Best Managed WordPress Hosting 2019 – Top 8 Web Hosts Compared

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Without question, the Managed WordPress Hosting arena is the hottest and most competitive area between web hosting companies in 2019. It literally looks like almost every web host now offers some type of Managed WordPress Hosting product. So, who has the Best Managed WordPress Hosting for 2019? Here is our annual updated comprehensive study on the major players: What they offer; How they perform; and What type of value they provide.

Quick Summary

The bottom line results of our managed WordPress hosting study for those of you pressed for time:

 Web HostPriceSpeed
WP EngineWP Engine$35 mo. – $290 mo.1.290s
InMotion HostingInMotion Hosting$4.99 mo. – $11.99 mo.1.331s
Liquid WebLiquid Web$29 mo. – $149 mo.1.391s
SiteGroundSiteGround$3.95 mo. – $11.95 mo.1.645s
PressablePressable$25 mo. – $225 mo.1.645s
DreamPressDreamPress$16.95 mo. – $71.95 mo.1.485s
bluehostBluehost$19.95 mo. – $49.95 mo.1.398s
A2 HostingA2 Hosting$11.99 mo. – $36.98 mo.1.809s

Best Managed WordPress Hosting Details

Here are the full details and results of our managed WordPress hosting study, including a profile on each web host.

Table of Contents

What Do You Get with Managed WordPress Hosting?

Who Are the Best Managed Hosts?

WP Engine
InMotion Hosting
Liquid Web
SiteGround
Pressable
DreamPress
Bluehost
A2 Hosting

How Do They Compare?

Account Manager Control Panels
WordPress Installation and Website Setup
Website Speed and Performance Testing
Website Backup and Restore
Website Staging
Site Security
Customer Support
Money Back Refund Guarantees
Recommendations and Conclusions

What Do You Get with Managed WordPress Hosting?

Let’s be clear on what we consider as a fully managed WordPress hosting plan. Although many web hosting providers make claims as to having an optimized or managed WordPress hosting package, a true fully managed WordPress hosting solution should include the following:

  • Automatic Software Updates
  • Automated Daily Backups
  • Advanced Caching Technology
  • Optimized Servers and Network Environment
  • Proactive Security Against Malicious Attacks
  • Staging Environment for Development
  • Expert WordPress Customer Support
  • Pre-Configured WordPress Admin
  • Additional Features for Developers and Consultants

1. WP Engine

wp-engine-managed-wordpress
Recommended For: WordPress Developers, Consultants, and Enterprise Sites

WP Engine is still outstanding in all areas of managed WordPress hosting. And they continue to be our top pick in this category. Overall, they provide the best combination of premium WordPress hosting features, fast reliable website performance, and excellent customer support that is always ready and willing to assist you.

WP Engine has continued to offer innovative improvements and additions to their Managed WordPress Hosting services since our initial study. They have revamped their hosting lineup to fit their new WordPress Digital Experience Platform. In addition to new features being included with their hosting plans, they have also added their WP Engine Solution Center, which provides access to resources such as plugins and outside services that can improve the experience for your website visitors.

And, just announced at press time, WP Engine has now acquired another of our highly rated managed WordPress hosting providers in Flywheel. This acquisition makes WP Engine even more of a leader in the WordPress hosting industry.

PlanPriceWebsitesStorage
StartUp$35 mo.110GB
Growth$115 mo.520GB
Scale$290 mo.1530GB

Features:

  • Automated Migration Plugin
  • Unlimited Data Transfer
  • Proprietary EverCache Technology for better speed
  • Proprietary Intrusion Detection and Prevention System
  • Staging Environment
  • Daily Automated Backups plus Snapshot Backup Capability
  • One Click Restores
  • Transferable Installs and Billing Transfer for Developers and Consultants
  • Enterprise Solutions also Available
  • Content Delivery Network
  • Free Let’s Encrypt SSL
  • WP Engine Solution Center
Pros:

  • WordPress Only
  • Intuitive user dashboard
  • Automated daily backups as well as snapshot backup capability
  • Live Chat Support available 24/7
  • Two-Step Authentication System for added Protection
  • Added Features for WordPress Developers and Consultants
  • 60 Day Money Back Guarantee
Cons:

  • More restrictive with plugins

The Bottom Line:

WP Engine remains the standard for premium managed WordPress hosting. For more details, visit WPEngine.com.

