“You wanna tinker or make some money?” That’s how I feel about WordPress managed hosting and business.
I don’t know if anyone has ever said those words, but they keep ringing in my ear to the voice of Tommy Lee Jones. I picture him standing over some rookie, hands on his hips with that iconic dumbfounded look as if he’s about to slap the sense into them.
Myself and millions of bloggers and internet marketers across the globe (you, too, probably) can relate. It’s a confusing landscape to navigate and we don’t know what we don’t know. You’re about to be handed some valuable information.
This managed WordPress hosting comparison has been called the Ultimate Guide to WordPress Managed Hosting. There are only a handful of companies in this market that I’d even consider as truly managing your website.
Knowing which hosts landed close to the top of the rankings makes you well-informed, so I’ll introduce them at the end.
Not every WordPress host or plan is actually “managed” in the sense that they’ll keep your site up to date, protected like Fort Knox, and faster than a cheetah in heat. Or fix the thing when it breaks. You know. The kind worthy of recommending to your brother or sister.
Some web hosts can be misleading in their claims when all they really do is WordPress website hosting, not managing. That is, they’re just a web host and offer space onto which you can put a WordPress or Joomla or whatever kind of site you want. I’ll discuss this more in a bit.
I’ll also highlight the things you need to be on the look out for so that you aren’t the next hosting horror story. Go to any forum and someone, somewhere has some web host to complain about due to shady practices. I’ve got some tips to help you avoid those practices and those types of hosts.
Why WordPress Managed Hosting Matters
This guide is the result of decades of personal hands on experience with dozens of web hosts, and more time spent researching the subject than I ever should have.
I took CIS & MIS classes at PSU in the very early 1990’s with MS-DOS, before Windows was even a thought. I built my first website in 1997 and also one of the first online discussion groups. Bah!
But I’m obsessed with this hosting topic because it’s one which caused the rookie me a lot of angst, lost revenue and a ton of wasted time messing with hosting when I should’ve been building my business.
In hindsight it couldn’t be any clearer, that if you don’t let someone else worry about the hosting while you worry about the business, both will suffer.
And that’s the point of it all.
“It’s good to learn from your mistakes. It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes.”
Don’t make the same mistakes the rest of us have. Every minute, every penny that you spend trying to “get it right” with web hosting is taking away from building the front end that makes the money, whether that be creating awesome content, delivering a service, or selling products.
If you needed transportation would you rent a car, or rent a garage and some tools to build a car?
Yep, and your online business is exactly like that. I have a feeling we’re on the verge of transition to where business owners and bloggers no longer feel the need to manage under the hood of WordPress.
A time when generic hosting means what we now think of as “WordPress Managed Hosting”.
Remember in the early days of the internet, and the sound of your 2400 baud modem ringing off in the corner while you dialed in? Now that WordPress powers well over 25% of all websites, it’s only a matter of time before the things we have to mess with today are gone.
Like caching, CDN, security, staging, compatibility, backups, site SEO, image compression, social media integration… you know, those things that managed WordPress hosting already does for you.
Unless you’re in this for a hobby, and love tinkering and tweaking and torquing… it’s time to let it go. Of course if your websites aren’t large enough yet to justify managed hosting then stick with shared or something.
But the point of this article is for those considering managed WordPress hosting services. Otherwise check out my review of Shared Hosting or Reseller Hosting options.
Yes, you still have to choose and set up your theme and add whatever specific plugins you need (translations, tables, etc…) but the things which cause bloggers and business owners to pull their own hair out, those are taken care of very well by the host.
You build the website content and that’s it. Capisce?
I’ve researched, compared and talked to each of the companies who have made my top 5 best Managed WordPress Hosting list; I feel confident that I could recommend each of them to my own family based on their needs and budget. No exception.
My point is that at the end of the day you have to follow the smoke. That’s where the fire is. Users and businesses the globe over have used and reviewed WordPress managed hosting services until the cows came home. They are what they are and their services and capabilities revealed.
