best managed wordpress hosting

Choosing a web host is never easy. However, finding the best managed WordPress hosting provider can be even more complex. A lot of people use this type of hosting for advanced personal projects, business sites, agency clients, and more. There’s usually more at stake with these sites, and hosting gets more expensive. So you’ll want to make the right choice.

As with any other type of hosting, your decision will largely come down to your budget and what features you need. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of the best managed WordPress hosts, to help narrow down your choices.

In this article, we’ll review the five best options, plus we’ll explain what to look for in a managed web host. Then we’ll answer some commonly asked questions, before giving you some final pointers on which of the options might be best for you, given your circumstances.

Let’s get to work!

Best managed WordPress hosting providers in a nutshell πŸ₯œ

In case you want a quick overview of the best managed WordPress hosting providers, here’s a simple comparison of features and starting prices:

Feature Flywheel Bluehost WP Engine Kinsta Cloudways
Starting prices $13.00 per month $2.75 per month $20.00 per month $29.17 per month $11.00 per month
Number of websites (for starting plans) 1 Unlimited 1 1 No hard limits
Backup & Restore Daily Backups Daily Backups Daily Backups Daily Backups Daily Backups
Staging Environment βœ… βœ… βœ… βœ… βœ…
CDN Integration βœ…
(Fastly)
βœ… (Cloudflare) βœ… (MaxCDN) βœ… (Cloudflare) βœ… (CloudwaysCDN)
Developer Features βœ… Limited βœ… βœ… βœ…
Free SSL Certificates βœ… βœ… βœ… βœ… βœ…
Automatic Updates WordPress Core WordPress Core WordPress Core WordPress Core Limited

Best managed WordPress hosting providers in depth

Now, let’s explore five of the best managed WordPress hosting providers. For each, we’ll provide a breakdown of its features and what type of users should consider it. Keep in mind that this list is in no particular order.

  1. Flywheel
  2. Bluehost
  3. WP Engine
  4. Kinsta
  5. Cloudways

1. Flywheel

Flywheel homepage.

Flywheel is one of the best managed WordPress hosting providers if you’re a freelancer or you run an agency (here’s our full review of Flywheel). That’s because this service is geared toward users who need hosting for a lot of sites. In fact, if you sign up for the highest-tier hosting plan, Flywheel offers support for up to 30 websites.

Aside from supporting large numbers of sites, Flywheel also enables you to bill clients for hosting costs from within the platform. What’s more, you get access to a lot of developer-friendly features, such as staging functionality, WordPress site blueprints, controlled access to each site for other developers, SSH access, and more.

Additionally, Flywheel customers get access to the Genesis Framework and several StudioPress themes when they sign up for any plan. Plus, the web host implements a CDN and enables you to choose where to host your site from multiple data centers around the world.

It’s important to note that Flywheel is owned by WP Engine, another hosting option that we’ll explore in this article. However, they target different types of customers.

🎯 Key Features:

  • Custom hosting dashboard
  • An integrated CDN and custom caching solution
  • Automatic SSL certificates
  • Genesis Framework and themes bundle
  • Multiple data center options
  • Staging sites, daily backups, and SSH access
  • Third-party billing for hosting

πŸ’³ Pricing:

Plans start at $13.00 per month for a single website and up to 5,000 monthly visits or $30 per month for up to 25,000 visits. Agencies and freelancers will want to opt for the Freelance plan at a minimum, which offers support for up to ten sites at $115 per month.

2. Bluehost

Bluehost managed WordPress hosting plans.

Bluehost is one of the most popular hosting providers in the world, but it offers very different levels of service depending on what type of hosting you sign up for. Plans range from very basic shared hosting to virtual private servers (VPS), dedicated servers, and managed WordPress hosting.

In our experience, the quality of Bluehost managed WordPress hosting plans makes them worthwhile. For starters, all of the host’s managed plans offer support for unlimited websites with no bandwidth cap. You also get access to a collection of over 100 themes and staging environments.

Perhaps the main selling point of Bluehost managed WordPress hosting is that you get to use the full Jetpack suite of tools with every plan. That includes advanced analytics, malware protection, site backups, and a CDN for media files.

Overall, Bluehost’s managed WordPress hosting plans are light on developer-friendly features. However, they’re a good choice for personal websites or small projects.

🎯 Key Features:

  • Support for unlimited websites
  • Various hosting types
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Full Jetpack suite integration
  • Over 100 bundled themes
  • Staging functionality

πŸ’³ Pricing:

Bluehost’s managed WordPress hosting plans start at $2.75 per month if you pay for three years up front.

Its more expensive plans don’t offer a lot of additional features that would make them worthwhile.

3. WP Engine

WP Engine homepage.