2. InMotion Hosting

inmotion-hosting-managed-wordpress
Recommended For: Beginners or Small Business Sites

Because InMotion Hosting has been one of our top recommendations for all types of web hosting, it isn’t surprising that their Managed WordPress Hosting is also very impressive. Whether you need hosting for one site or many WordPress websites, InMotion has a managed hosting plan that is a great fit, providing great features, fast performing websites, and InMotion’s responsive customer support.

While the BoldGrid website is prominently featured in InMotion Hosting’s managed WordPress plans, even if you don’t use BoldGrid, you’ll be able to enjoy premium features such as automatic plugin updates, and advanced server caching.

If you need managed WordPress hosting, but can’t quite afford WP Engine, then you should definitely consider InMotion Hosting.

PlanPriceWebsitesStorage
WP-1000S$4.99 mo.140GB
WP-2000S$8.99 mo.280GB
WP-3000S$11.99 mo.3120GB

Features:

  • Advanced Server Caching
  • Automatic WordPress Updates
  • Automatic Theme and Plugin Updates
  • BoldGrid Premium Themes and Plugin Subscription
  • Staging Environment
Pros:

  • Includes More Affordable options for Managed WordPress Hosting
  • Provides Excellent Website Speed
  • Includes BoldGrid Website Builder for Easier Site Creation
  • Includes Free Private SSL
  • Very Responsive Customer Support
  • 90 Day Money Back Guarantee
Cons:

  • Website Staging is only available for BoldGrid sites.
  • Automatic Theme and Plugin updates are only available for BoldGrid sites.

The Bottom Line:

InMotion has built on their excellent Business Web Hosting foundation and produced an even better product with their affordable managed WordPress hosting. For more details, visit InMotionHosting.com.

3. Liquid Web

liquid-web-managed-wordpress
Recommended For: Mission Critical WordPress Sites

Last year, Liquid Web definitely distinguished itself as a top managed WordPress hosting option. And, in 2019 they have expanded their WordPress hosting line to include a lower cost entry level plan along with their multi-site hosting plans. Liquid Web is especially suited for agencies and developers that need to create websites for their clients.

Liquid Web has a team of top WordPress professionals that are focused on providing the best possible web hosting experience for WordPress site owners with mission-critical websites. Liquid Web includes a number of premium features not found in other WordPress hosting plans—including iThemes Sync. And, they also offer a full line of managed WooCommerce hosting plans as well.

PlanPriceWebsitesStorage
Personal$29 mo.120GB
Freelance$69 mo.440GB
Professional$99 mo.10100GB
Business$149 mo.25150GB

Features:

  • Automatic Daily Backups
  • Full Server Access
  • Website Staging
  • Automatic SSL
  • iThemes Security
  • iThemes Sync Included (Multi Site Plans)
Pros:

  • Liquid Web WordPress Expert Team
  • Automated Plugin Updates
  • Automatic Image Compression
  • No Pageview or Traffic Limits
  • Great for Developers and Agencies
Cons:

  • Extra Fee for Premium Security Features

The Bottom Line:

For mission-critical websites, Liquid Web’s combination of features and value is the best. For more details, visit LiquidWeb.com.

4. SiteGround

siteground-managed-wordpress
Recommended For: Beginners or Small Business Sites

For many years now, SiteGround has been an excellent lower cost managed WordPress hosting alternative. And because of their continued innovation and improvements, SiteGround is still a top web hosting choice for WordPress. However, due to recent price increases they don’t offer quite as much of a bargain as in prior years. But, SiteGround still offers all of the features you need in a managed WordPress hosting plan. And when it comes to customer support, SiteGround is still outstanding.

