I’m not going to lie to you. Moving to a fully managed WordPress hosting, WP Engine is probably the best choice I had ever taken in my life (after marrying my lovely wife).
You know that I’ve long been a huge fan of fully managed WordPress hosting, and I did quite a few reviews including WP Engine review a couple of years back.
On and off, I move from one web hosting company to another, trying to find a place I can truly call “home.” Through my years of blogging, I was lucky to be able to try a huge number of fully managed WordPress hostings such as:
- WP Engine
- Web Synthesis
- BlueHost managed WordPress hosting
- GoDaddy managed WordPress hosting
And trust me, I have many mixed results from each of my managed WordPress hosting experience.
If you are in a rush or have no plans to read this long post, you can find a summary below. If you find this article useful, I would appreciate if you can share this on your favorite social media platform. Deal?
Fully Managed WordPress Hosting – Quick Review
If you are looking for a good, fully managed WordPress hosting that provides superior uptime (99.99% uptime), 24/7 support (chat, email, and phone) and staging area, WP Engine is your best choice. All of their support team know about WordPress, so you’ll rarely see the issue being escalated up to their a higher level support crew. WP Engine is also one of top tier managed WordPress hosting that offers huge discount and affordable pricing.
If you are a new blogger or marketer who wants to dominate the search engines, Web Synthesis is a great choice. It comes with all the goodies of any top tier fully managed WordPress hosting service can offer, and the only downside is that it doesn’t have a live chat feature. The only mean of support is through email and on average, email supports are usually responded within 2-3 hours.
Rainmaker Platform is the sister product of Web Synthesis. It is not the cheapest but if you are serious enough to have an awesome blog with powerful marketing features such as inbuilt landing pages, membership site, forum, analytics and SEO tools too. Rainmaker Platform is more than just a great choice. No wonder, CopyBlogger calls it “the complete marketing and sales platform,” which I truly agree with!Choosing a good web host is like choosing a good wife/partner. Take your time to choose, or else you might regret.Click To Tweet
Pagely is powerful. Their servers are built on Amazon Web Services (AWS), and they load lightning fast. If you are a WordPress developer, you are going to love Pagely because it comes with REST API for all accounts and higher tiers, you have access to SSH + GIT + Staging + WP-CLI. Pagely also comes with PressDNS, PressCDN, PressArmor and PressCache to ensure that your website is always safe and at its peak performance.
FlyWheel is another great fully managed WordPress hosting provider as it is built for developers and entrepreneurs. It has an extremely easy billing system which allows you to bill directly to your client (instead of you paying for them in advance), and they provide free migration as well!
Pressable is another managed WordPress hosting that offers affordability and easy of use. Seriously, Pressable is probably one of the cheapest managed WordPress hosting provider in the market and is a great choice if you’re tight on budget.
If you are on a really tight on budget and need a better web hosting that is between shared hosting and semi managed WordPress hosting, then there are options such as SiteGround, BlueHost, and GoDaddy for you to choose from. They are cheap, highly affordable and easy to scale along the way when your business picks up.
The Problem? Shared Hosting Isn’t Good Enough
I was using SiteGround for years and probably one of the best shared (semi-dedicated) WordPress hostings I’ve ever tried. The package I was using is SiteGround GoGeek and with the price of $14.95 per month, it was pretty decent since I get support via email and chat, staging area and cPanel access.
No complaints, right?
You are right … until something terribly went wrong. One day, I received an email notification that I had exceeded my CPU time usage quota and will be given temporary limitation on my website until the next day.
If you are wondering what ‘temporary limitation’ is, it means that no one can access my website until the penalty is over.
Five things came to my mind instantly:
- I’m toast!
- I’m really toast!
- I need move to a better web hosting
- I need to move RIGHT NOW
- Prepare the wallet; it is going to burn a hole in it (I initially thought)
The Hunt For The Best Fully Managed WordPress Hosting Begins
For a moment, the above felt like one of the lines in ‘The Hunger Games’ but believe it, finding for a fully managed WordPress hosting is not an easy task.
Throughout my blogging career, I used fully managed WordPress hosting services for quite some occasions, and I knew exactly what I’m going to face:
- Migration service
- Cost of SSL certificate
- Private email service
Most bloggers or website owners would just consider the price of the hosting as the only weight but for me, it goes beyond that.
For starters, not many fully managed WordPress hosting offer free migration services. Typically, a migration service would cost around $50 to $150 depending on the size of the website.
Then there is the cost of SSL certificate. Again, most fully managed WordPress hosting doesn’t provide you with free SSL certificate, and you need to purchase one.
Lastly, fully managed WordPress hosting service doesn’t offer email services because it is naturally a risk factor (WordPress security matters). So, I’m required to get a separate email service on my own (I prefer NameCheap because it is affordable).
I went down the rabbit hole trying to figure out the fully managed WordPress hosting that can provide me:
- Doesn’t block me out (because I’m so darn famous :p)
- Able to support technical support (live chat preferably)
- Content Delivery Network
- Money back guarantee (okay, call me picky for this)
… Drum roll, please …
I decided to invest into the most popular fully managed WordPress hosting, WP Engine.
Now, before you start throwing tomatoes and rotten eggs at me, allow me to justify myself.
Seriously, let me tell you my experience as a customer and then, feel free to judge me (or WP Engine).
Choosing Between Two Fully Managed WordPress Hostings
Early in the deciding stage, I knew my options were either WP Engine or FlyWheel. The reasons for me to choose them? Well, see below:
1. WP Engine Review
Let’s be honest. I wrote a review on WP Engine some time back, and there are many changes that happened since then.
