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Top 9 Reasons to Choose Managed WordPress Hosting
For your business to be successful online today, you have to juggle all sorts of things; everything from marketing, hosting, social media, advertising, content creation, etc. This can all quickly become overwhelming and very stressful. Today we want to examine why choosing one Managed WordPress hosting as opposed to a shared host or a small VPS can be one of the most important decisions you can make about your website.
Your business deserves the best and a managed WordPress host gives you this competitive advantage.
What is managed WordPress hosting?
So first, what exactly do we mean when we say managed WordPress hosting and how does it differ from shared or do it yourself (DIY) hosting? To best explain this, let's first divide the general online population into the three typical hosting scenarios we typically see:
1. Shared WordPress hosting
The first group is typically people who are just starting out who are opting for inexpensive, shared WordPress hosting. This includes hosts like GoDaddy, Bluehost, Hostgator, SiteGround, Media Temple, OVH, GreenGeeks etc. Usually these are people who do the following:
- Building the first website.
- Migration away from WordPress.com.
- With a tight budget and a need to keep things as cheap as possible.
- Someone who doesn't understand the differences between the different types of hosting and so simply makes a decision based on price (hint: this is not a good!).
Shared hosting plans typically range from $ 3 to $ 25 per month. There's nothing wrong with starting out like this, but there are a few things people should be aware of.
- No matter how you do the math, after spending $ 3 per month is actually not generating any income for the hosting company. Especially if you attribute the support to that. One support ticket and you're already in the red. One way they make a lot of money is Upselling and hidden fees. These upsells include things like migrations, domain registrations, SSL certificates (also for WooCommerce sites), etc.
- To make money, most hosts offer their so-called "Unlimited Resource" plan. You've probably all seen this. Now, there is no such thing as unlimited resources in the real world. What hosts do is throttle clients that are consuming a lot of resources. This causes these disgruntled customers to leave and make room for more customers who are not consuming a lot of resources. In the end, you have a vicious circle of hosting company pushing cheap plans, signing up customers who they hope aren't using many resources, and buying upsells.
- Because the plan is so cheap, it usually forces the host to overloading its servers to consolidate resources. Although you don't know, your website may be on the same server as 200+ other people. Any performance issues encountered with other websites can, in turn, affect your website.
Shared WordPress hosting
You combine all of the above together and what do you get? You're getting slow performance and poor support. Shared hosts have to staff their teams far too thin, which leads to long ticket times and below-average customer service.
Check out our in-depth article from our CBO on the Shocking Truths of How Cheap WordPress Hosting Really Works. Some of this might shock you.
2. DIY VPS WordPress hosting
The second group of people are bootstrap startups and people with a little more development or WordPress experience. You are the DIY group. These people are typically still trying to save money, but they are also typically concerned with performance and recognize its importance to the success of their business. Commons setups can include the use of Digital Ocean, Linode, or Vultr VPS; and possibly a tool like ServerPilot to make it easier to manage.
A small VPS from DigitalOcean starts at $ 5 a month and the popular plan at ServerPilot starts at $ 10 a month. So, depending on your setup, you can look at a price between $ 5 and $ 15 or more per month. The DIY approach can definitely cut costs, but it also means that you are responsible if something breaks and optimizing your server for performance.
The DIY approach can be great, but it can also fall back on you if you're not careful. Don't go this route just because you want to tinker! Your time is worth money and you should spend it growing your business. Benefit from over a decade of experience with the Kinsta team fixing WordPress issues on a daily basis.
3. Managed WordPress hosting
The third group of people are typically small to medium-sized businesses, high traffic blogs, and companies looking for specialized enterprise WordPress hosting. This group recognizes that Managed WordPress hosting is a good investmentbecause it saves you manpower and time and usually offers better performance because it is tailored to the CMS.
The planning for managed WordPress hosting usually ranges from $ 25 to $ 150 per month or more, depending on the size of your website and your needs. Some popular managed WordPress hosts that you are probably familiar with or may also be using right now are Kinsta, WP Engine, Flywheel, Pressable, Media Temple, Pressidium, and Pagely.
Large companies like jQuery, Plesk, Dyn, and NGINX all use WordPress to host their website. Read our in-depth post on 100 top WordPress sites that dominate the web to see more examples.
Why you should choose managed WordPress hosting
Now, just because we've separated people into three different groups doesn't mean it is necessarily always the right way to go. You should educate yourself in order to make the right choice for your company. Perhaps you will start with the DIY method and upgrade to managed hosting after you grow.
