What is Managed Hosting? (6 Best Host Options)

What Is Managed Hosting

What is managed hosting, you may ask? Bear with us as we explain through real estate.

If shared hosting is living in an apartment building (with multiple tenants sharing the same building), VPS hosting would equate to owning a condo — while you may share some resources with neighbors, you are ultimately responsible for maintaining your property.

Cloud hosting is staying at a hotel, renting an Airbnb, or maybe even couch surfing — you don’t have a permanent home but always have a place to stay. Dedicated hosting would be like owning a house; no one else but you has access to its resources.

In this analogy, managed hosting is like a property manager or a handyman. They take care of some of the work so you can relax or focus on making a living; managed hosting companies take care of the technical stuff while you decide what content to create.

What is “Managed VPS” Hosting?

VPS hosting gives you more control to customize your server options — but not total control. In this case, managed hosting is like a condo owners’ association. Yes, you can technically throw a huge party, but eventually, your neighbors are going to complain. Managed VPS hosting makes sure all the neighbors are getting along nicely and the community is monitored.

With the close monitoring, however, managed cloud and VPS hosting providers can quickly alert you and provide recommendations on the best way to scale — in many cases taking care of the upgrades for you. Alternatively, the host will be able to inform you if your property is ready to jump up to a dedicated server. Here are our top choices for managed VPS hosting:

1. A2Hosting.com

A2 Hosting Review

Monthly Starting Price $4.99

  • Turbo server & cache options for faster page loads
  • Well-built plans starting with 4GB RAM
  • FREE CDN plus auto-installs with Softaculous
  • Multilingual support and up to unlimited databases
  • Enhanced security with and daily kernel updates
  • Get started on A2 Hosting now.

4.9 ★★★★★ Our Review

A2 Hosting: Our Expert's Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): While A2 Hosting's turbocharged shared hosting platform gives site owners ample room to grow, the company's tech prowess is on full display with its portfolio of VPS options. Ranging from unmanaged, bare-metal environments to stress-free, fully managed space, A2 Hosting is sure to have the perfect option for your expanding online presence. Go to full review »

Setup Time Disk Space CPU RAM
7 minutes 150 GB SSD - 450 GB SSD 1 - 8 Cores 1 GB - 32 GB

2. InterServer.net

InterServer Review

Monthly Starting Price $6.00

  • $0.01 for the first month using code HOSTINGADV
  • Then $6 monthly with no contracts, no changes
  • Latest of PHP, MySQL, Perl, Python, and Ruby
  • 7 operating system options for Linux or Windows
  • Full root access and choice of datacenter
  • Get started on InterServer now.

4.8 ★★★★★ Our Review

InterServer: Our Expert's Review

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): InterServer's on-site datacenter and hands-on involvement with configuring and provisioning virtual private servers give customers a level of flexibility not seen with many other hosting providers. InterServer rations VPS and cloud resources through slices. Go to full review »

Setup Time Disk Space CPU RAM
6 minutes 30 GB SSD - 480 GB SSD 1 - 16 CPUs 2 - 32 RAM

3. InMotionHosting.com

InMotion Review

Monthly Starting Price $17.99

  • HostingAdvice readers get 73% off the first term
  • FREE site migrations and 2 hours of Launch Assist
  • 2 - 3 dedicated IP address options
  • FREE cPanel/WHM licenses included
  • Highly available servers with real-time redundancy
  • Get started on InMotion now.

4.8 ★★★★★ Our Review

InMotion: Our Expert's Review

PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): Boasting market-leading VPS hardware, slick management software, and free SSD drives and backups, InMotion Hosting competes to win when it comes to managed VPS hosting packages. The host initiates its VPS customer relationship with free website migrations and up to two hours of launch assistance from an experienced SysAdmin. Go to full review »

Setup Time Disk Space CPU RAM
6 minutes 45 GB SSD - 300 GB SSD 2 - 8 cores 4 GB - 16 GB

See other top VPS hosts »

What is “Managed WordPress” Hosting?

