Should you consider a self-hosted or managed WordPress website? The question has been around since the beginning of WordPress. In our experience, self-hosted websites suffer routinely from missed security patches, missed updates, incompatible plugins, and bloat.
At wpSites, we’re big proponents of website performance, stability, and security. That’s why we created our platform in the first place. We saw too many sites with problems. A few years ago, the only way to address those issues was to hire a firm (often offshore) and pay a monthly fee for maintenance. Happy to say, that’s not a problem anymore thanks to managed website hosting.
1. What is a managed website and what are the benefits of using one?
A managed website is a website that is hosted, maintained, and updated by a third party. The benefits of using a managed website provider include regular updates and technical maintenance to keep your site secure; expert knowledge and advice on how to get the most out of your website; peace of mind that your website is in good hands.
2. How can you be sure that a managed website using WordPress is right for your business?
If you are not able to manage a website yourself or do not have the time to do so, then a managed website is likely to be a good option for you. A managed website can also be a good option if you want to focus on running your business and leaving the technical side of your website to someone else.
3. What should you look for when choosing a managed website provider?
There are a plethora of managed website options available to small and medium-sized businesses wishing to have a website on WordPress. Some things to consider: the website support services they offer and proof of performance; their level of experience and expertise; the reviews and testimonials from other customers; the price and what is included in the subscription or service package.
4. How much will it cost to have a managed website set up and maintained?
The cost of setting up and maintaining a managed website will vary depending on the provider you choose. On wpSites.site, there are two plans, Forever Free, and an Upgrade subscription of $125/year. Compare packages before making a decision.
- For the Forever Free subscription, users may create a website on an assigned subdomain. For example, joan.wpsites.site for a primary user named Joan. If a new user’s name is Joan as well, the account creation process will add a digit to create a unique address, such as joan1.wpsites.site, or wpSites support may assign an account name.
- For the Upgrade subscription, users can add a custom domain. With a custom domain in place, an additional advanced toolset is activated that supports analytics, helps users improve site speed, provides an SEO optimization toolset, and much more.
Additionally, several 3rd party tools have PRO upgrade options that are accessible for power users and activated by wpSites support.
5. Are there any other services that are included as part of a managed website package deal?
In addition to hosting, maintaining, and updating the technical aspects of your website, many managed website providers like wpSites offer webmaster support services such as web design, SEO, online marketing, and content guidance. This can be helpful if you need help with all aspects of your online presence.
6. Can I still use my own domain name and hosting with a managed website?
Yes, you can still use your own domain name and hosting with a managed website. However, you will need to contact the managed website provider to set this up. On wpSites, adding a custom domain is done via our Upgrade subscription.
7. What if I need to make changes to my website myself? Can I still do that?
Yes, you can still make changes to your website yourself. Or, the managed website provider should be able to help you with any changes or updates that you need. The virtual webmaster team at wpSites is happy to help you with content updates, and more via our webmaster support sertvices.
8. How often will my managed website be updated?
How often your managed website is updated will depend on WordPress and Plugin developers. Many providers update websites on a regular basis, usually at least once a week. At wpSites, updates are typically addressed within one day of an update alert, pending verification of compatibility and performance, keeping your website tech up to date.
9. Who is responsible for website security and backups?
The managed website provider should be responsible for website security and backups. However, it is always a good idea to have your own backup plan in place in case of any unforeseen problems. At wpSites, we back up the VPS nightly. If you’d like to perform content backups yourself, you are welcome to. We recommend you back up to an off-site location so as not to use up your allotted storage.
Forever Free accounts receive 300MB storage, and Upgrade accounts receive 2GB+ storage. In our experience, standard website pages, blogs, optimized images don’t take a lot of space, so the plan storage allotments satisfy most account needs. If additional storage is needed, you may want to check how well your images are optimized, or talk to support about optimization best practices.
For users that have Video and Audio files, we recommend embedding or shortcodes that link from a service that’s set up to host these large media types. Youtube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, are examples. Not only will your rich media perform better, but you’ll save a huge amount of space.
10. Are there any other things I should know about managed websites?
Before signing up for a managed website, it is important to understand exactly what is included in the package. Make sure you are clear on the terms and conditions so that there are no surprises later on. It is also a good idea to ask around and get recommendations from other businesses that have used managed websites before.
At wpSites, our webmaster team manages the tech stack. All plugins, templates, and other technology decisions are made with platform security and performance in mind. Users are free to utilize the tech we have pre-installed and largely pre-configured, though may not add additional tools. This is one way we maintain a secure, high-performance environment for all accounts and users.
Note that the person signing up for an account is the primary account User. The primary account User may add additional users. All users are verified before adding, and once added, are the responsibility of the primary account User. In North America, we verify users via SMS text message. Outside of North America, we may opt to verify manually.
If you are looking to create a new website, consider a wpSites. Signups are free, no credit card is required, and you are never forced to upgrade.