We have already covered managed hosting and its benefits over shared hosting in a separate post. This post covers some of the best managed hosting solution providers selected based on their popularity and the value they offer for the money. Let’s start with a quick overview of how managed hosting can benefit businesses and some important things to consider when picking a provider.
Why Managed Hosting?
Established and budding businesses need reliable and fast hosting services to stay competitive and provide customers with a better experience. Although cost-effective and good for personal blogs and startups, shared hosting plans have their own limitations.
Managed hosting saves businesses and individuals from the headache of having to manage everything themselves. It works great for businesses that either don’t have the expertise needed to manage web servers or want to focus the efforts of their IT teams on more important stuff.
Since the managed hosting provider takes care of most of the things related to hosting a site/apps such as setup, maintenance and support, businesses are left with more time to focus on ensuring great customer experiences. That’s the biggest advantage of managed hosting services in addition to more bandwidth, storage space and better services.
Important Things to Consider
Price should not be the only deciding factor when choosing a host. It’s also important to determine your needs and check which provider offers the best services within your budget. In case of hosting providers, you mostly have to rely on online customer reviews and reputation of different providers to make an informed decision.
There are plenty of online resources that allow you to check key performance indicators such as uptime, page loading speed, which make the buying decision easier. Some hosting providers specialize in particular areas. For example, if you are looking for a WordPress host, it’s better to look for specialized WordPress hosting providers instead of generic hosting providers that offer all sorts of hosting services but specialize in none. Other important considerations include:
- Control panel quality and features
- Availability of other technologies that you might need in the future
- Uptime guaranteed by the provider
- Server performance requirements
- Self-service options
- Migration assistance
- Support channels and timings
Managed Hosting and Dedicated Hosting
The term managed hosting is sometimes used interchangeably with dedicated hosting in which a user is allocated dedicated resources. However, managed hosting and managed dedicated hosting are two different things. Managed hosting means that the provider is taking care of things like installation, updates, maintenance and support. Managed hosting can be both dedicated and sharing-based, which is essentially shared hosting plus additional services as mentioned before.
Many hosting providers covered here offer both types of hosting plans and the pricing depends on the type you choose. Sharing-based managed hosting services are more suitable for individuals and startups, while managed dedicated hosting is geared towards established and growing businesses.
Top 10 Managed Hosting Providers
A WordPress recommended host, SiteGround is one of the most affordable options in the category and is suitable for bloggers as well as people who need advanced features such as staging environment and Git integration. Their pricing makes managed WordPress hosting within the reach of personal bloggers and startups and a great alternative to shared hosting plans.
Pricing starts from $3.95/month and increases according to the number of websites, monthly visitors and storage space. The most basic plan includes essential WordPress features, while the medium and premium plans cost $5.95 and $11.95 per month respectively and include premium and ‘Geeky” WP features.
- Automated WP installation
- Free WP migration services with medium and premium plans
- Auto updates and security management
- CDN and SG optimizer plugin
- 24/7 support via chat, phone and tickets
- Free SSL certificates
- Daily backups
- Email service
- Staging tool
- Collaboration tools
- Dev toolkit
WPEngine is a WordPress focused hosting provider that offers polished WP hosting services at an affordable price. It takes care of server security, optimizations and updates and minimizes the complexity related to hosting a site/app. The provider offers different plans for SMBs, enterprises and agencies.
It supports development and staging environments right out-of-the-box and can be integrated with tools like New Relic for better performance tracking. However, WPEngine has been reported to use a modified WP code, which can make it hard to move your website to another WP host down the road.
The Startup plan is priced at $25/month and includes 10 GB storage, 50 GB bandwidth, 25k visits and 1 site. Custom pricing for mission critical sites and enterprises is also available, while the Growth (20GB/200GB/100K/10 sites) and Scale (50GB/500GB/400K/30 sites) plans cost $95 and $241 per month respectively.
