Choosing the right website hosting plan for your business is a critical decision. After all, hosts are largely responsible for keeping sites up and accessible on the Internet. Without a reliable one, people are much more likely to be greeted with error messages when they land on your corner of the Internet.

So to avoid issues, when deciding on a host, you should ask lots of questions, including:

  • How many websites will be on the same server as me?
  • Do you perform backups? If so, how often?
  • Will I have Cpanel access?
  • Does the package come with email?
  • Will I be able to get in touch with someone quickly if my website goes down?
  • Do you provide firewalls to protect sites from hacks?
  • What’s your average uptime?

If you don’t understand why you should ask these questions — or know what the answers should be — then managed WordPress hosting may be the way to go. Because at the end of the day, some things are better left to the techies.

What Is Managed WordPress Hosting?

Cropped photo of hosting platform for storage servers

If you’re new to the world of digital marketing, you may be wondering: What is managed WordPress hosting? To answer your question, we first need to break down a few basics.

First Things First: What Is Hosting?

In the simplest terms, hosting allows your site to be seen on the Web. Computers associated with hosting are called servers. Some servers hold thousands of websites, others just one.

If you’re a non-techie, the one thing to understand about hosting is that you need it. For a more detailed explanation of how hosting works, head here.

Managed v. Unmanaged Hosting

Broadly speaking, there are two service levels of website hosting: managed and unmanaged.

Unmanaged Hosting

With unmanaged hosting, you’re mainly on your own. Sure, your host company may perform large-scale security and software updates, but there’s no guarantee. Moreover, it’s sometimes difficult to get ahold of help when trouble arises, and many unmanaged hosts charge steep service fees for emergencies. The general rule of thumb is this: the less you pay, the less service you’ll receive and the more vulnerable your site will be.

Managed Hosting

Managed hosting is when someone handles the technical work for you. With managed hosting packages, security measures are updated regularly, and if something goes awry, a knowledgeable human will solve the problem as quickly as possible. Digging around a server to diagnose problems won’t fall on your shoulders.

For non-techies, managed hosting is usually the best option. Anything less can lead to extensive downtime, which translates into lost profits.

Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress hosting is just as it sounds: a supportive hosting environment exclusively for WordPress sites. The WordPress-only stipulation sometimes presents problems for people with older sites programmed on incompatible bases. If you’re looking to convert an old platform, consult with a digital marketing expert before committing to a managed WordPress host.

Top 11 Reasons Why Non-Techies Should Choose Managed WordPress Hosting

Are you still not convinced that managed WordPress hosting is the way to go? To help make the decision easier, we’ve outlined 11 things to consider.

#11: Access to Staging Site

In days of old, businesses would launch a website and not touch it for years. That no longer works. These days, to perform well in the SERPs, you must keep your site fresh. Weekly content updates are the norm. As such, it’s convenient to have a “staging website” to try out changes before making them live. Managed hosting packages typically have this option. Unmanaged options do not.

The Takeaway: You have access to a sandbox website to test out ideas before going live with them.

#10: Added Features

The swag that comes with managed hosting accounts is also a bonus. Workflow tools, educational resources, and collaboration features are often part of the service. Every managed host has different options, and many will customize a package tailored for your operation.

The Takeaway: You get more bells and whistles with a managed hosting account.

#9: Scalability Advantages

Scalability refers to the act of increasing a website’s capacity to accommodate a sudden influx of incoming traffic. An unexpected surge — perhaps from a viral moment — can cripple a site to the point of collapse. If you’re on an unmanaged hosting plan, it may take days to get your site back up and running, and all that viral juice would be lost.

With a managed account, you’ll have the technical support you need. That’s not to say that an influx of traffic won’t crash a site. But if that does happen, a team of experts will be able to get it up and running much faster.

The Takeaway: Your website will have a better chance of surviving an influx of traffic.

#8: Easy SSL

Did you know that Google and other search engines penalize sites for not having SSL certificates? SSL stands for “secure sockets layer,” and websites that have one enabled are safer. If a URL starts with an http:// instead of an https://, search engine algorithms will display security warnings about the site and push it into no man’s land — in other words, past the first five result pages.

With many unmanaged plans, account holders — meaning you — are responsible for configuring and launching SSL certificates, or you can pay to have it done. However, managed WordPress accounts usually come with an SSL included, and software engineers update the certificates when necessary. You won’t have to worry about it at all.

The Takeaway: With most managed WordPress hosting packages, you automatically get an SSL and don’t have to worry about configuring it yourself.

#7: On-Call Experts

In a way, when you go with a managed hosting package, you’re also buying a team of network experts. Once enlisted, they’ll handle all the server updates and maintenance. Plus, if something goes wrong, you’ll quickly be able to get a hold of someone who can help.

With WordPress managed hosting, you’ll also have access to WordPress experts who can help take your site to the next level by:

  • Easily identifying plugin conflicts
  • Troubleshooting tricky themes and functionality hiccups
  • Implementing optimal settings so your site hums along like a finely tuned Ferrari
  • Reducing the amount of form and comment SPAM

The Takeaway: A team of WordPress experts is on-call and ready to help.

#6: Better Hacking Protection

These days, hackers lurk everywhere. Some do it for the laughs; others are in it for more nefarious reasons. Whichever the case, the last thing you want is a hacker breaching your backend. If you’re lucky, they may just fill your site with obscenities. If you’re unlucky, they could weasel their way into your office backend via the website and abscond with your clients’ names, addresses, emails, and even payment information.

