Self Hosting Vs Managed WordPress Hosting – Which is the Better Option in 2019?

This will not be the first time nor will it be the last time that you hear a discussion about self hosting versus managed hosting for WordPress. The reason why there is such of an animated debate about self hosting versus managed hosting for WordPress sites is that in a world where people are trying to use the Internet as a source of income, the tools that they use can make the difference between them getting access to certain financial opportunities and having these opportunities pass them by.

Most people would agree that choosing WordPress as a publishing platform or as the basis for a website is the best decision. WordPress offers flexibility and can be customized to meet the needs of a blogger, a small business, or a large enterprise. This is why WordPress is used by almost a quarter of the top websites on the planet.

If you are contemplating using WordPress, you should know that WordPress comes in two varieties. You have WordPress.org, and you have WordPress.com. WordPress.com is a service that bloggers use to host WordPress blogs. This is a free service, and you will never have to worry about paying for it.

On the other side of the coin, there is WordPress.org. Downloading WordPress is free. However, since this is the self hosted variant, you will need to choose a server, select a domain name, and then pay money every single month in order to have your WordPress site hosted.

Some people look at these two options and automatically think that using WordPress.com is going to be their best option because the hosting is free. What they fail to realize is that free does not necessarily mean that there is no cost. It’s good, especially if you are looking at using WordPress for your blog or for your website for years to come, to become familiar with the positives and negatives of using WordPress.com, which offers managed hosting and WordPress.org. Having the differences between the two options clear in mind will make it easier for you to make a good decision moving forward.

Different Hosting Options Provide Different Outcomes

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At this point, it may be a good idea to give a little bit more information on the differences that exist in the hosting options you have. The first hosting option most people usually choose is shared WordPress hosting. Shared WordPress hosting is sought after by individuals who are building their first website, have financial restrictions and need to keep things cheap, and by people who do not really understand the difference between hosting options and are making their decisions based solely on price. Shared hosting is relatively inexpensive, somewhere between $3 and $25 a month.

  • Shared hosting companies make their money not through the fee they charge you every month but by up selling you and sticking it to you through hidden fees.
  • Shared hosting companies offer “unlimited resources” as a sales gimmick. The truth is there is no such thing as unlimited resources. If your WordPress site starts to use too many resources, your hosting company is going to throttle the resources. This will have an impact on the clients who visit your site.
  • Shared hosting is cheap hosting. This means that the servers are overcrowded and any performance issues on another site may affect your site.

If we were to sum up shared hosting in a few words, we would describe it as cheap service, slow performance, and bad support.

Do-it-yourself VPS WordPress hosting is a second option that people use. Those looking for do-it-yourself VPS WordPress hosting are still looking to save money. But they also have a little bit of experience with WordPress, so they hope that they can use their experience to save money while at the same time maximizing performance and the success of their website.

On the plus side, do-it-yourself WordPress hosting will cut costs. On the downside, do-it-yourself WordPress hosting means that if anything goes wrong with your hosting, you are responsible for. If something breaks or if your server needs to be optimized, you are the one who needs to do it. This is why for some people, especially those who got into do-it-yourself hosting because they like to tinker, things backfire. You have to remember that your time is valuable. So while you may save a few dollars a month on hosting fees, the time you spend trying to fix what’s broken is probably a lot more valuable.

Managed WordPress hosting is usually sought after by medium size businesses that have a substantial amount of traffic to their website. These individuals are looking to maximize the experience their clients have and realize that managed WordPress hosting is a good investment. They are able to offer their clients a faster loading page, security, and quicker response times because the hosting services they use has been fine tuned to work with WordPress.

Managed WordPress hosting is going to be expensive. You can expect to pay on the low-end $25 a month and on the high-end upward of $200 a month. This price is going to vary, depending on how big your site is and what you need.

In a study by Hosting Canada, they found that WordPress hosts perform an average of 32 percent better compared to hosts on other popular blogging platforms like Wix. WordPress also offered a wider variety of easy to use third party plugins and apps.