PlanPriceWebsitesStorage
StartUp$3.95 mo.110GB
GrowBig$5.95 mo.Unlimited20GB
GoGeek$11.95 mo.Unlimited30GB

Features:

  • Automatic Daily Backups
  • Scheduling Control over WordPress Automatic Updates
  • Automatic Plugin Updates
  • Full Website Staging
  • SuperCacher Technology for Faster Websites
  • Content Delivery Network Included
  • Free Let’s Encrypt SSL
  • Platform Built on Linux Containers
Pros:

  • Affordable Managed Hosting Features Included
  • Compete Web Hosting Package
  • Host Multiple Websites with GrowBig and GoGeek Plans
  • Fast Responsive Customer Support
  • Data Centers on Three Continents
  • Unlimited Email
  • Easy to Use Interface
Cons:

  • Some Features Available Only with GrowBig or GoGeek Plans

The Bottom Line:

SiteGround is outstanding in every way as they include premium features at very affordable prices for a managed WordPress hosting plan. For more details, visit SiteGround.com.

5. Pressable

pressable-managed-wordpress
Recommended For: Personal and Business Sites, WordPress Agencies

Pressable continues to impress us with their expert and attentive customer support you get with their managed WordPress hosting. They are also especially beneficial to agencies and enterprise applications that need multiple websites at an affordable price. In fact, at Pressable you can custom tailor your hosting plan based on the amount of either websites or Pageviews that you need.

PlanPriceWebsitesStorage
Personal$25 mo.1100GB
Starter$45 mo.10Unlimited
Pro$90 mo.20Unlimited
Agency$225 mo.50Unlimited

Features:

  • Development/Production Mode Feature
  • Website Cloning for Faster Site Creation
  • Content Delivery Network
  • Free Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates
  • Collaborator Access Ability
  • Website Caching
  • Server Side Optimization
  • Malware Scanning and Removal
  • Jetpack Premium
  • Dedicated WordPress Support
Pros:

  • Create Multiple Websites with All Plans
  • Fast Provisioning Time
  • Responsive Customer Support
  • Free Jetpack Premium
  • Development and Production Modes
  • Website Cloning Function
Cons:

  • No Full Website Staging
  • Backups from Control Panel Require Amazon or Rackspace
  • Live Chat Support Not Currently 24×7

The Bottom Line:

Pressable is a solid choice when it comes to managed WordPress hosting for all types of websites. For more details, visit pressable.com.

6. DreamHost DreamPress

dreamhost-managed-wordpress
Recommended For: Business or Personal Sites

Since its debut, DreamHost has continually improved their optimized WordPress hosting line called DreamPress. DreamHost has really stepped up its game when it comes to their managed WordPress hosting. DreamPress now includes automatic backups and website staging—features that were initially lacking in the hosting plans. With the recent improvements, DreamHost now has a managed WordPress hosting product that can compete with the established managed hosting players.

PlanPriceWebsitesStorage
DreamPress$16.95 mo.130GB
DreamPress Plus$24.95 mo.160GB
DreamPress Pro$71.95 mo.1120GB

Features:

  • Multiple Layers of Caching
  • Isolated Server Resources
  • WordPress Specific Firewall for Better Security
  • Dedicated IP Address
  • Dual VPS Servers (Front End and MySQL)
  • Let’s Encrypt SSL
  • Dynamically Auto-Scaling RAM
  • CloudFlare Services
Pros:

  • Includes Email
  • Pre-installed and preconfigured WordPress
  • Use any WordPress Theme or Plugin
Cons:

  • Staging Not Included.
  • No snapshot backup capability.

The Bottom Line:

Happily, DreamHost has made some nice improvements to their DreamPress hosting. For single-site managed WordPress hosting, they deserve consideration. For more details, visit DreamHost.com.

