There’s no such thing as “Managed WordPress Hosting”

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managed-wordpress-hosting-truth
I’ve been working on many projects as a WordPress expert and every time when I realize that the site is hosted by a so called “Managed WordPress Hosting” company, I get an instant headache and have to take a few days off..

In theory that catchy word “Managed” sounds awesome, somehow you get a feeling that your site will receive the best possible care and that you’ll be backed up by the best pro’s in the market. In practice, it’s nothing other than a good sales pitch. Why I’m saying this is because if you look closely and start measuring the loading speed for instance, you’ll notice that there’s no difference between regular Cpanel host and Managed WP host. And of course, the “Managed” ones are offering the “best speed”, servers suitable for WP, more than enough resources and a team of WP developers that are waiting in the office to fulfill all your requests… Yeah, right.. If that is really the case, I wouldn’t be getting job requests each day to solve something that should be solved in the first place, by the host itself.

The point is that most of the regular hosts will work just fine after the site is fine tuned by a WP developer and set up in the proper way. If you want complete freedom, you should hire a dedicated WP developer and do with your site whatever you want, and believe me, in the long run, it will end up cheaper than paying high fees each month to a company that is “specialized” in WordPress hosting. If you ask how, the answer is simple, if you want security, you’ll have it, if you want speed, the WP dev can get everything sorted out in a matter of days.

Is managed WordPress hosting worth the extra cost?

wordpress-hostAbsolutely not! Especially because the usual pricing is terribly high, from $30 to $100 or more per month. If we compare “Managed” hosting features with the features of regular host companies, we’ll notice that almost everything is the same and if certain features are not covered by the regular host, you can always go one step further and get exactly what you need by using some of the free or premium plugins available online.

Tech support, daily backups, caching, firewall, malware scan, CDN, 1-click restore etc… all these features are highlighted and marketed as something unique, as something crucial for the complete care of your WP site. But, guess what, non-managed hosts are offering the same thing at believe it or not, a much lower price. So pretty much, from their point of view it seems that it’s not important what you offer, as long as the “product” is nicely packaged and the marketing ads are visible on every corner..

Poor performance

Poor Customer Service Evaluation Recently, one of my clients requested a WordPress speed optimization and unfortunately the site was hosted at the wrong host… no need to clarify again at which one, you can easily assume.. and what happened then, reminded me on about all the previous cases that were kind of similar, one way or another. My client’s host is currently known as #1 provider when it comes to Managed WP hosting and my overall experience was completely negative. Their loading speed is awful, even though they are claiming to have a blazing fast server technology and when you start messing around with the code to try to solve the issues, you realize that they have restricted access to pretty much everything under the sun. None of the speed optimization code or plugins are working, the Nginx based server is simply not reacting to any input… truly, the developer’s worse nightmare but that’s not a coincidence..

And later on when we got in touch with the host support, they said that there’s nothing to worry about, the loading speed is awesome (!?) and the plugins are working just fine! Needless to say, I was speechless! First they lie to people in order to sell as many host packages as possible, and then they make you look like a fool, even though the Google Page Speed Insights and other test results are showing that the speed is definitely not OK. Not to mention that the server response time was jumping up and down from 1 second to 5,6 seconds.

google-page-speed-insights-results

Maybe I wouldn’t be so negative if the host I’m talking about is in the range of $3 – $5 per month, but it isn’t… It cost way more than that!

Any good alternative?

The one and only host suitable enough for WordPress that I can recommend is Webfaction.com. I have been using their services for the past 6 years and I never ever had a single issue. Approx. 40 of my clients already switched to WF and they are sharing the same experience. From a tech point of view, everything is just perfect and you can only assume how hard it is to please a developer who is always striving toward perfection… With WF I was able to reach the highest possible loading speed score (100/100) measured by the Google Page Speed Insights. The best way to describe their services is: speed, security, stability, all of that for just $10 per month.. a hell of a deal, isn’t it? And now, if you compare all of this with pricey mumbo jumbo “Managed WP host” offers, you’ll realize that they are misleading people with false marketing in order to make as big a profit as possible.