Best Managed WordPress Hosting in 2019

Best Managed WordPress Hosting in 2019

Hendrik Human
Hendrik Human
48

If you have a WordPress website, managed hosting can make your life easier. You can focus on the important aspects of your site, like design, content, and conversion rates, while someone else takes care of all the technical stuff.

But you know the technical side of things is no less important. Before you put your trust in a web host, you want to know it’s going to do an excellent job. After all, you invest a lot of time and effort in your site, and you’ll sleep better at night knowing it’s in good hands.

Will your host provide daily backups? Will you have infrastructure that’s optimized for performance? Will you get airtight security to prevent malware infections or even DDoS attacks? Will you be able to make changes to your site without impacting uptime?

To create this list of the seven best managed WordPress hosting services available this year, we evaluated dozens of providers, asking all these questions and more. Because your website is important, and it deserves the very best.

What We Look for in Managed WordPress Hosting

While managed WordPress hosting services aren’t always cheap, in the long run, the benefits will show up in your company’s bottom line. To make sure these providers actually deliver in the areas that are critical to your business, here are the key factors I checked for:

  • Performance: The hosting services on our list all offer consistent uptime, fast page loading speeds, and scalability during peak traffic periods. Anything less could negatively affect your customers’ user experience, not to mention your search engine rankings.
  • Managed services: You’re going to need automatic daily backups, security, performance optimizers, server and core updates, and more. I checked the quality of these features, the cost, and the level of setup required.
  • Price: Pricing is all about getting value for your money. I took a close look at what you get for the cost, what the terms are like, and whether refunds are guaranteed.
  • Developer features: If you’re building websites for your clients, you want to be able to focus on the design without worrying about what goes on in the background. Staging sites, collaboration features, and workflow tools are all critical features for web professionals.

1. Liquid Web – For Your Mission-Critical Websites

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If you’re part of a business or an agency that manages a large number of websites, the massively popular Liquid Web could be a great choice for you. The company provides stable, high-availability hosting for clients who cannot afford any downtime, and its superb performance earned it a spot on this list.

Key Features

  • iThemes Sync Pro: This premium plugin is automatically installed and comes with a host of handy tools like automatic updates, SEO checkers, theme and plugin managers, and more.
  • Full Server Access: Although Liquid Web offers a custom-built user interface, you’ll still have total control of your hosting solution with full server and database access.
  • Built-in Cloudflare: Liquid Web allows you to set up the Cloudflare CDN directly from its dashboard.
  • Managed Updates: Liquid Web’s team will make sure none of your plugins conflict with each other. Also, whenever a plugin needs to be updated, they’ll test the updates in a separate environment and only update your live website when everything checks out.
  • Daily Backups and Automatic SSL: Liquid Web will make backups of your WordPress website daily. The backups will be stored off-site, and you’ll find a handy button in your management panel to easily restore them without contacting support. SSL certificates are also auto-installed, so you won’t have to configure them yourself.
  • Visual Comparison: This is a rare feature that’ll give you a side-by-side comparison of what your website looks like before and after an update.

Pros

  • Liquid Web boasts rock-solid uptime with most months at 100%, backed by an SLA that promises 1,000% compensation for any downtime
  • The company provides support via three channels: live chat, email/ticket, and phone support with 24/7 availability and fast response times
  • The custom-built managed WordPress dashboard is one of the most polished I’ve used
  • While most managed WordPress hosts only handle your WordPress core updates, Liquid Web takes care of both your WordPress and plugin updates. This ensures that your website has all the latest vulnerability patches and bug fixes, but doesn’t require design and coding tweaks every time an update is implemented
  • Great tools for developers, including staging sites and access to the underlying infrastructure

Cons

  • No refunds for managed WordPress hosting
  • The signup process can take some time, as there’s an obligatory verification call
  • Connecting a domain can also take a while
  • The email/ticket support system doesn’t always live up to Liquid Web’s standards

Choose Liquid Web If…

  • Your company’s profitability or reputation takes a huge hit with any amount of downtime, and you want to be sure you’ll be compensated.
  • You’re a developer managing multiple websites for your clients.

2. WP Engine – Speed, Stability, and Security

If you have a need for speed, security, and availability, WP Engine has a lot to offer you. Like Liquid Web, it’s a developer-focused service that offers access to the underlying infrastructure, along with a range of advanced tools.

