The 9 Best Managed WordPress Hosting Platforms (Ranked!)

By Daren Low   Last updated October 23, 2016 

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Managed WordPress hosting is a bit like having your own personal tech team.


It’s a hosting solution that is tailor-made (and super optimized) for WordPress sites, and it’s a step-up from the cheaper ‘shared hosting’ options.


Best thing about it? It takes care of all the technical bits behind the scenes, so you can focus on growing your site.


Managed hosting keeps your website fully updated so it’s lightning fast and high performance. It backs everything up automatically and runs regular security checks, so it’s bulletproof against hackers.


Managed WP Host - What Is In It For Me?


It ‘manages’ your website behind the scenes and maintains consistent high performance. Perfect if you want tip-top results, but don’t have the time or technical know-how to tweak and manage things ‘under the hood’.


At a quick glance, these are my top three Managed WordPress Hosting options right now:



Why Would I Need Managed WordPress Hosting?


Many website owners wonder if managed hosting is worth the extra money, but if you’ve got big plans for your website, it makes a lot of sense. Here are the benefits in more detail:


  1. Specifically Optimized for WordPress The servers are fine-tuned and optimized for WordPress alone. A specialist service is always better than a general one.
  2. Auto-updates The software behind your site automatically updates to the latest version, so it’s always at the highest performance. There’s no need to check and install updates manually.
  3. Bulletproof Security Security is perhaps the biggest incentive to upgrade to a managed host. The auto-updates and specialist hosting environment means it’s better guarded against hackers and other security issues. As you’ll see, most hosting platforms run regular security checks, and may actively remove malware.
  4. Super Speed A slow website can negatively affect your sales, conversions, and user experience, but speeding things up manually takes a lot of effort and skill. Managed hosting uses built-in caching and (often) provides a CDN to super-charge your website speed automatically.
  5. Auto-backups Managed WordPress hosting platforms typically offer daily backups. You can sleep soundly knowing you won’t lose your website if the worst happens!
  6. 24/7 Support It’s always good to know there’s an expert on the end of a phone if you start getting unexplained 505 errors. Managed hosting packages usually include access to a premium support service so you can skip the queue and speak to real developers.
  7. Flexible & Scalable for Huge Traffic Managed hosts can handle a lot more traffic and bandwidth than a shared host. If you get a sudden spike of traffic, your site won’t crash.


Bottom line: It’s always up to date, always fast, always backed up, always secure.


Granted, it is more expensive than shared hosting, but the time saved (and performance gained) can be well worth the money.


More Expensive than Shared Host


Is Managed WordPress hosting for me?


For small websites and those that are just getting started, Managed WordPress hosting might be overkill. A simple ‘shared host’ may be sufficient in this case. Having said that, I still recommend managed hosting for beginners and pros alike. It’s ideal for:


  • Bloggers or businesses that want to focus on running their site, without worrying about updates, backups and behind-the-scenes technicalities.
  • Anyone who plans to grow their traffic fast and sees regular spikes in visitors.
  • Any website that cannot afford any downtime.
  • Anyone who values great support.


The downside of Managed WordPress Hosting


Of course, managed hosts aren’t for everyone. There are one or two features that may put you off:

  1. Cost They are more expensive than shared hosts. You can expect to pay between $15-$60 per month for a managed host, whereas you can pick up a shared host for as little as $1.99.
  2. You Can Only Use WordPress This might seem like an obvious point, but it’s worth noting! If you also run websites on Joomla or Drupal, it’s pretty useless.
  3. Lack of Control The beauty of managed hosting is that it’s self-sufficient. It updates, manages and tweaks everything to improve performance automatically. If you’re the type of person that loves to poke around, test things, and make changes yourself, you might find it restrictive, as access is sometimes limited.
  4. Plugin Restrictions Some managed hosts prohibit the use of certain plugins. Why? Plugins suck up valuable resources and slow down performance, so some hosts ban the most resource-hungry ones. That said, most managed hosts come with the best plugin features already built in (like caching, backups etc.)