7. Bluehost WP Pro

bluehost-wp-pro
Recommended For: Personal or Business Sites

WP Pro is the new revamped managed WordPress hosting line from Bluehost. With WP Pro, you get advanced WordPress hosting features along with impressive website speed and responsive customer support. However, like A2 Hosting below, I currently prefer Bluehost’s shared hosting for most WordPress website hosting situations.

PlanPriceWebsitesStorage
Build$19.95 mo.UnlimitedUnlimited
Grow$29.95 mo.UnlimitedUnlimited
Scale$49.95 mo.UnlimitedUnlimited

Features:

  • Customized WP Pro and WordPress Dashboard Interfaces
  • Instant WordPress Installation
  • Free SSL and Full Suite of Security Tools
  • Responsive Customer Support
  • Automated Daily Backups
  • Create Unlimited Number of Websites
  • No Traffic Limits
Pros:

  • All Plans Include Unlimited Website Hosting and Storage
  • Easy to Use Interface
Cons:

  • Not as much guidance for newbies.

The Bottom Line:

Bluehost WP Pro definitely has the potential to be one of the best managed WordPress hosting options. Currently though, it’s still a relatively new offering so you may encounter a features such as staging that are still in beta. For more details, visit bluehost.com.

8. A2 Hosting

a2-hosting-managed-wordpress
Recommended For: Business and Established Sites

While I personally prefer their cPanel Shared Hosting plans, A2 Hosting’s managed WordPress does provide premium features that you would expect to be included in a managed hosting plan. And, all of A2’s managed WordPress plans come with their Turbo Server—providing up to 20x faster page loads.

PlanPriceWebsitesStorage
1 Site$11.99 mo.110GB
3 Sites$18.99 mo.325GB
Unlimited$36.98 mo.Unlimited40GB

Features:

  • 10GB to 40GB Storage
  • Turbo Server on All Managed Plans
  • Plesk User Interface
  • Plesk WordPress Staging
  • Dropbox WordPress Backups
  • Server Location – Michigan USA
Pros:

  • Includes Unlimited Email
  • Turbo Servers Available on all Plans
  • No Restrictions on Plugins
  • Includes WordPress Toolkit for Multiple Websites
  • Anytime Money Back Guarantee
Cons:

  • Support Staff not yet completely familiar with the product.
  • Requires more effort on your part than other managed hosting plans.

The Bottom Line:

While A2 Hosting’s managed WordPress plans are nice, their cPanel Shared Hosting plans are actually more impressive for WordPress hosting. For more details, visit a2Hosting.com.

Account Manager Control Panels

Account Management Control Panel

Top Performers:

Liquid Web
WP Engine
InMotion Hosting

Liquid Web:
Liquid Web has done a great job with their control panel interface. In fact, it’s probably my favorite among managed WordPress hosts. The layout is very intuitive, and you can quickly and easily find and access all the important functions for your WordPress sites.

WP Engine:
WP Engine has done a great job in providing a text based interface that is easy to use and allows you to quickly locate your hosting account and WordPress website functions. The WP Engine control panel is very intuitive allowing you to view stats, manage your domains, create data backups, access your WordPress admin and databases, and contact customer support.

InMotion Hosting:
InMotion’s Account Management Panel (AMP) gives you quick and easy access to all of your account functionality along with access to cPanel. InMotion Hosting’s implementation of cPanel allows you to easily access your website functionality even if you haven’t used it before. And, if you are familiar with cPanel, the transition to a managed hosting plan is easier.

SiteGround:
SiteGround provides cPanel hosting, so you get all the features and functionality of the cPanel interface. They also provide their excellent account management interface that gives you access to your billing and account information, as well as access to support and your cPanel. The two control panels are integrated very well and both are very easy to use.

