All hosting is the same, right? Oh, Golly, NO.
I get a lot of questions about hosting. All hosts are not the same. I prefer Managed WordPress Hosting, where someone else handles your server setup, security, and maintenance. I really recommend Managed WordPress Hosting for anyone who isn’t a server nerd.
If you don’t use Managed WordPress Hosting, you are going to be stuck with, most likely, a cPanel or Plesk control panel. If your server has no control panel and you remote in, this article is not for you because you have a level of bravery and nerdom I will never understand nor possess.
Either way, you will have to manage your server setup. Some hosting providers will provide an SSL certificate for your control panel, but many will not. You will need to purchase and install your own. You might also have to upgrade your PHP and other services yourself. This often includes additional security, backups, and a CDN.
cPanel, I gave it a good go.
I used to ALWAYS host on my own managed VPS and used a WHM to manage cPanel installs. I did it this way for probably six years. It was okay until I got several sites going. Managing resources, PHP upgrades, and databases was just no fun. If something goes wrong on your server, that can be a rabbit hole the untrained user can get lost in.
I still have a VPS for random things, but it’s pretty small and used mainly as an email server. If you are going to go with a server setup, I would definitely recommend your own VPS. It costs more, but you will have dedicated resources and an IP. You don’t have to worry about other websites that might be on a shared server.
I recommend A2 Hosting. I have tried many different hosts, and this one has been great. Plus, they’re local to me.
Managed WordPress Hosting
I have tried several Managed WordPress Hosts over the years. I settled on Kinsta about three years ago. They are about twice as expensive as WPengine or Flywheel, but I think they are far superior and worth every penny.
They use Google Cloud servers and Cloudflare for CDN and security features. They have a lot of features that are the default for them, but upgrades on WPengine or Flywheel. You also have the option of having things other than WordPress instances on your dashboard. This is great if you have an app.
The support is what really got me. I felt as if I was in a constant battle with support at WPengine. I have other clients on WPengine, and I think their support has improved, but their features have not. Kinsta is always improving servers and options. Support is top notch.
The real benefit of Managed WordPress Hosting? I don’t have to worry about hacking, DDOS attacks, bugs, or any other security issue. Most Managed WP Hosts provide security, CDNs, SSL certificates, and peace of mind. The site gets hacked? They take care of it. Need additional resources due to a DDOS attack? They take care of it. Site gets swamped by a massively successful marketing campaign (we can all dream), and your server needs more resources to handle the extra traffic? No worries, most Managed WP hosts will take care of it. If not, change your host to Kinsta.
Order of Preference.
I get that Kinsta might be considered a little pricey, but you get what you pay for. They have been amazing for me and my needs.
My next pick would be WPengine.
Lastly, I would go with Flywheel.
WPengine bought Flywheel a few years ago, they are very similar with offerings.
Eventually, I will put a full review of my love affair with Kinsta, but for now, this will have to do.