If you’re still with me, you’re probably thinking quite seriously about managed hosting, but there’s one big question to answer: which one’s the best?


A quick note on speed : 

We’ve ranked every host’s speed using Bitcatcha’s unique server speed tester. It records response time from eight locations around the globe and benchmarks the result against world’s fastest 10,000 sites. A ‘C’ rating, therefore, is not necessarily bad – it’s just comparably slower than an ‘A’ rated site.



1. WPEngine


Cost: $29 per month
Ideal for: Everyone! It’s one of the most well-rounded options out there.
Speed: C+


WP Engine


WPEngine are perhaps the biggest name in Managed WordPress hosting. They were one of the first to offer it, and now provide hosting for Cancer Research, Rightmove, HTC and a variety of other big-name clients.


The entry level option, ‘Personal’ is generous, offering a staging environment, one click backup, and free site migration. It’s perfect for up to 25,000 visitors per month, but you’ll have to upgrade to unlock more resources and 24/7 phone support.


Their server is located in the eastern United States, so the server speed is faultless if your audience is based there. I also love their 60-day money-back guarantee, so if it’s not working out, you can simply cancel it.




  • It’s more expensive than many competitors, but they do back it up with strong service and reputation.
  • WPEngine has a list of prohibited plugins, which is worth looking at before you commit.
  • 24/7 support is only available to premium customers.




2. SiteGround


Cost: $3.95 per month
Ideal for: Beginners & tight budgets
Speed: C


SiteGround Managed WP Hosting


The entry-level option at SiteGround is the cheapest out there ($3.95 per month!), and comes with auto-updates and daily backups. It’s great for beginners, but most will want the ‘GoGeek’ package (which is still pretty affordable at $14.95).


With the GoGeek package, you’ll get a 1-click staging area and pre-installed Git for WordPress. You’ll also unlock premium tech support and their ‘SuperCacher’ which will give you an accelerated boost of speed.


SiteGround claim there is ‘virtually no waiting time’ for support on chat and phone and only ten minutes first-response time for ticketed queries.




  • The entry-level option is more limited than competitors, but the price does reflect that.
  • Slower than others on the list but their free CloudFlare CDN makes it up for it.




3. Media Temple


Cost: $20 per month
Ideal for: Beginners & mid-sized businesses
Speed: B


Media Temple


The entry-level plan at Media Temple is very generous. At $20 per month, you get free site migration, 30-day backup and restore, 24/7 support, staging and cloning, and 400,000 monthly visitors. Advanced users will also enjoy a ton of options including Git integration and SSH access.


The upgraded ‘Studio’ and ‘Agency’ options also include malware detection and removal and huge traffic/storage options. Speed is at the higher end of the servers we tested, especially on the US west coast.


Media Temple also have a menu of exclusive themes so you can keep design and development all under one roof.




  • There are numerous anecdotal reports about poor customer support.




4. DreamHost


Cost: $16.95 per month
Ideal for: Beginners & mid-sized businesses
Speed: C+


DreamHost WP Hosting


DreamHost has a strong reputation as a web host, with over 1.5 million customers and a 2016 award for ‘Best Customer Service’. But how does their Managed WordPress service, ‘DreamPress’ work out?


DreamPress boasts no limit on bandwidth or visitors (“Bring on the traffic!”), which is something that most hosts charge a premium for. It’s the most traffic space you can buy for the price. There are also no restrictions on plugins and themes, so you have more control over the customization.


DreamHost’s speed is average against others on this list, but sufficient given the low price.




  • Not ideal for ‘power-users’ – lacks a staging area, CDN services, and free migrations




5. Cloudways


Cost: $15 per month
Ideal for: Speed lovers
Speed: A




Cloudways standout feature is speed. It’s by far the fastest provider we tested, scoring the only ‘A’ rating in the group. The reason for the phenomenal speed is its cloud hosting facility. Cloud hosting is much more powerful and reliable than traditional VPS.


