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1. LiquidWeb.com

Liquid Web review

Monthly Starting Price $19.99

  • Choice of self-, semi-, or fully managed
  • Enterprise-grade Intel hardware
  • Linux or Windows operating system
  • RAID SSD storage for added speed
  • 100% network uptime
  • Get started on Liquid Web now.

MANAGED
RATING
4.9 ★★★★★ Our Review

Liquid Web: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 7 minutes

Alexandra Leslie (HostingAdvice.com): We've gotten to know a few key members of the Liquid Web team personally, and let us tell you: The passion they put into talking about their products hints that this is a company worth checking out. Liquid Web boasts supreme uptime, always-there-for-you support, and a constant commitment to building out more functionality for the customer. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Managed Hosting Plans
N/A 40 GB SSD - 200 GB SSD New or Transfer www.liquidweb.com/managed

2. Cloudways.com

Cloudways review

Monthly Starting Price $10.00

  • Managed cloud hosting with 24/7/365 monitoring
  • Choose from 5 popular cloud providers
  • Auto-healing cloud servers with FREE backups
  • 1-click server cloning and easy management
  • Host unlimited apps with no contract lock-in
  • Get started on Cloudways now.

MANAGED
RATING
4.9 ★★★★★ Our Review

Cloudways: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 8 minutes

Alexandra Leslie (HostingAdvice.com): Managed hosting affords the customer total peace of mind. Cloudways makes the hands-off cloud hosting experience affordable and accessible to all…. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Managed Hosting Plans
3-Day FREE Trial 1 GB SSD - 192 GB SSD N/A www.cloudways.com/managed

3. A2Hosting.com

A2 Hosting review

Monthly Starting Price $2.99

  • SSDs and TurboServer for 20x faster pageloads
  • Host unlimited websites and FREE site transfer
  • Optimized plugins and 1-click installs for WP
  • Pre-installed OPcache and Memcached caching
  • FREE HackScan with restore options
  • Get started on A2 Hosting now.

MANAGED
RATING
4.9 ★★★★★ Our Review

A2 Hosting: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 5 minutes

Alexandra Leslie (HostingAdvice.com): If speed and performance, partnered with support and security, are at all priorities in your web host shopping, A2 Hosting should be a leading contender. When A2 Hosting first launched in 2003, the company was focused on serving developers; A2 Hosting was among the first providers to offer PHP 5 and to support Ruby on Rails on shared servers. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Managed Hosting Plans
30 days Unlimited SSD New or Transfer www.a2hosting.com

4. InMotionHosting.com

InMotion review

Monthly Starting Price $2.49

  • FREE server setup by their experts
  • 99.999% network uptime guaranteed
  • FREE OS/cPanel security patches and updates
  • FREE SSDs make your site load up to 20x faster
  • Custom server configurations and FREE SSL security
  • Get started on InMotion Hosting now.

MANAGED
RATING
4.9 ★★★★★ Our Review

InMotion: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 4 minutes

PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): InMotion Hosting is a web leader in managed services, whether you’re shopping for a VPS or a dedicated server. Starting with the custom server configurations and complimentary setup by their experts, you won’t be disappointed…. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Managed Hosting Plans
90 days Unlimited New or Transfer www.inmotionhosting.com/managed

5. Hostwinds.com

Hostwinds review

Monthly Starting Price $3.29

  • 500% faster speeds via SSDs
  • LiteSpeed web server performance
  • FREE dedicated IP address
  • 99.999% uptime guarantee
  • Datacenters in Dallas and Seattle
  • Get started on Hostwinds now.

MANAGED
RATING
4.8 ★★★★★ Our Review

Hostwinds: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 5 minutes

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): Promising enterprise-grade hosting solutions for prices that appeal to small and medium businesses, Hostwinds delivers the full range of operating systems and server configurations to help customers build and grow an online presence. With hosting plans covering niches like vBulletin and Minecraft, Hostwinds attracts a customer base as mixed as the server configurations. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Managed Hosting Plans
60 days Unlimited SSD FREE (1 year) www.hostwinds.com

6. InterServer.net

InterServer review

Monthly Starting Price $5.00

  • Independently owned datacenter and NO contracts
  • 24/7 on-site support through chat, phone, and tickets
  • Same price guaranteed for life
  • Unlimited storage, sites, and email
  • FREE website migration, caching, and security tools
  • Get started on InterServer now.