Reasons Why We like Managed WordPress Hosting

There are a number of reasons why we feel that managed WordPress hosting is the way to go. We recommend that you take your time and do your due diligence when looking at your personal circumstances and determining what hosting option is right for you.

One of the things that we love about managed WordPress hosting is that it allows you to focus your efforts on what you set out to do, grow your business. You are not worried about anything to do with your hosting service and know that you are going to be able to offer your clients superior performance all of the time.

Managed WordPress hosting providers offer an environment that is fine tuned to work with WordPress. If you use a shared host or if you use a do-it-yourself host, you are going to find yourself spending a bunch of time installing software and engaging in optimizations with the goal of getting the same speed that you could get from a managed WordPress host out-of-the-box. Performance and uptime are going to be improved with a managed WordPress host.

Managed WordPress host use CDNs. They offer a large infrastructure that reaches around the world. Content delivery networks make it possible for you to put your site closer to the individuals who want to access it, thereby decreasing network latency. Latency is the amount of time it takes for information to be transmitted over a network. The farther the information stored on your site needs to travel, the longer it is going to take for it to arrive. This means that your customers will have to wait a lot longer for your site to load.

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How Managed WordPress Hosting Can Protect Your Data

One of the coolest things about managed WordPress hosting is that you are almost always guaranteed a backup. These backups are included at no additional charge. You can imagine how valuable this is because if something happened and you accidentally lost everything, your business could be down for weeks or months as you try to restore the lost information. If you lose client information, the damage to your reputation and credibility may never be undone.

If you decide to go the do-it-yourself route, use some cheaper shared hosting options, or work with a VPS, you are responsible for creating your own backup system. If you do something wrong or do not configured something properly, you run the risk of losing everything.

Another area where managed WordPress hosting shines is security. Shared hosting environments are not known for providing their clients assistance if they are hacked or if there is malware. The situation is even worse for do-it-yourself and VPS servers. When your site is hacked, you are on your own. Managed WordPress hosting companies are known for actively protecting against attacks and malicious intents. They will often offer malware removal and software designed to detect and prevent DDoS attacks.

As you can see, there are a number of benefits that come from opting for managed WordPress hosting as opposed to shared hosting or do-it-yourself VPS. Sure, you are going to spend a little bit more money out of pocket. But you have to ask yourself, how much money are you willing to spend in order to have peace of mind and the freedom that comes from knowing that the security and performance aspects of your website are cared for? How much is it worth to you to have the time to focus solely on growing your business and attracting customers? How much is it worth to you to know that when your customers visit your site, they are going to find that your page is up and will have short load times?

Of course, we are just scratching the surface when it comes to managed hosting versus self hosting for WordPress. We would love to hear what you have found. Please let us know more about your experiences in the comments section below.

Pixabay App for Android and iOS Now Available

Finally, after more than one year of planning, designing, developing, and beta testing, the Pixabay app for Android and iOS is ready to fly with these main features:

Distraction-Free

Enjoy the official Pixabay app free of charge! Neither ads nor offerings for in-app purchases will be distracting you while browsing an endless stream of the most amazing free photos in the world.

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Great Features and Minimal UI

The app let’s you discover the latest Editor’s Choice pictures, search images by keywords, filter results by orientation or image type, browse by category, and a lot more. Reach out to the amazing image authors or get inspired by their contributed art works. Like or comment upon images, add them to your favorites, share images or download them to your device. If you like, you can also select any image as your new background on Android or iOS.

Key Features

  • Blazingly fast search and a user-friendly interface
  • Swipe through search results
  • One-click image viewer – optimized with zooming and panning for smaller screens
  • Directly download and share images in all sizes
  • Messages and comments allow you to connect with others
  • Images can be liked, favorited, and easily managed within the app
  • Show tags and camera info for all images

Source: pixabay.com

The Boom and Future of Bots

Chat bots are overtaking the planet.