Because managed hosting services typically refer to hosting administrators taking care of a server and other infrastructure for you, WordPress hosting can be a little confusing. Essentially, your managed hosting provider will still take care of all the tech stuff for you — but this time it will all be in the name of helping your WordPress site run faster and more securely.

Managed WordPress hosts give you a hassle-free experience with the world’s most popular content management system. Hosts, like the ones listed below, will often install web application firewalls, staging areas, and WP-specific caching solutions finely tuned for performance. And don’t forget automatic updates of the WordPress Core installation and your plugins!

4. Nexcess.net

Nexcess review

Monthly Starting Price $12.67

  • Fully managed WordPress hosting for 1 to 100 sites
  • Get started quickly with Qubely Pro for Gutenberg
  • 1-click staging and unlimited email accounts
  • Built-in image compression, caching, and CDN
  • 24/7/365 support via phone, email, and live chat
  • Get started on Nexcess now.

4.9 ★★★★★ Our Review

Nexcess: Our Expert's Review

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): Unlock the peace of mind that comes with premium managed services delivered by WordPress experts. The Nexcess team bundles performance, security, and always-available support…. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 15 GB - 800 GB $15.00 6 minutes

5. Bluehost.com

Bluehost review

Monthly Starting Price $19.95

  • 1-click WordPress installs via enhanced cPanel
  • VPS with NGINX architecture for extreme speed
  • Advanced CDN and WAF protection
  • Custom cPanel simplifies WP site management
  • Instant provisioning and regular backups
  • Get started on Bluehost now.

4.9 ★★★★★ Our Review

Bluehost: Our Expert's Review

Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): From a custom WordPress control console to core software updates, Bluehost is a go-to for managed WordPress hosting services. The company’s plans are ideal for the first-time site owner, but Bluehost’s in-house hardware and performance-boosting technologies are fit for the seasoned website professional, too…. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 50 GB SSD - unlimited FREE (1 year) 7 minutes

6. SiteGround.com

SiteGround review

Monthly Starting Price $3.99

  • Managed services for all WordPress plans
  • In-house-built technologies for speed and support
  • WordPress kept up to date with automatic backups
  • Easily test and deploy changes via staging area
  • 3 levels of caching for optimal performance
  • Get started on SiteGround now.

4.9 ★★★★★ Our Review

SiteGround: Our Expert's Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): The SiteGround team touts fully managed services across all hosting plans, including WordPress. The company caters its managed WordPress plans to customers in search of speed, performance, scalability, and support. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 10 GB SSD - 30 GB SSD New or Transfer 6 minutes

See other top managed WordPress hosts »

What is “Managed Server” Hosting?

Managed dedicated hosting packages will typically offer the most services, while managed cloud and VPS services are more likely to focus on the infrastructure setup and maintenance. If you’re paying top dollar for exclusive use of an entire server, managed services likely won’t break the bank. Consider signing up with one of the hosts listed below for true white-glove service.

In your house of dedicated hosting, managed services are like hiring a landscaping company or handyman. You’re still most likely responsible for hanging pictures on the wall, but you can hire as many people as you want to paint, clean, and cook. Here are our top three picks for managed dedicated hosting:

4. LiquidWeb.com

Liquid Web Review

Monthly Starting Price $99.00

  • Plesk, InterWorx, or cPanel (Linux) or Plesk (Windows)
  • 100% network and power uptime guarantees
  • Custom configurations and instant provisioning
  • Auto-migrations, backups, and real-time monitoring
  • Block/object storage and load balancer add-ons
  • Get started on Liquid Web now.