MANAGED
RATING
4.7 ★★★★★ Our Review

InterServer: Our Expert's Review
Setup time: 4 minutes

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): As tech-savvy teenagers in the days of dial-up internet, Mike Lavrik and John Quaglieri started InterServer to show their former hosting providers how it should be done. Fed up with their hosting options, Mike and John created InterServer on a strong foundation of technical expertise and customer support. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Managed Hosting Plans
30 days Unlimited $7.99 New or Transfer www.interserver.net

Review Breakdown: Managed Web Hosting

If hardware management just isn't your thing, you're smart to seek out managed web hosting services. The top hosting providers offer self-, semi-, and fully managed server hosting plans that free you up to focus on your software, content, and other important aspects of managing your business. Skim the summary table below for 2022's best managed hosting options for WordPress, VPS, cloud, or dedicated server users:

Here are the best managed web hosting services:

2022's Best Managed Hosting
Rank Web Host Price Money-Back Guarantee Expert Rating
1 Liquid Web $19.99 N/A ★★★★★ 4.9
2 Cloudways $10.00 3-Day FREE Trial ★★★★★ 4.9
3 A2 Hosting $2.99 30 days ★★★★★ 4.9
4 InMotion $2.49 90 days ★★★★★ 4.9
5 Hostwinds $3.29 60 days ★★★★★ 4.8
6 InterServer $5.00 30 days ★★★★★ 4.7

Looking for something other than managed hosting?

Cheap Web Hosting

Cheap Web Hosting (21 Reviews)

If price is your top deciding factor when choosing a web host, check out our recommendations for cheap web hosting plans. Our reviews cover the cheapest hosts with the most budget-friendly features. see all reviews »

Dedicated Server Hosting

Dedicated Server Hosting (9 Reviews)

Looking for a dedicated server to host your website? Choosing the right host can make all the difference. See what our team discovered when comparing the various dedicated hosting options. see all reviews »

VPS Hosting

VPS Hosting (13 Reviews)

While not a good solution for beginners, virtual private servers offer ideal computing resources and scalability for those who are comfortable managing advanced settings. Check out our reviews of the top VPS options. see all reviews »

WordPress Hosting

WordPress Hosting (13 Reviews)

If WordPress is your platform of choice, you'll want to read about our experiences installing and maintaining WP with various hosts before deciding on a hosting plan. See which one has our highest recommendation. see all reviews »

Website Builder

Website Builder (10 Reviews)

Want your own website but don't know where to start? These services enable you to build your own site, without any coding or programming knowledge required. Be on the web in no time — and at a super-low price! see all reviews »

Managed Hosting Reviews: How to Choose the Best Host for You

Alexandra Leslie
By: Alexandra Leslie, Tech Expert

Updated:

In my job, I ping-pong between multiple hosting audiences. One minute, I’m coaching first-time site owners through WordPress installations. The next, I’m hashing out the gory details of hybrid hosting or discussing when and when not to use Hadoop in your datacenter. The hosting industry is similar to the hardware at the heart of it — it’s dynamic and ever-evolving, and some folks know more about it than others.

For example, some hosting users jump at the opportunity to manage their servers independently while others balk at the idea of hardware monitoring and network updates. If you fall into the latter group, managed web hosting services may be right up your alley. Let’s delve a little deeper into what’s required of a managed hosting provider and why we selected our recommended services in the reviews above.

What Is Managed Hosting?

In short, managed hosting is a premium service in which your hosting provider manages the technical aspects of your server infrastructure, leaving you to manage the software, content, in-house hardware, and other business essentials. The level of service offered varies (as does the cost of the managed offering).

Managed web hosting providers may offer your choice of two levels of service:

  • Semi-managed: This allows you to leverage your host’s support and some aspects of their infrastructure monitoring and expertise while you continue to manage your server(s).
  • Fully managed: This means your host handles virtually everything about your server hardware. They monitor network uptime, conduct bug patches and security updates, and sometimes even maintain updates to your operating system or third-party software like WordPress. Basically, you’re paying your web host to act as your IT department.

You pay a bit of a premium for the peace of mind, but when your revenue is dependent on your server being online virtually 24/7 and your site being fully functional with fast-loading pages, you may find the cost to be totally worth the alternative.

Managed Web Hosting vs. Shared Hosting

If you stumble upon a host touting managed shared server hosting, you’ll want to pause and call them on their bluff. Shared hosting is inherently fully managed. Think about it: You’re not dealing with your physical server. Heck, a number of shared hosting customers probably don’t even realize there’s a machine called a server keeping their website online.

Basically, don’t get suckered into paying more for a managed shared hosting plan. They should be handling the hardware, keeping things online, and monitoring for security vulnerabilities regardless.

Features of the Best Managed Web Hosting Providers

So, how do we compare the top plans for managed hosting? First and foremost, we have to look at the servers themselves — the hardware choice, the RAM allowance, the traffic they can accommodate, et cetera. Secondly, we note the expertise of the team managing those servers and the level of reliability they offer together.

With the best managed hosting plans, the features below come standard:

  • Robust hardware to accommodate compute-heavy projects
  • Extremely competent technicians who handle patches, disaster recovery, security, etc.
  • 24-hour network monitoring
  • Uptime (99.999% or better!)
  • Choice of operating system / control panel to give you control when you want it

Reliability from an infrastructure perspective is measured, mostly, in uptime. We typically recommend striving for five nines or better (99.999%+). The team’s reliability is a condition of the level of monitoring they provide and how far they’re willing to go to prevent disaster or help you prevail should the worst happen.

