Complexity: Entry level

This article is ideal for: website novices, business owners or managers developing their digital marketing awareness and anyone who wants to know more about website hosting.

We provide managed WordPress hosting to clients around the world, providing a secure space on the web for business and people to interact with the world and their customers. There are lots of different website platforms out there, from Magento and Joomla to Squarespace and custom systems. As specialists in WordPress websites, our hosting is managed with the needs of those websites in mind. Managed website hosting isn’t for everyone, but it is important and valuable for most businesses. 

Here, we’ll explain what website hosting is, why managed hosting is useful, what managed WordPress hosting actually involves and why.

Website hosting 101

Let’s start with the basics. (If you know a bit about websites and what hosting is, skip to the next section). 

Your website host, or website hosting, is where your website is stored. Every website lives somewhere in the world on a specialised computer called a server. Since servers are unique systems and require constant power and certain storage conditions, not everyone has the ability to have their own server, though many large businesses do. Website hosting, therefore, is often provided by service providers who house and control their own servers, renting out the space to people who need somewhere for their websites to live. 

Types of website hosting

There are different types of website hosting, each of which will change the storage capabilities, speed and other factors relating to your website. 

The most common types that you are likely to come across are:

  • Shared hosting – the cheapest option and a very common choice for website hosting. A server can hold a lot of websites (size dependant) and by sharing space you all pay a bit less.
  • Cloud hosting – more expensive than shared and cheaper than a dedicated server, this is ideal for websites with a lot of traffic (it splits traffic across servers to maintain website speed and functionality).
  • VPS hosting – this is a step up for business that want more control of their website’s hosting. It will cost a little more but comes with better security and speed for your website. By sharing resources with other VPS hosting, it is much more affordable than server hosting. Secure Site provides VPS hosting to our clients.
  • Dedicated server hosting – the big one. Most expensive but also the most powerful. You’ll have complete control and customisation to make sure your hosting enables you website to be its very best.

What is WordPress hosting?

WordPress accounts for 27% of all websites online, making it one of the most popular platforms for websites. Every platform has slightly different uses and requirements to keep them running smoothly and securely. Since WordPress are huge website provider, they are set up to host websites created on WordPress – though you don’t have to use their servers. Website hosting providers can manage WordPress websites and those on other platforms. Some will specialise in WordPress only, like Secure Site, others will take on any website.

What is managed WordPress hosting (& why is it needed)?

Managed WordPress hosting is for people who aren’t overly tech aware, especially in the areas of cyber security and server maintenance, and who want to be assured that their website is being protected properly. 

Unmanaged website hosting is ideal for those who don’t have the capabilities to have their own servers, but are able to run the diagnostic checks and routine maintenance needed to safeguard their website/s. 

For many businesses, online presence is one of the primary ways to ensure regular work or purchases, and for some it will be the only way that potential customers and clients can find them. If your website goes down, breaks or gets hacked, if you don’t have managed website hosting and aren’t technologically aware enough to fix it yourself, it can cause serious issues and financial losses. This most often applies to small business owners or growing companies who have yet to get to grips with the ins and outs of the behind the scenes of websites.

WordPress website hosting specialists, like Shopify or Wix hosting specialists, will be aware of the ways in which these websites need to be protected from hacking or system faults, and managed WordPress website hosting will ensure those checks and fixes are carried before or soon after the issue is discovered.

Why do I need web hosting?

This is THE big question because web hosting and managed website hosting are both additional expenses. For a business, particularly small businesses (SMBs) and startups, every extra expense reduces profit, so you’ll want sure that what you are paying for is valuable.

Web hosting is a must if you want to have a website that is online. Your website has to exist somewhere on a server. Web hosting can be very cheap, meaning you only pay a minimum amount to have it appear online. 

Cheap web hosting and web hosting that isn’t managed does come with risks, both in terms of website protection and in costs. If you have unmanaged hosting, then it means your service provider doesn’t have to do anything to protect your website. Free website hosting is possible but is likely to pose a much higher risk of issues or hacking than even unmanaged website hosting that you pay for.

If your website gets hacked, managed website hosting is your insurance policy. Your team will repair or fix the problem and get you back up and running as soon as possible. They may even be the ones who inform you of an issue and explain the fix before you realise there is an issue. This work can cost hundreds if not thousands of pounds (or equivalent in your own currency) if you need to pay a developer to fix the issue, even more if you need it done quickly and at short notice.

How does managed WordPress hosting work?

By now, you should have a good idea of why managed website hosting is so important and why you need it. So, you’ll probably be wondering what the monitoring, maintenance and checks are that a managed website hosting company will carry out. 

Managed website hosting tasks

This is not an exhaustive list of what managed WordPress hosting will include (that you won’t get from unmanaged web hosting):

  • Site monitoring – 24/7 security monitoring, checking codes are firing properly, uptime monitoring
  • Assess vulnerabilities – adding to DNS, maintaining website firewalls, 
  • Site maintenance – updating the WordPress core (new versions), updating plugins, image optimisation (for fast loading) and making regularly improvements to the site’s security as and when new malware appears.
  • Nightly backups – regular backups of your website, in case of hacking.
  • Hack clean-ups – registering, assessing and fixing hacks of your website
  • Mobile optimisation – keeping your website looking great on mobile and running smoothly across all sizes of mobile and tablet device
  • Quick fixes – as we spot them or as you need them

A great website hosting company will provide all of these services, letting your website work at it’s best, in terms or speed, security and more. A managed website hosting company will be there to hand hold you through any processes, so you can know as little or as much about what is going as suits you. 

By Nick Gomez

What to read next

Now that you’ve gotten to grips with managed website hosting, at least at little more than you did before we hope, why not learn more about WordPress, what businesses are using it for and why you might want to choose it for your next website. Read: What Is WordPress?