Don’t try to be more clever than the crowd in this case. Other people have spent money and sweat figuring out which of these are worth their salt, which means you don’t have to.
When a company seems shady on the money back guarantee thingy, it makes me wonder. That’s just one example of how common sense can lead you down the right path.
Executive Summary on Managed WordPress Hosting
If you’re the type who’s in a hurry and wants the bottom line up front, here it is.
When you factor in the price, performance and unique services offered by WP Engine, then couple those with 24/7 in-house WordPress expert support staff, you quickly realize that WP Engine is the only one who “isn’t like the others“.
Running on pure enterprise-grade hardware, WP Engine keeps all of your themes and plugins up to date, and they even pre-test major updates in a secure environment before putting them up on your sites.
But here’s another thing that makes them superior… if your site gets compromised they will fix it and get you back up, for free! Can you hear me now?
Capable of easily handling 25k visitors with even the basic plan and offering the best guarantee in the business, WP Engine has to be King. And your business can grow and scale without a worry.
But in fairness, Flywheel isn’t far behind in 2nd. The primary thing which held Flywheel out of contention for 1st place as best-managed WordPress host was their lack of 24/7 support. Problems and hackers don’t work banker’s hours and neither should your support team.
With the speed performance that search engine ranking now requires (most people can get 1 second or less page loads on WP Engine), and the increasing threat of WordPress hacking, there’s no sensible reason for any business or blogger to not be using managed WordPress hosting (versus old school vanilla shared hosting).
Right now for Epic Fizz readers here’s a 20% off your first payment (annual or monthly) coupon, so click and save at WP Engine right now and don’t look back (that’s a huge savings so don’t miss out on it).
Are you on a very tight budget or just starting out, but still want the power of managed WordPress hosting? You’re in luck. Right now you can get a whopping 50% off of SiteGround’s already low price. Click here for SiteGround, they’re the only “budget friendly” choice if you’re running WordPress and you’re ready to progress to a managed host. There are others out there but none of them are in the same class in this price range.
WordPress Managed Hosting – The Essentials
Here’s a list of features that you can expect with managed WordPress hosting, why it’s becoming essential, and why it makes the extra cost worth it.
- Security – As WordPress grows hackers are becoming better at being bad. And WordPress already powers over 1/4 of all websites worldwide.
Also, we have increasingly stricter and tighter government restrictions on how you and I have to better secure and manage personal information about our customers and visitors. So if your site becomes hacked, and personal information about your customers is compromised AND you weren’t taking standard security precautions, you could find yourself in a situation.
And of course now there’s been an alarming rise of ransomware where even large corporations and government agencies have been locked out of their own websites by hackers until they pay a large ransom fee.
Securi reports that 78% of the hacked websites that they investigated in Q1 2016 were WordPress sites. In 2016 there were more than 16,000 WordPress sites compromised and the Securi report found that the leading cause of hacked websites was that WordPress installations were out-of-date 55% of the time.
Security isn’t an option, it’s your top priority. Managed WordPress hosts really do a respectable job in this regard and keep your site up to date and hardened to very high degrees. Every managed WordPress host I mention on this page does a good job at providing security for your sites, otherwise I wouldn’t list them.
- Speed – If your site gets hacked it doesn’t matter how fast your pages load, so this comes in a close second to security.
According to Google’s Gary Illyes, Google will be (maybe already has by the time you read this) updating the page speed ranking factor to specifically look at the page speed of your mobile pages when it comes to the mobile-friendly algorithm.
An article at Kissmetrics writes “According to surveys done by Akamai and Gomez.com, nearly half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and they tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds.” Speed matters and it matters a lot!
If you wanna rank in search engines you gotta be light and you gotta be fast (in my best hard-hitting, ‘let’s win’ Lou Holt voice).
All of these managed web hosts perform favorably in speed tests. And for many or most bloggers and small businesses, SiteGround may be enough to do the job and be easy on the your budget. But if you can afford it, and know that your business will grow into it, I’d opt for WP Engine or Flywheel. However, if you’re a gearhead and know WordPress well then you can stick with Lightning Base… they’re rock solid and faaast.
