Best Managed WordPress Hosting 2021 – Top 8 Web Hosts Compared

best-managed-wordpress-hosting

Without question, the Managed WordPress Hosting arena is the hottest and most competitive area between web hosting companies in 2021. 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 2021? 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$22.50 mo. – $217.50 mo.1.167s
WPXWPX Hosting$20.83 mo. – $83.25 mo.1.265s
InMotion HostingInMotion Hosting$4.99 mo. – $17.99 mo.1.331s
NexcessNexcess$19 mo. – $109 mo.1.391s
SiteGroundSiteGround$6.99 mo. – $14.99 mo.1.645s
PressablePressable$25 mo. – $155 mo.1.645s
DreamPressDreamPress$16.95 mo. – $71.95 mo.1.485s
bluehostBluehost$19.95 mo. – $49.95 mo.1.398s

Video: Why You Should Choose WP Engine

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
WPX Hosting
InMotion Hosting
Nexcess
SiteGround
Pressable
DreamPress
Bluehost

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 Best Managed WordPress Hosting
Recommended For: Mission-Critical Sites, 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$22.50 mo.110GB
Professional$44.25 mo.315GB
Growth$86.25 mo.520GB
Scale$217.50 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. WPX Hosting

WPX Best Managed WordPress Hosting
Recommended For: Mission-Critical Sites, WordPress Developers, Consultants, and Enterprise Sites

WPX Hosting has been added to our Best Managed WordPress Hosting list this year—and for good reasons. Their 3 main objectives are to provide faster website speeds, an easier to use control panel, and more responsive customer support. And after experiencing their hosting myself, I have to report that they have definitely succeeded in becoming one of the best choices for WordPress hosting.

PlanPriceWebsitesStorage
Business$20.83 mo.510GB
Professional$41.58 mo.1520GB
Elite$83.25 mo.3540GB

Features:

  • Easy One-Click WordPress Installation
  • Free SSL Certificates
  • Site Speed Optimization
  • Free High-Speed Content Delivery Network
  • Free Data Backup and Restore
  • Website Staging
  • Quick and Easy Access to Customer Support
  • Email Accounts
Pros:

  • Fast Website Performance
  • Very Responsive Customer Support
  • Easy to Use Interface
  • Automatic and Snapshot Data Backups
  • Website Staging Options for Data Merging
  • Use their own Content Delivery Network
Cons:

  • On the Expensive Side
  • Standard 30-Day Money Back Guarantee

The Bottom Line:

A lot of web hosting companies claim to be different and superior. WPX Hosting has focused on the most important points of WordPress website hosting and has actually distinguished themselves as one of the best managed WordPress hosting providers. For more details, visit WPXHosting.com.

3. InMotion Hosting

InMotion Best Managed WordPress Hosting
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 builder 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.150GB
WP-2000S$4.99 mo.2100GB
WP-3000S$8.99 mo.3150GB
WP-4000S$17.99 mo.6200GB

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.

4. Nexcess

Nexcess Best Managed WordPress Hosting
Recommended For: Mission Critical WordPress Sites

While this is the first year that Nexcess is on our list of Best Managed WordPress Hosting providers—it really isn’t the first time they’ve appeared here. Nexcess is actually a partner company of Liquid Web—one of our top recommended hosting providers for years. Liquid Web is now focusing on their Dedicated and VPS hosting services and has transitioned their WordPress and WooCommerce hosting over to Nexcess.

With Nexcess, you’re getting the excellent WordPress hosting you’re used to from Liquid Web along with the robust Nexcess platform. There are also more hosting plan options from Nexcess that fit all types of budgets.

PlanPriceWebsitesStorage
Spark$19 mo.115GB
Maker$79 mo.540GB
Designer$109 mo.1060GB
Builder$149 mo.25100GB

Features:

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

  • Nexcess 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, Nexcess combination of features and value is the best. For more details, visit nexcess.net.

5. SiteGround

SiteGround Managed WordPress Hosting
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$6.99 mo.110GB
GrowBig$9.99 mo.520GB
GoGeek$14.99 mo.1040GB

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.

6. Pressable

Pressable Managed WordPress Hosting
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.120GB
Starter$45 mo.320GB
Pro$90 mo.1030GB
Premium$155 mo.2050GB

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.

7. DreamHost DreamPress

DreamHost Managed WordPress Hosting
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.

8. Bluehost WP Pro

Bluehost Managed WordPress Hosting
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.

Account Manager Control Panels

Account Management Control Panel

Top Performers:

Nexcess
WPX Hosting
WP Engine

Nexcess:
Nexcess 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.

WPX Hosting
One of WPX Hosting’s main goals is providing an easier-to-use interface for their customers, and they definitely don’t disappoint here. The WPX Hosting dashboard is one of the easiest and most intuitive control panels that I’ve used from a managed WordPress host. It’s very straight-forward, fast, and effective.

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.

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.

WPX Hosting
WPX Hosting provides true one-click WordPress installation. Unlike other hosts where you wind up having to do a lot more clicking during the install process, with WPX you really do just click once and you get your install.

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.

Nexcess:
While Nexcess 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.

Website Speed and Performance Testing

Website Speed

Top Performers:

WP Engine: 1.167s
WPX Hosting: 1.265s
InMotion Hosting: 1.331s

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 some of the results.

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, the top four performers in terms of website speed are WP Engine, WPX Hosting, InMotion Hosting, and Liquid Web, in that order.

Website Backup and Restore

Website Backup and Restore

Top Performers:

Nexcess
WP Engine
SiteGround

Nexcess:
Nexcess 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.

WPX Hosting
WPX Hosting provides both automatic and snapshot data backups. The automatic backups are kept for 28 days, and the backup and restore interface is very easy to use. You do have to be aware that your snapshot backups are only kept for 24 hours.

InMotion Hosting:
With InMotion, you can get automated data backups via JetPack 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.

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
WPX Hosting
SiteGround

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.

WPX Hosting
WPX Hosting has one of the best website staging features among the managed WordPress hosts. As with their other features, using staging is very easy from the WPX control panel. And, WPX also includes the options to merge only newly created data and not merging changes on existing data.

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.

Nexcess:
Nexcess 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.

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
WP Engine
Bluehost WP Pro

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.

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.

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

WPX Hosting
WPX Hosting includes DDoS protection along with free malware scanning and removal. You also get unlimited SSLs.

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
InMotion Hosting
WPX 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.

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.

WPX Hosting
Fast responsive customer support is WPX Hosting’s other main goal for their customers. WPX makes it a point to respond on their live chat in under 30 seconds, and they have achieved that goal in all of my interactions with them. WPX Hosting definitely has one of the most helpful and friendly support teams among our managed WordPress hosts here.

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.

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.

Nexcess:
For the most part, customer support at Nexcess 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.

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
Nexcess – Pro-Rated
WPX Hosting – 30 Days
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. Nexcess offers a pro-rated refund. 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
$22.50 mo. – $217.50 mo.
Avg. Load Time: 1.167s
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