Once you’ve got your domain, the next real headache is finding a perfect web host for your WordPress site.
The point is, the Servers are the engines that drive your site, so one poor choice, and you can kiss your online career goodbye. But it’s a good thing that with so many online hosting providers these days, the competition is fierce, and so most of the major providers are taking their services up a notch.
A Good server doesn’t only mean a site that never goes down; it also means a lot of other services that you might or may not get to the server.
So this post is a comparison between different Managed and Unmanaged servers, to help you decide better, but first let’s move on to explain what exactly are managed & unmanaged servers.
What I’ll be Covering:-
- What are Managed and UnManaged Servers?
- Cons of Managed servers.
- Which one do you actually need?
- What makes a Good WebServer.
What are managed hosting servers:-
What is a Server? Even though it might look all digital, it isn’t.
There’s a huge hardware behind each server; I won’t go into technicality and make it hard for you, instead let’s just keep it simple.
On managed servers, you have a lot of secondary services available to you from the companies. For e.g., like auto data backup, error fixes, auto updates, increased security and a lot more.
Additionally, Managed servers are specially designed and optimized for WordPress, so you can be assured they know their job well.
I’m sure you’d have guessed it by now, those servers that don’t provide you any other support apart from letting you host your site.
So basically, they’ll give you space and bandwidth. And after that you’re on your own, you have to deal with every single issue regarding errors, mistakes or just about anything.
Oh, they’re Cheaper of course. Cool, right? Well, let me walk you through some of the Cons, without which this article won’t be totally honest.
Cons of Managed Hostings:-
- Limited third-party Plugins: – In most cases you can’t use any plugin, that might consume server resource. For e.g.,. Plugins like W3Cache, or BrokenLinkCheckers aren’t allowed.
- Expensive: – There’s a price difference of almost 80-90%. Means if your unmanaged server costs you around $5, the managed one might be as big as $50.
Which one do you need?
Before going for Managed or Unmanaged servers, you need to have a clear concept of your capabilities and time-management issues. Here are some of the common questions you need to ask yourselves before choosing any one of them:-
- Do you even need a Cpanel?
- Will you be able to manage if there’s an error with the server?
- Can you afford, and is it worth the “work-difference” to pay for the extra services?
- And most important of all, is it your first time with a server?
Okay so you’ve asked yourselves lot’s of questions, let’s move on to what you should ask your hosting company before buying them:-
What makes a Good Web-Hosting Company:-
- Security: – It’s one of the most undermined factors taken into consideration, but it takes roughly 2 minutes for someone with expertise to break into your WordPress and drown your years of hard work into the sea of nothingness. So technically, you need to consider if the company you are going with has good security measures or not.
- Speed: – You definitely don’t want to ruin your site with slow servers, it matters for your User experience, bounce rates, and it’s even a direct ranking metric. So definitely, you need to read the below reviews to decide how good the companies are with their speed.
- Support: – The company needs to have a really good support team, you can’t wait for them to respond to your e-mails right? Every second that your site is down, you’re loosing potential visitors and money, so yes considering support is another important aspect you need to ponder upon.
- WordPress support: – You don’t just need space and bandwidth, specially not if you’re going for WordPress. WordPress is a lot more effective than just any other CMS, and thus, it of course has its own requirements, of course, those are taken care of by 99% of the web hosts, but you just have to make sure that you don’t choose the rest 1%.
Okay, so that’s about it. Let’s move to some real business now, here I’m listing the best managed & unmanaged servers available, to help you better decide where to put your money.
I’d be soon publishing a detailed article on WpEngine, but if you need some short notes on why this is here on #1, and the best option, keep reading.
Extremely managed servers:-
I used the word Extremely, because WpEngine is indeed extremely fast, & reliable. You can understand the fast, but what’s the guarantee that it’ll be reliable?
It offers refunds, if you don’t get enough uptime ( pretty bold huh ? ). Means if your site goes down and there’s a legit fault in the server, you get refunded. Which other company has the guts to do this?
You don’t have to overload yourselves with the site’s management, either it’s a downtime, ( which almost never occurs with WpEngine ) , or you got hacked, they’ll cover your back at everything. So in short, they do actually invest their time and team for you, managing your servers, a good reason to go with them right?
This is one of the coolest features of WpEngine; it lets you test your site on a virtual stage, in short you can test your site before getting it actually live.
Whats with all these complicated terms? Well, these are just some of the reasons why you should definitely go with WpEngine. LargeFs is a kind of storage space, where you can sync all of your WordPress data, so guess what? You’re literally getting Unlimited Space.
