The Top 11 Best Managed WordPress Hosting Services Tested and Compared (2021)

If you’re looking for a host for your WordPress website, there are some excellent companies out there with WordPress-focused hosting packages. As part of these packages, you’ll often get automatic backups, managed updates, access to expert support staff who know WordPress inside out, and a lot more. But which one’s the best, and who should you trust with your website?

In this guide, I’ll look at the managed WordPress hosts who are widely considered to be the best in the business, including Bluehost, Flywheel, Kinsta, Nexcess, Pantheon, Pressable, Presslabs, SiteGround, WordPress.com, WP Engine and WPX. I not only highlight their most important features, but also share our test data that shows which is the fastest managed WordPress host out there today.

It’s also worth mentioning that all of these hosts have money-back guarantees — usually 30 days long — that allow you to try them risk free.

Let’s get started…

Who’s the Best Managed WordPress Host?

If you’re short on time, here’s my pick from the managed WordPress hosts I tested for this article:

  • Best Performance: Presslabs were the fastest in our test, with WPX coming a close second.
  • Best Value: New SiteGround customers can get a big discount on their first invoice, making them the best mix of performance and value — at least until it’s time to renew your contract. Discounts aside, Nexcess are the best-value managed host, with an impressive plan that costs less than $20 a month. Flywheel have a $13-a-month plan, but you don’t get much storage or visits.
  • Best Overall: The entry-level WPX plan lets you host five sites, starts at $20.83 a month and was second fastest in our test, making this host the best all-rounder.

As everyone has different needs, and each of these host have their own unique set of features and properties, it’s vital you check your requirements against what’s on offer from each company.

To help you to do that, read on to learn about the key details of each host.

Managed WordPress Hosting Comparison Summary

Here are the results from our load time tests, along with some key information on the entry-level plan from each host:

HostEntry-level Plan PriceAvg. Load TimeStorage
BluehostFrom $9.95 a month1.26s20 GB
FlywheelFrom $13 a month277ms5 GB
KinstaFrom $25 a month707ms10 GB
NexcessFrom $9.50 a month*273ms15 GB
PantheonFrom $41 a month209ms20 GB
PressableFrom $20.83 a month315ms20 GB
PresslabsFrom $99 a month167ms5 GB
SiteGroundFrom $7.99 a month†234ms10 GB
WordPress.comFrom $25 a month‡348ms200 GB
WP EngineFrom $25 a month272ms10 GB
WPXFrom $20.83 a month179ms10 GB

The prices listed above were the lowest rates available at the time of writing. With some hosts, these prices are only available for new signups and/or when paying yearly instead of monthly.

* The entry-level Nexcess plan is $9.50 a month for the first six months, then $19 a month.

† The mid-range SiteGround GrowBig plan was used for this comparison, including the load time test.

‡ The WordPress.com Business plan was used for this comparison, including the load time test.

To find out more about each host, click on the links below to jump to the relevant part of this article:

If you’d like to know how the load time tests were conducted, click here to jump to that part of the article.

What Is Managed WordPress Hosting?

Before we get to the details of each host, here’s a quick overview of what managed WordPress hosting is.

The term managed WordPress hosting has evolved over time. A few years ago, managed WordPress hosting was a new and niche service. Unlike other types of hosting, your website would be hosted, managed and supported by WordPress experts, on servers optimized specifically for sites built with this software.

Essential tasks, such as updating your WordPress software, plugins and themes, as well as ensuring your website was secure and backed up each day, were all taken care of for you. At the time, these services just weren’t widely available. These plans cost a lot more than regular shared hosting, but, for your money, you could also expect much faster loading times for your site.

Over the years, though, nearly all of these features have become available to some degree from low-cost shared hosting services. Some of these plans are even marketed as managed WordPress hosting, even though they cost a few dollars a month, and the performance is closer to cheap shared hosting than traditional managed WordPress hosting.

Because of this blurring of hosting categories, when talking about managed WordPress hosting today, the main factor really comes down to how fast your website will load. Although there are no strict rules on how fast a managed WordPress host should be, if a basic page takes more than a second to load, it’s not a competitive service.

When it comes to choosing a managed WordPress host, you should definitely take speed into consideration. After all, if your website is slow, it could find ranking in search engines difficult, deliver a poor user experience and suffer from low conversion rates.