- Great scalability for growing businesses
- CDN with all plans
- Automated migration
- 24/7 support (chat) for all plans
- Genesis framework access
- WordPress themes
- SSL Certificates
- Staging, development and production environments
- SSH gateway
The provider offers a variety of managed hosting plans and solutions, including Cloud VPS (most affordable), dedicated servers and cloud sites. Their fully managed hosting solutions include helping customers choose the right plan for them, migration, security, updates and round the clock support.
LiquidWed offers solutions for freelancers, businesses, resellers and agencies, which are priced according to individual requirements. With a 59 second guarantee of initial response on phone, chat and via helpdesk, the provider offers 24/7/365 human support so customers are never alone when they face any issue. Pricing for Cloud VPS starts from $15/month and dedicated servers from $119/month.
The provider offers a variety of Managed WordPress hosting plans, including Spark ($19/month), Maker ($79/month), Builder ($149/month), Producer ($299/month), Executive ($549/month) and Enterprise ($999/month).
Key features (Managed WordPress)
- Quick initial response time just under 1 minute
- Migration assistance
- Proactive security and network management
- Five global data centers
- HIPAA compliant
- Full server access
- Auto backups (daily)
- Staging sites
- Automatic SSL
- Developer tools including Git and SSH
- Unlimited email accounts
- Beaver Builder Lite
- iThemes Sync and Security Pro
Flywheel’s managed hosting services are geared towards non-developers such as small business owners, freelancers and designers who want to launch their WP site in less time and without much hassle. Custom plans are also available for large businesses, but the provider mainly targets creatives and SMBs. Based on a partnership with Google Cloud, Flywheel provides a resilient, scalable and fast platform to build and run WordPress sites.
Powerful workflow tools including site templates, streamlined collaboration and an easy-to-use dashboard make it easier for users to get started and be more efficient. Although user-friendly and feature rich, considering the limit on monthly visits, bandwidth and storage space, Flywheel is an expensive option compared to other solutions.
The Starter plan costs $30/month and comes with 10 GB storage space, 50GB bandwidth and allows 25,000 monthly visitors. This might be fine for new websites that don’t expect a lot of traffic, but growing businesses have to spend a lot more to get reasonable bandwidth and storage space. The Agency plan is priced at $290/month and includes 50 GB storage space, 500 GB bandwidth and 400k visitors each month.
- 24/7 support with app-based ticketing experience
- User friendly interface
- In partnership with Google Cloud
- Streamlined collaboration
- Site templates
- Simple dashboard instead of cPanel
- Staging environment
- Free migration services
- Site cloning
- Nightly backups and one-click restore
- Global availability
- SFTP access
- Performance and security insights
Kinsta is suitable for people specifically looking for a Google Cloud partner provider. Although not among the biggest industry players, Kinsta has earned a reputation of being a reliable managed WordPress hosting provider.
Being a premium and optimized solution, one cannot compare it with other inexpensive options when it comes to price. But over 1400 uptime checks per site daily (roughly equal to a check every two minutes), automatic scaling and automatic MySQL db optimizations, self-healing and a variety of other features help justify the extra cost.
Pricing starts from $30/month (Starter) and can go all the way up to $1500/month depending on what you want. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, while custom pricing is also available for enterprises and agencies.
- Automatic scalability
- Complete resource isolation
- 400+ uptime check daily for each site
- Google Cloud powered
- Free site migrations
- Daily full backups (frequency can be increased for an additional fee)
- 21 server locations
- Granular access rights
- Optional addons like Cloudfare Railgun and Ngnix reverse proxy
As the name suggests, Presslabs is targeted at agencies and publishers and offers them performance-oriented hosting services keeping rapid growth in mind. It’s suitable for publishers and businesses that expect rapid growth and want to be prepared for it. However, the pricing suggests the services are meant for medium and large businesses and publishers/agencies.
The dashboard is based on Kubernetes, allowing users to easily scale and manage things more effectively. Cloud-native WP hosting is powered by Google Cloud and able to accommodate almost anything, including e-commerce websites and backed-intensive apps.
