Best Managed WordPress Hosting for Personal and Small Business

Best Managed WordPress Hosting for Personal and Small Business

Let’s face it, you can build almost any kind of website using WordPress even though I disagree to say it is always the most ideal. However I cannot deny the fact that it truly is the most favored CMS/blogging platform in the past 5 years, supported by an almost infinite numbers of plugins and regular updates. So there is nothing wrong to pick it as the engine to power your website.

What is Managed WordPress Hosting and Why You Might Need It

I say ‘might’ because you practically can install WordPress in almost any web hosting plan, that is the beauty of WordPress and one of the reasons that has made it so popular. There are a number of advantages by choosing hosting services that are customized only for WordPress. I am going to narrow them down to the top 3 reasons:

  • Support. Most web hosting services do not offer support for the applications you install on their servers. Typically, your developers are responsible to enable the website or application they are developing to be able to run on the production server. Managed WordPress hostings however, have WP experts as part of their support team so they will be able to assist customers that are experiencing issues with their WP sites.
  • Speed. Like any PHP CMS or application, WordPress with huge database or bloated plugins can easily exhaust the server resources and eventually add the load times. Managed WordPress hosting servers have been configured and optimized to handle these and should reduce the page load time significantly.
  • Security. As the most popular PHP application, WordPress is always a tempting target to hackers and malicious scripts. While you are always responsible for the security of your own blog/site, WP hosting will be an added layer of security with by constantly monitoring your code’s health including automatic WP updates.


Specialized service comes with a more premium price, understandable because it is targeting a niche market. If you are looking for a typical $5/month hosting, then you are probably better to choose a generic shared hosting plan.

However my research goal is to offer options of managed WordPress hosting plans for personal or small business use with maximum monthly price plan of $30. Above that, unless you are making money directly from your website or it generates thousands of visitors per day, it may not be worth it in my humble opinion.

WordPress Hosting Plans Comparison

WPEngine Pagely DreamPress Flywheel Lightning Base
Plan name Personal Personal Tiny Personal
Monthly price $29 $24 $19.95 $15 $9.95
Number of site 1 1 1 1 1
Storage Unlimited 5GB Unlimited 5GB 1GB
Bandwidth/visits limit 25,000 visitors 5GB Unlimited 5,000 Visits or 250GB Bandwidth 10,000 Pageviews or 10GB Transfer
Automatic backups daily 14 day retention to S3 daily included daily
Multisite support
CDN +$19.95/month 20GB +$10/mo 20GB
SSL option +$10/mo $120/yr (incl. 1 dedicated IP)
Dedicated IP at additional cost $120/yr (incl. SSL)
Staging environment

Which One to Choose?

Managed WordPress hosting has become a promising business with many companies jumping in even though the market is quite limited. Price will be the biggest factor in making a decision to switch your server or selecting one for a new project.

WPEngine was probably the first and is still one of the best option you have out there, unfortunately it is also the most expensive. Its Personal plan has limited options with no dedicated IP and SSL support.

On the other end, there is Lightning Base. While it is a relatively new name, at least to my ears, their Personal plan offer is very interesting and has most of the options I need for hosting an e-commerce WordPress projects while keeping the server budget reasonable.

Do you have other hosting suggestions? Please post your comments below.

Additional Note

Please keep in mind that choosing the best provider is only one part of getting the best performance out of your WordPress installation. Before considering to switch to another hosting, you might want to consider optimizing your WordPress site. This post is a good reference to start.

6 Comments Best Managed WordPress Hosting for Personal and Small Business

  1. Michael

    WP Engine is releasing their Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer. Sign up for an annual plan and get 4 months of free hosting! Use the special offer code “CyberHosting14” when signing up. Expires on 12/2/14.

  2. Roger

    Hi Michael

    Good to see you include the relative new hostings like lightinbase and flywheel.
    I was with WP-Engine, they had good support at the begin but lately during the last year or so there support really went down hill. I had by site down several of times and a couple of times down for about the whole day.
    I then moved to WPOven and found firstly there prices to be very fair as compared to the high prices of WP-Engine and the sites run super fast. I would definitely recommended new hosting services as oppose to WP-Engine. The new guys try harder and provide a better service at a better price IMO.


    1. Michael

      Hi Roger – Thanks for sharing your experience with WP Engine. I agree with your opinion that new players tend to try harder. Like any company, when you become one of the major players in the industry, your resources are typically prioritized for the big customers and sacrifice the tiny bloggers/businesses by putting issues they are experiencing to less-urgent. Although I am not saying it is always the case. Any business may go through a bad phase and lose the trust of their customers.

      I stumbled on WPOven while doing the research and found it to be interesting too. I just decided to limit to only 5 companies at the time, but hearing your recommendation I want to put them back on. Maybe I can create a separate post for all managed WP hosting under $20/mo 🙂


  3. lightningbase

    Thanks for including Lightning Base in your roundup here Michael! We’ve been around almost 3 years now, but don’t do much marketing and are definitely smaller than most of the competition – I appreciate your taking the time to check out our service and put it in the comparison.

    – Chris

    1. Michael

      Hi Chris – I personally love small(er) hosting companies, as long as they are committed to provide the best service, hardware and have the right team behind it. That is probably why you can offer an attractive plan that are usable for smaller projects.

      Thanks for dropping by and sharing your comment.


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