- Support – Quick, it’s 3:00 AM and you got a text alert from Pingdom that your website is down. Who you gonna call? Well, if you’re a wise guy, Ghost Busters. If your websites are hosted by WP Engine, SiteGround or Liquid Web managed WordPress hosting then you call one of their on-site support experts.
But if you’ve got Flywheel or many of the other hosts… you better have a good friend who doesn’t mind you calling at 3 in the morning because Flywheel support doesn’t start until the coffee stops percolating at 9:00 AM CST (that’s 10 in the morning on the east coast!).
Going back to what I’ve already wrote, WP Engine, SiteGround and Liquid Web are head and shoulders above the others in this regard.
This goes hand in hand with the uptime and reliability of a web host, too. Places like business.com even cite web host reliability as the number 1 criteria for choosing a host.
Lucky for you and I, all of these on this page rank in the top for reliability so it didn’t factor in to where the landed in my ranks. Though if you’re keeping score, Lightning Base is the only web host in the test who had zero downtime over a 2 month testing period. Other hosts were near perfect, but perfect is perfect.
- Technology – Ever wonder why Audi’s or Bose speakers and the like cost more? Sure, some of its marketing, but it has to do with their budget for R&D and their commitment to the latest and best technologies.
You can see this in managed WordPress hosts as well. Some hosts that were top picks a couple of years ago have faded into the night because they didn’t keep up with new tech. Do you want your host to use SSD or old school spinning hard drives? Exactly.
One of the things about WP Engine and Flywheel that I was really impressed with was their commitment to innovation. If you’re going to power some of the largest and most powerful companies you must have an eye on tomorrow and make sure that you’re not only meeting demands, but helping to set new benchmarks. This isn’t hype, its real life.
These top hosts cost more but they give so much more, too. So yea, when smaller companies and bloggers can get in on that action for a great low price, it’s a no-brainer.
- Scalability – Hopefully if you aren’t already a big business or viral blogger, you aspire to be one.
Did you know that some hosts will simply pull the plug on your websites if you exceed your “allotted” resources? Oh yea, they do it every day. I’ve had it happen and I bet that you have, too.
If you couple that with slow or shoddy customer support you could have hours or even a full day of outage. You don’t need me to tell you how bad that is for your brand’s image.
What happens if you get your big break, your social media post goes viral, or you get a mention by some big fish… you know, the Slashdot effect. People from all over the world are rushing to your website. But your penny-pinching webhost can’t handle the massive spike in traffic and your site is shut down or crashes, and your claim to fame becomes your 15 seconds of fading glory.
A lot of websites got their spark by a viral mention or event. How many more websites missed the boat because of bad hosting? Enough said I think.
- Price – There is a lot of murky water at the bottom of the ocean; and in the lower-end of web hosting. I’ve used probably all of the lower end web hosts that you’ve heard of or considered.
I’m not in to bashing other people or companies so I won’t do that. And not every host who isn’t on my short list is a bad host. Rather, I picked the best in a WordPress Managed Hosting comparison, and not the worst. Not everyone can be a winner.
I’ve had paid accounts with dozens of companies and used shared hosting, cloud hosting, had private VPS’s, reseller accounts, etc… my experience with hosting alone makes me somewhat of an expert.
When it comes to what we’re talking about here, Managed WordPress Hosting reviews, these are without question or without any doubt the best of the best web hosts. I’ve tried to include options at every price level. So obviously, in my opinion, SiteGround could not go toe to toe with WP Engine. They’re a cheaper alternative, not an equal one.
Further, and more importantly however, for the price you would pay to use SiteGround there isn’t a single web host anywhere that I feel could give you the same level of WordPress speed, security and service… and that’s the bottom line my friends.
