While I do earn a very good income online through Affiliate Marketing, I never hide one embarrassing fact about myself – I am not a technical guy at all. Sure, I know enough to be able to operate 20+ websites and I’ve been doing that full-time since 2011, but if you ever told me I had to run my own web server from home and manage all my own sites on that server, I’d likely go out of business pretty quick!
So, if you’re looking for the best WordPress managed hosting by learning all the technical details of what makes one WordPress hosting company better than the next, I’ll save you some time. This is not the article for you.
But maybe, just maybe, you’re similar to how I am. You know enough to build up a blog and write some good content for that blog, but when it comes to computer code and web host servers, you’re a bit lost. That is who this article is for.
How I Found The Best WordPress Managed Hosting Service
Now that you know I’m not a technical guy, you might be wondering how, exactly, I found the supposed “best” WordPress managed hosting service. Fair enough, and once again I’m going to be brutally honest here…
I learned by making a whole lot of mistakes at first. Mistakes I’m going to try and get you to avoid. Unfortunately, when I was first looking for WordPress managed hosting, I was very price conscious and I was more focused on cheap hosting for WordPress instead of finding a quality service.
Part of the reason I wanted cheap WordPress hosting at the time is because I was running a private blog network (PBN) with dozens of WordPress sites that I needed to have hosted at a bunch of different places. I used well known services such as HostGator, BlueHost, DreamHost, InMotion, and GoDaddy, but I also used lesser known services, many that don’t even exist anymore.
The unfortunate thing I found out is, when it comes to WordPress hosting and especially managed WordPress hosting, you do get what you pay for. With the cheap services, expect slow loading times, sites going down, getting hacked, and many other inconveniences that will happen very frequently, and forget about receiving prompt customer support.
While the more well-known services like HostGator worked well for me for a while, I ran into MANY issues with them after a while, especially as my traffic levels increased. I ended up having to pay for separate services and plugins for things like increasing site speed, improving security to stop getting hacked constantly, better backup services, etc. The final straw is when HostGator wanted me to pay a LOT more money due to how much traffic I was sending. They wanted me on a dedicated server, and by that point, I was simply fed up.
After all of my above experiences, I ended up on a service called WPengine. I started using WPengine almost 3 years ago and they have been absolutely incredible, but I’ll get into more reasons why I recommend WPengine a bit later, as well as some alternative options.
Features That Really Matter With Great WordPress Managed Hosting
Hosting companies love to use marketing lingo that sounds great. Well, ok, I guess all industries do that, but even cheap and low quality hosting companies will promise you things like “unlimited bandwidth”. Let’s be very clear about this, there is no such thing as “unlimited” bandwidth. I found this out the hard way. If you start sending a million people to your sites every day, I guarantee you that company who promised “unlimited bandwidth” will be asking you for much more money. That’s not the only marketing gimmick used, either.
So, in order to look past all the marketing garbage, let’s take a look at features and services that really matter when it comes to your managed WordPress hosting service.
Great Customer Support – I just can’t stress this enough. Dare I say this is the most important feature to look for in a web host? Back when I was with HostGator, their customer service was top notch. But somewhere along the line, it became absolute garbage. I remember waiting on hold both on the phone and on live chat for over an hour, only be to automatically disconnected on both. Emails went unanswered and I STILL have a support ticket that is technically “open” with them after many years. The last thing you want to deal with when your sites are down is a non-responsive customer service team. Before signing up for any WordPress managed hosting service, be sure you research other users experiences with their customer support. Another thing to consider is whether your hosting company has experts specifically on WordPress. The vast majority of hosting services, even those with specific WordPress managed hosting, will not assist you with WordPress related issues at all. Zip. Nadda. I can personally vouch for WPengine being fantastic in this regard. They have helped with not just routine server issues, but when my non-technical self accidentally breaks something on WordPress, they’ve come through for me every time.
No Gimmick Backup Services – The majority of WordPress managed hosting services will include free website backups, although the super cheap companies will charge you extra. Even those with free services are usually a bit gimmicky. For example, they might only allow a small number of backups otherwise you have to pay for a “premium” service. Or they might charge extra to link to your DropBox account or save a certain amount of data. Try to find a service that does not mess around with backups. Any WordPress managed hosting company should provide you with excellent automated backups at no additional cost.
Staging Area – Having a staging area to use is especially important for those of us who aren’t all that technical, especially if we need to tweak some code or make any big changes to the site. For example, let’s say you want to change from one WordPress theme to another. Instead of trying to change it all over at one time, you can use a staging area. You can transfer all your content and make sure everything looks and functions well in a test area before you can then make your staging site live. This has been an absolute life saver for me and is a great feature to have included.
Excellent Site Speed – If you’re going to be on a dedicated server, this isn’t as much of an issue, but most bloggers and website owners will at least start off on shared servers. In either case, cheaper WordPress hosting services will often cut corners on bandwidth, leading to slower site loading times, which kills SEO. You’ll definitely want to find a service that includes what is known as a Content Delivery Network (CDN). You can learn more about what a CDN is here, but in essence, it helps to ensure your content is delivered fast.
Top Notch Site Security – WordPress is by far the single most popular platform for building websites on the internet. It’s been that way for at least the past decade and it will be that way into the foreseeable future. While that is good in many respects, it’s actually bad for security purposes. With so many WordPress sites on the market, WordPress sites are big targets for hackers. Let me tell you, being hacked is not fun. It happened to me many times, including with well known hosting companies like HostGator. I ended up having to hire an outside service at Sucuri.net to keep my sites from being hacked, and that cost $29 per site just by itself! I can’t tell you what WPengine does for site security, but I can tell you that I have never had a single site hacked with their service.
I’m sure I’m missing a couple key features, but for the most part those are what I would consider to be the most important features to look for when searching for the best WordPress managed hosting.
A List Of The Best WordPress Managed Hosting Services
Here are some WordPress managed hosting services that meet all, or at least most, of the above features.
- WPengine – should be obvious by now this is my top choice & who I personally use.
- VIP WordPress
Some Final Thoughts about WordPress Managed Hosting
As I stated earlier, I am not a very technical guy. I know the basics of how web servers work, but I am not the guy who should be tinkering with them. So for me, really, the most important thing is not even really knowing my sites are being hosted by a managed service. If I don’t even have to think about it, they are doing their job. While I wouldn’t say any service is perfect and I have had some extremely minor issues with WPengine, they are about as close to perfect as it gets. Anytime I’ve had an issue, it has been minor and resolved beyond my expectations. I didn’t quite mean for this to turn into a commercial for WPengine, which is why I provided some features to look for in any WordPress managed hosting provider, as well as a list of other providers you can look into that have a good reputation, but the bottom line is I have been using WPengine for quite a while and it’s the only service I recommend to friends, family, or anyone else who asks me about WordPress managed hosting.