You are in the business of growing your business, not managing technology infrastructure. Today, you probably use lots of IT services that are running things like email automation, mailing list management, CRM, and much more. This opens up the question that I get asked all the time which is “should I be running my own web site and blog infrastructure?”
WordPress has become one of the most widely-used platforms because of just how easy it is to setup and customize. Add in lots of graphic and theme options like those on ThemeForest and you have yourself a ready-to-go professional web site and blog.
Why Choose Managed WordPress Hosting?
There are a few upfront reasons that you’ve chosen WordPress as platform, and some of that feature list also translates to why you want to use a managed WordPress platform to run your site. Just like with any IT architecture, it comes down to these key areas:1.
Managed WordPress hosting is designed to take the burden off of you as a content creator. While many of us in startups are keen on owning our infrastructure and turning the dials on customizing things, there really is no reason to do this without the use of an effective managed hosting provider. This is much more than just the hosting of the site. Managed hosting will include every layer from assisted deployments to continuous operational monitoring and scaling to meed demand.
Let’s break down each category in a little more detail.
Without Managed WordPress: Drilling around in a VPS provider or public cloud infrastructure portal with either scale-up instances, or having to architect and continuously administer the stitching of several loosely-connected components in a multi-tier deployment.
Managed WordPress Hosting Advantage: Usually one-click activities and, most importantly, assisted migrations or administrative processes. You’re never alone. The goal of the managed hosting provider is to deliver ease-of-use to keep you on track for what you should be doing: creating content and growing your brand.
Without Managed WordPress: Having suffered at the hands of a denial-of-service or cloud provider outage, I can tell you that this is a critical area. Not only do you have to architect for availability ($$$) but you also have to build out backup processes (costly on both time and $$$) and be prepared to deal with an outage live while it is occurring, which you cannot predict or plan.
Managed WordPress Hosting Advantage: Your availability is their reputation on the line. Not only do managed providers give better availability guarantees due to well-architected designs and operational practices, but they depend wholly on you being satisfied with their services. It is more economical (time and $$$) for the provider to develop these practices and let you consume them as services and a SLA.
Without Managed WordPress: Not difficult to explain the challenge here. How much time do you invest in maintaining your WordPress and underlying infrastructure today? Even single-site deployments can incur time and effort that should be spend elsewhere.
Managed WordPress Hosting Advantage: Maintenance is now the responsibility of the provider. You are still responsible for doing things like plugin updates and other site-specific maintenance, but you had that before PLUS you had to own and operate the underlying servers/instances.
Without Managed WordPress: As security folks like to say: “Distrust, and verify”. You should assume your site is vulnerable and build practices to discover and prevent it from spreading. There are heaps of potential issues as WordPress is a well-known target and just from spam comments alone you may find yourself swimming in administrative work keeping things clean.
Managed WordPress Hosting Advantage: Everything below the site itself is the responsibility (and a reputation-risk) of the provider. They should have DDoS protection, backups, distributed architectures and much more to continuously be aware and preventing risk for you as a customer.
Without Managed WordPress: Do you know (or want to be responsible for) how to scale a WordPress installation? This may be because of general load, or being able to reach geographic regions (caching) and much more. There are lots of tweaks and options at every layer of the infrastructure.
Managed WordPress Hosting Advantage: Out-of-the-box capabilities for scaling, caching, content availability, and more are almost always core features for even the most cost-effective managed WordPress provider. Look for this as table stakes.
A Tale of Pricy Lesson with WordPress on Public Cloud
The above advantages became very apparent when I launched a fully resilient blog using AWS as an underlying provider. There are options to use Lightsail for easy one-click deployments, but that also locked me into a specific size and was not really scalable or able to be supported by anyone other than me. The next choice was to spin up a blog using a pre-created Bitnami WordPress image using AWS EC2.
The issue was scalability and resiliency in the architecture. That was solved easily by using multiple EC2 instances, fronted by an Elastic Load Balancer, and then pointing the database back to an AWS RDS instance with static images being offloaded to AWS S3 storage using a simple WordPress plugin. The newly architected site can now scale to any size because WordPress is stateless and this exciting distributed architecture meant total flexibility.
Cost became the bottleneck rather quickly. AWS provides great infrastructure, and the only reason that it became an issue is that I needed to host multiple resilient, scalable WordPress sites for other colleagues and friends as a service. The resilient architecture was easily topping 150$ per month on AWS. That didn’t even touch on the security side and other maintenance and operational challenges that would be costly in person-time over the life of each site.
This led me to two options: Scale down and hope, or move to managed WordPress hosting
Enter Kinsta: Scalable and Cost-Effective Managed WordPress Hosting
This site, along with quite a few others that I am hosting, are running on the Kinsta platform. Moving from plan to plan was extremely simple, and the on-boarding process was one of the cleanest I’ve dealt with.
The very interesting thing that I admired about them is that they are focused on service and delivery of a great experience. There are no coupons or referral codes (which one may expect) which is backed up in their blog on the subject on why there is no Kinsta coupon. This should also tell you that me talking up the service is out of a truly good experience and not a paid endorsement.
Top features that attracted me to Kinsta over some other providers:
- Sandbox environments to test changes
- White glove migrations included in the plans
- Free SSL configuration
- Scalable infrastructure
- Security and availability protection and operational processes built-in
Dollar for dollar, I evaluated the Kinsta plan against others and found that for the number of sites I operate that it made complete sense to get all of the features. Admittedly, going from the top of one plan to the start of the next tier does bring your per-site price up, so your mileage may vary. The important thing is that Kinsta met my business and technology requirements and did so within my desired price range.
How Kinsta Won Me Over with Support
A key differentiator with Kinsta was the quick and interactive support. As a user of Drift and other chat platforms, I was extremely pleased to see that Kinsta had this option available for every service tier. As any challenges or questions came up with site setup, migration, or any of the overall offering, I simply popped into the chat window for some help.
Responses are often within minutes even after traditional business hours. When I needed to make manageability a priority for my sites, Kinsta came through in spades.
For anyone wishing to get more details on how we use Kinsta here at TechStarZone, drop in a comment below and we can connect to discuss much further and in detail.