There is always a “cheaper” option. Always. But for top-tier managed hosting no one outshines WP Engine, and for best-in-class budget WordPress website hosting no one outshines SiteGround.
Now let’s take a closer look at the 5 web hosts who’ve made it on my list of the best.
The Top 5 WordPress Managed Hosts
This is it. You’ve spent a long time researching managed webhosts for your business or blog and you’ve landed here just in time for the big reveal and an end to your search.
Here are what I and many other professionals consider to be the best-managed webhosts in the industry.
These are ranked for U.S. customers, but most of them also have servers in other parts of the world. When possible I’ll list the international locations that each of them have a physical presence in.
Lastly, before we begin, don’t make the mistake of splitting hairs and letting it hold you up or cause you any grief.
If you like one of these top rated hosts over the other, then just go with them. Not one of these are “bad”. Price and need will (should) be your driving force.
This discussion right here doesn’t make you money. Your websites being seen by customers and readers does and it’s where you need to focus, so grab one of these top-tier hosts and don’t look back.
So on with it.
- WP Engine – This wasn’t even a difficult choice to name them the best Managed WordPress Host. I’ve already written a lot about them (see this post on WordPress Managed Hosting for Business), but I’ll try to add some more here to help clear up any doubt.
WP Engine covers the basics like direct SFTP, built-in CDN (with an added fee for the basic plan, free with the others), enhanced security, Git version control, and one-click staging and restore.They also use EverCache which means you’ll never, ever have to worry about messing and tweaking to get the best performance from your cache plugin… in fact you won’t need a cache plugin.
Most people get can get 1 second or less on their page loads depending on the type of site, of course. WP Engine offers a free website speed test here. I hate taking a quote from the WP Engine website, but it highlights how robust this company is and why you can trust them. It’s a quote from the Country Music Association, who wrote that:
“WP Engine flawlessly served over 71 million page views in 24 hours for the CMA Awards on ABC. It was THE BEST experience the site has ever had… Even better than WP Engine said it was going to be!”
Then there’s nightly backups, malware scanning and removal, and the fact that you and I can get world-class hosting and 24/7 expert support for what others pay for mediocre hosting. I love the flawless staging area… work on your website until you love it, then push it live without worrying if it’ll work right.
Is there anything that WP Engine doesn’t do well or a service that’s lacking? The answer is, of course. Like most of these fully managed WordPress hosting leaders, they don’t offer email service nor cPanel access. WordPress cPanel hosting is usually only found on shared or reseller hosting accounts, not true managed plans.
Because of a lack of cPanel (you’ll use their customer portal) they’ve created a simple WordPress migration tool that makes moving to WP Engine a snap, and of course support can help you through it. Email? That’s another story. Because email can consume so much bandwidth and other resources, most of these companies have opted to not provide email but instead offer integration with Google Apps, for example, which let’s you use Gmail with your domain name.
Big companies like National Geographic, AMD, Reader’s Digest, Yelp, and PBS use WP Engine for these reasons and more. They have servers in the United States, United Kingdom, Belgium, Ireland and Taiwan. Check them out, hosting will be the last thing you ever think about again.
- Flywheel – I like Flywheel. A lot. Their infrastructure and performance across the range of important metrics is stellar. They rock.
I’d say technically speaking they’re near equals with WP Engine in many areas. Flywheel does have a cheaper entry plan starting at $15, but I didn’t use it as the comparison point because that plan doesn’t include Staging and is limited to 5,000 visitors. However, that smaller plan may be right for some people.
Flywheel is the “perfect” choice for web designers and developers. Why? Because you can get payment from your clients before pushing their site live. If the client cancels you’re not out anything for hosting because Flywheel won’t charge you.
They also have a unique Collaboration feature which let’s multiple team members work on a project together without sharing passwords.
And here’s another reason why Flywheel kicks ass… you can create an account, for FREE. That’s right, you can create a free account, kick the tires on their staging and control areas, create a new site or your own, and only pay if and when you push the site live. That’s a pretty smart approach and I applaud them for it.