Or so it seems. Consumers can now book a flight, hail a ride, reserve a hotel room, buy clothes, manage their bank accounts online — now all without ever leaving the convenience of Facebook Messenger.

There is just one tiny fly in the ointment. Bots might be the future, but “the future” accurately describes any and all the time between next week and when Elon Musk successfully colonizes Mars (and beyond).

And while that bot-based future may well be glorious, it isn’t quite here just yet. For a simple reason, the bots are, well, still learning how to interact with humans correctly, and the learning curve has been a bit steeper than some had initially predicted. Said simply, the average bot is just not smarter than a sixth grader.

“Chatbots are primitive. In fact, many of them are primitive to the point of being annoying, if you can figure out how to use them in the first place,” Karen Webster recently wrote of the burgeoning bot hysteria. “Most of the time, I just want to punch Poncho the Weather Cat since all I want is the weather when I ask about the weather. Spare me the cutesy icon that tries to make a joke about it. We take our weather very seriously in Boston. Shopping with a bot is tedious — it takes 20 exchanges to finally get a link to a just-OK pair of black pumps that you have to then go outside the bot to the retailer site to buy.”

And Webster is not alone in these observations. David Marcus, president of Facebook Messenger, whose big bot announcement early this year sent a million developers off to build an army of chatbots, has noted that bots are still in their embryonic phase and will need to undergo several rounds of evolution before they become a truly useful and desirable part of the ecosystem. Wired made a similar point over the summer. Bots are at their beginning and, as such, work better in concept that in actuality.

 

Messaging – A Sonic Boom in Hospitality Industry

Within the past year, hotel brands have made headlines for their adoption of various messaging channels, as well as for the development of their own messaging systems.

Consumers have taken quickly to messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Viber and others, on top of their existing SMS abilities. Hotels are realizing a great opportunity to engage and provide service to their guests by following suit.

Both Hyatt and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) use Facebook Messenger as part of their messaging strategies. Starwood EAME plans to add it as well.

Hyatt was also the first hotel chain to announce at the end of 2015 they are testing Facebook’s new “Businesses on Messenger” tool for guest service.

Hyatt has also been using Asian app WeChat to connect with the Chinese market. Shangri-La uses WeChat for content marketing campaigns.

Starwood has experimented with WhatsApp, as well as with Blackberry Messenger.

Other brands have added messaging functionality to their existing apps. Marriott International is testing this out, and it’s something Hilton plans to add to its app next year.

With their Lucy app, Virgin hotels let guests not only message hotel staff but also communicate with other guests, too.

Meanwhile, Kayak has taken the approach of launching a chatbot on the Facebook Messenger Platform.

How so?

The real-time, immediate and personal nature of messaging is part of what makes it such a compelling engagement channel for hotels. But messaging as a medium also has other characteristics that make it well-suited to guest engagement. It’s conversational, much like traditional interaction between guests and staff.

It’s also threaded and tied to an identity, which means context is retained. Staff can scroll through previous exchanges with a guest to recall preferences and previous requests. And, unlike phone calls and in-person communication, conversations in the form of messages between the guest and a hotel represent data that can, for the first time, be analyzed individually and in aggregate.

Messaging can help hotels improve guest satisfaction, by giving hotels the opportunity to take advantage of every request, suggestion, concern or compliment from guests. Since implementing messaging, Hyatt has enjoyed improved customer service ratings and higher net promoter scores. It can also – for the time being – still serve as a valuable differentiator between hotels and their competitors.

Instead of having to make calls to the front desk, hotels can use messaging as a means to proactively communicate with their guests, instead of simply reacting.

Messenger app can help hotels with guest recovery, by reducing comps and improving loyalty through engaging guests and resolving their concerns during their stay.

Messaging can help hotels improve revenue by actively engaging more guests throughout their journey and by driving more revenue through mobile marketing, loyalty programs and up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. Starwood, for example, has seen clear ROI from its messenger app. Since launch, revenue is up thanks partly to a rise in spend at on-property services, the company says.

 

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Facebook Messenger for WordPress & PHP