Pressable:
Pressable has perhaps the fastest account setup and provisioning time that we’ve experienced from a managed WordPress host. And, their control panel interface is simple and very easy to use.

A2 Hosting:
A2 Hosting provides Plesk as your control panel. Plesk is very intuitive and easy to use. Anyone that likes and is familiar with cPanel, will find Plesk to be equally effective as a web hosting interface.

Bluehost WP Pro:
As with their Shared WordPress Hosting plans, Bluehost WP Pro includes an easy to use website dashboard along with their customized cPanel interface. While I find it very easy to use, it didn’t seem to perform quite as smoothly as Bluehost’s shared WordPress interface.

DreamPress:
I’ve never been a big fan of DreamHost’s control panels. However, I have to give them credit as they have somewhat simplified and streamlined the interface for DreamPress. Previously, there was just too much going on with wordy text links everywhere and a lot of upsells mixed in with your real functions. While it’s still not ideal, I do like the new less cluttered look.

WordPress Installation and Website Setup

WordPress Installation and Setup

Top Performers:

WP Engine
Pressable
InMotion Hosting

WP Engine:
WP Engine’s signup process is very easy and straight-forward. The account setup process is very fast and your website is created very quickly. And, if you’re migrating an existing WordPress site from somewhere else, you can utilize WP Engine’s Migration Checklist that guides you through the process. If you need additional assistance, you can always contact support. However, I found the migration process to be very well presented and easy to follow.

Pressable:
Pressable’s website provisioning time is excellent. Almost immediately after you sign up, you’ll find WordPress installed, you’ll receive your login credentials, and you can start building your site in development mode.

InMotion Hosting:
Account setup and provisioning time is very good with InMotion. And, you can get WordPress pre-installed (along with BoldGrid if you wish) so you can get going with your website right away.

SiteGround:
Signing up for a WordPress hosting account at SiteGround is very easy and straight-forward. And, provisioning time is also excellent. Shortly after you place an order you’ll receive your welcome email with all of the pertinent information to get you started.

DreamPress:
Here’s another area where DreamHost has made some improvements. Previously, provisioning time wasn’t that great. In fact, you had to wait around 30 to 45 minutes for your account to be setup. Now, the process took about 10 minutes or less. Also, they have improved the WordPress installation process so that you are now able to set your own admin password. Previously, I experienced issues when trying to set things up.

Bluehost:
The WP Pro signup process is very easy and you can get started creating your WordPress website right away. However, I did find that there wasn’t as much guidance in the provisioning process as there is with Bluehost’s Shared Hosting plan.

Liquid Web:
While Liquid Web does indeed have some outstanding features, unfortunately provisioning time isn’t one of them. Just be aware that if you sign up for an account after business hours, you’ll probably have to wait until the next day to get started, as the department that handles the activations is only available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A2 Hosting:
Unfortunately, there were a couple of issues getting my website provisioned and set up. First, the Let’s Encrypt SSL would not take and I had to contact support to get the SSL applied to my domain. Then, although WordPress was preinstalled for me, when I tried to login to the WordPress admin side, the username and password given to me did not work. Again, I had to contact support to resolve the issue.

Website Speed and Performance Testing

Website Speed

Top Performers:

WP Engine: 1.290s
InMotion Hosting: 1.331s
Liquid Web: 1.391s

I’m pleased to report that all of the managed WordPress hosts we tested delivered good website speed and performance. We conducted separate tests during different parts of the day, and also from different locations across the United States. Based on our results, it definitely appears that datacenter location plays a part in website speeds. Below are the results broken down by location.

Location: East U.S.

managed-wordpress-hosting-speed-results-east

Location: Central U.S.

managed-wordpress-hosting-speed-results-central

Location: West U.S.

managed-wordpress-hosting-speed-results-west

Overall, looking at the combined average speed in all regions, the top four performers in terms of website speed are WP Engine, InMotion Hosting, Liquid Web, and Bluehost, in that order.