Key Features

  • Genesis Framework: This top-class WordPress suite provides a handy set of tools to help you get started with your website, including quick-pick column layouts, reusable design modules, fully-responsive themes, and more.
  • Global CDN: WP Engine’s integrated global CDN means you’ll have optimized performance from the get-go, with no additional setup required.
  • GeoTarget: Helps you increase engagement and conversions by showing your visitors location-specific content.
  • Plugin Compatibility Checks: With the pre-screening of your WordPress plugins, you can be sure you’ll only install the ones that are fully compatible and secure.
  • Proactive Traffic Monitoring: WP Engine’s team actively monitors your website traffic and will reach out to help you implement a plan to deal with any anticipated traffic spikes. This means your website won’t go down during critical moments — like when your CEO is on national television.
  • WP Engine Automated Migration: This custom-built plugin allows you to migrate your WordPress website with just a few clicks. If you have a massive and database-heavy website to shift over, the WP Engine team will also help you transition to their platform in stages, so you can make sure you won’t lose any of your customer base in the move.

Pros

  • Above-average speeds with an integrated CDN, global data centers, and several layers of caching
  • Some of the best managed WordPress support you’ll find, with tech-savvy staff and quick response times
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Secure hosting platform with no major hacking incidents and very few anecdotal accounts of minor security breaches
  • You’ll get a full two months of hosting free if you opt for an annual WP Engine plan

Cons

  • Pricier than other hosts on this list
  • Initial setup can be complex, and if not done correctly, may lead to fatal issues for your website later on
  • Monthly visitor limits

Choose WP Engine If…

  • Budget is not an issue, and you want hosting that gives you greater peace of mind.
  • You work in an industry that’s particularly prone to hacking or DDoS attacks, and you need the best security possible.

3. GoDaddy – A Beginner-Friendly Introduction to Hosting

Like most of this hosting giant’s other services, GoDaddy’s managed WordPress hosting comes with budget-friendly price tags and an intuitive user experience.

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Key Features

  • WP Premium Support: Fast, knowledgeable support is available through the tiered premium support packages.
  • Website Security Suite: This is a paid add-on that offers security scans and malware removal, as well as a CDN and other features.
  • SEO Wizard: This can come in handy if you need an SEO boost but you don’t want to hire a professional to do the job.
  • Access to Themes and Drag-and-Drop Editor: You can easily customize a ready-made theme from the thousands available — no coding knowledge required.
  • Automatic Core and Software Updates: GoDaddy’s team will take care of all WordPress and server-side software updates for you.
  • Pre-screened Plugins: GoDaddy has evaluated thousands of plugins to make sure the ones you install won’t cause problems for your website.

Pros

  • All of GoDaddy’s add-ons are extremely easy to purchase, install, and maintain, so even beginners can use these powerful features
  • The clean and intuitive user interface is one of the best around
  • You get a decent set of helpful plugins pre-installed, such as WP101 tutorials, Ninja Forms, and a free trial of Beaver Builder
  • One of the quickest and easiest registration processes
  • One of the cheapest managed WordPress options on this list

Cons

  • Compared to most other hosts on this list, GoDaddy has relatively strict visitor and storage limits with overage charges if you exceed these caps
  • Because GoDaddy is so popular, it can take quite a while to get through to support during peak hours
  • When signing up for GoDaddy, you’ll run into a number of upsells, such as the security suite, premium support, email, and so on – often with high renewal rates

Choose GoDaddy If…

  • You’re new to managed WordPress hosting and you want a beginner-friendly UX.
  • You have a smaller budget, you don’t need to host many websites, and you don’t want to pay for features you’re not going to use.

4. Flywheel – Streamlined Workflows and Collaboration Tools

Flywheel, designed by web developers for web developers, offers a whole suite of powerful workflow tools that allow better collaboration within teams and with clients. It’s this unique focal point that earns it a place on this list.

Key Features

  • Blueprints and Cloning: Blueprints allow you to create packages of themes, settings, and plugins that you can automatically apply to any future website you create, while the cloning feature allows you to make full copies of your existing websites.
  • Organizations: This is a great tool for teams or agencies to keep tabs on each member’s progress and make sure all projects are on track.
  • Collaborators: You can easily give other users access to the project without sharing your password or creating multiple logins.
  • Dedicated Resources: You’ll have guaranteed server resources for your account, resulting in better performance even during peak hours.
  • Free, Seamless Migrations: No matter how many websites you have, the experts at Flywheel will migrate your websites to their platform at no extra cost to you. Rather than taking your website down during the move, they’ll create a copy of it on their servers, ensuring your site will remain available to your visitors throughout.

