Next Level Ops Podcast: Must Haves for Managed WordPress Hosting with Andrey Kugaevskiy

Next Level Ops Podcast: Must Haves for Managed WordPress Hosting with Andrey Kugaevskiy - Plesk

Hello Pleskians! This week we’re back with the fifth episode of the Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops. In this installment, Superhost Joe speaks to Andrey Kugaevskiy, Plesk’s WordPress Paladin. Andrey tells us what to consider when setting up or looking for Managed WordPress Hosting.

In This Episode: Car Mechanics, One-click Hosters, Outdated Plugins, and More

In This Episode: Car Mechanics, One-click Hosters, Outdated Plugins, and More - Next Level Ops Podcast: Must Haves for Managed WordPress Hosting with Andrey Kugaevskiy - Plesk

How well do you know your hosting? Is your website, blog or e-commerce store secure and up to date? Do you get all the support you need? According to Andrey, choosing the right Managed WordPress Hosting is not a bed of roses. It’s, in fact, quite a tricky decision. 

For Andrey, hosters that specialize in WordPress take the pole position. Because every fast, modern, and secure Ferrari has a super-qualified team behind it. “A good Managed WordPress Hosting should handle the things you shouldn’t care about – like the technical infrastructure. So you should only be focused on growing your site or application”, says Andrey. 

Thank you master Andrey for your wise words. We’ll make sure our listeners follow your piece of advice when picking their Managed WordPress Hosting.

“A good Managed WordPress Hosting should handle the things you shouldn’t care about - like the technical infrastructure. So you should only be focused on growing your site or application.”

Andrey Kugaevskiy

Key Takeaways

  • Do your research beforehand: When choosing your hoster, make sure you spot the WordPress connoisseur. Having knowledgeable staff that can support you and your site, makes all the difference.
  • Know your resources and competence: Look at how many visitors you’ll have. There’s a big tech stack running on the hardware (Web, MySQL, PHP, Cache, security). And security is in a weird place right now between totally locked down and unusable, and more free-flowing and open. It’s a question of your knowledge, flexibility, and control.
  • Let your hoster take care of you: Managed WordPress Hosting should care about security issues and good performance. Outdated plugins are a common security problem. It’s important to keep your site up to date. And learn how to optimize your site for better results.
  • WordPress is here to stay: WordPress is growing extremely fast. So, it’s pretty clear that all hosts should have some kind of WordPress support. And most importantly, a bunch of experts. Hosts that don’t do anything for support, could face being left behind.

Alright Pleskians, it’s time to hit the play button if you want to hear the rest. You can listen to our previous episodes here and here. Or if you want to simplify the way you manage your website, you can also take a peek at our WordPress Toolkit. We’ll be back soon with the next installment!

The Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops Featuring

Joe Casabona

Joe is a college-accredited course developer. He is the founder of Creator Courses.

Andrey Kugaevskiy

Andrey is a Senior Program Manager at Plesk.

Remember to update your daily podcast playlist with Next Level Ops. And stay on the lookout for our next episode!

How HostPress Became Leading Managed WordPress Company with Plesk

HostPress Becomes Leading Managed WP Company With Plesk

Finding the right WordPress hosting solution isn’t easy. So Marcus Krämer decided to build his own. To do it, he needed a hosting business management solution that would run fast and function safely. Today he runs HostPress, a managed WordPress company based on Plesk that powers the websites of many leading brands.

WordPress Hosting “Made in Germany”

My name is Marcus Krämer. I am the Managing Director of HostPress.

HostPress started out as a small team in Saarland, Western Germany. Today, the loyal Plesk customer is a managed WordPress hosting company that has grown to become, according to a global market analysis by Cloud Spectator, the number one WordPress hosting company among German providers.

With both its server location and company headquarters in the country, the company proudly bares the “Made in Germany” stamp. This renowned reliability of German engineering plus the over 10 years of web hosting experience of the team no doubt has much to do with its international success.

But as you probably know, the arena of managed WordPress hosting isn’t such a simple nut to crack. Powering over a third of the websites on the web, there’s no shortage of providers offering their specialized solutions, each with supposedly unique features and benefits.

Marcus Krämer, the founder and Managing Director of HostPress, knew a thing or two about the standard of the managed WordPress hosting market. Despite the wide range of solutions on offer, he couldn’t find one that suited the performance he needed:

We were in the meantime on another solution, with another managed hoster, but the performance did not suit us.

And yet, to build his own that did, he would need to first find a web hosting platform that was fit for the job.

Seeking A High Performance Web Hosting Platform

Managing a web server without a control panel is a task that requires a lot of time and expertise. Not only that, but it runs the risk of being unsafe for customers and affecting their performance.