Like WP Engine, you’ll need to use Google Apps or another email alternative because they don’t provide email services, nor do they offer access to a cPanel.
Their support is also rated as very good. When they’re available. Flywheel’s choice to use “business hour” tech support from 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM CST Monday through Friday is curious for premium managed WordPress hosting.
Perhaps they’ve tested various models and this one works best for them, but I prefer 24/7 support for something that my livelihood depends on. Granted, they do say that “emergency” support is available 24/7 and there is zero doubt that if there’s a physical server issue they’ll be on top of it immediately, night or day.
Like WP Engine, Flywheel has your back with security. If your site gets hacked, they’ll fix it and get you up and running, for free. If you’ve ever paid for WordPress technical help (I have) then you know how much it costs to get your site restored after a bad hacking event.
And that’s EXACTLY why people are flocking to WordPress managed hosting. Flywheel has servers in Amsterdam, Toronto, Singapore, Tokyo, Frankfurt, London, Atlanta, Dallas, New York, San Francisco.
I can recommend Flywheel because their only major flaw is their non 24/7 support hours, and that may not be a deal-breaker for you. It’s apparently working because they have a huge and loyal customer base. Other than that I consider them top-tier WordPress Managed Hosting and you won’t regret the performance or service.
- SiteGround – SiteGround is unique because they play in the big boy arena of managed WordPress hosting yet cost about the same as lowly everyday, anywhere shared hosting.
You can get a site up and running right now for 60% off (that’s just $3.95) and have lots of amazing features, many of them specifically to make WordPress faster and more secure.
Like 10GB of storage, SuperCacher (meaning you’ll need fewer plugins to get fast page loads), a FREE domain name, advanced WordPress security, free site transfers, SSD drives, CDN, Free SSL and HTTP/2, auto-updates, cPanel and SSH, daily backups… and more. A lot more than anyone else offers for $3.95, and your websites will be a WHOLE LOT FASTER.
SiteGround has servers in Chicago, London, Amsterdam, Milan and Singapore. And they have reseller and shared hosting plans as well.
SiteGround managed WordPress hosting, for a smaller player in a crowded market, almost always ranks at the top of performance and reliability tests, and I’ve not heard of one bad review about them from a professional blogger or business… SiteGround is serious about what they do and they’re seriously good at it.
There isn’t a lot to write about SiteGround because at their price point and being a managed WordPress host, you cannot (it’s not possible) get faster or get more performance and reliability, for less.
You can get cheaper hosts, but not one which is better for less. As your site grows then easily scale up to the larger plans.
- Lightning Base – Maybe you’ve heard of Lightning Base, maybe not. They’re kind of the smaller, unsung hero of managed WordPress hosting (though that’s changing fast).
Lightning Base has consistently ranked at the top of virtually every speed and performance test around. Their reliability and speed are actually not even surpassed by the higher priced and more feature rich companies listed here. Lightning Bases is the fastest, period.
And tests like those at Review Signal, which span months of testing for better accuracy, showed Lightning Base to have ZERO (o, none, zip) downtime (100% means 100% uptime, not just 99.98% of the time)! Re-read that last sentence and reconsider your next host. In fairness the others on this list did very well in terms of absolute uptime.
In a test with WPPerformanceTester, Lightning Base was easily the fastest, even over WP Engine and SiteGround (though SiteGround came in 2nd).
Also, somewhat surprisingly, in load tests using Load Storm, SiteGround came in first place of testing with zero errors at high load (lots of page visits), and Lightning Base had just 1 error. So both of these affordable WordPress managed hosting providers are really stellar.
So why does WP Engine rank higher than Lightning Base, or SiteGround? Well WP Engine offers outstanding, truly award-winning and very robust support (meaning a lot of hands on deck), and infrastructure like Staging that you don’t get with Lightning Base. Though not everyone needs or cares about 24 hour support or staging.
If you’re a speed freak and demand the utmost reliability from your server, and don’t mind not having staging and perhaps not the most available support, then Lightning Base is for you.