Pros

  • Flywheel’s managed WordPress support is first-rate, whether you need a plugin recommendation or tips on how to speed up your website
  • Because you’ll be hosted on a VPS rather than a shared server, Flywheel is easily one of the top performers in terms of uptime and speed, with above 99.97% availability and fast loading times around the world
  • You can create a free demo site for your clients that’ll be available for 14 days — then bill them afterwards
  • The dashboard is super intuitive with powerful functionality
  • Designed for professionals who want to maximize productivity and use their time more efficiently

Cons

  • No uptime guarantees
  • Managed WordPress hosting via a custom dashboard only, with no cPanel-managed hosting or other hosting types available
  • Outside of WordPress, there are virtually no integrations with third-party apps or other extensions

Choose Flywheel If..

  • You’re a professional web designer and you regularly create and manage new WordPress websites.
  • You’re part of an agency or team of web developers and you want to collaborate remotely.
  • You want a user-friendly managed WordPress dashboard and prefer to leave server maintenance to the web hosting professionals.

5. SiteGround – cPanel Hosting made Simple

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Bulgaria-based SiteGround is one of the go-to options for cheap yet high-quality managed hosting. Over the years, its platform has evolved to offer more features for developers or “power users.” SiteGround is also a global company with data centers around the world and support for multiple languages and currencies.

Key Features

  • cPanel: SiteGround offers hosting with cPanel, meaning you can install whichever apps and integrations you need and take more control of your hosting.
  • Cloudflare CDN: Cloudflare is integrated into the dashboard to simplify the process of setting up a CDN for your website.
  • Premium WordPress Support: With the GrowBig and GoGeek plans, you get priority tech support and free WordPress migrations.
  • Developer Tools: To accommodate businesses and advanced users on its platform, SiteGround now provides PCI-Compliant hosting, Git for WordPress, and staging environments.
  • WordPress and Speed Optimizers Pre-installed: Once you activate your account, you’ll have WordPress pre-installed and ready to go, making SiteGround a great option for beginners. SiteGround will also install its in-house suite of caching tools on your website, so you’ll have better speeds right from the start.

Pros

  • Superb uptime with most months at 100% and none below 99.97% in the past year
  • SiteGround has modified cPanel so it’s far more accessible and better integrated with its own dashboard
  • Much more transparent than most other hosts: SiteGround publishes performance statistics and customer satisfaction survey results, and pricing is clearly displayed
  • All of SiteGround’s managed WordPress plans allow you to create unlimited email accounts for free
  • SiteGround’s support is excellent, which is reflected in its high customer satisfaction ratings. They’re also available 24/7 and very responsive across multiple channels

Cons

  • Although inexpensive, the StartUp plan is somewhat restrictive in terms of visitors (10,000 monthly), storage (10 GB), and websites supported (just one). With this entry-level plan, you also won’t have professional migrations or free backup restores
  • If you select a month-to-month option, you’ll need to pay a high setup fee
  • The renewal prices can be three to four times higher than the introductory prices

Choose SiteGround If…

  • You’re on a budget and can make do without a lot of advanced tools.
  • You’d rather steer clear of big names in favor of an independently-owned and much more reliable provider.
  • You’re managing a small business without any dedicated technical personnel on board, so you need a beginner-friendly, all-inclusive package with superb support.

6. InMotion Hosting – Welcoming and Committed Support Staff

InMotion Hosting is another hugely popular provider. Unlike most hosts on this list, it provides cPanel managed WordPress hosting, meaning you’ll have greater control over your website. This U.S.-based company offers packages suitable for anyone, from individuals to businesses.

Key Features

  • cPanel: With this popular control panel, you’ll have access to auto-installers like Softaculous and even easy integrations with Google Apps.
  • BoldGrid: A premium suite of WordPress plugins that comes with templates, a drag-and-drop builder, and various other tools – all included free.
  • Jetpack: Another must-have WordPress plugin that features a CDN, free templates, monitoring, and detailed visitor analytics. Some plans will also give you a premium Jetpack license with a more robust CDN.
  • Dedicated IP Address with the higher-tier managed WordPress plans.
  • Tons of In-Depth Guides and Resources: InMotion Hosting’s knowledge base is packed with resources and questions from users, making troubleshooting a lot easier.