However, when choosing a service, pricing will be a big factor, as will how much storage, visits and bandwidth are included. Other things to consider are what extras come with a plan, such as access to premium themes and plugins, availability of support, developer tools and data center locations. If you’d like to learn more about this, you can read our guide to managed WordPress hosting.

How I Chose the Hosts

I picked the most established, respected and well-known WordPress managed hosts for this comparison. A few services were also included because they were being offered by big names in the hosting industry, and I was curious to see how they compared with ‘true’ managed WordPress hosts.  

Here are the details of the best managed WordPress hosts….

Bluehost Managed WordPress Hosting

Bluehost Managed WordPress Hosting

Bluehost have one of the most popular shared hosting services around. However, they also have premium managed WordPress hosting plans that offer better performance and more WordPress-focused features.

Some of the main reasons to consider Bluehost managed WordPress hosting include access to the Bluehost premium support service (depending on which plan you choose), a bundled Jetpack subscription and a staging tool for quickly creating a test environment for your website.

Bluehost Managed WordPress Hosting Load Time Test Results

Pingdom Bluehost Speed Test
Bluehost scored an average load time of 1.26 seconds.

Unfortunately, Bluehost Managed WordPress Hosting came in last with an average load time of 1.26s.

Key Details of Bluehost Managed WordPress Hosting

  • WordPress website migration plugin.
  • Automatic daily website backups.
  • Managed WordPress software and plugin updates.
  • Premium Jetpack subscription.
  • Staging tool for creating a development environment.
  • SFTP access to your web space.
  • Database access via phpMyAdmin.
  • Data center in Utah plus a global CDN.
  • Access to Blue Sky premium support service on higher plans.
  • 24/7 live chat and telephone support.

Bluehost Managed WordPress Hosting Pricing

Like SiteGround, Bluehost offer deep discounts for new signups.

Because of this, you could be paying as little as $9.95 a month for managed hosting from Bluehost — at least for your first invoice. After that, you’ll be paying the renewal rates, which are more in line with the prices of other managed hosts. However, as your first invoice can cover up to 36 months, you could lock in this low price for three years.

The entry-level Build plan has been designed for websites that get up to 50,000 visits a month. You also get 20 GB of storage and the ability to host one WordPress website.

Like some other hosts, such as Pressable and WordPress.com, the Bluehost managed WordPress hosting plans come with a Jetpack subscription at no extra cost. The Bluehost plan you choose dictates which Jetpack plan you get access to.

Bluehost Managed WordPress Hosting Summary

At first glance, the low prices make this hosting service very appealing. However, as you’ll pay a higher rate when renewing your contract, coupled with the relatively poor performance in our load time test, it’s hard to recommend.

The plans do have some good features, though, so, if you’re determined to sign up with Bluehost managed WordPress hosting, you won’t be missing out on anything major — apart from the faster loading times you can get elsewhere.


Flywheel

Flywheel Managed Hosting

Flywheel are a managed WordPress hosting company aimed at web designers and agencies. However, their wide range of plans and high levels of performance should make them appealing to everyone.

Although Flywheel are now owned by WP Engine, they still function as a distinct managed WordPress hosting company, at least as far as end-users are concerned. However, they do share a few of the same features as WP Engine, including access to the premium WordPress themes from StudioPress, use of the powerful Google Cloud Platform, and the useful WordPress local development tool.

The well-designed and stylish user interface of the Flywheel dashboards and account area is one of the main areas where they differ from the competition. So, if you value a pleasant working environment alongside some impressive hosting features, Flywheel could be for you.

Flywheel Load Time Test Results

Flywheel Speed Test Results
The Flywheel-hosted site had an average load time of 277 milliseconds.

Flywheel came in seventh with an average load time of 277ms.

Key Details of Flywheel Managed WordPress Hosting

  • Free WordPress website migration to Flywheel.
  • Automatic daily website backups.
  • Website staging and cloning tools.
  • Local WordPress development tool.
  • SFTP access to your web space.
  • Database access via a custom interface or SSH.
  • Managed WordPress software updates and a paid managed plugin update service.
  • Choice of data centers on four continents.
  • 24/7 live chat and ticket support (telephone available on more expensive plans).
  • Sites hosted on the Google Cloud Platform.
  • Tools and features for agencies.
  • Premium WordPress themes from StudioPress.

