Managed WordPress – What it is and why you need it

A managed WordPress website is a healthy WP Website! The first thing that I am asked is: What is Managed WordPress? The answer is that it is a service handling a combination of hosting as well as updates to the core WordPress application and plugins your website is using.

When the internet initially launched the philosophy was to create an easy to learn programming language so people could publish webpages. The pages were built in a “static” format, meaning that there was little interaction with the server that was hosting the webpage. The page source code and images were downloaded onto the client computer and published to a browser like Netscape Navigator (ahh the tools of my youth LOL).

Next came Web 2.0, the transition of website from static to “dynamic”. The main difference was that these new dynamically generated pages had a admin panel that allowed users to post information themselves and a software would publish the pages on demand (when someone went to the URL/www). One of the early versions of this new internet software was called WordPress. Initially used for publishing news or “blogs”, it blossomed into becoming a website publishing tool. Of core importance here is the understanding of the fact that users went from programming their own pages to using software that published pages on demand, why is this important? Software uses a programming language, a database etc,. WordPress was built on a LAMP architecture (Linux Operating System, Apache Web Server, MySQL Database and PHP programming language). In plain English, the software uses more server resources and is more vulnerable to hacking.

As I was watching this passage of events in the industry occur I watched hosting prices drop with the advent of services like GoDaddy that charged very low prices for “Shared” hosting., concentrating their attention at the cheap model of hosting services because static websites took very little space and few server resources. Now with a shared resource you are also creating situations where you are only as secure as your weakest link, in essence your sites have shared vulnerabilities, if one website on the server you are on has a vulnerability you are all vulnerable. This is what makes the difference between cheap shared hosting providers $3-$15 a month versus managed WordPress hosting of $20-$50 a month. The more complex a version of WordPress that you have the more you can expect to pay to maintain it and get the CPU, Ram and other server resources your site requires. A managed WordPress hosting provider is typically responsible for updating the core WP software and the WP plugins but is not responsible for the actual template that you are using if it ages out and is not being supported by the theme publisher. The same goes with Plugins (mini applications attached to the core WP) which I have seen decommissioned over time for various reasons.

Got more questions or need help with your WordPress Development? Give Ecatalogs a call at (514) 461-0200.

Jason Stadtlander

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