Managing a WordPress installation requires a great amount of care and maintenance. Of course there are plugins and online guides to help you simplify the process. WordPress is typically stable, but sometimes especially when dealing with custom themes/plugins and SSL, troubleshooting will be required. Troubleshooting can take a great deal of time and work especially when you don’t know what you’re looking for. With any software one thing to make sure is that security best practices are always maintained; this includes updating WordPress and any plugins as they come out and securing your installation by setting a unique username and a strong password.
With a managed WordPress hosting solution one of the features typically included is smart updates. Smart updates uses advanced technology to detect any issues before updating components of your WordPress. You can set smart updates to run for minor updates in the background. Or you can run smart updates yourself with the feature of restore points. With restore points you can preview the updated version of your WordPress before applying the updates; if for any reason there is something out of place or an error after updating you can quickly restore back to the pre-update version. On a self-hosted platform troubleshooting and updating software components can easily take you a quarter of a day.
As a business or site owner you don’t have the time to spend on managing a hosting environment. Your main goal is to grow your site or project. A managed platform takes the burden off you and opens up your time for focusing on what matters.
2. Managed by Experts
The great part about going with a managed WordPress host is that in most cases where you choose a reliable host your site will be managed by people with experience and knowledge in the area of hosting. Because of their experience with WordPress and hosting they will be able to resolve issues quicker than most people, especially considering they deal with the same issues on a daily basis. This also means that if you aren’t familiar with WordPress hosting you don’t have to be. Instead of spending the time to learn all of the components involved in WordPress hosting and management you can rely on experts to do that work for you. Because why do something when you can pay someone else to do it?
3. Server Monitoring
There are a range of tools that managed hosting providers utilize in order to monitor the uptime of their platform. Since managed WordPress hosting advertises such high uptime it makes sense that they would invest in commercial server monitoring software – in most cases New Relic. This positions managed WordPress hosting providers to have a very strong insight into their hosting environment and to address any issues that may lead to downtime before they occur. If your site sells a product/service and has frequent traffic then your business will rely that the uptime of your site is high. Otherwise it may lead to a loss in potential profit and sales.
A managed WordPress hosting platform will typically offer premium features not always available with regular WordPress hosting. Such features include, smart updates, security, CDN, SSL, staging areas, and backup/restore points. Some of these features can be configured on your own but a staging area and restore points with WordPress is not something typically available when self-hosted or through a shared host.
Backup and restore points are a useful feature for anyone managing a WordPress site. Restore points are particularly useful when it comes to running updates and testing out new features on your site. The way restore points work is that it takes a snapshot of your site before updating so that if for any reason your update goes wrong or causes an issue you can quickly revert your changes back to the old version. Restore points are also complementary to a staging area.
While these added features aren’t applicable to everyone, it sure is handy to have them available and to simplify your WordPress experience. The features offered by a managed platform make hosting your site easier and less stressful to manage.
One of the main selling points of managed WordPress hosting is support. Most managed hosts offer 24/7 support. Support is one of the most undervalued services when it comes to hosting. You want to make sure that whoever you’re hosting with has an experienced and quick support team. Whenever you run into an issue that either is on the hosts end or you need help with something you’re going to be thankful that there is a dedicated support team to assist you.
The other great thing about support when it comes to a managed hosting company is the quality of support. With a managed hosting company you get personal support where the support agents know your site and can help you on a larger scale.
One of the main drawbacks of shared hosting is that shared hosts pack a bunch of websites on the same server. This is how they’re able to offer such affordable rates. There are some shared hosts that don’t oversell their services as much as others. But a large majority of shared hosts oversell their hosting which means the performance of your site depends on the resource usage of other sites on the same server. This can be quite problematic if your site starts getting more traffic during a time when other sites on the same server are using a lot of resources.
On a managed platform the number of sites per server is limited to ensure that the server never gets overloaded and causes decreased performance. This also means that your site can scale without issues that come from the resource usage of other sites on the same server.
7. Testing/Staging Area
A staging area is a convenient way to test new updates/versions of your site without applying them to your site where everyone can see. A staging area boils down to a cloned version of your WordPress site under a password-protected subdomain. Once you’re done updating your site you can publish the update from your staging area to your main site.
A staging area can also be setup on a self-hosted instance but requires a lot more work such as installing a WordPress on a second domain and a lot more tweaking. With a managed host you can spin up a staging area with just a couple click.
Nowadays security is not something that should be overlooked. With an increasing amount of security breaches occurring everyone should take the time to make sure whatever software they’re using is secure for the sake of the user and the owner. A managed platform can be very beneficial in this case because it saves you time from securing the backend of your site. On a managed WordPress hosting platform the hosting environment will be secured by the host and constantly monitored for threats or attacks.
With Wurpe one thing we try to do is be proactive about security threats. Applying updates and patches to our Kernel as soon as its released and hardened PHP are just 2 of many resources we have in place to keep our platform secure. Through the use of hardened PHP we’re able to keep our clients hosting secure no matter the PHP version they’re using. Once a PHP version has reached End of Life (EOL) the PHP team will no longer apply any updates and does not prioritize patching their old versions. With our hardened PHP we’re able to secure those old versions for sites that have not yet had the chance to migrate to a new version. Wurpe also incorporates AI security monitoring that scans all files and IP’s to detect and mitigate a threat before it occurs.
9. Speed and Performance
Metrics say that 40% of people will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. If you don’t want to lose site visitors then it’s important that you maintain a fast loading site. There are techniques that you can use to speed up your site such as plugins but ultimately the majority of site performance is dependent on the host.
Managed WordPress hosting companies offer server-side caching, CDN, and a load of other features integrated with their platform to meet speed and performance standards so that your site doesn’t lose visitors.
Each managed WordPress hosting provider has a different toolset for offering fast speed and performance. Wurpe uses LiteSpeed Web Server and LSCache to speed up the loading and performance of your WordPress site. Caching is a great way to add speed to your site because it stores dynamic content that’s frequently requested to decrease the time it takes to serve your site. Wurpe also offers QUIC and PHP 7 to give your site an extra boost, something shared WordPress hosting and even many managed WordPress hosting providers do not offer.