And the best thing is, it’s specially crafted for WordPress
You loved it right? I know, go Grab WpEngine right now.
Bluehost is definitely one of the most popular WordPress servers existing today. It’s hosting 2million+ accounts, and it recommended by a lot of industry leaders no doubt.
Bluehost’s Price-Uptime ratio is super awesome, means you get a 99% uptime guaranteed for less than 4$ a month, what else can you expect?
Additionally, the Admin Dashboard is super user-friendly. You don’t have to feel like the all time tech geek and can manage almost everything from the dashboard itself.
Another reason worth mentioning here is BlueHost even runs a Youtube Knowledge base Channel, so if you get struck, you can solve 99% of the issues yourselves, and that too explained via video.
Who have the guts to say this? Well, bluehost does. If will offer you a refund, if you site is down, and the claim is legit.
So technically, Bluehost is assuring you it’s best service, and it’s unmanaged, so if you’ve the feeling of being the Bos, go for it. But even after all of these features you still don’t want to go with it, it’s entirely your own choice. ( A very poor one I’d say ! But It’s a free world ).
FlyWheel is another contender up this list, and rightly so.
The point why it’s mentioned almost everywhere is it’s not just space and bandwidth. Instead it’s a full package of whatever you’ll need with your WordPress CMS to back it out.
Some of the most eye-grabbing and Value for money features are:-
- Site Staging: – A virtual environment to test your sites.
- Billing Transfers: – You can transfer billing and invoices directly to your clients.
- Easy Collaboration: You can actually work with your team, live, inside of Flywheel itself.
Aren’t you a developer? Not got a team? Well you still can leverage a lot out of FlyWheel:-
- Speed:– It’s designed keeping WordPress in mind, so there’s no way your site speed could lag. It’s always up to the mark.
- Security: – It has seriously advanced security measures, so no possibility of your work being hijacked or destroyed.
- Midnight Backups– A lot of people, including me update their sites on a daily basis, so there’s a lot to loose between 24hours, so FlyWheel makes sure that all your data is backed up every midnight, that’s a really big “Oh Yes I’m getting it” indicator for me. ( And should be for you too, if you’ve a site that’s regularly updated ).
It was designed for guys who love and can work with WordPress but aren’t developers. Means if you aren’t into codes, but are into WordPress then it’s your perfect choice.
Not only that, Despite being a tremendously managed server, it still let’s you install just about any plugin you wish for, so feel the freedom and get it right now.
The Specialty of Pagely is “security’. If you’re struggling with, or are really serious about your Security, then Pagely is your best friend.
Despite it’s focused attention on Security, it has all the other features you can probably imagine in your favorite web host:-
- Updates: – This is the best part about pagely, they constantly and regularly update your data so that you won’t be losing it for sure.
- Security:- As I already mentioned, Pagely is taking security very seriously and thus it has strict Firewalls, DDoS protection and lot’s of other tools to “not let your site get hacked”.
- Varnish Catching:- It’s a specially crafted Varnishing layer, in short it extremely boosts your site load speed.
- Plugin Freedom:- You can use any almost any plugin you want with Pagely.
If you are a Developer, or a small blog owner, or an E-commerce founder, trust me Pagely is your best mate out here. Basically because it’s on Amazon servers and you can’t doubt Amazon quality, can you?
Okay so if you’re into security, want good speed along with the plugin freedom thing, then surely you should go for it. I mean, there just isn’t a reason for you to not go with Pagely.
Pressable is known for it’s customer support. It’s homepage is overloaded with client’s happy testimonials and reviews. So well that’s a clear positive indicator, isn’t it?
Okay so let’s get to work, why should you go with Pressable?
The very first aspect you should pay attention to is, It’s on RackSpace Hybrid Framework, and as you might already know, it’s one of the best servers available in the market.
SFTP access : – This allows you to have a secure transfer of files. Means, when you’re uploading or transferring files to your server, it pays special attention to its security.
CDN already Included:– Well so you can guess right? Security is uncompromising in any situation.
Backups– Totally automated, and daily. So you aren’t loosing any piece of content either.
So technically, it’s an all in one package. So what’s your excuse for not getting it?
If you’re a WordPress guy, then there’s a good news for you, synthesis is so picky with it’s customers that it hosts only WordPress sites, so you can be sure that you’ll be getting all the resources, attention and specific tools that any WordPress site would ever ask for.
Need reasons to go with WebSynthesis?