Or you can invest in managed hosting first and focus all of your efforts on growing your business. There's no right or wrong way to go, but let's share with you 9 reasons below how managed WordPress hosting can benefit you today.
Manage WordPress hosting index
- You get first class support
- Optimized for top performance
- Strategically placed data centers for global reach
- Automatic backups (never lose your data)
- One-click staging environments
- Developer friendly (SSH, Git, WP-CLI)
- Security is taken seriously
- Developed with scalability in mind
- Premium DNS (Reliable and Faster Lookup Times)
The main reason you should choose managed WordPress hosting is this superior support. Typically, WordPress hosting providers only manage the WordPress platform. That means they don't mess with cPanel, Magento, Drupal or any other type of platform or software. Typically, support teams that focus on one area become experts in that area even if they shouldn't start!
The support team here at Kinsta are all WordPress developers, contribute to WordPress Core and other open source projects, and use WordPress on a daily basis. Therefore, the know-how of our support department is unsurpassed. Nothing is worse than starting a chat session and feeling like you know more than the person on the other end. This will never happen at Kinsta!
When Kinsta first started we knew the industry was broken in terms of the way WordPress support was handled. That is why our team is structured completely differently. We don't have separate levels. The support team member who helps you is fully qualified to solve any type of problem, right through to the solution. There is no hopping between different employees as we think this is a huge waste of time. Anyone can chat with the same support team members who support our Fortune 500 and corporate customers! 👏
WPMU DEV recently reviewed Kinsta without us knowing which means a great unbiased opinion. Here's what Raelene thought of our support team.
My experience with the support team has been excellent. I received detailed and honest answers to all of my questions. When I asked about their hardware I didn't expect an answer like this:
“We use Google Compute Engine servers, which ensure high speed and automatic scalability. Instead of being limited to 2-6 CPUs per VPS as with other providers, we are scaling the site's container to as many CPUs as necessary and an infinite number of CPUs for load-balanced customers, as our system dynamically spins more machines and goes back when the traffic wave subsides. "
I tried testing them with some unusual WordPress issues and only got correct answers. It couldn't be better!
Kinsta uses a ticket-based support system over intercom. It feels like real-time chat, but it's not in the background. I got a response within 5 minutes of trying to speak to them at 3pm. I also tried 5 a.m. (I was early to write) and got an answer within 3 minutes. I may have just picked two low support times, but still impressive!
Prior Managing Editor, WPMU DEV
As Raelene said, we've been using Intercom since day one at Kinsta and it worked very well for us. Nobody likes the old fashioned ticket systems and many companies are now migrating to more innovative solutions like Intercom. It provides an easy way for us to integrate chat and support tickets (as seen below) into our dashboard so customers know that we are always a click away, 24/7 365 days a year (as described below). Our average response time in Q3 2019 was 1 minute and 19 seconds! Check out some other SaaS products we use.
Managed WordPress hosting chat support
So when it comes to choosing a host with a reliable and knowledgeable support team, managed WordPress hosts will usually be a level above the rest simply because they live and breathe WordPress on a daily basis. Kinsta also offers premium availability monitoring for all customers through Sentry. We check the status of all websites we host every 2 minutes. That means 720 checks for each of your websites every day.
That means we'll be the first to be notified when your website goes down, and our support team will be the first to step in! To help you diagnose performance problems, we also have support for your own New Relic Tracking.
2. High performance
The second reason to choose a managed WordPress hosting provider is because their environments are typically are tailored to work with WordPress.
If you go with a shared host or the DIY route, they'll usually run on more barebones machines and you'll have to spend time installing and tweaking software to get the same speeds a managed WordPress host offers . Or in some cases, on a shared host, there is nothing you can do to get the speeds you need.
We did a poll on Twitter, and got over a hundred votes 63% of the respondents "Performance / Uptime" chosen as the quality they value most in a managed WordPress host.
When it comes to managed #WordPress hosting, what do you value the most? 📋 Whether you're a business owner, developer, agency or blogger, we'd love to hear from you!
- Kinsta (@kinsta) February 11, 2019
For example, many managed WordPress hosts that include us here at Kinsta implement server-level caching and / or full page caching. This means that caching is handled by us. There's no need to figure out what the fastest caching plugin is because you don't need one. This alone can save you a lot of frustration, as caching plugins are never fun. In most cases, server-level caching is much faster than any plugin.
