For those of you who are looking for a reliable WordPress hosting solution, I can recommend Bluehost, HostNine and Dreamhost with regards to shared hosting. However, if you are looking for something more secure/powerful/managed and WordPress-specific, I would look elsewhere.
What we are taking a look at today are companies offering managed WordPress hosting. These companies have in-house WordPress experts and have built their hosting system ground up tailored for the specific needs of a WordPress site.
So let’s take a look at what each of these companies is offering.
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WP Engine can probably be regarded as the WordPress managed hosting company that everyone else wants to beat. They have a great following and army of happy customers daily singing their praises. This shows that they are definitely doing things right.
Here at WP Mayor we’ve been hosting with WP Engine for around a year and we’ve seen an increase in the site’s responsiveness, as well as a traffic boost as a side benefit. Please do read our WP Engine review to learn more about our experience with WP Engine.
Prices for signing up with WP Engine start at $29/month (for 1 site and up to 25,000 visits per month), which is a great deal when you consider all the goodies that deal packs. The professional plan is even better value at $99 (10 sites and max 100,000 visits per month) and will bring down the cost per site drastically. for You also have a fantastic 60 day money back guarantee, which is the longest guarantee you can get from any managed WordPress host at the moment.
Synthesis is a WordPress managed hosting service run by Copyblogger media, the same group which owns StudioPress of Genesis fame. Their hosting however is not restricted to Genesis theme users only.
Their plans are closely tied to the number of domains you plan to host. The Starter plan will give you the ability to host one domain, while the Professional lets you host two domains. The Advanced and Enterprise plans let you host up to five domains. The strategy of Synthesis is clearly that of attracting already established big players in the market, whereby they can give them a very customised service offering complete peace of mind.
When it comes to features, Synthesis is similar to other managed WordPress hosts in that they take care of the caching, security, and speed for you.
Compared to WP Engine, Synthesis are definitely more restrictive in their plans, except on one thing, plugins.
Here’s what Brian Clark, head of Copyblogger media, had to say about the Synthesis vs WP Engine comparison:
“I would say the main difference between Synthesis and WP Engine is we’re less restrictive on plugins. They tend to prohibit many solutions because they don’t want anything to adversely affect performance and security. We take more of a consulting approach, in that we’ll tell you the bad things that can happen with a certain plugin, but we leave the ultimate decision up to the webmaster.” – Brian Clark.
When going with Synthesis, you know that you will be using the same hosting technology that powers the Copyblogger set of websites (having around 2.5 million views a month), which is a huge reassurance that these guys definitely know what they are doing.
Having reviewed the offerings of all these WordPress managed hosting companies, I still feel that WP Engine offer the best deal.
The rest however also do offer very good packages, so I wouldn’t cross out any of them.
Page.ly has been established longer than WP Engine, if my memory serves me well, and they’re one of the pioneers of the WordPress managed hosting industry.
Synthesis is a great choice if you’re already rocking Genesis themes, since they are from the same company, Copyblogger Media.
If I were looking for WordPress managed hosting, I would go for WP Engine, but everyone has his own requirements, so don’t rush.
Contact each of the hosts above and ask them all you need to know. See how they respond to your emails and you’ll have a good idea how support will be when you actually sign up.
All owners of successful sites will be looking for specific things when looking for a managed host, and each of these hosting options give you a different mix. It’s good that we have a choice, and I also look forward to see other companies enter this exciting niche of managed WordPress web hosting.
What are your experiences with the hosts mentioned in this review?
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