Getting your photo blog set up and running in WordPress is very easy. And with the continued popularity of WP, it certainly isn’t difficult to find a web hosting plan that includes WordPress. Once your blog has been around for a while and gets more popular, or if you find yourself performing more maintenance tasks instead of creating content, then it might be time to consider upgrading to a managed WordPress hosting plan.
More and more managed WP hosting packages are popping up these days. And while there are a number of excellent plans available, they can usually be categorized by three different price levels: budget, mid-level, and expensive. Below are my top three picks for managed WordPress hosting for each cost level. There are certainly other good WP hosting plans available. However, I would start my search by checking out one of these hosting companies first.
Budget Managed WP Hosting
iPage WP Essential $6.95 mo.
I consider budget level to be anything under $10 a month. And truthfully, there aren’t that many choices in this category for managed WP hosting. However, iPage (which has one of the best budget shared hosting plans) is now offering managed WordPress hosting with their WP Essential plan. Although this package doesn’t include some of the features found in other more expensive WP hosting plans, it does provide improved performance, security, and support for WordPress users.
Some of the highlights include:
- Improved speed and uptime with SSD based infrastructure
- Enhanced security with SiteLock
- Dedicated WordPress Expert Support
- Customized control panel
Be aware that the above price is for your initial term. Renewal rates will be a bit higher, around $10 to $12 mo.—which technically pushes it into the next price category. However, that price is still lower than most managed WordPress plans out there.
Mid-Level Managed WP Hosting
GoDaddy Managed WordPress Hosting $9.99 mo.
This is the area where a lot of website owners will spend time trying to decide which web host to go with. There are a number of quality managed WordPress hosting packages in the $10 to $20 mo. price range that offer many of the same features. While I would certainly consider SiteGround and BlueHost’s new Managed WP Hosting plan as viable options in this price category, I have to give the nod to GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress Hosting plan as having the most impressive features and value here.
GoDaddy actually has three levels of WP Hosting available. The Business WP Plan offers the best value and is the one I’m including as the choice for those looking for a mid-level price plan.
Among the impressive features you get are:
- One-click staging environment
- Optimized WP servers
- One-click Restores
- Fast page loads and high performance caching
- Brute force protection
- sFTP access
Technically, the price above would put GoDaddy in the budget category—and in fact, they have a Starter WP plan that is even cheaper. However, the Starter plan does not have all the features you get with the Business Plan. And since the renewal rate is $19.99 mo., I’m including it in the mid-level designation.
Expensive Managed WP Hosting
WP Engine $29 mo.
Now we come to the ultimate level of WordPress hosting. For those WP site owners that want the best features and support available (and can afford it), I have to recommend you check out WP Engine. Unlike other web hosting companies, WP Engine is completely focused on WordPress hosting. They have implemented some amazing proprietary technology that results in optimal WordPress site performance. And, since they focus exclusively on WordPress, their customer support staff truly consists of WP experts.
Some of the best features included with your WP Engine plan are:
- Proprietary EverCache Technology
- One-click backup and restore
- One-click staging area
- Version control with GIT
- Firewall and Malware Scanning
- SFTP Access
- 100% Dedicated WordPress Support Staff
The only downside to WP Engine is the cost. Their Personal level plan costs $29 mo., but that only covers one WordPress site. If you need multiple WordPress installs or expect more visitors to your site, you’ll need to get the Professional plan which costs $99 mo.
WP Engine is recommended by many experts in the WordPress community. And if you can afford it, I’d certainly recommend you take a look at their managed WordPress hosting.