The Publisher Start plan costs $99/month/site (150K pageviews) plus $0.30 for additional 1k views. Publisher Plus and Publisher Pro plans are priced at $299 and $599 respectively, but only Publisher Pro includes WooCommerce.
- Google Cloud Powered
- WP run on dockerized containers
- Presslabs API
- Advanced metrices and logs
- Error handling
- User dashboard
- Advanced caching
- Change auditing
- Colloboration tools
- 24/7 phone and email support
- SSL certificates
- Automatic backups every 15 minutes
- Staging environment
Being a developer-focused hosting provider, Pagely is one of the fastest WP managed hosts and is powered by Amazon’s servers. Users can benefit from advanced tools including WP-CLI, Git integration and SSH. Built-in redundancy, great scalability, real-time malware monitoring and advanced features come at a premium, which the pricing plans reflect.
Pagely’s managed hosting plans are better suited for mission-critical sites and users looking a flexible technology stack. The provider hosts sites of many large businesses, including Disney, Booking.com, Comcast and Panasonic. Pricing starts from $199/month and include one node, a shared data base, five sites and one-day setup, while 500 GB bandwidth expansion costs $65/month.
- Global CDN for WP
- Advanced network security
- Dynamic image optimization
- Performance/security analytics
- Managed updates (core and plugin)
- Redis Cache Engine
- SSH+ DB access
- Version control
- Built-in redundancy
- Daily backups
- Git, SSH and staging
- REST API
WMPU’s pricing model works a little differently compared to standard hosting plans. Users purchase a membership for the WMPU DEV platform, which also includes $30 worth credit points for a hosting plan (the membership costs $49/month). The pricing for dedicated WordPress hosting plans differs according to the number of vCPUs, RAM and storage and can range between $10 and $100.
This pricing models allows users to use their hosting credit as per their needs. For example, the $30 credit points can be used for 3 $10 hosting plans or one $25 plan. The $10 bronze plan includes 1 vCPU, 1 GB RAM, 10 GB SSD storage, 1 TB bandwidth and 20K monthly visits.
WMPU also offers a variety of premium plugins, themes and other services, which is a big plus for users who also plan on using them so they don’t have to pay more by buying those separately.
- Dedicated resources including CPU, RAM and SSD storage
- 8 server locations
- Page and object caching
- CDN and IPv6 support
- Nightly backups
- Free site migration
- SSL certificates
- SFTP/SSH support
- Detailed analytics
- NPM, Composer and Git
- 24/7 chat support
The managed cloud hosting provider is targeted at e-commerce businesses and digital agencies and offers reasonably priced plans. The provider has partnered with five major cloud providers, including Google Cloud, AWS, DigitalOcean, Linode and VULTR, which also affect the pricing.
The basic plan costs $10/month and includes 1 vCPU core, 1GB RAM, 25GB storage space and 1TB bandwidth. In addition to these, all plans also include other features including free SSL, CDN, unlimited application installation and more.
- 24/7/365 support
- Free SSL and site migration
- Pay-as-you go billing
- No long-term contracts and lock-in
- Unlimited applications on all plans
- CDN add-on
- Team management
- Dedicated firewalls
- Automated backups
- HTTP/2 enabled servers
- SFTP and SSH access
A2Hosting is one of the most popular managed WordPress hosts with a focus on speed and reliability. The hosting plans also come with free Jetpack Personal license and feature Plesk Control Panel. The 1-Site plan costs $11.99 (regular price $24.46) and includes 10GB storage, unlimited transfers and databases.
- Plesk Control Panel
- SSL certificate
- Site staging
- Automated backups
- Site migration
- Free Jetpack Personal License
- CloudFlare ServerShield
- 24/7/365 support
- WP LiteSpeed Cache
- DDoS protection
- PayPal Merchant Accounts
- AWStats and raw log file access