Pros

  • Friendly and helpful staff who always seem to go above and beyond
  • Lots of freebies, including Jetpack, BoldGrid, a domain, SSL certificate, unlimited bandwidth, and backups
  • 90-day money-back guarantee with no strings attached
  • Of the providers on this list, InMotion Hosting is the best overall in performance, with amazing loading times across the globe
  • Great onboarding process that’ll proactively resolve many technical issues

Cons

  • Lengthy sign-up process with a verification call
  • The dashboard comes with slightly outdated visuals and an unclear navigational structure
  • You may face occasional delays when contacting support

Choose InMotion Hosting If…

  • You’re tech-savvy and you want a pure cPanel experience with the greater level of control and functionality it provides.
  • You’re based in the U.S. and prefer companies with domestic support staff.

7. Kinsta – A Premium Option for Enterprise Needs

Compared to the other names here, Kinsta is a relatively new player in the market. However, it’s already well-established as one of the best managed WordPress hosts around for medium to enterprise business needs. Kinsta’s platform is built on the super fast Google Cloud by their best and most experienced engineers.

Key Features

  • Multi-user Environment: You can create and manage multiple user logins, providing your team with the appropriate levels of access to your websites and billing info.
  • Integrated CDN: Kinsta provides in-dashboard integration with KeyCDN, which can easily be deployed on your website with the click of a button.
  • Mobile-friendly Dashboard: The MyKinsta dashboard is fully-responsive, so you won’t need to download a separate app to manage your website. You can make backups, update plugins, chat with support, and even clear the cache while on the go.
  • Caching: Kinsta takes care of server-level caching, which means you won’t have to figure out which of the many caching plugins is best for your WordPress website. In fact, many of Kinsta’s customers report over a 45% decrease in loading times after switching to the Kinsta platform — even without installing any caching plugins.
  • Proactive Support: The Kinsta team proactively monitors your uptime and website performance. If they see that a script is causing long delays or that your SSL certificate has expired, they’ll reach out to you and offer their assistance.
  • Add-ons: Kinsta has some of the best add-ons in the market already integrated into its dashboard, such as Elasticsearch, Cloudflare Railgun, Redis, and so on. You can also contact them regarding any special requirements.

Pros

  • 18 global data center locations — by far the best on this list
  • Fantastic admin panel with website statistics displayed in colorful, user-friendly graphs
  • In the unlikely event that your website is hacked, Kinsta guarantees that they’ll fix it for for free with the highest priority
  • One of the best custom dashboards in the managed WordPress space, which strikes a superb balance between functionality and UX
  • A range of eight plans covering the entire spectrum of business and enterprise hosting

Cons

  • No phone support available
  • Considering what you’ll be paying, the storage limits, monthly visitor caps, and WordPress installations allowed are relatively low
  • No money-back guarantee, though you can cancel at any time for a prorated refund of the unused part of your remaining contract

Choose Kinsta If…

  • Your company mostly employs non-technical staff (like marketing personnel) who need to be able to maintain the WordPress website without the help of a developer.
  • You’re looking for a business or enterprise hosting solution and have the budget for top-shelf security, performance, and features.
  • You’re part of an agency or team that needs to collaborate on multiple website development projects.

Get Peace of Mind with These Top Managed WordPress Hosts

With so many factors to weigh, it can be hard to single out a specific host. The best approach is to think about your current needs, budget, and level of experience, and then choose a host that meets your requirements.

Use the table below for quick reference:

Outstanding featureBest For…DashboardStar Features
Liquid WebSLA offering 1,000% compensation for downtimeHigh-availability hostingCustom dashboards split into account management and managed WordPressBuilt-in Cloudflare;

iThemes Sync Pro; managed core and plugin updates

WP EngineSuperb security, speed, and stabilityWeb developers or medium to enterprise-scale businessesCustom dashboardGenesis Framework by StudioPress; integrated global CDN;

GeoTarget for region-specific content delivery

GoDaddyBeginner-friendly dashboardIndividuals and small to medium businessesCustom dashboardWebsite Security Suite with CDN; SEO wizard for beginners;

premium WordPress support packages

FlywheelTeam tools for collaboration and client handoverWordPress web designers, freelancers, and agenciesCustom dashboardBlueprints; cloning;

great, user-friendly dashboard;

bulk site plans

SiteGroundTop-notch uptimes and page loading speedsIndividuals and small to medium businessesIntegrated cPanelIntegrated Cloudflare CDN;

developer-friendly (Git, PCI compliance)

InMotion HostingIndustry-leading 90-day money-back guaranteeAnyone with cPanel experienceAccount management dashboard and cPanelFree BoldGrid plugin; free Jetpack license; extremely comprehensive knowledge base
KinstaGoogle Cloud PlatformWebsite developers and web design agenciesCustom dashboardMultiple user accounts; aesthetically-pleasing web analytics panel;

18 global data centers

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