As a web agency with a LOT of hosting accounts (we have countless side-projects and like to experiment), we know hosting inside-out. One of our most requested comparisons is for managed WordPress hosting providers, so we’ve rounded up & reviewed our favorites. Enjoy!


Best Managed WordPress Hosting: Our Top 5 – November 2017

WordPress Hosting CompanyOverall RatingPrice/mo. (cheapest available)Disk SpaceOne Sentence ReviewsReviewsWebsite
siteground2 (Officially recommended by WordPress!)USD $3.95 (60% Discount - get the GrowBig plan for extra WP features)10GBPowerful, Fast, + Very Affordable = Win!Read MoreGrab The Discount
flywheelUSD $155GBFree SSL + easily scalable (extra features for web designers/agencies)!Read MoreVisit Site
pressidiumUSD $215GBFree SSL, Free Migration, Very scalable = this one is rising fast.Read MoreVisit Site
wpengineUSD $2910GBA market leader in WordPress hosting! (if you have the budget)Read MoreVisit Site
KinstaUSD $1005GBWordPress hosting for the big boys (Ubisoft is one of their clients...), though massive performance comes with a cost.Read MoreVisit Site

It’s not easy finding a decent WordPress host that’s actually semi-affordable, and unless you’re an Excel wizard, it can get a bit overwhelming comparing all the different hosting features (like cost vs bandwidth, disk space, usability, support, reviews, etc.).

In general, managed WordPress hosts are definitely more expensive than your usual shared hosts (with the exception being SiteGround), but the level of support and performance you get in return is pretty awesome! 

The following 5 are our personal favorites. We’ve used the following criteria to sort the top managed WP hosts: Ease of Use, Affordability, and Performance / Power. Enjoy!

Tom D. S. – Editor

Managed WP Hosting Comparison: Our Top 5 Detailed

1. SiteGround

This is our all-time favorite hosting company, they’re cheap, have very powerful servers (all over the world), and most importantly, the support is top-notch.

As for WordPress features, their GrowBig plan comes with SuperCacher – SiteGround’s in-house caching system that massively speeds up the performance of any WordPress site. They also have WP auto-updaters, free SSL, free WordPress migrations, etc.

SiteGround also comes highly recommended by WordPress (very few hosting companies can claim this!), this is an absolute no-brainer! Oh, + they have a 30-day money back guarantee!

They have 3 hosting plans, their most affordable plan starts at only $3.95/mo (60% off the usual price)! 

Get Started Today & Grab The 60% discount!

siteground2

  Winner – 9.6/10

Ease of Use

95%

Affordability

92%

Performance / Power

90%

2. Flywheel

Flywheel is – in our opinion – the best choice for web agencies and resellers! You really have to check out their feature-set on their site, but here are some of our favorite highlights.

They have a strong focus on improving your workflow with your hosting clients, so they include things like Blueprints (Package up common themes and plugins as starter sets for future projects.), Staging (Make changes to sites & test before pushing the changes live), Site Cloning, Transfer billing to your clients, Collaboration w/o sharing passwords, and much much more.

They offer a variety of hosting packages for individuals and agencies, their cheapest plan starts at only $14/mo

Get Started With Flywheel

Ease of Use

95%

Affordability

85%

Performance / Power

93%

3. Pressidium

Not so well-known but very very good! This very site now runs on Pressidium in fact. While they’re more expensive than some of the others, they make up for it with their insane server setups.

Features include automatic scaling (eg. traffic spikes are not an issue, the architecture scales accordingly), off-site backups (love this one), staging sites, auto-updates, dynamic load balancing, very aggressive caching, an awesome CDN, the list goes on & on. Seriously, if you have the budget, sign up!

Their cheapest plan starts at $21/month

Go with Pressidium

Ease of Use

95%

Affordability

80%

Performance / Power

93%

4. WP Engine

WP Engine is still the current market leader when it comes to mainstream managed wp hosts, and with good reason. They have an in-house custom built caching system to serve pages super-fast (called EverCache), and combined with their CDN, they are one of the the fastest WP hosting companies around!

They’ve got all the basics like auto-updates, 24/7 WP specialised support, staging, etc… but they also have live real-time threat detection, actively block DDOS attacks, and they’ll even fix your site for free if it does get hacked… pretty neat.

All of the above more than justifies the price tag! Interested in peace of mind and can spare the budget?