Flywheel Pricing

The Flywheel plans start at $13 a month, which is very affordable for managed WordPress hosting. The specification of the entry-level Tiny plan reflects the low price, with 5 GB of storage, 20 GB of bandwidth and 5,000 monthly visitors available.

However, the more standard-priced $25-a-month Starter plan has allowances that are more in line with the competition. That being said, if you want to enjoy the benefits of managed hosting on a budget, the Tiny Flywheel plan is well worth checking out.

Flywheel Summary

Features such as Blueprints, the ability to create free demo sites, and the collaboration manager make Flywheel a great choice for anyone building sites for clients. For everyone else, the free WordPress website migration and comparatively low-priced entry-level plan should make this host an attractive option. If you’d like to know more, check out our Flywheel review for all the details.


Kinsta

Kinsta Managed Hosting

Kinsta are a well-regarded and well-known provider in the managed WordPress hosting space. Focusing on creating a highly optimized WordPress hosting environment, while also providing a selection of features that all website owners will find useful, Kinsta should appeal to anyone looking for a fast and secure home for their WordPress website.

If you sign up with Kinsta, your WordPress website will be hosted on the Google Cloud Platform. However, as your site is supported and managed by the Kinsta staff, you get the best of both worlds by leveraging the impressive Google architecture, while also having access to a team of WordPress experts whom you can turn to when you need help. This also means you can choose to host your website in a wide range of physical locations to be as close to your audience as possible.

Kinsta Load Time Test Results

Kinsta Load Time Test Results
The site hosted by Kinsta had an average load time of 707 milliseconds.

Our site had an average load time of 707ms, making them the second slowest host tested.

Key Details of Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting

  • Free WordPress website migration to Kinsta.
  • Automatic daily website backups.
  • Automatic WordPress updates.
  • Staging tool for creating development environments.
  • Local WordPress development tool.
  • SFTP access to your web space.
  • Database access via phpMyAdmin.
  • Choice of 28 global data center locations.
  • Performance monitoring tool for WordPress websites.
  • 24/7 live chat support.
  • Google Cloud platform to host client sites.

Kinsta Pricing

The Kinsta plans start at $25 a month, (if paid annually) and for that you get 10 GB of storage, 50 GB of (CDN) bandwidth, 25,000 monthly visits and the ability to host one WordPress website.

Kinsta Summary

As well as a relatively affordable entry-level plan, Kinsta also have some good account sharing and collaboration features that teams and companies should find useful. If you’d like to know more about this host, you can read our in-depth Kinsta hosting review.


Nexcess

Nexcess Managed WordPress Hosting

Nexcess are part of the Liquid Web hosting company, and they specialize in managed WordPress, WooCommerce and Magento hosting. They also have a service called WPQuickStart that aims to make it easier and cheaper to launch membership sites with WordPress.

With an entry-level plan available for less than $20 a month, Nexcess are a budget-friendly way to get access to managed hosting performance and features for your WordPress website.

Nexcess Load Time Test Results

Nexcess Site Speed Test Results
Pingdom recorded an average load time of 273 milliseconds for the site hosted by Nexcess.

Nexcess were around the middle of the pack in our Pingdom load time tests, coming in sixth place with 273ms. However, they were only 1ms slower than fifth-placed WP Engine.

Key Details of Nexcess Managed WordPress Hosting

  • WordPress website migrations.
  • Automatic daily website backups.
  • Managed WordPress software and plugin updates.
  • Visual comparison tool for testing software updates.
  • Data centers on three continents plus an in-house CDN.
  • Stencils feature for quickly deploying custom WordPress websites.
  • Staging tool for creating a development environment.
  • SFTP access to your web space.
  • Database access via phpMyAdmin.
  • Email service (only on entry-level plan).
  • 24/7 live chat, email and telephone support.
  • Plans built specifically for hosting membership sites.
  • Includes iThemes Security Pro plugin.