4.9 ★★★★★ Our Review

Liquid Web: Our Expert's Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): Liquid Web's strong suit is managed dedicated server hosting. The company owns and operates five state-of-the-art datacenters in the US and Europe works tirelessly to build and maintain custom solutions for added performance and security. Go to full review »

Setup Time Disk Space CPU RAM
8 minutes 250 GB - 500 GB SSD (+ Backup Drives) 4 cores, 3.6 GHz - 12 cores, 2.4 GHz 16 GB - 32 GB

5. InterServer.net

InterServer Review

Monthly Starting Price $44.00

  • 24/7 uptime monitoring and private datacenter
  • Up to 24 cores and 100TB bandwidth
  • 12 operating systems and 3 control panels
  • Custom configs built and maintained in-house
  • Price-lock guarantee without contracts
  • Get started on InterServer now.

4.8 ★★★★★ Our Review

InterServer: Our Expert's Review

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): You know a hosting company means business when it owns and operates its own datacenters. Because InterServer employees build and manage servers in the same building as company headquarters, dedicated hosting customers get the utmost in flexibility, support, and around-the-clock monitoring. Go to full review »

Setup Time Disk Space CPU RAM
8 minutes 250 GB - 12 TB SSD 4 - 52 cores, 1 - 2 CPUs 32 GB - 128 GB

6. A2Hosting.com

A2 Hosting Review

Monthly Starting Price $99.59

  • Root access and 3 levels of server management
  • Expertly managed servers deployed instantly
  • Choose from 4 datacenters across 3 continents
  • FREE redundant SSD storage in RAID-1 arrays
  • Choice of 13 Linux operating systems
  • Get started on A2 Hosting now.

4.8 ★★★★★ Our Review

A2 Hosting: Our Expert's Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): Whether you're looking for managed or self-managed hosting, A2 Hosting offers three extremely reliable dedicated server plans to meet your needs, depending on your levels of comfort and experience. With A2 Hosting's Unmanaged Flex Dedicated Server plan, users get administrator-level control with root access and their choice of Linux operating system. Go to full review »

Setup Time Disk Space CPU RAM
7 minutes 256 GB SSD - 14 TB HDD Up to 10-core 3.2 GHz CPU 16 GB DDR4 EEC - 128 GB DDR4 EEC

See other top dedicated server hosts »

A Basic Definition

Graphic of components of managed servicesSimply put, managed hosting services minimize the amount of hands-on IT work that needs to be performed to keep a server running at peak performance. With this type of plan, the hosting company will handle the hardware while you focus on your software.

Don’t have the knowledge, staff, or time to manage a web server? Sign up for managed web hosting.

Managed hosting used to be somewhat synonymous with dedicated hosting. Larger companies that can afford dedicated hosting decide if they want their IT teams to handle the web servers, or focus on in-house hardware and leave the servers to the hosting company.

Intro to Managed Hosting

The specific services included with managed hosting can vary wildly among hosting companies. Some companies offer managed hosting as an add-on to their existing cloud, VPS, or dedicated packages, while others include managed services in each rate or even make their system administration teams available at hourly rates.

The differences in managed service packages boil down to what you want the hosting provider to administer: infrastructure or operations.

  • Semi-managed hosting is great for people or businesses who want to use a hosting company’s support and infrastructure but feel comfortable managing their own servers.
  • Fully-managed hosting is best for those with limited technical knowledge. Fully-managed hosting allows people or companies to focus on growing their business.

When your website family is growing too large for your cramped apartment, it’s time to move out of the shared hosting complex and into VPS, cloud, or dedicated hosting. This is where managed hosting shines.

Some hosts offer managed shared hosting, but beware: technically, shared hosting is inherently managed. Don’t let a company charge extra for the same cPanel access, 24/7 support, or one-click WordPress installations that you can find included in most other shared hosting packages.

Kick Back, Relax, and Let Your Hosting Provider Take Care of the Rest

To keep the analogy flowing, think of managed hosting as a vacation. This is your opportunity to sit back, do what you enjoy, and let others take care of the nitty-gritty technical details. With managed hosting, you can focus on your business or design while your host installs updates and optimizes performance.

Managed hosting is the perfect solution for those with a growing website or online business, and not much technical know-how as far as optimizing performance and security. Don’t fret about trusting your site to the experts — they’ll take perfect care of you.

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