Managed vs Unmanaged WordPress Hosting – Which Should You Choose?
WordPress is easily the best content management system for anyone with minimal or advanced technical knowledge. It allows you to launch a website quickly, easily and build it up to make it the outstanding online presence you desire. To top it off, it’s completely free to use, which is not a small bonus when you’re looking to start a business.
WordPress allows you to create any kind of website you need, from simple portfolio websites, to blogs, social networking sites, forums, directories, eCommerce sites and more. Whatever you imagine, you can do it with a bit of technical knowhow. But even if you don’t know much about web design, you can still have a professional website.
Just find a theme that catches your eye and is appropriate for your business, install it and after a bit of customization, you’ll have your professional looking website.
Of course, not every aspect of running a website is free. The first cost you’ll have to deal with is the price of hosting.
You have two main options when it comes to WordPress, one is using Managed Hosting and the other is using Unmanaged Hosting. Both have their fair set of advantages and disadvantages. Which one you should choose is completely up to your needs, so let’s dissect this question and get you your answer!
What is Managed Hosting?
Managed hosting is a hosting service or plan that can be broken down to numerous components. The first one is the server you use to run your website of course. But the server usually has an operating system installed and various kinds of software that makes its operation smooth.
This is the basis of host hosting services out there, but hosting companies offer additional services too. You can have useful features like automated backups, status monitoring, malware scanning and removal, security checks and so much more. These are additional management services which are partly carried out by server administrators.
So, basically managed hosting features additional management services that take the weight off your shoulders. You would have to do the monitoring, malware scanning and everything else on your own if you go with an unmanaged hosting plan.
Managed hosting has a lot more benefits, but that varies from company to company. It’s super useful to have a managed hosting plan but it also costs more than regular services.
What is Unmanaged Hosting?
Unmanaged hosting is a barebones hosting plan that doesn’t offer any additional software or services. You’ll only get a server with the operating system installed, so you’ll need to install anything else you need by yourself. Not just WordPress and Drupal and similar software, but basic system software such as PHP and Apache.
This is why it’s referred to as unmanaged hosting, because the hosting company doesn’t provide any services you could rely on when it comes handling routine tasks on the server. If you want something done, you’ll have to do it yourself, that’s why it’s so inexpensive.
Unmanaged hosting is a great option if you’re looking to launch an application that requires specific server settings. Having a managed hosting might interfere with what you’re trying to do, so it’s best to have full control over the server.
It is also a great option for anyone who is looking to learn about server management, because it allows them to have an environment they can experiment on. To top it off, it’s a lot more inexpensive, so you’ll save plenty of money with it.
If you’re someone who is at least interested in managing servers and saving cash than unmanaged hosting will prove to be a solid option.
Choosing the Right Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed hosting plans come in all shapes and sizes. If you’re not a tech-savvy person and you want a hosting plan that makes thing convenient and helps you spare time, than managed hosting is definitely your way to go.
Here we have outlined the three managed WordPress hosting providers we thought to be the best. You can choose one of them, according to your budget and needs.
1. WP Engine
WP Engine is a popular VIP WordPress hosting service that knows how to make the lives of its customers easier. They offer hassle-free hosting services with plenty of robust servers and features. Their servers and their staff can handle just about anything, which is why they have a 96% issue resolution rate. Furthermore, your website will basically be hacker-proof. This is mainly thanks to the daily backups, automatic security updates, one-click restore points, automatic caching, one-click staging area and a lot more.
Using WP Engine’s services is like having an army of WordPress experts on your side, who have your best interests in mind. You can count on them to keep your WordPress website fast and well throughout the entire year.
Their monthly prices range from $20.42 per month to, $169.17 per month within the first year, which is quite a fair deal.
Pressidium is one of the lesser known managed WordPress hosting providers in the industry, mainly because they are still gaining traction. However, they are already among the best WordPress-specialized hosting providers on the market, as they couldn’t slip from the eyes of experts.
They have proven to be an outstanding solution for tech startups, universities, media outlets, digital agencies and numerous Fortune 500 companies. Pressidium has servers all over the world. You can host your website in Southeast Asia, Europe, North America, Japan or Oceania.
Their headquarters is in London, United Kingdom, which you can call whenever you have an issue with your service. But that’s usually rare, because Pressidium’s hosting service is really well-put together. It has plenty of security, usability related and security related tools and features that enhance their service, making it faster and safer.