It is important that you serve as many assets as possible from the cache when the traffic is overloaded. This takes the load off the server and ensures that things are delivered at lightning speed. At Kinsta, you can use our cache analysis report to ensure the majority of your WordPress site is served from the cache.
Managed WordPress Hosting Cache
A powerful managed WordPress host should also give you the latest and greatest architecture. This includes technologies like PHP 7, MariaDB, HTTP / 2, and NGINX, all of which have proven to be one of the fastest combinations for WordPress.
If your WordPress host takes forever to release the latest versions of PHP, is he holding you back! That doesn't work with us. In fact, Kinsta released PHP 7.2 and 7.3 within a few weeks of the last tested release. This enables customers to start testing earlier and benefit from free and constant performance improvements.
How important is the version of PHP you are using? Our PHP benchmark report shows that PHP 7.3 is on average 9% faster than PHP 7.2. Who doesn't want a free 9% speed boost? 😉
And to go one step further, we at Kinsta were the first managed WordPress hosting provider to use Google Cloud Platform exclusively and the only enterprise host to use it. Kinsta was recently named a top tier again in Review Signal’s annual WordPress Hosting Performance Benchmarks 2018. And we are actually recommended by Google.
Below is an example of load times that dropped significantly on a customer's website after we moved it to Google Cloud Platform. Before the move, they got spikes over the 2 second span, and after that they stayed consistently under 1 second and under 400 ms in the United States. Just by migrating to the Google Cloud Platform the loading times can be reduced by 75%.
Google Cloud Platform load time
And here is an example of what happened when someone migrated from Kinsta to shared hosting. Your loading time increased from 300 ms to 14 seconds! The shared host could not handle the large website.
Shared hosting vs managed WordPress hosting
Here is another example of our test page running on Kinsta. As you can see, it loads in less than 400 ms with a power level of 100. That is fast!
WordPress speed test at Kinsta
If we look at the HTTP header we can see that it is coming from the Kinsta server-level cache and no caching plugin is running.
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Kinsta HTTP Cache Header
Managed WordPress hosts tailor their environments to ensure that WordPress runs as quickly as possible!
Kinsta uses LXD managed hosts and orchestrated LXC software containers for each location. It means that each WordPress site is housed in its own isolated containerwho has all the software resources required to run it (Linux, Nginx, PHP, MySQL). The resources are 100% private and are not shared with anyone else or your own websites.
Kinsta hosting architecture.
We then use virtual machines that are located in one of the numerous data centers of the Google Cloud Platform around the world. Our VMs are configured to route traffic over Google Cloud's premium tier network. Compared to the standard network of the Google Cloud, the premium tier routes the majority of the data traffic over Google's private network of data centers instead of over the public internet.This leads to lower network latency and faster page load times for your WordPress website. According to a study conducted by Cedexis, Google's premium tier network is almost 30% faster than the standard tier network.
Each of our GCP virtual machines has up to 96 CPUs and hundreds of gigabytes of RAM. In the available regions we use their computationally optimized (C2) virtual machines. These provide the highest performance per core that GCP has on Compute Engine and are optimized for compute-intensive workloads. Hardware resources (RAM / CPU) are automatically assigned to each location container by our virtual machines as required.
You can check out this detailed post if you want to learn how Kinsta is designing the fastest WordPress hosting stack on the market.
3. Global reach
In addition to the performance at the server level, managed WordPress hosting providers also have a larger infrastructure that is designed for global reach. Thanks to Google Cloud Platform, we have 25 different regions here at Kinsta that you can host your WordPress site. These include locations in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and South America. By strategically placing your website with your visitors and customers, network latency is reduced, TTFB and loading times become faster.
Google Cloud data center locations
Latency refers to the time and / or delay involved in transmitting data over a network. The further the distance, the greater the latency. For example, if you run a local WooCommerce store in Sydney, Australia, you should host your website in Australia. If you were to host your website in the US, customers would wait a lot longer the first time you load the page. The initial DOC load comes from your host server, so it is very important to that you can place your site where your customers are.
Using a content delivery network (CDN) can then help speed up the rest of the website media. Kinsta includes a free HTTP / 2 CDN with 35 global pops to help you grow your bottom line. Another great free alternative that many use is Cloudflare.
Everything in Kinsta is also connected through the highly reliable Google Cloud Platform “premium tier” network. This minimizes distances and jumps, resulting in faster and safer global transport of your data. Some hosting providers may choose Google's "standard tier" network service to cut costs, but we believe in using only the best here at Kinsta.