HostPress’s challenge was, therefore, pretty simple: to find a software solution for its server management that was both safe and efficient.

We did not want to program it ourselves, we wanted to have a safe, tested solution.

The good news for HostPress was there are many web based interfaces and control panels for managing servers to choose from. Problem solved. Well, it would be, apart from one small detail. While each control panel offers the same fundamental features — domain management, email, FTP, app installs, etc. — the specific feature set, layout, performance, and level of control offered by each varies widely.

For HostPress, the key was finding a robust control panel that was safe and tested. They also wanted a high level of performance, and ideally something they were already familiar with. This brought the options down from dozens to very few.

Finding A New Solution With a Familiar Platform

We chose Plesk.

Marcus had known Plesk for 14 years, having used it since 2005 with another managed hosting company. So he knew the Plesk control panel was easy to install and set up — not least thanks to nearly two decades of experience and development.

When it came to choosing a solution for his server management, Plesk was the obvious choice:

We noticed OK, we need a base, one platform with which we will for sure be able to deliver hosting.

With his team, Marcus set up cloud infrastructure, installed Plesk on it, and almost instantly began reaping the benefits of the leading WebOps platform.

As a web-based control panel, Plesk allowed Marcus to get his business set up and running immediately.

We performed the migration manually, but it was simple, because Plesk is very easy to install and to set up.

It also allows everything to be managed for the day-to-day operation of a website from one place. His customers particularly like how the interface is clear to do everything from setting up a website and email account to managing databases and backups — no matter how many websites you have.

One particular feature of Plesk that provides a lot of benefit for HostPress is the WordPress Toolkit. With many clients with high performing websites like Mister Spex and FoodSpring, HostPress need to manage multiple WordPress instances easily. From Plesk’s easy-to-use dashboard, Marcus can manage many sites in one click, from making updates for various plugins, seeing which templates are installed, selecting SEO indexing, and activating maintenance mode and debugging.

In Marcus’s words,

You can do everything from the interface!

Becoming The Best in Managed WordPress Hosting

The market analysis by Cloud Spectator analysed 17 specialised WordPress hosting providers based on criteria such as general support and documented experiences to developer features and its own standardized tests.

Among the tested providers, HostPress came out third overall — receiving a bronze medal and the title of Germany’s best WordPress hosting provider. 

Going from success to success, HostPress know that with Plesk, they have a platform they can rely on when it matters most. Marcus does admit that Plesk isn’t perfect:

Nothing is annoying with Plesk. There are certainly things one might still improve for the sake of optimizing usability.

Fortunately, Marcus makes full use of the Plesk dev team. Whenever he feels the need for improving a certain feature or optimising usability, he speaks to them, they listen, and they solve the issue often there and then.

This reliable support has no doubt been a lifeline for Marcus in setting up his own managed WordPress hosting company and growing it to such great heights. Marcus has now been running HostPress for over a decade and continues today to offer an impeccable service for his many customers around the world.

In encouraging others who are just entering the market, Marcus has a few words of advice to offer. As you may expect, this advice is chiefly practical: use the support of Plesk, don’t install all the extensions right away, only those you need.

But perhaps the biggest lesson to takeaway from Marcus and HostPress is that, when you notice something lacking in the market or a product/service you can improve, take the leap and find the right ones to collaborate with. The risk will pay off.

And now over to you! Have you had trouble finding the right WordPress hosting solution, and been inspired by the HostPress story? Let us know in the comments below.

The Truth about Managed vs Unmanaged WordPress Hosting

Unmanaged vs managed WordPress Hosting

Quick Quiz: What Type of WordPress Hosting do you need – Managed vs unmanaged hosting?

1. Are you more of a (a) Do-it-yourself (DIY) type or b) Plug-and-play kind of person?
2. Do you usually (a) go with the flow or (b) need a backup plan?
3. When traveling, do you prefer (a) shared accommodation or (b) space for yourself?
4. Looking at your lifestyle, do you (a) go for the basic stuff or (b) comfort and security

Unmanaged vs Managed WordPress Hosting Verdict

Well, based on the above criteria, Plesk can tell you which type of WordPress user you are – the managed vs unmanaged hosting type. If you mostly picked (a), then you are an unmanaged hosting type, whereas mostly (b) choices reveal your managed WordPress hosting preference.

Disclaimer: There is no right or wrong answer and you’re fine either way. However, having a full perspective can help you make the best business decisions later on. Keep reading for more info on your business needs, the core differences and benefits of the two different hosting types.

