When creating a website with WordPress, one of the decisions you’ll have to make is deciding where to host it. There are many options that you can choose from. When working on a professional website it’s usually Managed WordPress Hosting or configuring your own servers. This post goes over the pros and cons of each, and why you might choose one over the other.
What is Managed WordPress Hosting?
Managed WordPress Hosting is a service by a provider on either shared or dedicated infrastructure dependent on plan type where a provider manages servers and WordPress for you. It generally is closely tied together and includes a special plugin allowing the provider to change how WordPress works to better integrate with their infrastructure. As a result the website owner does not need to worry about server updates or configuration and can focus on creating. In constrast to renting an unmanaged server or a typical shared hosting plan, Managed WordPress Hosting tends to be more expensive.
What does it mean to install WordPress on your own servers and should you do it?
In constrast to a Managed WordPress Hosting Provider you become responsible for all of the technical aspects of running a WordPress website. These responsibilities include:
- Keeping the server’s operating system up to date.
- Managing any caching/load balancing infrastructure such as Varnish and Memcached including the configuration necessary to automatically remove old data.
- Keeping all of the server’s software up to date.
- Keeping WordPress, themes, and plugins up to date.
- Configuring the web server, this includes keeping the TLS Certificates up to date
- Configuring MySQL, including regularly tuning/optimizing it.
- Auditing logs and checking for hacking attempts.
- Oh and managing and syncing a cluster of servers to deal with traffic spikes in real time.
Maybe you are like me and enjoy doing this kind of work but many developers will struggle if they attempt to run WordPress on their own servers once the site needs to scale. Each of these tasks are blog posts of their own. If you do not have the technical staff to do all of the above and more, a Managed WordPress Hosting Provider is probably best for your website although it will probably be okay if your site does not need to scale for the foreseeable future.
Each website has it’s own unique needs and budgets. There’s no one size fits all solution although it’s my personal view that you’re probably better off using a Managed WordPress Hosting Provider unless you have a talented technical team willing to take on the task.