- Powered by NGINX:- Let me simply this for you, what this basically means is that Websynthesis is extremely fast, and that it even reduces resource consumption. So you can get the same user experience, or even better, with a 1/8th spend in the server resources. ( That’s like, a lot of reduction, isn’t it? )
- Keyword Research & Analysis:- Trust me this is like the best thing any server can offer you. You can target your audience, get a sneak peek into what they’re talking about or are interested in, how you can make your content better then their last read, all of this directly from your dashboard.
- Awesome Security: – As it’s focused specially on WordPress, it gives special attention to your WordPress security.
- Influencer OutReach tool: – This is just as good as it can get, Synthesis has compiled a list of some of the best tools available to help you identity potential sites, platforms or people, and help you build a strong authority, directly from your dashboard. It’s like having a personal guide in branding.
That’s not just it, WebSynthesis has as long as 7 different specialties, and each section has around 3-4 tools ,meaning you’ll never run out of speed, security or any other tool.
They’ve a pretty bold claim as their tagline- “Simple Cloud Hosting built for developers”.
Now, are they what you are searching for? Let’s find out..
Okay, so Digital Ocean lets you create droplets. Droplets are you server plans. The basic one is 512mb/ 1 CPU for $5. The droplets can be created and destroyed by you at any time of course.
Also, Digital Ocean’s price: service ratio is quite reasonable. The basic plan that I just introduced comes with 500MB Ram and 1CPU for as low as $5. Not only this, the server is SSD and thus the speed won’t ever be compromised that’s for sure.
Additionally, you get a list of awesome services, including WordPress, which can be set up in less than 2 minutes and will be up and running.
Digital ocean is extremely flexible too; you can resize each server just according to your needs, not just the server you can even get a custom Droplets quote. Meaning, you can create your own droplet packages, and they have double the features & support.
Rush, don’t you want to Grab it right now?
Now siteground has a totally different and unique playing ground in this arena.
Let’s start by saying, there’s no monthly subscriptions. Instead, what you do get is a First Month Trial ( Which can be cancelled by you within 30days if you’re not happy, so you can be sure that you’d be happy, or else they wouldn’t risk it, right ? ) And after the first month, it’s a one-time payment of around 24.95$.
SiteGround has payment plans for 1Year/ 2 years / and 5 years. But well it does have an extensive list of features:-
The most notable among them are:-
- Daily Updates: – So you won’t loose your peace of mind of loosing your data or updates.
- And the Free CloudFlare CDN which is like the angel CDN your WordPress might have been waiting for the whole life.
- Built in WP-Caching: – Means, you won’t need to depend upon extra third party caching plugins to speed up your site that will et up your resources. Instead SiteGround has a build in feature for that.
- One-Click Staging:- Well just like WpEngine, SiteGround too offers you a virtual environment to test and work with your site before getting it live.
If you still can find out an excuse for not going with SiteGround, I don’t know what to say. What’s the point in being a sadist? They’re good at what they do, just go and get it and keep it simple right?
Okay so Li-Node, basically means Linux Nodes in its full form. And they’re a hosting company ( Oh! You alread knew that didn’t you? )
Let’s talk about the features you’re not familiar with..
If you’re not happy with your Shared servers, then Linode can get you the goodness of Dedicated servers, at the cost of your shared ones ( maybe a bit extra, but that’s totally worth it ).
Linode comes with a Linode Platform Manager: – Well it’s a kind of dashboard, from where you can control multiple clients, or sites, products or plans, without the need to switch between administrative panels, thus greatly saving your time and energy.
Awesome 3-tier Backups: – Well, Linode ofcourse knows your data is important, but apart from automatic backups, it gives you the ability to choose when you want it to happen. Daily / Weekly / or Monthly!
Outsources-able API: – If you aren’t a developer, don’t bother with this feature, but if you are familiar with API’s, it’s just worth listing this feature here for you. The custom API of linode let’s you outsource your server to other providers.
Support: – You don’t need to mess with the server, either you are outsourcing or upgrading or whatever. Their support team will have your back always, and this is one of the coolest features about it. You can be sure that even if you don’t know what you are doing, still there isn’t a chance to mess things up.
Wrapping it up:-
Most of these servers listed above were managed while a couple of them were unmanaged too. The point is it’s up to you to decide which one is worth your time and money.
Do You need to have a clear picture of what your mark? How much traffic are you expecting, are you pron to security risks? And after analyzing all of these, you can go for any one of them without hesitation.
If you’ve already worked with any of the above providers, or had a problem with them, I’d love to hear your thoughts, and even include it in our future reviews, so don’t hesitate to use the comment box, it’s all yours.