Nexcess Pricing

At the time of writing, the entry-level Nexcess plan was reduced to $9.50 a month for the first six months, before going up to $19. Over a year, this works out to an average of $14.25 a month, putting Nexcess towards the cheaper end of the managed hosts tested here.

The entry-level Spark plan lets you host one WordPress website and comes with 15 GB of storage and 2 TB of bandwidth. As there are no visit or page view limits, you only have to worry about bandwidth consumption.

Nexcess Summary

With relatively low prices and a respectable load time, the Nexcess managed WordPress hosting service is definitely worth considering. The tool that gives you a way to visually compare your site before and after software updates is another good reason to add Nexcess to your shortlist.


Pantheon

Pantheon Managed WordPress Hosting

As well as the features found in typical managed WordPress hosting plans, Pantheon also have a number of developer-focused tools and services. Some examples of this include: Development, test, and live environments for each site; version control tools for tracking changes between environments; and advanced site reporting to help developers to monitor, repair and optimize their sites more effectively.

So, if you’re looking for a host that can help you to do more with your webspace and WordPress website, Pantheon aim to fill that role.

Pantheon Load Time Test Results

Pingdom Pantheon Load Time Test Results
The Pantheon-hosted site had an average load time of 209 milliseconds.

Pantheon came in third with an average load time of 209ms.

Key Details of Pantheon Managed WordPress Hosting

  • WordPress website migration plugin.
  • Automatic daily website backups.
  • Development, test and live environments for each website — with version control.
  • SFTP access to your web space.
  • Database access via phpMyAdmin and others.
  • Managed WordPress software and plugin updates.
  • Data centers in three continents plus integrated global CDN covering six regions.
  • Roles-based access control for your account and sites.
  • 24/7 live chat and ticket support.
  • Free test sites available for trying out Pantheon.

Pantheon Pricing

The entry-level Pantheon plan starts at $41 a month (when paid annually), making it one of the more expensive entry-level managed WordPress hosting plans in this guide. For that price, you get 20 GB of storage, 25,000 visits a month and 125,000 page serves.

If you’d like to try before you buy, you can use the Pantheon trial service to test out their platform for free.

Pantheon Summary

The Pantheon plans have more developer-focused features and higher prices than most of the other hosts covered here. Because of this, they’re probably best suited to anyone who needs those extra tools and is prepared to pay for them. Their performance in the Pingdom Load time test also makes them a good choice for anyone looking for a fast managed host.

The free test site offer gives you a great way to see if the extra features of Pantheon are worth paying for.


Pressable

Pressable Managed WordPress Hosting

Pressable aim to distinguish themselves from the competition by offering all of the same managed WordPress hosting features as the other companies in this field, but also having a stronger focus on delivering exceptional service and keeping their customers happy.

As part of their commitment to customer service, the Pressable team will support you personally when it comes to migrating your site to their servers or creating your first WordPress website. They also have a few other features that aim to help you to get the most out of your WordPress website.

Pressable Load Time Test Results

Pressable Load Time Test Results
The site hosted by Pressable had an average load time of 315 milliseconds.

An average load time of 315ms puts Pressable in eighth place.

Key Details of Pressable Managed WordPress Hosting

  • Free WordPress website migrations.
  • Automatic daily website backups via Jetpack Backup.
  • Staging tool for creating a development environment.
  • SFTP access to your web space.
  • Database access via phpMyAdmin.
  • Managed WordPress software updates.
  • Jetpack Security Daily (worth $239 a year) included with all Pressable plans.
  • Data centers in the US and Europe plus global CDN.
  • 24/7 live chat and ticket support.
  • Access to WP101 WordPress training videos.
  • Selection of WordPress themes available via the Jetpack integration.

Pressable Pricing

If you’re prepared to pay yearly, you can get the entry-level Pressable plan for the equivalent of $20.83 a month. This makes them one of the lower-priced managed hosting providers in this guide.

On the entry-level Personal plan, you can create one WordPress website, use up to 20 GB of storage, and receive 30,000 visits a month. As well as having plans with more allowances, Pressable also offer plan upgrades that cover additional WordPress installations, storage and visits. If you’re not sure what plan you need, they have a useful tool to help you to find your fit.

