What Is WordPress Hosting?
WordPress (WP) is a free and open-source content management system based on PHP & MySQL and is the most prevalent online publishing system currently dominating over 32% of the web. Overall, the network of such websites welcomes in excess of 400 million people viewing more than 15 billion individual web pages each month. Some of those websites are hosted on standard shared servers, along with hundreds of other websites, utilizing the same processes and resources, allowing for possible server system overload and downtime.
It comes as no big surprise to find some web hosting providers have concentrated on dedicating their systems to WordPress only.
Why Dedicated WP Hosting?
How does Dedicated or Managed WP Hosting differ from the other types of hosting available?
There are three typical types of hosting setups:
1. Shared Hosting.
Shared hosting is one of the most commonly used WP hosting packages, but the name itself should give you a clue as to what you will be receiving for your money. Your website may possibly be on a server shared with hundreds of other clients’ websites leading to server overcrowding and lower performance.
2. Self-Managed VPS Hosting.
With a VPS or Virtual Private Server, even though certain resources are still shared, like overall CPU time and RAM, other portions of the server resources are account dedicated. On the plus side, the number of websites stored on these servers is considerably less than with a shared server. On the other hand, you are nonetheless still going to have to maintain your site and all the WP portions of it, keeping an eye on any possible security loopholes, and performing your daily backups and so on.
3. Managed WP Hosting.
Managed hosting is where all the technicalities of running a WordPress website are handled by the hosting provider. These include security issues, speed, updates, backups and website uptime. Support is also at an optimum with managed hosting, because the support staff are experts in CMS and can take care of any problems or errors almost immediately. Plugins for functions like backups, caching and security can be done away with, reducing potential security breaches. Everything is handled for you by your hosting provider.
Two companies who are at the top of any Managed Hosting provider list are WPEngine and Raidboxes.
WPEngine — Austin, Texas.
This is a top-rated WP web hosting provider based in Austin, Texas and has been concentrating on hosting WP websites since 2010. They place extremely high importance on the speed of page loading. They have a tailor-made, WP-optimized, caching system which makes your website really fast. Discounted pricing is not offered, but the features included are well worth the cost. Plans start at $35 per month for their starter plan, ideal for one small website or personal blog, rising to $290 per month for their Scale plan, which has higher limits, capacity and allows for up to 15 websites included. With all their hosting plans you have 60 days risk-free and if you prepay for a year, you save by receiving two months free. The savings range from $70 up to $580 depending on your choice of plan. All hosting plans come with Genesis Framework, 35+ themes by StudioPress, 24/7 chat and phone support plus much more.
WPEngine does not allow all WP plugins. Out of the thousands of available plugins the list of those prohibited is relatively small. For example, any caching plugins are banned. The reason for this is due to the fact that these plugins have proved to be a problem with their software environment, and if the system maintenance script runs and finds any of them in the file structure, they are automatically removed. Some backup plugins are also on the “black list” as they are really superfluous to requirements, because they are handled by their system automatically. They also handle all security related items such as regular scans to ensure your site is free of SQL injections.
Although they have certain restrictions on usage within your WP site, they obviously know what they are doing and are definitely one of the most reliable and secure managed web hosting companies.
RaidBoxes — Münster, Germany.
The concept was the brainchild of Torben Meier and Johannes Benz in 2015. After being joined by Marcel Gleis the company was established in 2016 to provide convenient, fast and secure managed WP hosting based in Germany and Europe. Their clients are proficient in internet use who value good creativity and high functionality. They take responsibility for the mundane, critical tasks such as security updates and backups, leaving their customers more time to concentrate on creating websites and marketing and selling their products. Their hosting plans range in price from €15 per month for the Starter plan to €300 per month for the Business XXL plan and all include free SSL certificates, and free 14 day trials. All prices they quote are in Euros and are subject to an additional 19% Value Added Tax (VAT). They also offer a Mini Plan for €9/month for small sites, but this is not managed hosting so resources are shared with other websites.
Raidboxes offer something which could be somewhat unique. For all your WP installations the user interface is clear and simple with the usual numerous subpages being omitted. Each installation has its own settings and dashboard. Daily automatic backups are handled by the host and from within the settings area, you can restore from a previous backup in minutes. With their Single Sign-on (SSO) feature, one login and you are automatically logged into all your WP websites admin panels. This feature can save valuable time, especially when you manage more than one project. They also offer free site migration should you wish to change providers, either via a migrator plugin or let them migrate it for you within two working days. Customer support is also one of their strong assets, offering live chat 08am – 10pm daily, with reaction time within minutes.