Website Backup and Restore

Website Backup and Restore

Top Performers:

Liquid Web
WP Engine
SiteGround

Liquid Web:
Liquid Web’s data backup and restore features are excellent, and among the best available from a managed WordPress host. Automatic backups are run daily with your data being stored offsite. You can also manually initiate a backup at any time with one click of a button. And, you can easily access your backup copies from Liquid Web’s Managed WordPress dashboard—where you can either perform a restore or download a backup copy.

WP Engine:
WP Engine’s automated daily backups and snapshot backup capability is one of their best features, and it’s also our favorite backup and restore service among these managed WordPress hosts. In addition to the daily backups of your website, you can quickly and easily create a backup at any time—which is particularly helpful when you need to update plugins and themes.

SiteGround:
SiteGround has always offered one of the best data backup and restore features. With their GrowBig and GoGeek hosting plans, you get automatic daily backups and the ability to restore from the last 30 days. However, they have recently upgraded their backup and restore so now even their StartUp plan includes the automated 30 day backup. Plus, with their GoGeek plan you can now create on-demand backups.

InMotion Hosting:
With InMotion, you get the same data backup and restore that is included with their business hosting (i.e. free automatic daily backups and one free restore per four month period). Additionally, if you use the BoldGrid site builder, you can schedule your own automated website backups.

DreamPress:
DreamHost has made a number of major improvements to DreamPress—one of the most significant is the addition of automatic data backups and the ability to perform on-demand backups. You can easily access the backup functionality from your dashboard. There are a couple of caveats here. First, you’re allowed to run only one on-demand backup per day. And, backup data is retained for two weeks as opposed to the 30 days that some other web hosts provide.

Bluehost WP Pro:
With Bluehost WP Pro, you get automated daily backups which you can easily access from the WP Pro dashboard. However, if you want to create on-demand backups, you need to upgrade to a paid CodeGuard plan.

A2 Hosting:
A2 Hosting provides Dropbox data backup and restore. However, you actually have to create a Dropbox account yourself before you can use the system—which is somewhat confusing for a managed hosting plan where you would expect the backup and restore system to be ready to go out of the box. It’s somewhat surprising since, with their Shared Hosting, A2 provides their excellent Server Rewind Backups.

Pressable:
Pressable provides two methods of backing up your websites. You can set up automatic backups through your control panel, but you’ll need to create an Amazon or Rackspace account to utilize the feature. Alternatively, you can use Jetpack Premium that is included with your account, to perform backups. Ideally, with a managed hosting plan data backup is ready to go out of the box without having to perform any additional steps.

Website Staging

Website Staging

Top Performers:

WP Engine
SiteGround
DreamPress

WP Engine:
The site staging process at WP Engine is excellent and is my favorite among these managed WordPress hosting companies. With WP Engine staging, you can create a staging site that is an exact copy of your live site at any time. After testing out your changes, you can then just as easily copy your staging site to your live WordPress site.

You access WP Engine’s site staging from within your WordPress admin dashboard. From here you can easily create a copy of your live site, access and modify your staging site, and deploy your staging site to your live website.
The deployment process is very quick, and you are notified by email when it is completed.

SiteGround:
One of SiteGround’s biggest advantages to WordPress site owners is the inclusion of full website staging—usually only available from the more expensive web hosts. SiteGround provides an easy way to copy your live site to a staging copy, then move your changes from your staging site back to your live website. The SiteGround staging process definitely rivals that of the more expensive managed hosting plans.

DreamPress:
Probably the biggest improvement that DreamHost has made in DreamPress is finally including website staging. And, they’ve done an outstanding job! Not only is it super easy to create a staging site, copy changes from your staging site to your live site, and make a copy of your live site in your staging area, but you are also notified by email when these events are completed.

Liquid Web:
Liquid Web includes WPMerge.io that provides website staging functionality. Once you get everything setup, the staging process works great.