Pressable Summary

Pressable have some impressive performance, development and security features that help to make them a strong contender for best WordPress managed hosting service. The competitively priced plans and bundled premium Jetpack subscription shouldn’t be overlooked either. The lack of data center locations could be an issue for some, although to mitigate this all plans include CDN access.


Presslabs

Presslabs Managed WordPress Hosting

Presslabs are the most expensive managed WordPress host I tested, with an entry-level plan that starts at $99 a month. However, as this plan includes unlimited bandwidth, and can accommodate a lot more page views than the entry-level plans of many of the other hosts in this guide, it makes Presslabs a good option for anyone with a popular website.

Presslabs also have some advanced features that make them suitable for those looking for a service that goes above and beyond typical managed WordPress hosting. Some examples of this include detailed performance monitoring, advanced security monitoring and tools to help you troubleshoot performance issues.

If you have a high-traffic WordPress website, the Presslabs service was built with you in mind.

Presslabs Load Time Test Results

Presslabs Pingdom Test Results
Pingdom recorded an average load time of 167 milliseconds for the Presslabs-hosted test site.

As well as being the most expensive entry-level plan in this comparison, the Presslabs Publisher plan was also the fastest, with an average load time of 167ms.

Key Details of Presslabs Managed WordPress Hosting:

Presslabs Pricing

As mentioned, the entry-level Presslabs plan costs $99 a month. While this does include 150,000 page views a month and unlimited bandwidth, you only get 5 GB of storage space.  If that’s not enough, the next plan has 15 GB of storage but costs $299 a month.

You also have the option of creating a free developer account that lets you try out Presslabs. If and when you’re ready to go live, you can choose a plan and make your site publicly available.

Presslabs Summary

Presslabs definitely have a lot of features that developers and optimizers will appreciate. Backups taken every 15 minutes is also a particularly useful feature if you’re running a busy site. They also have a 100% public website uptime guarantee, whereas most hosts in this guide guarantee 99.9%. That may not sound like much of a difference, but it can add up. The Presslabs plans aren’t cheap, though, at least compared with the price of less feature-rich hosts.  

One slight potential issue was that, unlike all of the other managed WordPress hosts tested for this comparison, you must submit a photographic ID when signing up with Presslabs. Depending on your privacy concerns, this may or may not be an issue. However, if you want the fastest loading times available and need the extra features and visit allowances, Presslabs deserve a place at the top of your list.


SiteGround

SiteGround WordPress hosting

Some may not consider SiteGround to be a true managed WordPress host, as they provide hosting for a range of different websites besides those powered by WordPress. However, they do deserve a place in this guide as they have some affordable, well-featured, and well-regarded managed WordPress hosting plans alongside their other services. They did very well in the performance test, too.

Despite their eye-catching promotional rates (more on those later), you do get to have your site hosted on the powerful Google Cloud Platform when you sign up with SiteGround. You also get many of the features of the best managed hosting services, such as automatic backups and updates, as well as tools to help you to optimize your website.

SiteGround Load Time Test Results

Pingdom SiteGround Test Results
The test site hosted by SiteGround had an average load time of 234 milliseconds.

The test site on the mid-range SiteGround GrowBig plan came in fourth out of the 11 hosts tested, thanks to a 234ms average load time.

Key Details of SiteGround Managed WordPress Hosting

  • WordPress website migration plugin.
  • Automatic daily website backups.
  • Website staging on middle and top-tier plans.
  • SFTP access to your web space.
  • Database access via phpMyAdmin.
  • Automatic WordPress software and plugin updates.
  • Site transfer and collaboration tools aimed at designs and developers.
  • Six data center locations on three continents.
  • 24/7 live chat, phone and ticket support on all plans.

SiteGround Pricing

SiteGround regularly run promotions and discounts, and their plans are always reduced for new sign ups. So, while this means you can get a great deal on your first invoice with SiteGround, you’ll be paying much more when it’s time to renew your plan.

To highlight this, the SiteGround entry-level StartUp plan is currently available for $4.99 a month, reduced from $14.99. The other SiteGround plans are also heavily reduced, too.

Not only are the promotional rates very cheap, but you also get a relatively standard 10 GB of storage, support for around 10,000 monthly visits, and unmetered bandwidth on the entry-level plan. The more expensive plans have more generous limits and also have higher levels of performance. According to the tests from our SiteGround review, your website will be faster if you choose the more expensive GoGeek plan.

