For every small business owner, dealing with technicalities (unless they are an uber-geek), has been a major pain in the butt.
I consider myself fairly tech savvy. However, even for me, managing the technicalities can be a serious time drain and affects my business. I’m not talking about the time I need to spend if issues crop up. It’s just the time spent on ensuring everything goes smoothly.
And when a major issue comes (like you got hacked)? Let’s not get into it- the frustration level and time lost is too much to discuss without remembering the pain.
Why WordPress Specific Solution?
These days, most small business websites are built on the WordPress platform. Not only is it easy to set up your site, it’s also very cheap. I have previously written an exhaustive guide about creating your business website for under 100$.
You don’t even need to get a web developer to design a site for you. The availability of professional themes from the likes of StudioPress ensures that you can get started on a budget.
Advantages of Managed WordPress Hosting
If you are an online business, or have an online presence and would like to drive lot of leads via your business website, you know how paramount availability and speed of your website is.
Let’s not even consider that fact that fast loading times help increase your sales (Amazon saw a 1% drop in sales when the site speed dropped by 1/10th of a second). And also the fact that site speed plays an important role in search engine optimization.
You’ll be sharing server resourced with few other sites only and your site’s going to be blazingly fast. That means better response for your customers.
I have noticed that when my site loading time decreased from 1.3 seconds to 0.9 seconds, my page view went up by 15%. So faster page loads do help in engaging users more.
Most managed WordPress hosts will auto update your installation.
That means, you no longer have to worry about updates to your themes, plugins, or even the WordPress core.
Everything’s done for you.
If there is one thing that drivers business owners nuts, it’s when they site gets infested with malware or site gets hacked.
Not only does this affect your site performance, but your customers will be affected as well.
Visiting your hacked/infected site means there is a high chance that your customer machines will be infected too. Most modern browsers show warning signs that the site is infected and will not let users visit the site.
SEO wise, infected sites, if left alone for long can result in lower search engine rankings.
Managed WordPress hosting solution providers usually tweak their servers to maximize security and employs additional firewalls and levels of protection for WordPress users.
Sites like WpEngine, guarantees that if you get hacked, they’ll help you resolve it free of cost.
Better Technical Support
Since WordPress managed hosting providers focus exclusively on WordPress, they are able to provide better technical support.
Even though most big hosting companies have excellent support team, wordpress hosting companies have more experts that know about WordPress and can resolve your issues faster.
WpEngine claims it has more WordPress experts per 1000 customers compared to any other hosting companies out there. That’s a breather if you are not a tech savvy WordPress user yourself.
Disadvantages of Managed WordPress Hosting
Just like any other thing, managed hosting does have its own hiccups.
The obvious one first; Managed hosting is going to cost you much more than a low cost shared hosting.
You can easily run into hundreds of dollars a month if you have a large audience (Check out WpEngine plans to get an idea about how much it might cost you. They start from 29$/month onwards for up to 25000 visitors).
If you aren’t making much money now and would like to save every dollar possible, managed hosting might not be a good idea.
However, if you value your time and you can think you can make more than 29$ a month from the time you save by going with a managed host, it’s definitely worth it.
It’s all about the ROI. Decide for yourself.
If you have the habit of playing with the server configuration, tweaking settings, upgrading OS, installing firewall, and analyzing server logs, then you might feel a bit limited when you choose a managed hosting.
These guys exist for a reason; to make website hosting as painless and as less technical as possible for the average online entrepreneur.
And do you expect managed WordPress hosting to be like your VPS server where you get full root access? Most of the hosts won’t let you do advanced customization unless you specifically request for it.
So if you want 100% control over everything that happens on your server, go with a VPS or a dedicated server.
Limited to WordPress:
Duh; was that something very surprising?
You need to use WordPress as your platform to be able to use them. That means no Vbulletin forums, no Drupal or Joomla and no static HTML sites.
If in the future you decide to upgrade to some other platform, you’ll have to move out.
Over to You:
Do you think managed WordPress hosting services are the real deal? Or are they just hyped up services that charge you an arm and a leg?