The best managed WordPress hosts are not only fast and reliable, but offer all the features and support to make ‘managing’ your WordPress site a piece of cake.
Our top pick of managed WordPress hosts has got to be DreamHost. We’ve reached that decision after rigorous speed and uptime testing, and from our first hand experience with over 95+ WordPress test sites, hosted on 45+ web hosts. Yeah – a lot!
Since WordPress is still the most popular CMS for building a website, managed WordPress hosting is an area we couldn’t resist digging into. Here are the hosts we’d recommend:
The magic of a managed WordPress host is that it offers you something of a ‘hands-off’ way to run a website, by essentially ‘managing’ your website behind the scenes. They’re perfect if you want results, but don’t have the time or know-how to manage things under the hood.
That said – not all managed WordPress hosts are made equal. Here are the ones that managed to get past all our tests, and earn a gold star of approval.
A quick note on speed
We’ve ranked every host’s speed using Bitcatcha’s unique server speed tester. It records response time from ten locations around the globe and calculates the average. Scores below 180 ms are ranked “A+” and scores from 181 ms to 210 ms will be ranked “A.”
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"Managed Hosting as it should be: fast, feature-rich and affordable, even for beginners."
After setting up way too many test sites and running the numbers – we’re calling it. Our top managed WordPress host has got to be DreamHost.
Sure, they’re an established brand that you’ve probably heard of. But the main reason we’re putting them #1 is because they make it dead easy for anyone – even total beginners – to build, launch and manage a WordPress site. Their Managed WordPress plans – aptly named ‘Dreampress’ – are pretty unbeatable in terms of value and ease. They’re also one of the few hosts with an official WordPress endorsement!
Typically, anyone looking for Managed WordPress hosting wants something as hands-off as possible. DreamHost has essentially thought of every possible annoying part of running a website – whether that’s designing it or updating the latest security patches – and takes it off your shoulders. You can then focus on the important business of growing your business.
All of DreamHost’s plans give you automated backups (to keep your site safe), built-in caching (no need to implement anything) and free site migrations. Their team is highly-trained in WordPress and manages all your security updates and server optimization, so your site stays safe and speedy without you needing to think twice about it.
How speedy? We set up 2 WordPress test sites on DreamHost and ran them through our speed checker tool to find out.
|US (W)||US (E)||London||Singapore||São Paulo|
|70 ms||2 ms||77 ms||242 ms||117 ms|
|194 ms||210 ms||169 ms||16 ms||87 ms|
They scored a top-notch A+ ranking and were the fastest hosts on this list! As expected, server loading speeds got slower in regions that were further away from their data centers (both in the US). But if your audience is based near the Americas, your WordPress site should be lightning-fast.
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"Ideal for mid-large businesses & enterprises."
Kinsta’s big selling point is that it’s powered by Google Cloud, which they claim makes them faster than their competitors. We certainly were impressed with the speed of our Kinsta-hosted test site, which scored an A+ rating. They provided super fast response speeds across the US. They’re also the host of choice for Ubisoft and Asos, so they are no stranger to demanding clients.
Their smallest package costs
$100 $35 – updated Jun 2022 – so Kinsta is an option tailored for businesses, bigger sites, and higher budgets.
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 team responds quickly to our tickets, and clearly knows their stuff when it comes to all things WordPress. Their entire support team is composed of high-level WordPress developers and experts, which should help you resolve any issues quickly. You’re in safe hands here.
"Well-rounded host with great support, suitable for all types of sites."
Coming in next is HostPapa, a hosting solution hailed from Canada.
We’ve been impressed with them for years and their server speeds have consistently scored top A+ scores on our speed test tool. So we were happy to see them launch Managed WordPress plans in 2022! Finally!
With 3 fast data centers in the US, Canada and Amsterdam, and budget-friendly prices, we think HostPapa makes for a great no-frills optimized WordPress solution.
