WordPress is a free and open source content management system written in PHP programming language. Released on May 27, 2003, by its founders, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, it has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world powering more than 60 million websites across the globe. Making its debut as blogging software, WordPress took rapid strides in form and functionality and today it is one of the most popular Content management system (CMS) in the market. The tremendous popularity that this software enjoys has coaxed many organizations to create special packages exclusively for WordPress-based websites with promises of dedicated support and advanced hosting features.
Having advanced hosting option and features, no doubt, is good but you must remember that you have to pay extra to get extra facilities. Premium quality products come with a hefty price tag and there is no exception in this case. Premium features command a price that is more often than not double the price of basic shared hosting packages. For example, a top hosting firm’s shared hosting plan is priced around $9 a month where as they charge close to $20 for managed hosting. Dedicated hosting of course is in a different league altogether with monthly costs starting from as much as $150 dollars.
The cost of managed WordPress hosting can set your organizations behind thousands of dollars every year. The critical question that arises then ‘’ is opting for managed WordPress hosting really worth the cost?”
In the following paragraphs we shall look at various benefits as well as drawbacks of managed hosting. Reading about the features in detail offered by this type of hosting solution will put you in a better position to decide whether managed WordPress hosting is really worth the cost.
Need for speed—how important it is?
One of the biggest attractions of managed hosting is the promise of high speed that accompanies it. Service provider promise dedicated servers for your managed WordPress hosting ensuring higher speed and reliability for your website. Your website will not be sharing server resources with other websites meaning it can continue to perform at its optimum level despite traffic fluctuations.
Service providers also claim that advanced features such as plugins, custom installation, better security tools, etc. provided by them will maximise your website performance. It all sounds pretty exciting, but then the million dollar question is how much speed you really need.
In this age of fast data transfer rate and improved bandwidth, it is usually seen that majority of the websites enjoy a faster loading time. Moreover, a WordPress website owner can take extra measures on his own, like limiting plugins, caching static site files and keeping abreast with WordPress updates, etc. to enhance the speed of his website.
Also, studies show that shared hosting sites on average take around 700 milliseconds to 1.5 seconds to load whereas for managed WordPress hosting, the average loading time is around 300 milliseconds to 1.3 seconds. You will agree that difference in loading time which can be measured in milliseconds makes it hard to justify the high price tag of managed WordPress hosting on grounds of better speed and faster loading time.
Need for security—do you get it?
There are dozens of threats that can force shut your WordPress website. From distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) to viruses and malware, you need to put comprehensive security measures in place to secure your website. This is where hosting providers justify their premium billing, as they claim to offer a level of security extremely difficult for website owners to manage on their own. Most of them perform regular security scan at server levels to detect viruses, malware and any other threat. Additional features further secure your WordPress install.
There are potential benefits and demerits to this approach. Regular scans at server level, advance security management and technical expertise of a dedicated team keeps your website safe and running. On the fillip side, managed hosting means you get to exercise lesser degree of control on your WordPress website than what you initially would have liked. Under certain circumstances, you will not find yourself in a position to make certain changes to your site files, themes, or plugins.
Shared hosting on the other hand is not exactly known for putting a premium on security. Very few shared hosting service providers offer any kind of comprehensive security mechanisms with majority of them not bothering to go beyond minimal malware scans and removal.
This again brings us to the all-important question of whether the added security of a managed WordPress hosting is worth the cost. The answer is yes if you own and operate a large website. You will need this type of advanced security for maximum uptime. Managed hosting offers expansive security and the added cost is justified as it gives you much needed peace of mind knowing you are well protected from nefarious activities of hackers and spammers.
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