Web Design Santa Rosa Geek asks, “What the heck is a WordPress Managed Hosting Account? Should you even care if your website lives in one anyway?”

Like most business owners, you’re probably a non-geek who probably wants little to do with “techie” stuff like that. So, why should you care?

Short answer: There are at least 6 reasons–all of which have to do with your time, money and peace of mind.

WordPress websites (chances are yours is one…) are different in many respects from the traditional HTML sites of yesteryear. These differences lead to different requirements in how they are built, housed, maintained and delivered when someone goes to the site’s domain.

Although a traditional host account (a place where website files are stored) can accommodate a WordPress account, it doesn’t do the best job.

That’s why hosting providers have begun to offer special hosting services specially designed for WordPress accounts. Think of it as a concierge service where many technical aspects of running WordPress are managed by the host provider—instead of by you or your web designer.

Failure to use a managed hosting account  is likely to cost you—maybe dearly—in time and money if your WordPress website doesn’t live in one of these. Following are some issues with WordPress and how the features of a managed hosting account address them.

  1. Delivery Speed. WordPress sites are built around a database, and they tend to be “heavier” (memory wise) than older sites. This can slow site performance, which Google penalizes by knocking your site down in search results, particularly on mobile devices. Benefit: managed hosting helps load your WordPress site faster to help with search position and user satisfaction.
  2. Updates. WordPress sites are also built on an open-source software platform, which leads to a lot of ongoing updates. Benefit: Managed accounts automatically handle software updates so you don’t have to fool with it, saving you time and/or money on webmaster fees.
  3. Backups. This is a biggie. Unlike older sites built with proprietary software where the website gets uploaded to the cloud with a backup on your computer, WP websites are built in and live in the cloud. So there’s no backup on your web designer’s computer (unless you want to pay for a manual backup to be created periodically). Benefit: managed WP hosting has a built-in backup system where you can restore the site to a prior version if something goes wrong—a not uncommon occurrence. Benefit: you get peace of mind—and save time and money.
  4. Security. Unlike older sites, WordPress sites come with a login. This means hackers may try to gain access to the site and do dastardly things like upload malware or, at the least, replace your site with something else. Managed WP hosting usually comes with the option to add daily malware scans and malware removal. Benefit: your site stays safe, and you don’t risk embarrassment that often comes with a hacked site.
  5. Developer Tools. With older sites, you had to take a site offline when doing maintenance or major changes. Not so with many managed WP hosting accounts. They often come with a “staging” or “migration” tool that saves LOTS of time for your developer. Using the staging environment, your web design (Santa Rosa or elsewhere) professional can work on a clone of your site on a “side rail” without pulling the main site down. Benefit: your site never goes down, and you pay less in webmaster fees.
  6. Support. Most managed WP accounts come with support, and this is valuable when you (or your webmaster) need help with issues that arise. Benefit: you save time and money, and it makes life easier.

The cost of a managed WP hosting account is the main drawback, but it’s still relatively inexpensive given all the features and benefits you. Not sure which provider to use? Just ask the web design Santa Rosa geek for advice.