtually hands-off hosting experience. In a standard hosting environment, your basic hosting package typically buys you a certain amount of space on the host’s remote server, access to additional site-building tools and general support service. But unless you have an IT staff or can hire a webmaster or site developer, the setup and maintenance of your site is up to you. This includes things like installing and configuring themes and plugins and adding content to the site’s posts and pages. It also includes taking care of a number of back-end tasks that call for technical skills, as well as an investment of time and energy.
With a WordPress managed hosting account, the hosting company handles all tasks related to keeping the WordPress website running smoothly. Those services can include:
Keeping the Site Secure
One of the key services in a managed WordPress hosting package is security. Depending on the kind of plan you choose, managed hosting providers conduct periodic scans of your site to catch any inappropriate activity. They also install any recommended security updates for your theme and plugins, and make sure spam filters and firewalls are installed and working properly. In standard, shared hosting packages, the host typically maintains general server security, but installing other features is up to the client.
Handling General Site Maintenance
In a managed WordPress hosting environment, the host also takes care of regular chores such as backing up the site and installing regular updates to WordPress itself, as well as updates to the site’s theme and installed plugins, and troubleshooting any problems with connectivity and uptime.
Configuring Site Elements
Managed hosting services can also include installing and configuring essential elements, such as plugins and themes for the site’s general functionality, and scalability as it evolves.
Robust, Customized Support Services for All Aspects of Running the Site
Although managed WordPress hosting plans aim to relieve WordPress site owners of the day-to-day tasks of managing the technical side of running a website, users still have to interact with the site for things like adding new content, monitoring statistics, and moderating comments.
For help with those kinds of tasks, managed hosting providers typically offer round the clock technical and customer support provided by your web host. The support can range from help setting up a site to fixing obscure glitches in code. The support team is there to be your go-to resource and can help you with anything you need for your WordPress website. In a general hosting environment that supports many different kinds of site building platforms, tech support representatives may not have the in-depth knowledge of WordPress needed to solve more complicated problems with using the platform.
Should You Choose Managed WordPress Hosting Services?
Managed hosting relieves users of the job of ongoing site maintenance, which frees up time and energy for other kinds of tasks – but that kind of freedom can come at a higher price than a standard hosting account. Managed WordPress hosting users can typically choose from a variety of tiered packages that offer different combinations of services and products, with the option to scale up as needed over the lifetime of the site.
Managed WordPress hosting services can enhance the speed and security of your site. This means that in some cases, your host may block a needed plugin that could slow down a site’s loading speed or pose a security risk. Managed hosting relieves you of the day-to-day technical work of running your site, but this also means you give up a certain amount of control over those aspects of the site.
Very small sites, such as personal blogs or new online businesses that can function with only a general WordPress theme and a few essential plugins, may not need the additional services and support of managed hosting. But growing businesses and those with complex websites can benefit from the higher-end hosting services offered by managed WordPress providers. Managed WordPress hosting plans are another alternative in the long list of services and sites that support the most popular site building software in the world.