First things first, let’s clear something up — this isn’t an article about why you should use the WordPress CMS. There are plenty of blogs that go over this topic in great detail, and most people are well aware of what makes WordPress so appealing: the fact that it’s free is definitely a key motivator, while its eminent usability, its great user support, and its vast range of customizable themes and plugins are also factors.
Instead, this post will focus on the benefits of pairing the CMS from WordPress.org with WordPress hosting, which is to say hosting pointedly optimized for WordPress sites. That obviously includes the WordPress.com service, but it also includes many other solutions that claim (however justifiably) to be perfect for WordPress — particularly managed services.
Greater Support and Stress-Free Upkeep
By choosing a hosting service that labels itself as a superior solution for sites built with WordPress, you’ll ensure a greater level of support if things go awry. The specialists running these operations are highly-trained WordPress wizards — any issue that does happen to crop up is unlikely to present any real problem to these server-side superstars.
Certain hosting services may even allow you to upgrade your level of support, granting access to a direct line of communication with the engineers responsible for the maintenance of your server. This team will also be responsible for updating your server’s software and performing regular backups, making disaster recovery in the event of a cyber attack or natural disaster relatively stress-free. Better yet, if you decide to migrate to a different platform, a managed WordPress hosting provider can help you achieve this seamlessly, ensuring that no data is lost in the process.
Managed WordPress Hosting Is Cost Effective
While managed WordPress hosting (a WordPress-specific hosting solution that is wholly responsible for the management of your servers) may seem relatively expensive when compared to shared hosting, for example, this isn’t the whole story. How so? Well, the initial monetary investment required isn’t the only factor to consider — there’s also the issue of time.
Settle for an unmanaged service, and what you save in the short term, you’ll pay dearly for in the many hours you’ll spend:
- Solving web hosting errors
- Configuring and updating WordPress plugins and themes (especially if you’re running an ecommerce store)
- Manually constructing databases and installing extensions
- Testing any changes you’ve made before viewing them in a ‘live’ environment
These tasks can quickly become a huge time sink (even for an experienced user), and they may leave you feeling too strained to focus on your site’s design or the overall growth of your business as a whole.
Increased Performance and Optimization
Performance and uptime should be two of your primary concerns when selecting a host for your WordPress site. By selecting a hosting service that is fine-tuned to work with the platform, you’ll ensure your website won’t end up frustrating any visitors it attracts with slow load speeds or sudden outages. The rule of the ‘four nines’ applies here — most WordPress hosting services should include uptime guarantees (‘uptime’ refers to the amount of time your site is available to end-users) of at least 99.99%, to ensure your site isn’t suffering from any undue loss or performance or availability.
When searching for a provider, there are certain features to look out for. For example, WordPress hosting by Cloudways includes server-level caching, a Cloudflare integration, and the ability to scale your server size in real time. This way, if your site suddenly receives an influx of visitors, you’ll be able to welcome the new traffic with open arms (rather than leave your website to buckle under the added strain!).
Reduced Distance Between Your Server and IncomingTraffic
By choosing your own hosting solution, you’re free to pick a provider with data centers close to your target audience. Why does this distance matter? It’s all a matter of latency. This is the amount of delay between a visitor requesting to view your website, and your server responding to their request. When you’re selecting your host, minimizing latency should be a key focus, and one of the best ways to do this is by ensuring your host has data centers in the same region as your incoming traffic.
It’s a good idea to check where your hosting provider’s data centers are located before signing up to the service: Global hosting solutions such as Amazon Web Services will operate across a vast network of data centers (125 in Amazon’s case), which will means there’s a greater chance of a data center being located near to your users, whereas smaller providers will likely only have a handful.
No Need For Technical Knowledge
WordPress is the most popular website platform in the world, and a huge chunk of internet traffic flows through its ecosystem. This means that if you’re an online business, having a WordPress site can be a boon.
However, choosing to host your site yourself can be quite a technical process. If you’re not a developer, you may find yourself struggling with server configuration, backups, and updates. Managed WordPress hosting removes these technicalities and lets you focus on content creation. Hosting providers are highly specialized in WordPress and can manage your site for you, freeing you up to spend more time on the site’s design.
When you’re in need of technical expertise or you have an emergency you’re unsure how to solve, most WordPress hosting providers offer round-the-clock support to their users. Some even promise 24/7/365 availability, so any pressing issues can be reported and resolved as soon as possible.
Greater Defense Against Malicious Attacks
Someone new to WordPress may not consider security a significant factor. However, one encounter with a malicious hacker can change these perceptions in a snap. Managed WordPress hosts recognize that WordPress websites face security threats through different entry points, with ever-evolving methods of attack. Hence, they take special care to design a hosting environment secured with rock-solid defense against any would-be hackers seeking to cause havoc.
To prevent and discourage all types of hacking attempts, WordPress hosts will adhere to strict security protocols. They may even restrict you from inadvertently downloading unknown (and malicious) plugins and themes — a major source of cyberattacks. As standard, any decent managed hosting solution should offer the following security features:
- Login protection: Built-in login protection (2-step authentication may be included for extra security) to prevent a malicious third party from gaining access to the control panel of your website.
- Integrated SSL: This is a digital certificate used to authenticate your website’s identity, and to enable an encrypted connection. Whenever a user connects to your website, they’ll do so through a secure connection enabled by this certificate. Think of it as similar to sealing an envelope before posting it.
- Automatic and manual backups: Keeping regular backups of your website is crucial and will enable you to quickly restore from a clean, archived snapshot of your site if the worst does happen.
- Extensions: Important features such as caching should be integrated into the hosting package. The fewer extensions your website uses, the better — this will limit the number of possible entry points for hackers.
Whether you’re already using the WordPress CMS to power your site, or you’re thinking of launching a WordPress site in 2023, there are a number of reasons why you should opt for WordPress-specific hosting: not only is it a cost-effective solution, but it’ll ensure optimal performance, robust security, and you’ll have expert support on hand when you need it.