I like the IDEA of managed hosting, however it seems to have become a marketing term rather than a description of services.
I know what I want – I want to be able to send people to a host that will let them host a WordPress blog and choose from a curated list of themes and plugins so that everything should just happily work. The host should handle automatic backups and upgrading the WP core and themes and plugins as soon as they are available so someone with no technical expertise could run a WP blog. The users should be allowed to run ads and affiliate links on their blog.
So for all I care, it could be all handled by one huge multi-site install that is kept upgraded.
That is what managed hosting means to me.
This ought to be cheap — it is actually LESS than what hostgator offers in almost all respects, but it does have the important points covered for allowing a non-technical person to run a blog.
Kinda like if WordPress.com allowed users to make money off their blog and charged less than $3750/month for the priviledge.
Instead I find many of the paid solutions to be sketchy. I’m thinking of leaning towards recommending blogger to someone starting out because I can’t see how to justify the expense.
I had personally tried one “managed” host that cost significantly more than hostgator.
1. The setup they gave me threw an internal server error and died every time I added a plugin. For some reason it took 24 hours each time for this to correct itself. It took a week of complaining to tech support that something was messed up before they agreed and did a fresh WP install (I couldn’t do this myself because I was “protected” from that type of thing).
2. The new WP install was not the latest WP and every time I logged in for a week it had the banner on the top saying I need to upgrade.
I asked the tech support about it and I was told that I could just go to the updates page in WP and click update.
I pointed out that since THAT was what I was paying them to “manage” there was no reason for me to host with them.
- my experience with this company was so negative I don’t even want to name them because they are still in business, which makes me think that they must have improved.
I came across hostguts as claiming to be managed hosting – they say
Wordpress Managed Hosting
HostGuts.com wordpress managed hosting has enterprise level standards from wordpress installation to security checks during the sites operations. Under this plan we only host wordpress sites and are already providing numerous sites that needs excellent uptime and dedicated support technicians to manage the servers.
Um – I don’t think that description has any meaning and I have no idea what they do.
Tadpole.cc seems to be reasonable but they don’t say much about what they are offering other than that it is “managed”. I don’t want to recommend them to someone without some idea of what I am recommending.
A Tadpole person gave this talk
” width=”427″ height=”356″ frameborder=”0″ marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” style=”border:1px solid #CCC;border-width:1px 1px 0;margin-bottom:5px” allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen>
Slide 5 says “hosting matters” “call them — ask questions”
“If they won’t answer a question to get a new customer, how will respond if you call for support”
I could not find a phone number on the Tadpole site.
I don’t know how to interpret that — since by their own description, they aren’t a good choice as a hosting company.
WPSensei was recommended, but their site seems to be down.
Checking with downforeveryone.com I got
Hey, it’s not just you! http://www.wpsensei.com/ looks down from here.
I find it difficult to recommend a host that can’t keep their own site up.
I get that the WPengine and page.ly and similar services probably work, but they are charging a premium for CDN stuff etc that is overkill for someone starting out and expecting 10 to 20 visits a month.
I would think that in the same way hostgator is able to host a ton of sites cheaply because overall most of those sites get near 0 visitors, someone ought to be able to create a managed WP setup that is inexpensive and allows people to get started blogging with WordPress without having to worry about the technical details.