SiteGround Summary

Although some may not consider SiteGround a true managed WordPress host, they did perform well in our Pingdom load time test. In fact, they were faster than most of the other hosts in our test.

So, if you’re looking for a fast host that’s also (initially) very affordable, without sacrificing features, check out SiteGround. Just be sure to take the full price of their plans into account when signing up.


WordPress.com

WordPress.com Managed Hosting

WordPress.com is a commercial service from Automattic that provides hosting for WordPress websites. It has a range of plans with high levels of performance and lots of managed WordPress hosting features. Because of this, it compares favorably with the best ‘true’ managed WordPress hosts in this guide.

There are a few relatively low-cost plans, as well as a very limited free plan. However, the WordPress.com plans that best compare with the services from the other managed hosts in this guide are the Business and eCommerce options.

Like other managed hosts that let you self-host WordPress, WordPress.com lets you install themes and plugins on your website — provided you choose the top two most expensive Business and eCommerce plans. Automated site backups, managed updates and lots more are included, too. We have a guide on the differences between WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress.org if you’d like to know more about this.

WordPress.com Load Time Test Results

Pingdom WordPress.com Load Time Test Results
Pingdom recorded an average load time of 348 milliseconds for the site hosted by WordPress.com.

An average load time of 348ms meant that WordPress.com came in ninth out of 11.

Key Details of WordPress.com Managed WordPress Hosting

  • WordPress website migration tool.
  • Automatic daily website backups.
  • Managed WordPress software and plugin updates.
  • Premium Jetpack subscription.
  • Access to more than 80 premium themes.
  • Unlimited video file storage via VideoPress.
  • No choice of data center location, but there is an integrated global CDN.
  • Staging sites not supported.
  • SFTP access to your web space.
  • Database access via phpMyAdmin.
  • 24/7 live chat support if paying annually (basic live chat if paying monthly) and email support.

WordPress.com Pricing

As mentioned, WordPress.com does have free and low-cost plans. However, to get all of the benefits of true managed WordPress hosting, you need to choose the $25-a-month (if paid annually) Business plan or above.

You get a relatively huge 200 GB of storage on this plan, with no limits on bandwidth or visits. Unlike the other managed hosts covered here — apart from Flywheel, Pressable and WP Engine — you get access to some premium themes. With this host, these are the premium themes from WordPress.com that are also available with Pressable via the Jetpack integration.

WordPress.com Summary

One of the main benefits of the WordPress.com service is it’s very easy to host and manage a WordPress website, even more so than most of the competition. Because there are lots of features automatically integrated via Jetpack, as well as a good selection of themes available inside your account dashboard, setting up and launching a new website is very straightforward.

You do get a bit less freedom than you do with most other managed hosts, such as an inability to change PHP versions, a few restrictions on monetizing your site, and the extent to which you can modify the WordPress software. However, for most people, the WordPress.com Business plan or above should be suitable.

For more information on this service, check out our in-depth WordPress.com hosting review.


WP Engine

WP Engine Managed Hosting

WP Engine are one of the most well-established managed WordPress hosting companies out there, so if you’re looking for a host with many years’ experience WP Engine certainly fit the bill.

Rather than focusing on a specific type of customer, such as web designers, developers or those new to WordPress, WP Engine have a feature list that should appeal to a wide audience. In short, if you’re using WordPress, then you’re in the WP Engine target audience. One particularly useful feature of WP Engine is that their plans include access to the stylish StudioPress WordPress themes.

WP Engine Load Time Test Results

Pingdom WP Engine Speed Test Results
The site hosted by WP Engine has an average load time of 272 milliseconds.

WP Engine were the fifth fastest host tested, thanks to an average load time of 272ms.

Key Details of WP Engine Managed WordPress Hosting

  • WordPress website migration plugin.
  • Automatic daily website backups.
  • Website staging and development environments.
  • Local WordPress development tool.
  • Easy site ownership transfer.
  • SFTP access to your web space.
  • Database access via phpMyAdmin.
  • Managed WordPress software updates plus optional paid upgrade.
  • Data centers on four continents to choose from.
  • 24/7 live chat support (phone and ticket support available on higher plans).
  • Access to multiple premium WordPress themes from StudioPress.
  • Sites hosted on Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services platforms.

