I’m seeing an interesting development in the hosting world and that is the rise of specialised managed WordPress hosting. If you are having trouble with hacks, slow performance or poor support from your hosting company read on…
What Is Managed Hosting?
This is where a hosting setup is created and optimised just for WordPress sites.
There are 1001 different types of hosting and website packages, a commodity hosting company like Godaddy or even the one I use Bluehost, is configured to keep as many people happy as possible.
WordPress managed hosting companies focus on WordPress, and WordPress alone. They provide a highly optimised service just for good old WP.
Here are the ways managed hosting companies are optimised:
Hacking of WordPress sites is a major problem, I’m called in all too often to tidy up hacked WordPress sites. It’s expensive, time consuming and embarrassing for site owners.
These hosting companies monitor for and repair any hack attacks as they happen. They are also very tightly secured to stop the hackers getting access in the first place.
All of the services I mention below also offer a full backup and recovery services. There is no need to manage your own backup it’s done for you. Peace of mind in a working archive of your site is priceless.
Many commodity hosting platforms are slow, they are slow because they share resources (often limited resources) with a large number of sites. The web servers are not optimised or cached for WordPress requests.
Once your site begins to get some traffic you need to upgrade and this begins to costs.
These hosting services are optimised and performance tuned just for WordPress. They are all very fast.
Load time matters both to your site visitors and Google.
Have you ever contacted your hosting support only to be treated like an idiot, or find that they have no understanding of your site config?
WordPress managed hosting companies are staffed by WP techies who understand how WordPress works. They will be able to help you solve your problems because they understand your platform.
Plus there webservers are optimised for WordPress and only run WordPress so they will do exactly what it says on the tin – host a WordPress site correctly.
All of the companies below offer a managed migration service, they will take your site and migrate it into their platform (for a fee) so you know the migration will go smoothly. This is a sticking point with many people they don’t know how to move hosting so they stick with the shitty old system they are used to.
Specialisation costs, these managed hosting companies have created a none standard environment. Expect to pay 2-3 times the amount you would for a commodity hosting package. If you have a more advanced hosting package you will find these companies comparable.
Charge per domains is a common model whereas a standard hosting company lets you host as many domains as you like.
There are three key players that I can see at the moment and they are:
- wpengine.com - my preferred company
- page.ly (no link added I do not recommend this company see below)
- websynthesis.com/ - this is operated by the people who built Genesis theme, and as a result it is super optimised for
I was pretty blown away by what I saw at wpengine.com, I migrated a client’s site into their environment and immediately it was super fast and optimised for WordPress and their support was great.
I’ve seen a lot of hosting companies and I am very, very reticent to recommend one but wpengine.com comes with my stamp of approval.
When my Bluehost hosting is up for renewal I will probably be moving over to wpengine.com.
If you have been hacked, your site is running slowly and want technical support from people who understand your site go for a WordPress managed hosting solution.
A word about Page.ly – I had nothing but trouble working with their technical support and the domain getting “domain provisioning errors” this may just be my experience, but when someone is joining your premium hosting for the first time I expect it to work first time you dropped the ball Page.ly guys. I’m more than happy to heare positive page.ly reviews from people in the comments, but I cannot recommend something that fell over (several times) during the migration.
Image by bluesparrowhawk2008