As for features, Cloudway’s managed WordPress hosting comes with 24/7 support and free migration across all packages. Advanced options come with GIT integration, staging URLs, and managed backups. There’s also an intuitive and user-friendly control panel – something that a lot of cloud hosts don’t have.




  • Cloud hosting can be a little technical, but the user-friendly control panel does help smooth out the process.




6. Kinsta


Cost: $100 per month
Ideal for: mid-large business and enterprise
Speed: B




Kinsta’s big selling point is that it’s powered by Google Cloud, which they claim makes them faster than their competitors. Kinsta scores a solid B and provides super fast response across the US. They’re also the host of choice for Ubisoft and Asos, so they are no stranger to commanding clients.


They are the second host on this list to offer unlimited traffic across all plans (you only pay for bandwidth). The only catch is that the smallest package costs $100, so Kinsta is only really an option for businesses and bigger sites.


But if you need that much power, Kinsta has it in bucketloads. The service checks your website once a minute for security and support. You can choose your own CDN and boasts all the developer tools you could want (including a bespoke dashboard that is beautiful and intuitive). In terms of support, Kinsta’s median response time to a ticket submission is 9 minutes, which is good to know.




  • It costs $100 per month. Kinsta is overkill for smaller sites.




7. Flywheel


Cost: $15 per month
Ideal for: Creatives, designers, agencies
Speed: C




Flywheel is one of the newer hosts on the market, and built specifically for designers and creatives. There is a super-cheap entry option at $15, but the real value lies in their pro packages. Paying a little extra will unlock clever features designed to improve workflow with clients such as bill transfer, collaboration, and staging.


It also comes with a custom dashboard where you can monitor multiple sites. Standard features include daily backups, round-the-clock security, free migration, and a helpful support team. According to our speed tests, Flywheel offers decent speeds in the US, but the response in Asia let it down against others in the list.




  • The entry-level option offers little more than shared hosting alternatives, so you’ll want to start with the $30 per month package.
  • If you’re used to cPanel, you may not like the custom dashboard (although after a few uses, it’s easier and more intuitive than cPanel).




Cheaper alternatives


A complete managed WordPress host isn’t the right option for everyone, particularly newer or smaller websites. In that case, a cheaper option will be more than adequate. If that sound like something you’re looking for, here are a couple of bonus options:



8. InMotion Hosting


Cost: $3.49 per month
Ideal for: small sites and beginners
Speed: B




InMotion’s WordPress hosting is a solid all-rounder for small-medium sized websites, and comes with a bunch of good features as standard. In the cheapest category you’ll get a free website transfer, data backups and easy WordPress setup. Speed won’t disappoint you either, easily matching some of the more expensive hosts. The premium customer support option, however, will cost you a little more.




  • It’s missing the staging area and security features of managed hosts, but it is only a third of the price.
  • No pro features.




9. Bluehost


Cost: $3.45 per month
Ideal for: small sites and beginners
Speed: C+


Bluehost WordPress Host


Bluehost is one of the best budget options out there. It’s more expensive than InMotion Hosting (mentioned above), but it comes with a much bigger toolkit. For starters, even the entry-level package promises 100 million visits per month, which is more than some of the costlier hosts.


Speed is consistently fast across the US, and stable around the rest of the world. It’s secure, and 24/7 customer support is available as standard. There are even some pro tools like CDN options. (And Bluehost is recommended by since 2005!)




  • There’s no free site migration.
  • Some reports have cited slow load speeds and support responses.




To recap


Managed WordPress hosting is ideal if you’re looking for consistent speed, security and performance without having to worry about the technical stuff.


It’s perfect if you’re planning to grow your site and traffic significantly in the future and want a host that will grow with you.


As for choosing the right option, here’s a reminder of my three top picks:



Before you make your decision, consider the price, features and level of customer support that best fit your website.