With managed hosting, a team of network security professionals will be on the case if something goes wrong. Moreover, managed servers are always kept updated with the latest security provisions. Plus, nightly backups are available with most support packages, so your server team can quickly restore the site if something goes wrong.

The Takeaway: Better protection against security breaches and hackers.


#5: Faster Load Times

Website load times are a huge SEO factor. In fact, it now factors it into various Google ranking calculations. According to reports, search engines may penalize platforms that take over 10 seconds to load and push further down in the results.

Load time is yet another area where managed accounts outshine unmanaged ones. If an IT professional is looking after a server, it will perform better than one set up by someone with little to no technical experience.

The Takeaway: Your website will load faster and perform better with managed hosting.

#4: Upgraded Features

When you go with an unmanaged hosting package, you’re often locked into the features available at the time of purchase. After all, you’re on your own with unmanaged accounts, so staying on top of the latest and greatest server features may be up to you. But with many managed WordPress hosting, your team automatically updates your server when enhanced features come along.

The Takeaway: You’re not stuck with the features available when you first get your account.

#3: Fewer Plugins

Too many plugins weigh down sites and render them sluggish. But when you opt for a managed hosting plan, network engineers keep things optimally configured on the server-side, so there’s less need to manage things from the client-side.

Additionally, you don’t have to worry about managing and updating a mess of plugins, which can be time-consuming.

The Takeaway: Fewer plugins translate into faster load times and less maintenance work.

#2: More Time to Focus on Business

Here’s an easy question: Would you rather spend time growing your business or putting out technical fires on your server? It may sound like a cliche argument, but it’s the truth. Server issues take time. And when disaster strikes, you can spend days trying to sort out the problem. Besides, do you want to spend hours reading about network hosting when you could be developing your next product line, tending to patients, or serving customers?

The Takeaway: Dealing with hosting issues is a time suck that pulls you away from your business. Managed hosting eliminates the problem.

#1: Less Stress

While software engineers have developed astounding machine learning advancements, Internet hosting is still a technical field. Picking the wrong host — which is also often the cheapest host — can cost you more money in the end because of excessive downtime and frequent hacks. Think about it for a second: Imagine how stressed you’d be if your website crashed three hours before a highly-publicized sale and you weren’t able to connect with anyone to fix it?

You don’t need that stress. You don’t want that stress! Leave the hosting technicalities to trained experts.

The Takeaway: Managed hosting is the less stressful option.

Potential Downsides of Managed WordPress Hosting

There are only two downsides to managed WordPress hosting: cost and control.

The Cost of Managed Hosting

Yes, you’ll shell out a bit more upfront with managed hosting, but many people think the higher price tag is well worth it for all the reasons we outlined above.

What is the price differential between managed and unmanaged hosting? The bottom line is dependent on several factors, including the size of your website, its functionality, and the amount of incoming traffic. You can expect to pay between three to five times the cost of unmanaged hosting.

Lack of Control With Managed Hosting

The other downside of managed WordPress hosting is a lack of control. People with computer science backgrounds may want full administrative rights to configure their server, which may be impossible with a managed WordPress hosting account.

Tales From the Unmanaged Hosting Crypt

As a digital marketing firm, we sometimes field frantic calls from businesses with unmanaged hosting accounts that need help ASAP. To give you an idea of what could go wrong, we thought we’d share a few hosting horror stories.

The Picture Hack

Several years back, we received a panic-stricken call from a chiropractor. A hacker had gained access to her website and posted obscene pictures on every single page! The culprit also changed the login information, and she couldn’t get into her account.

Eventually, we were able to redirect the DNS and regain control of the site. But, when we looked at the traffic analytics for the site, it turned out that over 100 people had visited the website during the “infected” period. That’s a lot of people, and she probably lost a handful of potential new patients because of it.

If she’d used a managed WordPress host to start, this incident probably wouldn’t have happened because the attacker got in via a hole that a server team would have updated. Even if hackers manage to breach your security measures — which is always a possibility — the resolution time will be much quicker with a supported plan.

The Client Hack

The picture hack was terrible for our chiropractor client above, but it was nothing compared to a horrific tale we once heard from colleagues in New York. As the story goes, a doctor insisted on connecting his backend office files to his website. The idea was that patients would be able to access their records and bills online.

But he made a huge mistake and didn’t go with a managed hosting package.

Ultimately, catastrophe struck. A hacker gained access to the backend of the doctor’s website and snaked their way into his client records. Because the intruder compromised personally identifiable information, the doctor had a legal obligation to inform his patients of the breach. The backlash severely damaged his reputation, and his practice suffered as a result.

Get Started With a Managed WordPress Hosting Service

If you’re ready to learn more about managed WordPress hosting, let’s chat. One of our friendly experts will walk you through the process and help you figure out the best options for your needs, wants, and budget.

In addition to managed hosting, Rounded Digital is a full-service online marketing operation. We offer content creation, website development, search engine optimization, and link-building services. We understand the ins and outs of algorithms, how to increase your digital footprint, and the art of conversion.

Getting in touch for more information costs nothing. So let’s start the conversation. Reach out today. We’re ready to chat.