Their cheapest plan starts at $29/month

Go with WP Engine

Ease of Use

95%

Affordability

75%

Performance / Power

93%

5. Kinsta

This is for the big boys, they have all the features every other WP host has, but unlike the others, they don’t charge for the amount of visitors, meaning all plans allow for unlimited visitors and pageviews. To check out why they’re for the top dogs, check out the site.

Their cheapest plan starts at $100/month

View Their Plans

Ease of Use

92%

Affordability

60%

Performance / Power

95%

Managed WordPress Hosting: The Details

The growing popularity of WordPress has led to increased WordPress specialization. Many different host providers on the web have recently chosen to focus on WordPress. This means that these providers have designed the most optimal platforms for WordPress sites. These platforms help you manage more technical aspects and functions of WordPress so that you can take a load off your plate.

Daily backups, WordPress updates, scalability, and security are all functionalities covered by managed WordPress hosting providers. While they act as a concierge for the technical nitty-gritty, you are freer to continue what you do best; sharing and creating fantastic content. Depending on the (usually US based) company they may also provide options for shared hosting, dedicated hosting, cloud hosting and possibly even reseller hosting.

Managed hosts are also designed to handle the site up-time and the speed. Many of these companies take advantage of caching at the server level and own a CDN for ease. This means that you won’t have to rely on cache plugins. Platforms like these allow those with too little time or no technical background to still manage their site the way they want to without worry.

Why do you need Managed WordPress Hosting?

Running a full-time, actively engaged WordPress site or blog is not an easy job. It is time-consuming and requires plenty of attention. It is a load enough to handle social media, website design, content, and marketing, trying to take on the technical aspects of running a site can simply be too much. You may have already started to worry as your site has begun to pick up more traffic.

As an owner of a business, you only have two choices when it comes to keeping up with a growing site. Either search for a self-controlled solution or hire another team member to manage the technical aspects for you. While looking for solutions, your research may have brought you to managed hosting. This type of web hosting usually comes recommended because the extra care removes a lot of potential headaches regarding backups, updates, and security.

Nowadays most of these website hosting companies are available at fairly affordable prices, though they can vary depending on the features, care, and raw server resources each site gets. This goes the same for a hired hand, and these experts will always cost more than your average web host. If cost is one of your top priorities, you may want to consider a shared hosting account instead of managed hosting.

Like many others, you have probably already considered all the above and asked yourself a lot of the following questions; do I really need this? Why are some sites so expensive while others are so cheap? Is it worth the hassle of signing up? These platforms are good solutions to new owners or individuals that already manage large or medium sized businesses. Once your site begins to pick up more traffic, it can be hard to keep up with.

If you are having trouble deciding if you need this service, please review and use our extensive research on the benefits and disadvantages of WordPress hosting as well as what to expect from a good WordPress host.

The Pros and Cons of Managed WordPress Hosting

Although managed hosting seems like the perfect deal, it really isn’t for everyone. They do differ between companies, but at a very basic level, a host should provide ease of use, power, affordability and performance. The main idea behind managed hosting is that the owner of the website can focus on marketing and content creation rather than other time-consuming aspects. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the differences in packages that each of these hosts offer.

Benefits

Incredible speed

Website speed plays a large role in success and site rankings. If your speed is slow there are many different things you can do to assist in speed improvement, such as implementing a caching plugin or using a delivery network for content like MaxCDN. Even reducing image file sizes is a viable option. But for those of you that do not have time to make these modifications, managed WP hosts take care of all the speed optimization for you.

They enable caching directly at the server level so that you do not have to depend on any third-party plugins for caching. Their servers are also specifically configured for WordPress. This allows your site to keep up with functionality regardless of how crazy the traffic gets. So no matter if your traffic comes from New York, Houston, or Chicago, the loading speed will be a non-issue.

Security

People new to site managing often forget that they need to protect their assets. In this day and age, security is everything. If you are handling your site alone and you do not have any security experience, your site and your information may be vulnerable to attacks. WordPress sites are often targeted by hackers and bots (due to how many sites use the platform). These dangers can come in any form such as malware, viruses, and hacking attempts.

This danger affects you as an owner but it also affects your site visitors. These attacks can lead to a fully compromised system or site. A great benefit of working with a WordPress host means that you are protected from these possibilities. You are even protected from denial-of-service or DDoS attacks. These sites ensure that you have an incredibly tight level of security that stays active and engaged, actively scanning your site for modified files on a daily basis.