Bluehost:
While WP Pro does include website staging, it is currently labeled as in beta. And, unfortunately, I did run into issues trying to create a staging site. Although customer support offered to create the staging copy for me, I would prefer being able to do it myself. It was definitely surprising as I have used the staging in Bluehost’s Shared WordPress plan without any problems. However, it appears that with WP Pro, there are still some things to be worked out.

InMotion Hosting:
Like their data backup and automated update features, staging in InMotion’s managed WordPress is directly tied to BoldGrid. So, if you don’t use the BoldGrid site builder, you don’t have access to those features.

A2 Hosting:
A2 Hosting utilizes Plesk for website staging. It’s actually a very tedious process that you manually have to go through (e.g. create a subdomain, copy over the files, copy the database, adjust the config settings, etc.). Staging is by far the weakest part of A2 Hosting’s managed WordPress—and we would hope they will eventually include a more automated staging process such as that offered by WP Engine and others. Again, it’s surprising as A2 Hosting includes much better website staging with their cPanel Shared Hosting plans.

Pressable:
Unfortunately, Pressable doesn’t currently offer a true staging environment. Hopefully, they will include one in the near future. What they do provide is a nice feature where you can toggle between development and production mode. When you’re working on your site in development mode, caching and your CDN are disabled for more efficiency. I would really like to see this feature combined with a true staging platform.

Site Security

Site Security

Top Performers:

SiteGround
A2 Hosting
WP Engine

SiteGround:
SiteGround includes free Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates. They write their own firewall security rules. SiteGround has their own in-house server monitoring that detects and fixes problems, plus it can take actions to prevent upcoming issues. And, SiteGround has developed an artificial intelligence Anti-Bot that stops brute force attacks on your website.

A2 Hosting:
Security is a big priority at A2 Hosting with all of their hosting plans, and that includes their Managed WordPress Hosting. A2’s environment is optimized for security and includes their perpetual proactive security against malicious attacks and includes Brute Force Defense, Dual Web Hosting Firewalls, Virus Scanning, Server Hardening, and 24/7 Security Monitoring. A2 Hosting also includes Free Let’s Encrypt SSL.

WP Engine:
In addition to proactive malware detection and multiple firewalls, WP Engine has now also implemented a two-step authentication process to further secure your WP Engine account and your websites. And, WP Engine includes free Let’s Encrypt SSL.

Bluehost WP Pro:
Website security is definitely one of WP Pro’s strongest assets. Along with free Let’s Encrypt SSL, you get SiteLock Malware Security, JetPack Malicious Attack Blocking and Spam Protection, and WordPress Core Integrity Checking.

InMotion Hosting:
InMotion Hosting includes free private SSL which can be used for eCommerce sites as well. They also provide hack and malware protection where your files are scanned and patched for vulnerabilities. And, they include their custom web application firewall.

Pressable:
The security setup at Pressable is excellent. Along with free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates, they provide malware scanning, integrity checking, intrusion detection systems, and their application firewall.

Liquid Web:
With Liquid Web’s Visual Comparison feature, they can make sure your plugins are kept up to date and that there are no potential issues with upgrading. And, Liquid Web includes free SSL for all of your websites.

DreamPress:
DreamHost includes a WordPress specific firewall with DreamPress that protects your site from brute force attacks. DreamPress also includes free Let’s Encrypt SSL.

Customer Support

Customer Support

Top Performers:

WP Engine
SiteGround
InMotion Hosting

Customer support is a huge part of any web hosting company. However, it’s even more prominent when it comes to managed web hosting. Since one of the biggest selling points to a managed WordPress hosting plan is expert support, we wanted to test out both the speed (responsiveness) and the knowledge (helpfulness) of each support staff. Our tests were conducted through the live chat options of each managed WordPress hosting company.

WP Engine:
With WP Engine, live chat support is available 24/7. And most of the times, live chat support response was immediate. During peak hours there was a bit of a delay, but we did find that the stated wait times were pretty accurate—often times the response was quicker than the stated wait time. The support agents are always very friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable.