They’ve piled lots of great features into their interface, so you won’t need to fuss around and look for / pay for extra plugins for your WordPress site. Highlights include:
HostPapa also offers great security features packaged up into their ‘Website Security Suite’ that gives you enterprise-grade WordPress protection. For one – you get not one, but two firewalls PLUS real-time malware scanning and offsite daily backups made automatically.
Finally – we just love their support team, AKA the ‘PapaSquad’. They’re highly trained in WordPress and you can even schedule a 30-minute training session with them to answer any WordPress or website questions you have!
"Fantastic features, a global support team and very wallet-friendly pricing."
Hostinger is one of our favorite hosts and they’ve come a LONG way from just being known as ‘the cheapest host around’.
In fact, our research found Hostinger to be the most sought-after web host of 2020! Today, they provide premium-level performance and support at prices that are still surprisingly affordable. Oh – and they’re perfect for WordPress.
Your WordPress site performance ALSO gets a nice boost thanks to things like NGINX caching, LiteSpeed cache, and PHP7.4 support. The result is some of THE fastest loading speeds we’ve ever seen on our speed tests!
Another thing that has always made Hostinger stand out is how global their servers and support team are. They have 10 data centers worldwide, which means you can simply host from the one that’s closest to your audience and enjoy the speediest of high speeds. It’s not something you’d usually expect at their low price point, but hey – we’ll take it.
Overall, Hostinger offers amazing value for WordPress site owners. For $2.99 a month (on the 48-month plan), you get a ton of value.
"Managed cloud hosting for everyone."
Cloudways is a managed cloud hosting provider. It’s a little different from many traditional web hosts in that you can choose to deploy WordPress through Cloudways on the cloud of your choice, like AWS, Digital Ocean and Linode. 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. We also just love their pay-as-you go model – it’s much more flexible than most pricing plans.
"It’s one of the most well-rounded options out there."
WP Engine 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, ‘Startup’ 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 on the East Coast of the US, 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. In short, it’s very solid and extremely easy to use – even for newbies.
"Suitable for small sites & beginners."
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. And Bluehost is one of the best budget options out there.
Their speed is consistently fast across the US and is especially zippy from the West Coast – coming in at 23 ms! And whilst we wish it had more data centres around the world (there’s only one in the US, and in India), their global average speed is still very decent at 153 ms.
It’s secure, and 24/7 customer support is available as standard. Unlike some hosts like Inmotion Hosting with no CDN included, Bluehost supports Cloudflare.
Plus – Bluehost has been is recommended by WordPress.org since 2005!
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.
All you have to do is sort out the initial set up, and since it’s literally managed, you can just kick back and sip on a cocktail while the experts work on keeping your site well oiled and running smoothly.
Managed hosting also 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 hosts can often also handle a lot more traffic and bandwidth than a shared host. If you get a sudden spike of traffic, your site won’t crash.
The bottom line? A good managed WordPress host ensures your site is always up to date, always fast, always backed up, always secure.
To be honest – for small websites and those that are just getting started, managed WordPress hosting might be overkill. A simple shared hosting or optimized WordPress hosting may be sufficient in this case. Having said that, I still recommend managed hosting for beginners and pros alike. It’s ideal for:
Different hosts pride themselves on different strengths and specialties, but there are certain non-negotiables that you’ll need from a managed WordPress Host. These include:
We’ve said it a thousand times – a website’s loading speed can make or break your user experience! That’s why a good web host should always be fast, since this typically means much quicker load times and higher retention. Slow loading pages lead to dissatisfied customers. And where do dissatisfied customers go? Elsewhere!
That’s why we’ve made sure to put all the hosts in this article through their paces with our Bitcatcha speed test tool.
A good host will be optimised for speed in its hardware, but its software too. For example, many hosts offer free or discounted CDN or caching technology.
With cybercrimes happening left right and centre, it’s important that your host offers you a strong line of defense from hackers and malware. This can include firewalls, SSL certifications and a proactive monitoring system to help catch vulnerabilities.
Plus, any good managed WordPress host should help you automatically stay on top of the latest WordPress and or security updates, so you’re always fortified with the latest tech security protocols.