WP Engine offers one of the most comprehensive set of managed hosting plans you can find (read our full WP Engine review). They include options for standard users, WooCommerce-optimized plans, a selection for agencies or freelancers, and headless WordPress setups.

With WP Engine, you get to choose from several tiers of plans for whichever type of hosting you’re interested in. All of them come with automatic backups, a small selection of premium themes, staging functionality, advanced security, a built-in CDN, and performance-monitoring tools.

Plus, WP Engine offers a few extras for each hosting plan. Those extras include additional layers of security, automated plugin updates, and more. It’s important to note that these extras don’t mean WP Engine doesn’t offer advanced security options out of the box. It simply means you can decide if you want to level up with extras like a managed web application firewall (WAF).

Additionally, WP Engine’s site monitoring tool also comes as an extra, costing $4 per month. This enables you to receive automatic reports when WordPress displays errors. In terms of usefulness, this is a game-changing feature if you run a website that can’t afford prolonged downtime.

As we mentioned, WP Engine also owns Flywheel, which is another managed WordPress hosting solution. While Flywheel is more geared towards agencies, WP Engine offers flexible solutions for developers and enterprise-level projects.

🎯 Key Features:

  • Automated WordPress and PHP updates
  • Daily and on-demand backups
  • Automated SSL setup
  • Development, staging, and production environments
  • Custom caching solution and an integrated CDN
  • SSH access
  • Activity and user logs

πŸ’³ Pricing:

WP Engine now starts at $20.00 per month, which is a very approachable amount compared to the managed hosting’s common range of $20+. Keep in mind, though, that this rate is for a relatively small setup that’s limited to 5,000 visits a month.

However, if you want to host more than one site, you may want to start with the Professional plan, which supports up to three sites.

4. Kinsta

Kinsta homepage.

Kinsta is known as one of the best managed WordPress hosting providers on the market (read our full Kinsta review). However, it also offers application and database hosting plans. In terms of WordPress hosting, Kinsta delivers a high level of performance, but it’s somewhat expensive when compared to other managed providers.

With Kinsta, you get access to developer-friendly WordPress hosting plans. The platform offers advanced security features, SSL certificates, SSH access, configurable backup schedules, analytics, PHP version switching, staging functionality, and more.

Plus, Kinsta offers one of the most intuitive hosting dashboards on the market. MyKinsta gives you access to all the tools we mentioned earlier, and it’s fairly easy to navigate even if you’re not a developer or an experienced user.

Kinsta also recently moved to build Cloudflare’s infrastructure into its hosting. You can cache your site’s full pages on Cloudflare’s global CDN and also access other features such as automatic image optimization and code minification.

Also, it’s worth noting that Kinsta offers add-ons for each of its plans. These include additional staging environments with increased resources, Redis support, external backups, increased storage space, and more. However, Kinsta add-ons don’t come cheap. They’re typically for advanced users with large budgets.

🎯 Key Features:

  • Automatic SSL certificates
  • PHP version switching
  • Configurable backup intervals
  • Staging functionality
  • Advanced analytics and site management tools
  • Full-page edge caching on Cloudflare, along with other Cloudflare performance optimization features

πŸ’³ Pricing:

Kinsta plans start at $29.17 per month for a single website. Kinsta offers a broad range of packages, allowing you to increase the number of sites you can host with them.

5. Cloudways

Cloudways homepage.

Cloudways is very different from the rest of the options on this list (read our full Cloudways review). However, it’s earned its spot among the best managed WordPress hosting providers because it enables you to use VPS and cloud hosting solutions without dealing with complex dashboards.

If you’ve ever wanted to try out Google Cloud or Amazon Web Services (AWS), but the pay-by-the-hour approach and complex hosting setup turned you away, you might want to look into Cloudways. This platform lets you deploy servers with DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode, AWS, and Google Cloud, but manage them using the Cloudways dashboard.

On top of making deployment easier, Cloudways sets up CDN integrations, advanced caching configurations, Redis support, dedicated firewalls, automatic SSL certificates, staging functionality, automatic backups, and more. The service even offers Git integration.

As you might expect, using Cloudways is more expensive than going to any of the cloud and VPS providers it supports directly. However, that premium translates to much easier management, all geared toward WordPress users.

Overall, Cloudways is a fantastic option if you’re a WordPress developer or enthusiast.

⚠️ Note – Cloudways was acquired by DigitalOcean in 2022, but it still allows you to use the other cloud providers that we’ve mentioned.

🎯 Key Features:

  • Integration with DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode, AWS, and Google Cloud
  • Simplified VPS and cloud hosting deployment
  • CDN integration
  • Advanced caching configuration
  • Automatic SSL certificates
  • Staging functionality
  • Automatic backups

πŸ’³ Pricing:

Cloudways plans vary depending on which VPS or cloud provider you choose. DigitalOcean, Vultr, and Linode have Cloudways plans starting at about $11.00 per month.