For the Best Managed VPS Hosting

Scalability is often a primary motivation for choosing a VPS. So, it makes sense a managed VPS host would do their damnedest to foster that scaling potential to the max. With hosts like InMotion, high availability comes standard. InMotion brings state-of-the-art SSD-powered virtual servers, real-time redundancy, and some of the best support money can buy.

For the Best (Fully Managed) Dedicated Server

Funnily enough, managed hosting used to be nearly synonymous with dedicated hosting. Companies with sufficient capital would invest in a web host to manage the IT end of their business needs. Today, you can rent a dedicated server that you managed yourself, with the support of your host, or by the hosting provider completely.

Liquid Web offers self-, semi-, and fully managed dedicated server plans with an industry-leading 100% uptime guarantee for the network. The hardware is enterprise-class Intel machinery fueled by SSDs for added speed. It’s all reinforced by upward of 50 developers actively maintaining and monitoring their solutions, and, of course, their Heroic Support® team.

For the Best Managed Cloud Hosting

Cloud servers are part of this nebulous (pardon my pun) realm of hosting. You’re not actually renting a physical server, but rather a virtual machine in a network of connected servers. With each machine online and none of your precious data stored on a failure-susceptible hard drive, cloud servers offer the height of high availability. This presents a lot of pressure for managed cloud hosts to keep your system online — and InMotion is up to the challenge.

By Cost or CMS Needs: Cheap & WordPress Managed Hosting

So far, in our discussion of managed hosting, you may have picked up on two themes: 1) It can be expensive, and 2) There’s mostly talk of the host managing the hardware, not the software. While these facets are common among managed hosting plans, they’re not the be-all and end-all of offerings.

For a Cheap Managed Server: iPage

Among the most affordable of managed server hosting is HostGator. They’re not going to handle absolutely everything you might get from a higher-end fully managed server host, but you can bet custom server configurations managed by an experienced team will come standard. Plus, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a quality provider of self-managed dedicated servers for a price in the $75 ball park. HostGator is quality reliability meets affordability.

For a Managed WordPress Server: InMotion

Having your IT needs taken care of is fantastic, but what if you’re not a WordPress savant and you require a robust WordPress platform to power your fast-growing business? The WordPress software can be as robust and tedious to manage as some server systems at times. Miss an update or pair the wrong plugins and you can find yourself in a pickle.

InMotion Hosting brings performance and peace of mind with their managed WordPress plans, which include premium caching features, free automatic backups, and pre-installed WordPress software when you sign up. Whether you’re building your first or your 15th WordPress-powered site, InMotion is the host to optimize it for success.

By Operating System: Linux & Windows Managed Hosting

A sometimes underplayed element to managed hosting plans is the choice of operating system. One can easily get caught up discussing the hardware and infrastructural matters and forget to consider the software that determines how much control you possess over your server hosting.

So, are you for Linux or Windows hosting?

For Linux: InMotion

Linux lovers, look no further than InMotion managed hosting — period. Their plans tout enterprise-grade CentOS servers, and the InMotion Hosting team will handle OS updates, bug fixes, and security patches for you. Plus, you have the option of getting your hands dirty with SSH, root, and cPanel access, giving you ultimate control over your hosting environment with their expert help.

For Windows: Liquid Web

With Liquid Web, you get Windows or Linux servers — your choice. Their three state-of-the-art datacenters yield the power and performance your web application or website demands from your Windows server, and it’s backed by an ultra-reliable 100% network uptime.

Sit Back, and Let Your New Managed Host Handle the Hard Stuff

Okay, that’s enough talk of infrastructure monitoring and network security. It’s easy to get caught up in the marketing mumbo jumbo, but rest easy knowing you’re in good hands with any of the hosts we’ve discussed here. You can relax and focus on your business or your content — they’ve got the hardware stuff handled.

Meanwhile, who knows what I’m off to talk about next. Maybe WYSIWYG templates? Maybe the latest blockchain technology and its impact on IoT? Maybe the best ways to drive traffic to those cat videos you’ve been posting religiously. You never know with me.

About The Author

Alexandra Leslie Tech Expert Alexandra Leslie
Alexandra Leslie’s interest in website administration was sparked in her teens, priming her for a fast-paced career in managing, building, and contributing to online brands, including HostingAdvice, Forbes, and the blogs of prominent hosting providers. She brings firsthand experience reviewing web hosts, perfecting website design, optimizing content, and walking site owners through the steps that add up to a successful online presence. Today, she combines her extensive writing experience with technical understanding to unpack some of the most complex topics that daunt novice website owners, as well as the subjects that excite veteran technologists within the HostingAdvice readership.
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Alexandra Leslie