Managed Hosting: The Plug & Play Type

Your profile tells Plesk you are part of a managed hosting category for your WordPress. You trust and rely on someone else for your hosting solution, while you focus on your core business. Going deeper, you can choose from the following managed hosting types: a) Shared; b) Cloud; c) Virtual Private Hosting (VPS); d) Dedicated. 

Love Shared Hosting?

This hosting plan is typically the cheapest. Your site shares resources with other accounts on the same server. Shared hosting is a good option as long as website traffic and your end-user base don’t outgrow the server’s resources. The downside is that noisy/resource-hogging neighbors will affect your site as all websites have to share space on the same server.

Scale up to Cloud Hosting

Multiple physical servers work together and the network shares virtual resources. If you choose cloud hosting, it means you want flexibility, resilience, and redundancy. Also, you prefer a pay-as-you-go model. However, for cloud hosting, you need good planning abilities and management skills of this environment.

VPS Hosting Fan?

This means you prefer a virtual instance on a physical server with its copy of an operating system (OS). Plus, your own resources such as CPU, RAM or any other data. You can always add more resources on your plate without the need to migrate your website.

Moreover, you get a similar level of flexibility and benefits as with a dedicated server, but with a shared cost of services. This means almost full freedom. Because you have access to everything and can install any software you want and need. No dependency on traffic or audience.

Your Own Dedicated Hosting

Are you playing in the league of big numbers of visitors? Then dedicated hosting is for you. You probably have an online store with lots of rich media that need to max out on RAM. It’s also the most secure option and provides the highest level of system control.

Therefore, you can keep noisy neighbors out of the picture. However, know that dedicated servers usually come with monthly pricing or some kind of long-term commitment. So you need to think carefully in advance regarding how many resources you’re going to need.

Unmanaged Hosting (DIY) – The Good and The Bad

Based on Plesk analysis, you love being in the ‘techy weeds’. As a DIY type, you prefer to build, configure, maintain and secure your server. While also ensuring that your website is up and performing well. As basic needs’ fulfillment is enough for you, a server with only an Operating System (OS) installed will do. You need to install and configure any additional software such as WordPress, Apache, PHP or MySQL.

Why Unmanaged Hosting Can Be Tricky

If this tips you over between managed vs unmanaged hosting, then you’re dedicated to the tricky craft of managing your website(s) and server. You love it and it costs you almost nothing. However, this may take too much time and keep you away from other more important stuff for your business and growth. Also, you may be saving money now, but in the long run, this may not be as beneficial. Consider this: your site has always been a bit slow to load, but imagine it in two years’ time. When your business and website traffic grow.

Backup plans take too much time and energy for you, but if the worst happens you may pay for it in other ways. For example, after a few days off you find your site compromised and filled with spam links to random websites. Or when something goes wrong with your manual WordPress updated and the website goes down. Constantly having to monitor your site and implement performance and security optimizations may drain you. Thus, possibly crippling your business eventually.

Plesk and WordPress Hosting –  Plug, Play and More

You’ll see many options in the WordPress managed hosting candy shop. So it’s hard to choose. But for the ones who prefer a turnkey solution for their websites, Plesk WordPress Edition with WordPress Toolkit is the right combination.

Watch and see how quick you can activate your WordPress hosting solution with Plesk.

Top Plesk WordPress Hosting Benefits

Especially when compared to shared or VPS providers, this WordPress hosting provides better maintenance and data integrity. According to market benchmarks, data hosting providers offering the ability to change the version of PHP used for WordPress score higher.

24/7 customer support 

Managed WordPress Hosting is intuitive and requires a few clicks installation. But the house’ specialty, the sweet cherry on top of the Plesk’s WordPress Hosting is our customer support. From onboarding to finish, all clients get 24/7 attention from our side, including website support and tech support for non-developers.

Automated WordPress Security, Backups and Upgrades

Another advantage you’ll welcome with open arms is the free WordPress vulnerability scanner when you create a new site. Plesk’s WordPress Toolkit security scanner goes beyond the basics and implements the latest security recommendations and best practices from WP Codex and WP security experts.

Performance and Speed 

Get Plesk with your WordPress Hosting and you’ll have this included in WP-CLI. Thus helping clients import a database, create a new user, update themes and plugins in a flash using the WP-CLI. Speaking of plugins, for an enhanced customers’ WordPress experience, any caching plugin will significantly improve your WordPress performance.

WordPress Managed Hosting: ServerPilot vs Cloudways vs Plesk

As a hosting provider, you’re probably looking to do as much as you can to please the growing number of website owners who make use of WordPress to run their sites. The platform you use to run your hosting solution can make a big difference to how much your client will get out of WordPress. Platforms can make all the difference when it comes to setup, configuration, and customization. In this article, we review three of the main platforms for WordPress managed hosting: Serverpilot, Cloudways and Plesk.

