Most managed hosting solutions tweak and tailor their service to the needs of a specific platform or CMS (content management system). With 43% of the world’s websites being built on WordPress, it’s hardly surprising that managed WordPress hosting is becoming a must have for the less code-savvy among us.
In this article, we’ll look at why managed WordPress hosting is becoming so desirable and review some affordable options.
The problem with generic hosting
Traditional hosting providers offer infrastructure, but often don’t have the skill force to help users navigate through WordPress-related queries. For anyone who isn’t experienced in building websites, running a site on WordPress often means slow loading and downtime if the host they’ve chosen isn’t up to par.
If hiring a sysAdmin or spending the time it takes to learn about plugin compatibility, certificates, or server optimization in general is not something you see yourself doing, fret not.
With managed WordPress hosting, all server optimization tasks, plugin updates and lots more are handled for you. With automated backups, committed support from WordPress enthusiasts, top notch security, and almost no outages, it’s hardly surprise managed WordPress hosting has grown so much in popularity.
The main drawback when you’re starting out, though, can be pricing. Some of the top-of-the-line managed hosts – such as Kinsta, for example – can cost you from $29.17 to $58.33 and all the way up to $95.83 a month or more for small plans. Surely not a cost you’d like to take upon yourself, and especially if you’re just starting out.
What I want to point out is that if chosen right, managed hosting can be very cost effective for marketers, content creators, aspiring bloggers and small to medium sized businesses.
What follows is our rundown of the most important traits of managed WordPress hosting and some top recommendations of the hosting companies that offer some interesting managed hosting options.
The best part, with some of them you can get a quality managed hosting plan starting at less than $15 a month … or even less than $4 with two or three of them.
Below are some key points to consider:
Managed hosting plans generally offer better loading times. However, in all honesty, this is not usually the result of some “added WordPress magic,” but is more due to the aggregate quality of the host’s infrastructure across all of its available hosting plans, not only its managed offerings.
Overall, though, it is fair to say that by choosing a managed WordPress hosting solution, you should expect better performance across the board.
To put some data behind it, here’s a chart presenting our own experiments in terms of load times when comparing a standard web hosting plan against a managed one:
Under the hood, managed WordPress hosting packages also tend to include other optimizations that go alongside the server itself. Those are things such as an optimized CDN (content delivery network), good caching (integrated caching plugins), plus optimal configurations of PHP, MySQL and Apache, enhancing the performance even more.
Support support support!
A key differentiator lies in the fact that managed WordPress hosting providers usually have a team of trained individuals ready to hold your hand through the ins and outs of maintaining your WordPress site.
For instance, one of our top recommended companies, SiteGround, has been known for their great support that’s willing to bend even their own policies just to please the customer. As a matter of fact, their support received a 4.7 / 5 score from our own audience in a hosting survey that we did in 2020.
So, before snapping up a managed hosting offer solely based on low pricing, find out about their support by reading user reviews.
Optimized user experience
Think of managed WordPress hosting in terms of software as opposed to infrastructure. The killer selling points of managed WordPress hosting are user-friendly dashboards, simplified control panels, and easy-to-navigate GUI.
The more comfortable you grow with your WordPress site the more you may want to do with it. Check if the managed WordPress host pack you’re considering includes the ability to set up a staging environment too. This will help you try out new themes and plugins before deploying them to your live WordPress site. Another consideration is if you plan on migrating from another hosting provider or server. The website migration process is typically much easier and is usually included in managed WordPress plans for free.
If you want to learn more about the types of WordPress hosting or how to get started with WordPress in general, check out either of these guides of ours:
What is WordPress hosting
Different types of WordPress hosting plans explained, and which one to choose
Now, let’s go through the top affordable managed WordPress hosting providers on the market in 2022:
Top recommended managed WordPress hosting plans available
Hostinger cheap WordPress managed hosting
Hostinger is a recent addition to our managed WordPress hosting list. They offer 100% uptime speed and robust performance while being cheapest of all the hosting services we tested.
You can set up a single WordPress site for an unbeatable $1.99 per month (for the first billing cycle). Interestingly, when it’s time to renew, Hostinger will still offer you a better price than most hosts do for the initial period. The renewal price starts from $3.99 per month.
Hostinger also has WordPress-specific features like WP-CLI to help you install plugins and configure multisite installations. But do know that Hostinger has a comparatively slower response rate when it comes to support. We’d recommend choosing SiteGround if support is your main concern.