The whole point of getting a managed WordPress host is that you want to be as hands-off as possible when it comes to managing your website. As such, an excellent customer support team is a MUST. A good host should offer around-the-clock and high-quality support from a team of experts. This could be through live chat, phone, a ticketing system, or all of the above. They should be near at hand if anything ever goes wrong with your website, or if you have any tecchie questions you want answers for.
Plus – a good host will do everything in its power to prevent downtime. Look out for hosts with an uptime guarantee of at least 99%.
If you’re setting up a website on WordPress, there are a few extra features that are definitely worth looking out for our host. Here’s what WordPress themselves list as the recommended requirements:
To make your WordPress experience even more seamless, check if your host is optimized for easily managing your WordPress.
For example – you’ll want to make sure you like the look of their management interface and if they offer any custom-built WordPress accelerators or any sort of caching technology.
Lastly, a good host should offer good value for money. Not all website owners need the same things though – so make sure to check which inclusions you’re getting. Some hosts will throw in free email or domain registrations, or allow you to upgrade to CDN or SSL certs for a small fee. Some don’t.
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:
The servers are fine-tuned and optimized for WordPress alone. A specialist service is always better than a general one.
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.
Security is perhaps the biggest incentive to upgrade to a managed WordPress 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.
A slow website can negatively affect your sales, conversions, and user experience, but speeding things up manually takes a lot of effort and skill. The best hosting uses built-in caching and (often) provides a CDN to super-charge your website speed automatically.
Managed WordPress hosting platforms typically offer daily backups. You can sleep soundly knowing you won’t lose your website if the worst happens!
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.
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.
Of course, managed hosts aren’t for everyone. There are one or two features that may put you off:
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
|Hosting plan||DreamPress Plus||Starter||Launch Plus||WordPress Starter||Vultr||Professional||Build|
|No. of sites allowed||1||1||1||100||–||3||Unlimited|
|Storage space||60 GB||10 GB||50 GB||100 GB||128 GB||15 GB||Unlimited|
|No. of visits monthly||300,000||25,000||250,000||25,000||–||75,000||Unlimited|
|Auto back up||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|See all features|
As for choosing the right option, here’s a reminder of my three top picks.
If you’re looking for all-round dependable managed WordPress-endorsed hosting, DreamHost is our top pick for most people. If you have the budget for a premium solution, Kinsta is as good as it gets – especially if you’re running a high-traffic site. And if you want great optimized WordPress hosting, HostPapa is worth checking out.
Before you make your decision, consider the price, features and level of customer support that best fit your website.
Whilst Managed WordPress hosting usually costs more than regular hosting, it can save considerable time and money for the right user. This type of hosting focuses on convenience and lets the website owners take a more hands-off approach. The host helps to manage various technical aspects of your site – e.g., automatically installing updates, or optimizing for speed. This lets the owner focus on growing their site, and can be especially useful for non tech-savvy folk. For some, the time saved (and performance gained) can be well worth the money.
Our top host for managed WordPress hosting is DreamHost, due to their 100% uptime guarantee, very fast speeds, award-winning support and excellent WordPress site builder.
On a managed WordPress plan, your web host helps you to manage a range of technical aspects of your website. This might include installing the latest WordPress or security updates, doing automatic daily backups, and helping to monitor your uptime.
Whilst some web hosts provide cPanel to manage your hosting account, this isn’t typically the case for managed WordPress plans. That’s because you’re paying for your web host to manage many of the technical aspects of your website for you – for example, installing WordPress and security updates and making back-ups.
The term ‘shared hosting’ is often used to refer to regular, cheaper hosting plans. It simply means that your website shares its resources with other websites on the same server.
In contrast, Managed Hosting usually refers to a hosting package that includes some extra management services – for example, the host agrees to help you manage daily backups, or automatically install security updates for your website.
It’s very possible for managed hosting to utilize shared hosting architecture. Or, it may be hosted on shared, dedicated, VPS and cloud servers instead. This means that managed hosting can also come in a range of budgets.