Managed WordPress Hosting vs VPS: Which Is Best for You?

WordPress is the number-one content management system (CMS) used around the world, and the team at WP Engine have designed a new hosting service with the CMS in mind.

The platform features a clean Admin area and a minimalist approach that makes it super easy to use. Essentially, it’s perfect for bloggers who want to create a blog that just happens to be a business.

But, if you’ve ever run your own WordPress-powered site or worked with the platform on a daily basis, you’ll know that it’s more than just a CMS. Indeed, behind the scenes, WP Engine have built a powerful platform that can host any type of site or application you might want to run. It’s more than capable of handling even the most complex of sites and applications.

Still, that’s only part of the story. While the WP Engine platform is perfectly suitable for all types of sites and applications, not all hosting providers are created equal. Some offer great value for money, while others, well, not so much.

Here, we’ll explore the differences between a managed WordPress hosting plan and a virtual private server, or VPS, as well as how to choose the right plan for your needs. We’ll cover everything from pricing to features, so you can make the right decision for your business.

The Basics: Managed vs. VPS Hosting Plans

One of the first things you’ll need to consider is whether you want to host your site or application on a managed WordPress platform or a VPS. Let’s take a quick look at each type of plan.

Managed WordPress Hosting: This type of plan offers you the freedom to use any of the dozens of hosting providers (in the case of WP Engine) while still being able to maintain full control over your site/application. As a user, you have complete access to the dashboard, where you can administer your account and make technical adjustments to your site/application.

The main downside to managed WordPress hosting is that the service provider takes care of setting up your WordPress installation and maintaining it on a regular basis. This means you’ll have to pay for a minimum of three updates per year (at the very least), and since the provider handles all the heavy lifting, debugging and maintenance, you won’t have the opportunity to learn much from a WordPress expert.

On the other hand, a VPS hosting plan offers you total control over your WordPress installation. This means you can install the CMS on your own without having to go through the trouble of contacting a support team to set it up for you. Of course, you can still choose to have the service provider set up your WordPress installation for you if you want, but it’s your responsibility to keep it updated on a regular basis.

One of the main advantages of a VPS hosting plan is that you’re not tied to one hosting provider. This is important because, in the event that the company goes out of business or decides to shut down their service, you won’t be left with no options. With a VPS hosting plan, you have the opportunity to deploy your site/application to any of the thousands of virtual private servers (VPSs) out there, making it nearly impossible for a site/application to go down. Of course, you can use a tool like Dynatrace to ensure that your site/application stays online and accessible around the clock.

Features: Managed vs. VPS Hosting Plans

Now, let’s move on to some of the features available on a managed WordPress hosting plan versus a VPS host.

Managed WordPress Hosting: You get a free domain name with this type of plan, as well as free setup and one free trial month of the service. Moreover, the team at WP Engine have designed the service to be highly secure and stable. In fact, you’ll receive daily backups and quick response times from a 24/7 customer support team. In addition, with managed WordPress hosting from WP Engine, you receive top-notch Uptime Guarantee and a free SSL certificate (for those who need one)…not to mention the award-winning WordPress hosting plan itself.

There are two ways you can use managed WordPress hosting to make your site or application stand out: Create an unlimited number of custom post types or create an unlimited number of custom taxonomies.

You have complete control over the look and function of your site/application with managed WordPress hosting. In addition, you can use the many integrated plugins and themes (the service comes with a free option) to make your site/application look and function as you want it to. You don’t need to know HTML or CSS to use the platform, but you do need to know how to use a standard web browser to access your site/application.

Finally, with managed WordPress hosting from WP Engine, you’re getting a complete product with top-notch support. Indeed, the platform was built with close cooperation with WordPress experts, and the team at WP Engine are even available to help you with your homework.

VPS: This type of plan gives you a dedicated IP address that allows you to run multiple sites on a single server. In other words, with a VPS, you have the opportunity to host multiple sites/applications on a single machine. To give you some peace of mind, the hosting provider sets up your site/application for you, so there’s no need to worry about installing WordPress or setting up a database. Plus, you have full control over your site/application’s settings and appearance. In particular, you can choose the virtual private server (VPS) location and whether or not to include public-facing hosting in the package.

One big difference between managed WordPress hosting and a VPS is that you have full control over the software and hardware on which your site/application runs. With a VPS, you have complete access to the control panel, where you can configure all the details about your service.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for an easy way to get started with a WordPress site or application, managed WordPress hosting is a great option since the platform is extremely popular and makes setting up a new site/application quick and easy. In addition, the service is extremely affordable.

Pricing: Managed Vs. VPS Hosting Plans

One of the main differences between the cost of a managed WP hosting plan and a VPS hosting plan is that the latter is generally much more expensive. Managed WordPress Hosting: The cost of this plan is often considered high because the service offers a lot of value for money. However, even at this price point, you’re still getting a complete product that includes the platform as well as one year of backups, load tests, and more. In addition, you’re eligible for a free domain name, and the service offers a free setup with each purchase. Moreover, the platform is completely free, and you don’t need to spend a penny to download it.

VPS: The cost of a VPS hosting plan is usually based on the amount of server resources you need and the time you want to spare for the service. However, even at this price point, you’re still getting a fully featured product that includes a dedicated IP address, free setup, and a one-year warranty.

One of the reasons why managed WordPress hosting is so popular is that the service provider takes care of all the technical aspects of running and maintaining your site/application. Essentially, they set it up for you so you don’t have to worry about the minor details. Now, this approach can definitely save you some money in the long run, but first you’ll need to consider the trade-offs. A managed WordPress hosting plan doesn’t offer the same level of flexibility and control as a VPS. Of course, you can always contact the support team (via email or live chat), but sometimes the simplest solution is not the best.

Which One Should You Choose?

Now that you know the differences between a managed WordPress hosting plan and a VPS, it’s time to make a decision. Keep in mind that, in the grand scheme of things, they’re not mutually exclusive options. You can use the platform to create a traditional website or application, and you can use a VPS to host the site or application you’ve already created.

Still, in the end, it’s all about what you prefer. If you want to create a simple, blogs-only site that won’t need constant maintenance, go with managed WordPress hosting. If you’re looking for a flexible, full-featured platform to create a business site or application, choose a VPS.