SiteGround:
Here’s one area where we can attest to from personal experience, as well as our testing results, that SiteGround performs as well as anyone—including premium managed hosting plans. SiteGround’s extensive training of their customer support staff pays big dividends to their customers in consistent, courteous, and highly responsive, assistance. The support we’ve received from SiteGround over the years is as good as any of the other web hosts in this study, and in fact actually surpasses some.

InMotion Hosting:
InMotion Hosting has one of the best customer support teams when it comes to response times and issue resolution. Through the years, they have consistently been one of our top ranking web hosts when it comes to support. And, with their managed WordPress platform, we’ve experienced the same excellent results.

Pressable:
One of Pressable’s strengths is that they make a priority of doing what’s right for each of their customers. When you sign up, you’ll receive a phone call from the Pressable team making sure everything is going smoothly and offering their assistance. We found the customer support team to be very responsive—answering all questions in a helpful, friendly manner. The only negative at this point is that live chat support isn’t currently available all of the time. However, I’ve been informed that 24×7 chat support is on the way.

Bluehost WP Pro:
Bluehost customer support has definitely improved in recent times. You get 24/7 phone and live chat support access along with an extensive knowledge base. I’ve found the response times to be excellent and the support agents helpful and courteous.

Liquid Web:
For the most part, customer support at Liquid Web is very good. There have been some occasions where I would have expected a bit more assistance from a managed hosting provider. For example, the support agent would simply provide a link to a knowledge base article. With a managed WordPress host, I would expect the agent to resolve the issue themselves or at least help to walk me through a solution as opposed to only providing a link. Other times, the support agents have definitely done their best to resolve an issue or provide information. So, apparently it really varies depending on the support person you get.

A2 Hosting:
We’ve experienced outstanding support from A2 Hosting when it comes to Shared and VPS hosting. The Guru Crew, and they are known, have provided very responsive, courteous, and effective support whenever we’ve needed it. However, live chat support wait times can sometimes be long.

DreamPress:
On the plus side, I’m pleased to report that support response times at DreamHost have vastly improved. And, once I was connected to a support person, they were very helpful, knowledgeable, and courteous. However, I was disappointed that live chat support apparently is not available 24/7—at least not when I initially tried to contact the support team.

Money Back Refund Guarantees

Money Back GuaranteesInMotion Hosting – 90 Days
WP Engine – 60 Days
A2 Hosting – Anytime (Pro-Rated)
Liquid Web – Pro-Rated
DreamPress – 30 Days
Bluehost – 30 Days
SiteGround – 30 Days
Pressable – 15 Days

All of these managed WordPress hosting companies provide adequate time for you to evaluate their hosting plans and still be able to cancel and get a full refund. InMotion and WP Engine are especially impressive at 90 and 60 days, respectively. A2 Hosting and Liquid Web both offer pro-rated refunds. The other web hosts provide a 30 day refund period save for Pressable, which offers a free 15 day trial period.
Keep in mind the above refund guarantees are for annual hosting plans.

Recommendations and Conclusions

For this study comparison of managed WordPress hosting, we decided to include those web hosts offering web hosting suited for a majority of WordPress site owners.
Based on our results above, these are our top recommendations for Best Managed WordPress Hosting:

WP Engine
$35 mo. – $290 mo.
Avg. Load Time: 1.290s
Guarantee: 60 Days
wpengine.com
InMotion Hosting
$4.99 mo. – $11.99 mo.
Avg. Load Time: 1.331s
Guarantee: 90 Days
inmotionhosting.com
Liquid Web
$29 mo. – $149 mo.
Avg. Load Time: 1.391s
Guarantee: Pro-Rated
liquidweb.com
SiteGround
$3.95 mo. – $11.95 mo.
Avg. Load Time: 1.645s
Guarantee: 30 Days
siteground.com