How big is the effect? Well, for data traveling across continents, the premium tier network is on average about 41% faster than the standard tier network. For dates that travel to a nearby region (constant), the premium level is about 8% faster. While networking only accounts for a fraction of the total page load times, every millisecond adds up!
4. Automatic backups
What would you do if you suddenly lost everything? You should always be prepared for the worst-case scenario, and that includes always having backups of your WordPress site. A well managed WordPress hosting provider should always include automatic backups at no additional cost. With shared hosts, backups are usually included, but in the plan for a higher cost. And if you take the DIY route with a VPS, you'll usually have to set up your own backup system as well as VPS snapshots, which also cost extra.
We add automatic backups of all WordPress sites for free, no additional setup is required. 14 backups can be accessed at any time directly in the MyKinsta dashboard for easy restoration with a click of the mouse. You can also always run manual backups with the click of a button. This is very handy when you want to install something new and make sure you don't break anything.
Automatic WordPress backups
Not only do we have automatic backups, but you can also download a full backup (files and .sql file) of your Word Press site at any time. And if you have a WooCommerce store or a page with a lot of dynamic content, we have add-ons where you can automatically back up your page every hour or every six hours.
Setting up backups this way can save you a lot of time as you don't have to mess with backup plugins, Cpanel, FTP or phpMyAdmin.
5. One-click staging environments
Test, test, test. You can't afford to have your website down, so you should always test new changes, plugins, and updates on a development site, not your production site! However, most web hosting providers require a complex and time consuming process of copying your website locally, testing it, and then determining how to undo the changes. Many managed WordPress hosting providers include one-click staging environments to make testing a breeze.
WordPress staging environment
With one-click staging or development environments, you can clone your website with the touch of a button. Your dev site can then be reached via a test URL and you can also access it via all common methods such as FTP, SSH, phpMyAdmin etc. You can then easily make your changes to production using the dashboard.
6. Developer friendly
Another benefit of the managed WordPress hosting provider is that you usually have access to additional developer-friendly features that you may not get with a shared host. This includes features like SSH access, Composer, HeidiSQL, Sequel Pro and Git. Usually shared hosts don't give you SSH access, which means you can't use any of the above features. If you're using a DIY VPS these can usually be set up, but it may take some extra work.
Here at Kinsta, you can easily access your SSH connection information through your MyKinsta dashboard, along with these additional developer features:
- The ability to run different versions of PHP between sites and staging sites. You can also switch the engine at will with one click.
- Support for custom setups like Bedrock and revised proxy configurations.
- Faster performance with our Redis add-on.
Developer Features on Kinsta.
WP-CLI is another tool that is very popular in the WordPress community. WP-CLI is a command line tool for managing many aspects of a WordPress installation. It can add / remove users, insert posts, categories, test data, search and replace in the database and much more. For many developers, WP-CLI is a dream come true! And Kinsta's architecture supports WP-CLI out-of-the-box.
And you can't forget about safety! In shared hosting environments, they usually don't offer any assistance if you get hacked or run into malware. This also applies to the DIY VPS route. If your WordPress site gets hacked, it is your responsibility. Many managed WordPress hosting providers offer assistance if your website is hacked and systems are in place to protect against malware.
We take WordPress security very seriously here at Kinsta and have implemented active and passive measures to stop attacks and malicious intent. We even offer free malware repair and removal. If your website is infected, it is likely that our support team is already cleaning it up. We also have software in place to detect DDoS attacks as soon as they happen. Hardware firewalls are in place and have very tight software-based restrictions on protecting your WordPress website.
The provider your web host uses is also important. We use the Google Cloud Platform, which means that you benefit from a security model that has been built over the course of 15 years and currently protects products and services such as Gmail, Google Search, etc. Google currently employs more than 500 full-time security professionals.
Kinsta also uses Linux Containers (LXC) and LXD to orchestrate them, in addition to the Google Cloud Platform which does it enables us to completely isolate not just every account but every single WordPress website. Each site container runs on virtual machines that are secured behind the GCP firewall. This is a much safer method than offered by other competitors. In addition, we use encryption in pause to store customer data.
And in addition to server-level security, your account is also very important. You should make sure that two-factor authentication is offered regardless of the hosting route. If someone got access to your account, they could change your passwords, delete your websites, change DNS records, and do all kinds of terrible things. At Kinsta, we have partnered with Authy and offer two-factor authentication on your MyKinsta dashboard.
