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What Is the Difference between WordPress Hosting and Managed WordPress Hosting?

If you’re building a website for your business or blog, choosing to use WordPress is only one of the many decisions you’ll need to make. You still have to select the right theme for your site, figure out which plugins to use, and decide whether or not to use managed WordPress hosting.

Managed WordPress hosting means an experienced WordPress hosting expert takes care of your website after it’s been built. They deal with all the tedious (yet supremely important) technical maintenance jobs like updating themes and plugins, backing up the site, and improving its speed and performance, as well as protecting your site from hackers.

Of course, managed WordPress hosting takes another task off your to-do list, but if you’re just getting started with a new business, you’re probably trying to save money whenever you can. You might wonder “is there really a big difference between managed WordPress hosting and regular WordPress hosting?”

Don’t worry, we aren’t offended when people ask this question. Here is our explanation about what the difference is between managed and regular WordPress hosting.

WordPress Hosting vs Managed WordPress Hosting – What’s the Difference?

Every WordPress hosting company is going to manage the website server itself. The server is like your website’s physical home, and the host looks after it. They make sure that the server is secure and working correctly, but for regular WordPress hosting, that’s as far as it goes.

With regular hosting, routine website maintenance tasks like backups, updates, and security scanning are entirely your responsibility. You’ll also be on your own when it comes to migrating information from another website, building a new site, and creating staging sites so you can experiment with new approaches. If your site slows down or stops loading smoothly, you’re the one who has to work out what is hampering its performance and how to fix it.

Now imagine that you’re using managed WordPress hosting. You’ll have an expert at your disposal who’s experienced with WordPress websites. Plus, they know the server inside and out. If something slows down your site, or you fall victim to a cyber-attack, they know exactly how to deal with the issue, so your site will be healed in the shortest possible amount of time.

Is Managed WordPress Hosting the Same as Private WordPress Hosting?

In a word, no.

Private WordPress hosting means that your website has a server all to itself, which can make it more secure, but you still have to deal with all the technical and maintenance issues. If you use shared WordPress hosting, your website is sharing a server and resources with dozens, and maybe even hundreds, of other sites, which can affect both security and performance.

Whether you use shared or private website hosting, the server will be home to websites that use many different platforms, so the server needs to offer a generic environment. But with managed WordPress hosting, whether it’s shared or private, your site nestles in an environment designed specifically for WordPress sites.

Who Needs Managed WordPress Hosting?

Websites Using Shared Hosting

You’re a lot more likely to need to fine tune your site’s speed and performance if you use shared website hosting, because if one of the other websites sees their traffic increase, it’s likely to slow down your website as a result.

It also becomes even more important to have someone on hand to maintain your site’s cyber defenses. If one site on a server gets hacked, the hackers can enter other sites on the same server a lot more easily.

Small Businesses That Can’t Afford an in-House Tech Expert

Small businesses typically run with a small staff, and everyone has to punch above their weight. It’s unlikely that anyone in your company has the time to add website maintenance to their long list of responsibilities.

But hiring a tech expert means another salary, and that’s none too easy in small businesses. Managed WordPress hosting does cost more than regular hosting, but much less than another salary. You could find a freelancer, but then you have the hassle of searching for someone who’s available, plus you might not always be able to use the same freelancer. Managed WordPress workers are always at your service.

Business Owners Who Are Not Technically Minded

If you’re a tech-oriented person who’s familiar with WordPress websites, you’ve probably got the skills you need to manage your website yourself (whether or not you have the time is another question).

But most business owners aren’t techies on the side. The on ramp to managing a WordPress site is pretty steep, and that’s not why you started your own business. Managed WordPress hosting takes it all off your shoulders.

Busy Websites That Can’t Afford Downtime

If you’re running a quiet blog, or your website is just your “calling card” but you don’t use it for sales, it probably isn’t a big deal if your site loads slowly or takes a couple of days to get back up after a glitch.

But busy websites can’t afford even an hour of downtime. Just think of the sales you could miss if your site’s not working for an hour! Plus customers will bounce off if your site takes too long to load. Managed WordPress hosting is vital when constant uptime and smooth, fast performance is crucial for revenue.

How Does Managed WordPress Hosting Help Your Business?

With managed WordPress hosting, you’ll see these benefits:

  • Peace of mind, so you can focus on growing your business instead of worrying about the website
  • More traffic to your site, because Google now considers site speed and performance when it ranks websites on its results page
  • More satisfied customers, because visitors don’t get frustrated at slow-loading pages and your website has more uptime
  • Faster recovery after a security incident

We hope we managed to explain the difference between managed WordPress hosting and regular WordPress hosting. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about managed WordPress hosting services, or any WordPress question at all!


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Ari Strauch is VP of Technical Marketing for uPress, the Managed WordPress Hosting company. Ari is not sure whether to define himself as a tech-loving people person or a people-loving techie. Either way, he’s typical of the uPress team in that he is equally fluent in Geek AND plain English, and routinely uses both to enable non-geeks and geeks alike to enjoy speedy, hack-proof, intuitive managed WordPress hosting for their websites.

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