For starters, I hate their bot counting as visits, and it made thousands of influencers leaving the platform itself. Even Harsh decided to leave WP Engine due to the insane bot counting. But now, the bot counting has been abolished on October 2015 (thank God) so, WP Engine is back to the game.
WP Engine comes with a nice entry level plan, Personal. If you are an entry level blogger, marketer or startup business, this is probably the best plan you can get on the market.
My next option is Business plan which is awesome. 10 WordPress installs and 100k visits in a month. That’s a good plan since I am running two major websites. To add icing to the plan, it comes with Content Delivery Network (powered by NetDNA) and supports SSL certificate.
If your site is not on HTTPS yet, you should get it immediately for better rankings on search engine result pages.
The SSL certificate costs above $60 per year but if you are a WP Engine customer, you can purchase RapidSSL at a discount price of $49.99 per year. For me, I choose this because it was a no brainer — professional WP Engine staffs will install the SSL certificate on my blog and without me messing around with the application. As for the record, the application process for SSL can be troublesome!
The price tag of $99 may turn quite a lot of people down (including me initially), but because you get bulletproof WordPress security and WP Engine will automatically repair your site in case of hacking? That’s a no-brainer!
I got hacked once and trust me; it is not a fun thing to do. Really.
2. FlyWheel Review
I seriously have nothing bad to see about FlyWheel, and they probably have the funniest, happy-going customer service team I’ve ever seen.
At first glance, FlyWheel looks similar to what WP Engine has to offer. The only differences?
The price that you will pay for fully managed WordPress hosting services.
FlyWheel pricing is dirt cheap, and it starts as low as $15 per month. Now, that’s insane to say the very least! The next pricing tier is Personal at $30 and Professional at $75 respectively.
Now, FlyWheel Professional plan is similar to WP Engine and will be my choice if I would host with them.
Also, FlyWheel social media pages seem to be more lively (and fun) compared to WP Engine (if you want to consider that another advantage).
Do you want to know why I choose WP Engine over FlyWheel for my fully managed WordPress hosting? Carry on ready.
Trust me; you’ll not regret this! I promise.
3. WP Engine versus FlyWheel – The comparison that made all the difference
Let’s be honest. I couldn’t decide on either one of the fully managed WordPress hosting services, and I decided to give them a chance.
Remember my website is still down at that moment?
I told emailed both sides asking for help, and WP Engine was the first to respond. FlyWheel came second with an email reply a few hours later but with a twist. They offer to move my website for free!
A WordPress migration would cost a lot of money, and the option to migrate for free is beyond awesomeness! I gave the green light, and I waited patiently. The migration duration is anywhere between 1 to 3 days depending on the work queue.
While I wish it will be faster, the service soon-to-be rendered is in the house and therefore, I can’t be complaining!
I was contacted once again by FlyWheel team that they are unable to proceed with the migration since they couldn’t access my WordPress back-end. Of course, my site was down due to ‘limitation’ at that time, and there’s nothing much I could do either. I told them to move whatever they could through the cPanel, and I’ll inform them when the site is accessible again.
Once the penalty was lifted, and I immediately replied to them asking to log in, only to get a reply 12 hours later. Again, my site went into ‘limitation’, and they explained their working hours to me (I thought their migration team worked 24/7 – my bad). To make the migration happen, they told me to grab certain files from my WordPress back-end once it is up. I waited, got it and emailed back to them.
And that was it. I didn’t hear any news or updates from them, ever again.
Update: I received an email today informing that the migration on FlyWheel is done. However, I think they are just a few days too late. While I appreciate their reply (which is better than no reply at all), it’s just too late. Sorry FlyWheel!
Of course, the email might go to junk or someone overlooked my email (I even checked my sent item just to make sure). Either way, I couldn’t wait. The delay of 3 days is just too long, and WP Engine’s sales team were following up on me once daily.
I told them I had experience migrating to WP Engine in the past, but I hate it (plus, looking for a cheaper solution).
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the moment where WP Engine team “wow-ed” me instantly. They told me about their new automated migration plugin (which was free), and I was instantly hooked.
I even told them my concern about my website loading speed and they offered to check for free using their ‘Page Performance‘. I tested it and I knew exactly what I can get when I host my website on WP Engine.
The next step involves a credit card, and that’s it. Done deal.
When I logged in for the first time to the new WP Engine dashboard, I searched for the ‘Live Chat’ and contacted the guys immediately. I told them my challenge and with the WP Engine migration plugin, I migrated my site over under 60 minutes at zero migration cost. I purchased the SSL certificate, and it was activated under 24 hours.
Long story short, my website was up, and I was started making money from affiliate sales once again. More importantly, I was a much happy person now and I couldn’t be more grateful for them!
My Humble Experience In Fully Managed WordPress Hosting
As you can see, you are destined to get better customer service when you use a fully managed WordPress hosting. It could be WP Engine, FlyWheel or Pagely, you know that you will be getting excellent service every, single time!
A fully managed WordPress hosting is more expensive than the typical shared hosting, and if you are looking for a good one, you can opt for BlueHost that costs you under $5 per month (BlueHost review).
But if you are willing to invest a little money for a better hosting service, you are often getting more than what you’re paying for. Take a look at my website loading speed once I’ve migrated to WP Engine.
I’m a huge believer that statistics will explain itself. 851 ms and 1 second loading speed is fast and this is the reason why you need a fully managed WordPress hosting if you are always concern about website loading speed!
You don’t have to look far when searching for the best fully managed WordPress hosting service. Try WP Engine today and I’m sure you’ll not be disappointed.
If you need more convincing, here’s one: Sign up with WP Engine using this link and get 60-days full money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with it.