Automatic updates

Trying to keep up with marketing and managing can be a chore. When you do not use a managed host, you are responsible for updating your site. Updates are critical to maintaining a speedy site and keeping everything secure. Managed web hosts have you covered, they update all core plugins and WordPress itself whenever a new (stable) version is released.

Further than this, the WordPress host also automatically updates your core files to the most recent version. This is incredibly beneficial because the waiting time is removed. Files are updated at the exact moment of release. This helps eliminate a third-party update and any extra costs involved.

No downtime

Managed hosts typically have better infrastructure in place in case a US server goes down (backup serves simply take over), meaning that they’re promoted uptime of 99.9% is actually there.

Technical support

Going it alone is a gruelling experience when things go wrong. If you manage your site alone and the site goes down, takes too long to buffer or begins to malfunction in other ways, you are the only resource you have. At the very least, your site may experience downtime, lose information or even lose ranking due to the issues. Site visitors expect a certain level of quality when navigating. They are less likely to return if they experience technical difficulties.

A benefit of working with a managed WordPress host is the built-in technical support that comes with most packages (with teh higher end hosts offering US based support staff). They often work around the clock, 24/7 so that any problems can be handled swiftly and deftly. All questions regarding development, tweaks, speed or updates can be answered just as well as issues.

Daily backups

Like updates, backups can be just as time-consuming. Trying to keep up with every single technical aspect is a challenging game and backups are crucial to ensuring avoidance of a full site loss. Like backing up a phone, backups ensure that if something does happen, there is a decent starting point to pick back up.

With a managed WordPress host, you will never have to lift a finger to worry about this. Hosts backup sites daily so that all data is entirely and always safe. With really good hosts, there is often a setting to easily restore your WordPress site to the backup of a previous day making it incredibly user-friendly.

Development or “dev” tools

Once you have created a site, pushing it to its highest possible quality and functionality is the goal for most site owners. The most thought out and well-planned sites for user-friendly and directed content rank the highest. It is easy to bring your site to this level of success with the right development tools.

Development tools are essential for proper site building and refining. These tools help you design and debug your website. Debugging is an important aspect of running a site because if your visitors experience glitches, they are less likely to return or trust your site. With a WordPress host, all the tools are in your hands for ease of access.

Staging tools

This tool, like development tools, help you test your site first before uploading live content. Staging tools help you avoid a bad upload because you can see how new developments, design or functionalities play out in real life. Any time you would like to try out a brand-new plugin, theme or design, you can easily give it a go before setting it in stone.

Staging tools are also useful for making quick, easy changes. These functionalities also provide secure deletion and help you avoid any accidental uploads. All of this is in favor of improved ranking and traffic for your site.

Disadvantages

Pricing  

The cost of managed web hosting providers definitely varies a lot, from the low-end US based SiteGround, to Kinsta at $100/mo

Some hosting companies can really whack a punch at around $80-$120/mo. This can be a weighing downside to working with a host. However, the choice always boils down to your needs specifically. It may be fully worth the investment.

Limits

Even though WordPress hosts are thought to be limitless, there are some restrictions on plugin usage. Most hosts do not allow plugins that consume a lot of resources. These are plugins like as W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache. This is considered an issue for many users that prefer to use those plugins.

Interface differences

Another thing to watch out for are the issues that may occur when switching host types.

Sometimes when changing from managed hosting to shared hosting, or vice versa, some user portals do not function the same way. Visitors and site owners may both find this difficult and an unwanted challenge. 

Features to Check When Searching for the Best Managed WordPress Host

Web hosting brings about a lot of important decisions. There are a lot of factors to consider when refurbishing your site or creating one for the first time. To get it up and running means to consider every single technical responsibility and leave no stone unturned. Once you have fully figured out what you want your site to include as well as your method of web hosting, you need to narrow down the right provider. These should be companies you can trust entirely with your site and its well-being. Here are a few factors you may need to consider before making a final decision:

Location of the Server

Physical server locations can directly influence the load time of your sites. If the server is in US, and so are you visitors, it is likely that they will be able to access the site more quickly. When the server is significantly far away, visitors may experience difficulties when loading which can lead to decreased rankings and engagement. Make sure that the company you sign on with have reasonably placed servers (eg. choose the one closest to your target market), and ideally a CDN, which solves this issue by distributing your site across a network of global nodes from which a copy of the site can be served.