Read our in-depth Hostinger review
Cheap managed WordPress hosting: SiteGround
We love the fact these guys have grown so much in the last decade. With entry level pricing at $2.99 a month, bullet-fast loading times, great uptime and heavenly support, SiteGround is number one on our list of affordable managed WordPress hosting.
For a start, from the moment you make your first inquiry till well after purchasing their service, SiteGround’s customer support will not let you down. If you’re looking to host one site only, the StartUp 10GB plan allows up to 10k visitors a month. However, at $4.99 for multiple sites and 20GB a month, the SiteGround GrowBig plan is very reasonable for anyone expecting up to 25,000 visitors per month.
Read our in-depth SiteGround review
One thing we can be sure of is that DreamHost stays true to their uptime promise. They even go as far as giving users an extra day of service for every hour of downtime a site hosted with them may have. Added to this is a 97 day money back guarantee. The cheapest option for managed WordPress hosting through Dreamhost is $16.95 a month.
Bear in mind that this is DreamHost’s shared WordPress hosting, ideal for those who will be optimizing the site themselves. For prime customer service and fully managed updates to your site, the price goes up to $71.95 per month.
Read our in-depth DreamHost review
With a platform-as-a-service model, Cloudways is a user-friendly solution for managed cloud hosting. It offers managed WordPress functionality with a choice of cloud hosting providers – AWS, Digital Ocean, Vultr, Linode, and Google Cloud.
Sure, signing up for hosting with the cloud service providers directly can work out cheaper.
However, adopting the Cloudways route offers a worry-free experience with managed backups, free SSL certificates, managed security, Cloudflare CDN, 24×7 expert support and more.
Hosting options come at varying price points. You can pick one to suit your needs, and scale up or down later. The prices are linked to the cloud hosting provider you choose, and start at $10 to $12 per month when you go with DigitalOcean, Vultr, and Linode. These also come with a free trial option.
The other two choices – AWS and Google Cloud start at $36.51 per month and $33.18 per month respectively – and do not offer a free trial. The prices are all-inclusive and you won’t have to pay any additional hidden cloud hosting charges.
Plus, if you use use our discount code “THEMEISLE“, you’ll get a 25% discount for three months off of the listed prices.
If you’d like, you can also choose the hourly pay-as-you-go option, and if you need offsite backup storage, there’s an additional charge of $0.033 per GB, per server.
Read our in-depth Cloudways review
Flywheel is one of the few companies officially recommended at WordPress.org (along with SiteGround and DreamHost, by the way), and there’s a really good reason for it.
First off, interacting with the platform is truly beginner-friendly and easy to do. Basically no learning curve at all. They have data centers around the world (which helps your site performance by guaranteeing good load times all around the world). Plus, there’s built-in caching and automatic backups.
Now, about the pricing. If you’re just getting started with your very first website, Flywheel has a plan called “Tiny.” It’s $13 a month (if paid annually), works up to 5,000 monthly visitors, you get 5GB of disk space, 20GB of bandwidth and an SSL certificate included for free.
Read our in-depth Flywheel review
6. WP Engine
WP Engine is perhaps the most well-known hosting company in the managed WordPress hosting space. They offer really good hosting plans that are optimized for WordPress, 24/7 chat support of very high quality (currently rated 4.5 / 5 by our survey respondents), staging environments, and a load of other perks that make it a great one-stop solution for your WordPress site.
The downside, though, is the pricing. The cheapest option available is $30 a month ($20 with our discount if you sign up for 12 months up front). That’s four months free just for being a dedicated Themeisle reader. Not too shabby. That plan allows you to have one WordPress install, get up to 25,000 visitors a month, and use up to 10GB of disk space.
Read our in-depth WP Engine review
7. A2 Hosting
Last but not least, we have A2 Hosting. Their managed plans run off a VPS setup – a virtual private server. This is a bit more of a heavy-hitter among hosting plans.
The $39.99 a month option allows you to use up to 150GB of storage and 2TB of transfer. You also get 4GB of server RAM and a free SSL certificate.
Overall, A2 Hosting has a good reputation in the market, and we’ve recommended them a number of times before for different purposes and types of websites. Overall, if you have the budget, you will be happy with their service.
Read our in-depth A2 Hosting