Only because of support and cost, really, did they get ranked behind SiteGround; Lightning Base’s speed is a tad better and reliability is on par with SiteGround.
I believe their support model has to do with available staffing, not the company’s customer loyalty ethics. Lightning Base Founder Chris Piepho is often manning the support desk, too, and on a test chat request from the website I received a reply from him in about 5 minutes, which isn’t bad at all.
Lightning Base support is guaranteed as Business Hours only, and via email/ticket only, though they tend to have earlier and later hours than their guarantee, meaning you can likely get someone evenings or weekends, just not guaranteed. Of course they monitor the status of their servers so any physical problem with your server is handled 24/7, as with any of these hosts.
Lightning Base uses Raid-10 configured SSD drives and you get global CDN networks in North America (9 locations), 6 in Europe (including 2 in Eastern Europe), 5 in Asia (including 2 in India), and 1 in Australia. Their physical servers are located in Chicago.
Here’s what Lightning Base has to say about your ability to scale should you find your website going viral.
“With a relatively simple page, even our smallest account can handle over 1,000 page views per second, which is an unheard of number (we’re talking over 86 million visitors in a single day at that rate). If your site is really large and complex, this might be lowered somewhat, but will still easily be hundreds per second.”
Lightning Base is built for those who know their way around WordPress and want the speed, security and reliability of Managed WordPress Hosting. They’re truly a cut above the rest.
Their Personal plan (the lowest priced), which I’m using in the comparison, is good for one WordPress site and up to 10,000 page views. It only offers 1 GB of storage (which is just enough for a tightly optimized site, but doable for many people) and 10 GB of data transfer and 20 GB of CDN transfer. For $9.95 per month. At blazing fast speeds.
If you have a need for more storage and bandwidth then opt for the next plan up, the Small, which will put most people into plenty of space.
Did I mention how fast they are!? Don’t forget, the value here is speed and performance and reliability. Their prices are stellar in relationship to their speed and performance… if you go with them, I don’t think you’ll ever change webhosts again.
- Liquid Web – This is perhaps one of the priciest managed WordPress hosts you’ll find, with low-end packages starting at around $119 per month.
However their entry-level package is robust enough to handle 10 websites rather than some of the others which have their entry-level packages priced to better suit one WordPress site.
Liquid Web offers customers Akamai or Cloudflare CDN’s for an additional cost, and users report phenomenal load times. You can also use their custom dashboard, iThemes Sync Pro, or cPanel. Liquid Web also doesn’t put visitor limits on your websites, which probably justifies the much higher costs considering you can put 10 sites on this one plan.
You’ll also find that support is top-notch with 24/7 live chat, phone, or help desk techs. In fact, many large corporations and businesses rely on them specifically because of their availability to help with even the small things.
Liquid Web has an easy pledge… their support is available 24/7/365 and here’s what they promise their customers: “With Liquid Web, you’ll have peace of mind that we’re on-site at our data centers 24/7/365, which allows us to guarantee that you’ll reach us in under 59 seconds by phone or live chat.” If you submit a ticket from your customer portal they guarantee a response in 30 minutes. That’s as good as you’re ever going to get.
I don’t think I mentioned that their 5 star support isn’t like any you’ve ever had to call on before. It may be the best in the entire industry. When you call in or email you don’t get a Gate Keeper, you go straight to and are covered by 24/7/365 in-house, Red Hat certified Systems Administrators! Drop the mic!
At this price point Liquid Web doesn’t sacrifice any features or comforts. You get the usual array of staging, ultra-hardened WordPress installations, fast as a bullet speeds, backups, migrations, etc…
For a lot people Liquid Web isn’t an option due to cost, which is the only reason they’re ranked 5th in WordPress Managed Hosting. In terms of raw service, security and performance they’re at the highest tier of quality. Their entry price is high but you have to remember that it allows for 10 websites with no traffic limitation. So for businesses and busy bloggers or affiliates it may well be the very best option.