Storage Limitations

Website hosts sometimes try to swindle you into less storage space than promised. Space is pertinent to hosting your website, if there is not enough space, the site will not be hosted properly. Be sure to double check that the allotted storage space works with your website on your chosen plan before committing to any contracts.

The Extent of Support

Even though your chosen provider may boast about their US based technical customer support, they may have restrictive hours or requirements. In some cases, extra fees are needed to access support. The best managed WordPress hosting providers have 24/7 support so you can access assistance at any time. Be sure to watch out for providers that have around the clock help.

Invest in Managed WordPress Hosting Today!

You can either do the research yourself using the above criteria or save time and choose one of our recommended hosts!

The Foundation and Evolution of Managed WordPress Hosting

Back in the late 2000’s and the early 2010’s, the economy was in the midst of going bust, WordPress was on the verge of becoming an internet superpower, and companies were trying to figure out how to hang on to customers and continue the growth of revenue. Then, in 2009, managed WordPress hosting sprang onto the scene and created a one billion dollar portion out of a $10-15 billion dollar industry. To accommodate the crowd sourced, sometimes overwhelming plugins WordPress required, hosting companies started using code to automate the updates, ensure website security and streamline back-end features of website maintenance. It wasn’t long before a lot of hosting providers were offering their own type of WordPress management system with their own unique features and prices.

The new service of managed WordPress hosting commanded a higher price than the old standard shared hosting plans. From the start, all hosting companies were expected to offer a standard set of features: increased speed to websites, round the clock security, bandwidth expansion for higher traffic websites, customer support and daily updates. But, because these services were a dime a dozen, a number of copy-cat companies sprang up and it was hard for customers to determine which brand was the best. Hosting companies had to start including features, services and niches that distinguished them uniquely from each other.

A few of the big Managed WP Hosting providers:

Pagely is the true originator of managed WordPress hosting. They wrote automated code that would automatically update WordPress plugins and work within the WordPress core. They also created the framework for securing websites from cyber attacks and blueprinted the settings to increase website speed. Today, Pagely strives to continue to improve their security along the lines of WordPress’ growth. They strive to consolidate their services, stay in line with the tastes of mainstream markets and serve high-end companies. To this day Pagely has worked with big companies like Disney and Facebook. Their goal is to always stay customer focused.

WP Engine is highly regarded as one of the best WordPress management hosts because of their great customer service, their fast loading speeds, their back up and cache facilities, and their user friendliness for web developers. WP Engine’s services can handle high amounts of traffic to a website and their focus ranges from taking care of the needs of personal website owners to full on businesses. Their starting price is on the less expensive side at $29 a month but they offer a whole lot more than a shared hosting platform.

Though it is a popular option and is often grouped together with other managed WordPress hosting companies, SiteGround is actually not the same thing. It is technically known as a high end shared hosting company. From the beginning, they’ve offered good speed and performance, caching backups, CDN access, a full cPanel, and email management. The one problem that they don’t offer is strong security when it comes to your website. So, if you are at the risk of being hacked, you’ll have to see to a third party to truly secure your website. SiteGround’s pricing starts at $3.95 a month and stays under $20 a month for a good amount of storage space and strong support for high traffic websites.

Flywheel cornered their niche of the market by targeting web designers and web developers. Some of the features they include specifically for this are: simple collaboration so different people can set up their own user name and password for specific projects, blueprinting that allows their clients to create more than one WordPress site with specific themes, plugins and settings, and client transfers allow Flywheel developers and designers to build free websites to give to their own customers. Flywheel’s pricing ranges from $15  a month to $250 and can cover up to 600000 monthly visitors for the largest plan.

Kinsta is a newer WordPress management platform, founded in 2013. Their specialty services cater to businesses and they rely on Google Cloud for their website speed and scalability. They offer the other standards managed WordPress features; like excellent customer service, security guarantee and CDN network support. Kinsta is highly regarded because it comes with a full WordPress back end infrastructure, leaving you free to handle the design and feel of your website. Their prices start at $100 a month and with each plan increase by $100.

Managed WordPress hosting has come a long way since it burst into the industry 2009. Each company has done their work to ensure that their footprint on the hosting scene is unique. The features that each company offers are designed to resonate with different industries and taste of customers. Knowing where these companies came from, how they’ve evolved to fit in with WordPress’ ever-growing and ever-changing influence, and the unique offers that they specialize in will help you determine the best hosting program for your needs.