Pressidium currently hosts 25,000+ websites, with that number growing every day. They offer a 99.95% uptime, which is quite an attractive quality. No matter what kind of website you run on Pressidium’s servers, their team of experts will always have your back. We’ve found plenty of reviews from satisfied customers all around the world, which gave the green light for this recommendation.
You can get a managed hosting service from Pressidium for as low as $24.90 per month. You can also upscale something high grade like the Business plan for $250 per month or choose from any of the other plans in between.
FlyWheel delivers impressive speeds, reliable performance and the customer support you need to have your WordPress site running smoothly. Furthermore, building a website from scratch is also very easy through its one-click staging features and free demo sites.
There is a lot more to FlyWheel than meets the eye, because it’s a hosting service that’s mainly marketed for designers and creative agencies. They make it easy for creative people to do what they’re best at and leave server management to those who can better handle it. They’re also very helpful and will go above and beyond to help you out with whatever issue you have.
FlyWheel has a robust network infrastructure that’s optimized for scale, speed and security. Their plans are all rich in features such as automated backups, built-in caching, automatic WordPress updates, SSL support, built-in CDN integration and a lot more. Furthermore, they’ll also migrate your website for you free of charge. To top it all off, you can try their services for 30-days and get your money back if you don’t like it.
You can get your hands on a managed hosting plan for as little as $14.00 per month.
Choosing a Good Unmanaged WordPress Hosting
If you’re looking to launch a simple website that doesn’t require too much server resources and you would like to do it as inexpensively as possible, you have 3 very solid options. You can have your website set up and running smooth for about $5 per month, if you choose either of these unmanaged hosting providers.
BlueHost is one of the top recommended hosting providers at WordPress.org, mainly because it is specialized for the platform. BlueHost is the prime destination for most bloggers out there as it is one of the cheapest and fastest options for WordPress. You can get started within an hour, install WordPress, set up your site and have it running fast all year.
People like BlueHost because its reliable performance and decent customer support. Though we had to wait about 20 minutes for a response, we did get it and the answer was helpful too. Furthermore, the customer support representatives know WordPress really well and keep their knowledge up to date, as they knew what the platform’s latest updates and plugins offered.
Everything I’ve mentioned is solid reasons for bloggers and small business owners to take their website to BlueHost. It allows them to have an inexpensive quick start and invest their valuable dollars into other ventures that help them grow their business.
If you’re looking for a quick, simple and inexpensive way to get your blog or professional business website up and running, you can do it for as little as $3.95 per month.
2. InMotion Hosting
InMotion is easily one of the most powerful unmanaged, shared hosting services that you can get your hands on. They got a lot of fame for their award-winning customer support, as people love when responses are timely and to the point. It was so in our experience as well, because we didn’t have to wait more than 2 minutes to get a response to our query.
Their servers are also lightning fast as the website we stored on one of them loaded in less than 500 milliseconds. Furthermore, the 99.99% uptime would allow anyone to entrust their website to InMotion throughout the entire year. There are very few hosting providers that are so robust and reliable. Almost every company we checked out was getting some sort of complaint from their users on web hosting forums, but not InMotion. We’ve rarely found an unsatisfied InMotion customer, which is a telltale sign that they’re doing something right.
Installing WordPress is a breeze and you also have access to 310 useful applications and other content management systems. If you’re looking for a hosting service that is truly robust and will give you a team of experts you can reach out to, InMotion has you covered. You can subscribe to their business plan now for $3.99 per month.
HostGator offers the highest speeds for the least amount of cash. They are one of the web-hosting giants on the market as they have been around for 20 years. The services they offer are reliable and their customer support is pretty decent too in our experience. However, we read a lot of complaints on forums and other review sites, so it’s best if you try their customer support during the 30 days money back period. HostGator will make it easy for you to run WordPress as you only need to launch the setup and everything will take care of itself.
One of their best plans at the moment is their shared cloud hosting which is lightning fast, making your site load within less than 500 milliseconds. It will also get you a lot more resources than most hosting plans would for the same price. It’s definitely a hosting service that’s worth trying as it only costs $2.75 per month.
When you’re launching a large online business, you’ll need all the help you can get. Managed hosting services will do the hard work of administrating your server, so all you have to do is run your website and have fun. Unmanaged hosting services on the other hand require you to make updates and handle your system with care, but not necessarily. If the control panel is well put together, then you can handle most of your server’s administration through a few clicks. At the end of the day, your choice should depend on how resource hungry your website is, or whether or not you need custom server settings for an app and how much money you are willing to pay.