Liquid Web has 3 data centers, Michigan, Arizona, and Amsterdam. If you’re a business which is capable of budgeting $120 a month for web hosting, then stop right now and go straight to Liquid Web’s site and end your search, there isn’t a better choice, period. GM, Audi, Toshiba, ESPN, FedEx and more use them for a very good reason.
Don’t Put All Of Your Websites On One Host
Briefly let me address something which effects many of us (though not all), and that is having too many domains that we’re “working on.” I’ve done it for a decade so I know you probably do, too. This very blog, Epic Fizz, isn’t even my primary focus at the moment.
Here’s what I’ve learned.
The reason people say “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket” is because if the basket drops or gets bumped in to, you could lose all of your eggs. If your host goes down or you get unlucky enough to get hacked, and all of your web properties are on the same server, guess what? You could be down for the count.
At the very least I’d suggest keeping your largest money site on a quality host by itself.
Of the sites that are on your working list (if you have more than one), pick the one that is going to be your money-maker, the kid voted most likely to succeed, and put that one on its own managed WordPress hosting with one of these top 5 companies based on your needs and budget.
Give that one baby your all.
Then, if you must work on a multitude of other sites, grab some affordable (but still high quality and fast) Shared or Reseller hosting for the other non-primary websites while you tinker with them. You still want them to rank well (you need speed) and you want them to be safe and sound.
For that I’d recommend InMotion Shared Hosting, they’re the best shared hosting provider for the price and I’ve written about them in other articles (oh, don’t forget you can get up to 25% off right now). InMotion is fast shared hosting and rock solid!
Inmotion also has Managed WordPress and VPS hosting, but their shared, WordPress hosting packages are great. I have an an account there as well, the Launch package, which I use for some CPA offers and squeeze pages. With their SSD drives they’re servers are really fast!
If you don’t separate your money-maker from the bank breakers, and focus on “the one”, then the saplings will suck the life out the potential money-making websites you have. I’ve owned 100 or so domains, maybe more, I’ve lost track. I know about this first hand. I drive my partners crazy!
The Runners-Up In WordPress Managed Hosting
Briefly here are others who can serve as viable alternatives to the above if for some reason you have them on your short-list already.
I’m not listing any host that I wouldn’t use myself, though I do consider the two below to be runner ups to the best I listed above.
I’m asked a lot about GoDaddy managed WordPress hosting and I touch on that briefly below.
With that being said, these two runners-up are more for your information and so that you see how I feel about some others outside of my top 5. I don’t want to make this too confusing because I know from experience that it is anyways.
Like I mentioned in my intro, I’ve been there and over the years have read every single bit of research and opinion piece that I could find on web hosting. I’ve had accounts with many of these at one time or another.
I would choose one of the above first, over these companies, if I had the choice.
DreamHost – Like WP Oven below, I struggled on how to fit them in to the top 5. They’re one of the earliest companies in webhosting (founded 1996 – yep!) so they know hosting. Early on they established themselves as a market leader. DreamHost is considered a top hosting company and while they’re not in my top 5, some people would put them there.
Their new version of DreamPress, which is their best WordPress hosting plan, is outright fast and damned secure. Your server space is isolated and decked with 30GB of SSD storage, and the servers use premium caching features like Varnish, Memcached, PHP OPcache.
Unlike some of the top 5 choices, DreamHost does offer email and no bandwidth or visitor limits; they’ll help you get your site tuned if necessary. And they have 24/7 expert support. At one point some people complained of downtime, but the most recent tests by Review Signal reportedly show that they have top-their reliability with virtually no downtime over a 2 month testing period. Starting out at $16.95 a month… that’s an attractive offer.
WP Oven – These guys came in really close and I frankly had a tough time not adding them, but at the end of the day I wanted a top “5” list and I also wanted to be inclusive of a broad price range. WP Oven ranks really well in performance and reliability tests, and has a good reputation for service and quality.