What to look for in the best managed WordPress hosting πŸ”Ž

Managed hosting providers can make your life easier by taking on some of the critical tasks involved in running a website. With managed WordPress hosting, you’ll get an experience that’s tailored to the content management system (CMS). Now that you’ve reviewed the five best options on the market today, it’s time to review what you should keep an eye on when making your decision.

  • Performance πŸ”‹ Expect fast loading times, solid uptime, and optimized server configurations for WordPress. A quality managed web host won’t require you to fiddle with servers to reach a decent level of performance.
  • Increased security πŸ”’οΈ Look for features like regular security updates, malware scanning, firewalls, and SSL certificates. These features should be available out of the box or easy to implement through your control panel.
  • Useful tools to manage your sites 🧰 The best managed WordPress hosting providers offer lots of helpful tools such as automatic backups and easy restores, staging sites, tools for managing updates, and more.
  • Fantastic customer support ☎️ πŸ’¬ πŸ“§ Choose a host with responsive, knowledgeable, and friendly customer service, available 24/7 via multiple channels. With a managed WordPress host, you can expect support agents to understand how the CMS works and offer a better level of service than regular providers.
  • A content delivery network (CDN) 🌐 CDNs help improve website load times for visitors from different geographical locations. Ideally, your host will offer a CDN integration.
  • Developer-friendly features πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» If you’re a developer, you may want to look for specific features. Some hosts offer Secure Shell (SSH) access, Git integration, support for multiple PHP versions, and staging environments.

It’s important to understand that managed services are a step up from basic hosting plans. They’re meant for users who are willing to pay more to avoid worrying about basic server and website maintenance.

Still, that doesn’t mean you won’t need to optimize your WordPress website. If you fail to update the CMS and its components, or develop a bloated site, you might still run into performance and security issues. However, those problems are easier to resolve if you have a managed hosting provider on your side.

Managed WordPress hosting FAQ πŸ™‹

We know that diving into the world of managed hosting can feel overwhelming, and sometimes you just want quick answers to your burning questions. Whether you’re skimming through articles or have specific queries that haven’t been addressed yet, we’ve got you covered below:

What is managed WordPress hosting?

Managed WordPress hosting is a specialized hosting service that focuses on the specific requirements and optimization for WordPress websites. This type of hosting takes care of various technical aspects such as WordPress installation, updates, security, and performance tuning, so you can focus on content creation and business aspects.

Why should I choose managed WordPress hosting over regular hosting?

Managed WordPress hosting services are optimized for WordPress, offering features like one-click installs, automatic updates, daily backups, and advanced security measures. They also typically offer faster load times, better uptime, and dedicated customer support for WordPress-related issues.

Is managed WordPress hosting more expensive?

Generally speaking, managed WordPress hosting is more expensive than shared or VPS hosting solutions. However, the higher cost usually justifies the added value in terms of performance, security, and support that you receive.

What is the difference between shared and managed WordPress hosting?

In shared hosting, multiple websites share the resources of a single server. Managed WordPress hosting, on the other hand, is specifically tailored for WordPress websites and often offers dedicated resources and specialized support.

Can I migrate my existing WordPress website to a managed WordPress host?

Yes, some of the best managed WordPress hosting providers offer free or low-cost migration services to move your website from another host.

Is managed WordPress hosting suitable for ecommerce websites?

Absolutely. Managed WordPress hosting can be ideal for ecommerce websites built on WordPress, as the infrastructure is optimized for speed and security, both critical factors for ecommerce success.

Do I need to be tech-savvy to use managed WordPress hosting?

Not at all. One of the key benefits of managed WordPress hosting is that it’s designed to be user-friendly. Many of the technical aspects are handled by the hosting provider.

Try one of these managed WordPress hosting providers πŸ±β€πŸ’»

Choosing one of the best managed WordPress hosting providers can make your life a lot easier by relieving you of mundane website optimization and maintenance tasks.

With managed hosting, you’ll typically get access to features such as automatic backups, better server performance, staging functionality, CDN integration, automatic SSL certificates, and much more.

What provider you choose will depend largely on your needs and budget. Kinsta is one of the best developer-friendly options, but it’s a bit more expensive than the average. Other top-of-the-line options include WP Engine and Cloudways, depending on what type of project you’re working on.

πŸ’°πŸ“‰ If you’re looking to keep your costs down, you also might be interested in our roundup of the best cheap managed WordPress hosting services.

Do you have any questions about choosing the best managed WordPress hosting for your situation? Ask us in the comments section below!

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