If you’re considering using WordPress to host your website, you’ll likely come across the terms “managed” and “unmanaged” WordPress hosting. While both options can work for various websites, there are some key differences between the two that you should know before making a decision.

We’ll carefully explore the advantages and disadvantages of both options now so you can decide how they will impact your website and your business moving forwards. 

Let’s get started!

What is Managed and Unmanaged WordPress Hosting?

Let’s clear up some definitions before we get to the heart of this post.

Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed hosting typically describes a hosting service where someone sets up the servers on your behalf. This entails setting up a certain CMS and managing its maintenance.

Ultimately, all that is left for you to worry about is building your website and updating its content. You don’t need to consider things like website speed, security, or server maintenance.

This is typically seen as a premium service, and the cost reflects this. The advantage is that you are far less involved in day-to-day website management.

Unmanaged WordPress Hosting

On the other hand, unmanaged hosting is a term that is frequently used interchangeably with shared hosting but can also refer to other hosting setups.

A shared hosting service will host your website on a server with many other websites. Maintenance tasks are entirely your responsibility when a system is unmanaged. As a result, if you have a WordPress website, for example, you will occasionally need to change server settings and find your own backup and security solutions.

What Are the Advantages of Using Managed and Unmanaged WordPress Hosting?

Advantages of Using WordPress Managed Hosting

Let’s now go into the specifics. What exactly do you get with a WordPress-managed hosting plan?

Improved Levels of Security

The enhanced levels of security are among the main advantages of managed plans. You receive security measures tailored to WordPress and servers free of any software not required to run your website, plugging any openings. Security measures like two-factor authentication, routine malware scanning, and removal are also included.

It Provides Automatic Backups

Automatic backups are another feature of managed hosting plans included in their core services. This implies that your complete WordPress site, including the database, will be regularly backed up. Although you don’t have to configure your own solution, you can select how frequently that occurs. Everything is handled for you.

Easy SSL Setup and Configuration

A safe WordPress host also simplifies setting up and configuring SSL on your website because it’s frequently a standard feature of managed plans. The majority of site setup and maintenance tasks are considerably streamlined and taken fully out of your hands.

Performance Monitoring 

The performance monitoring of managed plans is another feature. This ensures that people always monitor your website to identify potential issues. This will enable them to be fixed before downtime on your website.

The utilisation of your website’s resources (memory, bandwidth, and storage), server problems, security breaches, and more are a few things that performance monitoring may detect. In essence, you pay a premium to ensure increased uptime rates.

Expert Support

Another benefit of choosing WordPress-managed hosting over unmanaged is professional assistance. Since managed accounts only use WordPress specialists for customer support, the quality of that service is far superior to that of unmanaged hosting. They also actively manage your site, so if you ever have a query or need assistance, they will be available to help. They can also perform server and site changes.

Custom Control Panel

Your server may frequently have a completely customised control panel, particularly with managed WordPress hosts. These dashboards were specifically designed to work with WordPress’s features.

But, any specific control panel your host employs should give you access to details like your site’s logs, databases, DNS servers, and performance statistics.

WordPress Development Tools

Last but not least, managed hosting plans frequently come with a variety of WordPress development tools as well. The development process is facilitated most noticeably by including staging and local environments. In this manner, your live site is not at risk whenever you make modifications.

Advantages of Using WordPress Unmanaged Hosting

Now that you are familiar with managed hosting let’s turn our attention to unmanaged hosting.

Greater Flexibility and Freedom

You have a lot more freedom with an unmanaged plan. To start with, you are not required to run your website using WordPress. You can use a different platform, such as Joomla, Drupal, or even Magento if you’d like.

The best part is that having multiple apps for each site is entirely acceptable if you intend to host more than one. This applies to both renting your own virtual private server and shared hosting.

With the latter, though, this goes much further. Access to an unmanaged VPS is a DIY dream come true. You can run any software you want and alter the server environment however you like. These blueprints offer a blank canvas for exploration and customisation if you have the necessary development expertise and abilities.

Comes With No Graphical Interface

While not all unmanaged hosting plans fall under this category, in some cases, it means that your hosting server has no graphical user interface at all. Nothing resembling cPanel or Plesk. So, you are in charge of using the command line to install a dashboard or control panel yourself. 

Some people might find this scary, but those with the necessary experience find it liberating to be free of a pre-installed configuration.

You Perform All Maintenance Yourself

You must perform all maintenance on an unmanaged host yourself. This may involve installing the CMS you want to use in addition to the server software mentioned above. If you choose WordPress, you will also be in charge of its maintenance.

This gives you more control over your website but also means you have more responsibilities. As new versions of WordPress are released, you must update the core. Moreover, you must arrange and schedule backups and update plugins and themes as needed.

Reduced Cost

The lower cost of unmanaged hosting is one of its main allures. Because these plans are less expensive, folks on a tight budget can get a hosting package and start a website. Certainly, it requires more hands-on labour, but when you’re just getting started, that can be a reasonable trade-off to launch your company website in a sustainable manner.

And keep in mind that shared hosting options are also considered unmanaged. For startups with a tight budget, this can be a good choice.

What to Consider While Choosing Between Managed and Unmanaged WordPress Hosting?

After you clearly understand what WordPress managed hosting and unmanaged hosting contain and exclude, you can start to focus your search and make a decision. There are three main considerations for making a choice.

Establish Your Budget

Your budget’s impact on your hosting decision has already been briefly discussed. Yet it’s important to point out that it’s frequently the deciding factor for those considering starting a website. A low-cost hosting plan is quite alluring, and unmanaged, especially shared ones, can be helpful if you don’t mind doing some of the work yourself.

Nevertheless, if your budget has some wiggle room, you’ll find WordPress-managed hosting a sound investment, especially as your company expands. You will have less time to maintain the site. Alternatively, having professionals available to handle such tasks for you may be exactly what you need.

Develop Your Talent Set

Your present skill set is something else you should consider before making a choice. A managed hosting plan would be the best option if you have never constructed a website before and have some extra money. By doing this, you can avoid dealing with technical problems and instead focus entirely on learning the ins and outs of running a website.

Nonetheless, a shared hosting plan may also be an option if money is tight. Unmanaged shared plans frequently come with various tools pre-installed, and setting up WordPress is as easy as following a short tutorial, making it accessible to beginners.

An unmanaged plan, however, might be more appealing to you if you are an experienced developer who enjoys being hands-on with creating and upkeep your website.

Identify the Self-Management Skills You Are Most at Ease With

Your decision-making will largely depend on what you are confident doing on your own. This extends beyond your skill set and takes into account factors like how much time you can regularly devote to site maintenance. You should also think about the responsibilities you feel confident handling.

Are you knowledgeable enough to comprehend WordPress security and have a plan in place to safeguard your website? Do you intend to carry out updates consistently? If so, you’ll save some money by choosing an unmanaged plan. But a managed plan is a better option if you’re unsure or apprehensive.

Managed vs Unmanaged Hosting: Which Option is Right for You?

Ultimately, the decision of whether to use managed or unmanaged WordPress hosting depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you want a hassle-free experience and are willing to pay a bit more, managed hosting may be the way to go. If you’re comfortable with technical tasks and want more control over your website, unmanaged hosting may be a better fit.

Regardless of which option you choose, it’s important to do your research and choose a reputable hosting provider. Look for a host with a good track record of uptime, fast page load times, and excellent customer support. With the right host and the right hosting plan, your WordPress website can be up and running in no time.

If you need professional advice about which hosting plan is best for you, our web design experts at Digital Rescue are more than willing to help you. Contact us today!