WP Engine Pricing

The entry-level WP Engine Startup plan costs $25 a month if you pay annually or $30 if paid monthly. On that plan, you can host one WordPress website, use 10 GB of storage, receive 25,000 visits a month and consume 50 GB of bandwidth a month.

WP Engine Summary

If you want to go with one of the most tried-and-tested names in managed WordPress hosting, then WP Engine are hard to beat. However, as the feature list demonstrates, you’re not just paying for the name but access to some genuinely useful tools and extras to help you to create and maintain your WordPress website.


WPX

WPX Managed WordPress Hosting

WPX are a managed WordPress host with some relatively affordable plans, especially if you want to host multiple websites. Their free 24-hour migration service makes it easy to move to WPX, and, if you have any problems, support is available via live chat, 24/7.

Unlike some other managed WordPress hosts, they don’t use the Google Cloud Platform. Instead, they’ve built their own infrastructure, which includes a custom CDN with multiple end points around the world. On their website, WPX claim this all helps to make them the fastest managed WordPress hosting (based on a third-party test), so let’s see how they did in our load time test.

WPX Load Time Test Results

WPX Load Time Test Results
The site hosted by WPX had an average load time of 179 milliseconds.

WPX were the second fastest managed WordPress host I tested. The 179ms average load time was just 12ms slower than Presslabs.

Key Details of WPX Managed WordPress Hosting

  • WordPress website migrations.
  • Automatic daily website backups.
  • Managed WordPress software and plugin updates.
  • Data centers on three continents plus a 25-location in-house CDN.
  • Staging tool for creating a development environment.
  • SFTP access to your web space.
  • Database access via phpMyAdmin.
  • Email service.
  • 24/7 live chat and email support.

WPX Pricing

The $20.83 a month (paid yearly) entry-level WPX plan is relatively affordable, compared with a lot of the competition.

However, unlike the competition, you can host up to five WordPress websites on this plan. You also get 10 GB of storage, which, apart from WordPress.com and its 200 GB allowance, is common for entry-level plans in this price range. WPX have bandwidth limits, rather than page views of visit limits, and on the entry-level plan there’s a 100 GB bandwidth allowance.

WPX Summary

If you have, or plan to have, more than one WordPress website, then the entry-level WPX plan is a great deal. Even if you don’t, $20.83 a month is still good for managed WordPress hosting. The fact that this is the second-fastest managed WordPress hosting company I tested is another reason to sign up with WPX.


What about Pagely and WordPress VIP?

Pagely and WordPress VIP are two other big names in the managed WordPress hosting space. However, as their plans start at $499 and $2,000 a month respectively, I felt they were outside the scope of this comparison. They’re both reportedly excellent hosts, so if you need high-performance hosting, and your budget can accommodate it, be sure to take a look at their services.  

About the Load Time Tests

For the site speed tests, a WordPress website was created on the entry-level plan of each host included in this comparison. The current default Twenty Twenty One theme was used on the sites.    

Pingdom monitored a basic page from each site. That page consisted of text and a 100 KB image. Pingdom recorded the speed of the page every 30 minutes for seven days to find the average load time.

The default configurations of each host were used, and no optimization was carried out. Each host had their own caching and optimization features and settings. For example, some hosts, such as SiteGround, had image optimization enabled by default, resulting in a page with a smaller size. It’s possible you could achieve faster load times by adjusting the host’s settings or installing an optimization plugin.

When setting up the tests in Pingdom, the testing location closest to the data center where the site was hosted was chosen.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there’s a lot to take into account when choosing a managed WordPress host for your website.

Having a fast-loading website is important, but getting access to the right features can matter just as much, especially if you have particular requirements, such as being able to host your website in a non-standard location, or need the ability to securely share test sites with your clients.

Hopefully, this guide has provided you with all of the information needed to make an informed decision on which managed WordPress host you should choose.

Chosen a host? Which? Why? Thoughts?

By Joe Fylan

Joe is an experienced WordPress user who enjoys sharing the tips and knowledge he's picked up from using this fantastic platform for many years. You can find out more about Joe on his website.
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