They have a lot of server locations. For those seeking managed WordPress hosting Australia based, you’ll thrilled to learn that WP Oven now has a Data Center in Sydney. Virtually everyone can find a location that suits their geographic audience. Also, you can be located in the U.S. and get an Australian server for the same price, and of course it works the other way as well.
Australia Data Centers :
US Data Centers :
- NY, New York
- Dallas, Texas
- Newark, NJ
- Fremont, CA
- Atlanta, GA
Europe Data Centers :
Asia Data Centers :
WP Oven users have reported them having good support. However, there is no staging and their entry plan starts at $19.95 a month. So as you can see, they’re sort of an in-betweener and that’s the only reason they didn’t make the top 5. I’d host with them, however, and not have any concerns. I’d also recommend them without hesitation for anyone not requiring staging.
There are some other great WP hosting options, but none that I would recommend as “Managed WordPress Hosting“. I’ve said it before that I don’t like to disparage anyone or any company so I won’t discuss why I didn’t list some of the others. I have a working affiliation with a lot (no most) of the web hosting companies and so my decision to include or exclude a company in an article or ranking is not based on earning potential as an affiliate.
UK – Europe Readers
SiteGround – Yes, they’re a top 5 pick, and I’m listing them again for any readers in Europe who are looking for managed WordPress hosting UK (or mainland) based. As mentioned, they have servers in the UK, Amsterdam, Milan and Singapore. Others have servers in the UK, of course, but SiteGround’s speed and pricing makes them such an attractive competitor. For the price they’re about as good as you can get in Europe, though the others in our top 5 have data centers across Europe as well.
Miscellaneous Hosting Information
When you talk to someone about managed WordPress hosting GoDaddy often comes up. The difference between regular web hosting and WordPress hosting GoDaddy style is that they’re a cheaper alternative who lives up to being cheaper.
That is, they don’t offer the same speed and support and they aren’t in anyone’s top 5 list for serious managed hosting. And frankly all signals are not pointing favorably for them and I can’t recommend them as a top pick.
GoDaddy has a long track record of unhappy customers. Since their semi-revival a few years ago they’ve made some improvements and do offer fully managed WordPress hosting, but in terms of pure speed and support they just aren’t in the same league as these others so why would anyone bother?
Plus, if you decide to leave you might experience the angry ex from hell, meaning some people have written about how difficult it was to move away from GoDaddy.
Remember, shared hosting vs WordPress hosting means nothing if it isn’t managed. That is, those two are one and the same because you can put a WordPress installation on virtually any type of server or service. It’s the “managed” part that we’re concerned about in this article. LOTS of companies claim to be “WordPress hosts”, but are really just “web hosts.”
Here’s an infographic I designed to help show the differences between shared hosting (often called “WordPress hosting) and true managed WordPress hosting.
Want to share this image on your site? Just copy and paste the embed code below:
<!----- Copy and Paste This Code Into Your Post ----> <a href="https://epicfizz.com/wordpress-managed-hosting-guide/" target="_blank" ><img class="aligncenter" src="https://epicfizz.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Shared-Hosting-versus-Managed-WordPress-Hosting.png" alt="Shared Hosting versus Managed WordPress Hosting Comparison Infographic" width="870" height="3973" /></a><p><strong>Shared Hosting versus Managed WordPress Hosting Infographic</strong>, courtesy of <a href="https://epicfizz.com/wordpress-managed-hosting-guide/">EpicFizz.com</a>.</p>
Conclusion – Making The Move From Shared To Managed WordPress Hosting
Hosting your business website or blog, at least your money site, anywhere but on managed WordPress hosting doesn’t make any sense these days.
With increased security threats to WordPress, and both search engines and users requiring lightning fast page speeds, not to mention the lost hours and costs associated with failing to have proper backups, all of this leads to only one conclusion.
Moving your website to a managed web host just makes good business sense and I think we’re trending toward a time when it becomes standard. Don’t you think?
Have you used or are you using WordPress managed hosting, and what do you think about it?