Choosing a web hosting provider that offers the above features will not only save you time, but you'll also have peace of mind knowing that the host will be behind you when something happens! Investing in secure WordPress hosting is important.
Another important aspect for any host is scalability. When it comes to shared hosting, the only option if you are overpowering your resources is to upgrade to a higher plan. And this is if they haven't already suspended you. Eventually, with a shared host, you will reach a point where you will simply be forced to migrate to a dedicated server. This can just be time consuming as you have to constantly worry about observing your limits.
It's much easier to scale with the DIY VPS route, but sometimes it requires a little more server knowledge to expand hard drives, etc. With managed WordPress hosting providers, they handle all of this for you. If you go beyond their predefined limits, they will simply notify you and update you without any intervention from you.
A very cool and unique feature from Kinsta is the ability to auto-scale your website as we are using Google Compute Engine servers. For example, other WordPress hosting providers are usually limited to 2-6 CPUs per machine. We can actually scale the website's container to as many CPUs as we need with an increase in traffic. For sites with a large amount of non-cacheable activity or large bursts of traffic, we also have a dedicated server solution that allows PHP workers to scale beyond the limits of our normal plans.
WordPress caching tip
With our isolated software container technology, hardware resources are automatically assigned by our virtual machines to each site container when required.No resources are shared between sites.The result is a hosting configuration that is secure and private from the ground up, while also allowing server resources to be scaled up or shut down as needed based on the needs of the site.
Thank you @kinsta for handling today's traffic spike without issue. It's comforting to know your site can handle surges. # webperf # webhosting # wordpresspic.twitter.com / fplO87LIu0
- ΛDΛM (@rockymtnadam) January 29, 2019
9. Premium DNS
Last but not least, you should use a premium DNS provider. And in the best case even several providers! You won't get that with shared hosting providers or the DIY VPS method. You have to register separately for the service. In fact, there aren't many managed hosting providers out there that even offer this, but Kinsta does! We integrate premium DNS into all plans through Amazon Route 53.
What is DNS Well, think of it like a phone book for the internet. Every time you type an address into your browser, it is actually directed to an IP address, although you never see it. DNS servers do the mapping for you. Just like with web hosting, there are slow DNS providers and there are fast ones. Amazon has one of the largest networks in the world. By working with a fast DNS provider, you will ensure faster DNS lookup times.
How does DNS work?
Typically, the free DNS provided by domain registrars like GoDaddy and NamEcheap is very slow. Google Domains is likely an exception to this rule because they have such a large infrastructure. The best DNS providers out there are companies like Amazon, Cloudflare, Dyn, and DNS Made Easy, all of which have very large infrastructures designed specifically for DNS.
Another important reason for a reliable DNS provider is to protect against DDoS attacks. And how important DNS really is, you should know from the DNS Doomsday on Friday, October 21, 2016. This is a good example of why you need multiple DNS providers. Many companies' websites went completely offline that day because they relied solely on Dyn, the attacked DNS provider. Companies like Reddit, Twitter, Spotify, all experienced downtime.
A common problem, however, is that DNS providers usually set high TTLs, which means that if either of those companies had added a 2nd DNS provider that day it wouldn't have done much because the TTL would expire in days, not minutes . This can be solved by simply preparing multiple DNS providers in advance.
The community must work together to develop commercial or open source solutions to make DNS configurations compatible between vendors (this applies to complex DNS setups like failover, geo load balancing, etc.). This is no longer a nice-to-have, but a Must-have.– Catchpoint
Get started with a premium DNS provider now, not later! We will make a more intensive contribution to premium DNS providers in the future.
Managed WordPress hosting (Infographic design by Easelly
SummaryYou wouldn't put regular unleaded fuel in your Lamborghini, so don't do it with your #WordPress site 🏎️Click to Tweet
As you can see, there are a ton of benefits to choosing managed WordPress hosting over shared hosting or DIY VPS. Yes, managed hosting costs more money, but you should do this as one Invest in your business consider. How much is time, rest, and data integrity worth to you? If you have any questions about hosting for your business or blog, we're just a click away here at Kinsta. Let us help you reach the next level.
If you enjoyed this article, then you will love Kinsta’s WordPress hosting platform. Speed up your website and get 24/7 support from our experienced WordPress team. Our Google Cloud based infrastructure focuses on the areas of auto-scaling, performance and security. Let's show you the Kinsta difference! Check out our packages here
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