ServerPilot vs Cloudways vs Plesk – introducing the players

Serverpilot

For a fast way to run PHP sites and WordPress, Serverpilot is worth thinking about.  When considering Serverpilot vs Cloudways it is the ease of use of Serverpilot that stands out. It is a platform which has a modern format, including its control panel. It is a single interface where developers can manage every server and app across the entire cloud network from one place. Serverpilot is a platform, it is not a provider of servers. What Serverpilot does is make it easy to host PHP sites, whether these sites are hosted on cloud servers or through virtual server provision.

Cloudways

Operating a cloud hosting service involves a lot of complexities, and in the often-cited battle Cloudways vs Serverpilot, it is the way Cloudways can simplify the hosting environment that makes it stand out. The central point of Cloudways is the Web App Management Platform which is streamlined in a way making it easy to launch cloud servers that can be used for the deployment of cloud apps.

Cloudways can interface with Vultr, DigitalOcean, Google, Amazon, and Kyup. Its interface supports all the usual technologies including Free SSL, Git, SSH and much more. It’s a comprehensive environment that allows users to deploy any of the many great web apps, not just WordPress. Cloudways also supports Magento, Drupal, and Stack.

Plesk

Though the discussion is often about Cloudways vs Serverpilot or even in terms of Serverpilot vs Cloudways, Plesk is, in fact, the platform that offers some of the best benefits and features. The number of users running Plesk proves this: it is active in 140 countries and by all estimates, 50% of the top 100 hosting service provides globally actually use Plesk for their WordPress hosting solutions.

Plesk estimates that it is in use by over 300,000 servers which automate over ten million websites. It is a platform that has simplified the work of small businesses and system administrators alike since the 2000’s, mainly by providing access to a very simplified and very secure method for managing website infrastructure. Plesk has a WordPress-specific solution called WordPress Toolkit which is a terrific way of managing WordPress instances. Toolkit also helps with backups, cloning and the synchronization of websites.

Use Plesk WordPress Edition

Comparing the benefits of each platform

Most technology platforms have a range of pro’s and con’s, and so with the range of WordPress hosting platforms on the market. Here, we analyse the pros and cons of the three platforms previously described to give you more insight into which platform is the best for you.

Serverpilot

One advantage of Serverpilot is that it runs on top of an existing VPS that you are paying for with a third-party cloud hosting provider, and that it only charges you one price – regardless of the size of the server you are running. You can run multiple databases on Serverpilot, and even use the free account type if you prefer to do so – something worth thinking about when considering Serverpilot vs Cloudways.

Not every platform is perfect, and things to watch out for with Serverpilot include the fact that most users will need some basic understanding of Linux to operate it. Its Varnish component is not available by default but it is user-configurable. There is no option for one-click app development and there is no database management tool in Serverpilot.

Cloudways

Considering Cloudways vs Serverpilot it is worth keeping in mind that Cloudways is usable even by newbie webmasters who have no Linux experience. It also includes a one-click app deployment mechanism which Serverpilot does not. Both Varnish and Memcached is simply pre-installed and it has a managed app and database backup and restore function.

Yet there is no root access with Cloudways and no way to make server modifications. Its database management is not up to date and rarely works well, while you are also restricted to a single PHP version. Lack of DNS management and the inability to automatically downgrade a server are also issues.

Plesk

There’s no question that Plesk is a very popular platform, used around the world which would only be the case if the platform is doing a great job of hosting WordPress sites. Each individual VPS can have a custom configuration on Plesk, while there is an ecosystem of over one hundred Plesk plug-ins which can fill further needs. Plesk is also compatible with both Memcached and Varnish. The WordPress Toolkit that comes with Plesk is the perfect solution for all WordPress tasks ranging from installation through to updates and the cloning and backup up of a site.

As with the other platforms, Plesk has some drawbacks, including the fact that doing a basic configuration of a server can be a bit time-consuming. Yet it is an easy process that is quite intuitive. Some custom configurations with Plesk can also require quite an advanced level of technical skills.

Choosing your WordPress hosting platform

Clearly, every platform has advantages and disadvantages. Each of the three platforms described is scalable and top in its industry, and all include ways to customise including optional modules. However, for the quick and easy way forward it is a matter of Cloudways vs Serverpilot. On the other hand, for more serious infrastructure with a high level of scalability Plesk Onyx would be the preferred choice. Please do not forget that to use Plesk Onyx hosting platform you still need a vps/dedicated hosting.