Like many early WordPress users, my first experience was manually installing the WordPress code and database schema on a shared Linux server. This was in 2005.
Over the years as WordPress took shape and brought on users, many advancements started to make WordPress easier to get up and running. I started to use one-click installs from Fantastico and Simple Scripts to get a new site up and running in seconds. Then I moved to one-click upgrades of the core WordPress files and plugins. Many of the features we take for granted today were huge time savers when they were introduced.
All of these advancements lead to the rapid rise of WordPress as not only a blogging platform, but also a veritable content management system for many websites that we visit today (an estimated 25% of all websites ran WordPress in 2011).
The rapid rise of websites using WordPress also put a gigantic target on the back of websites using WP, with spammers and hackers taking advantage of security holes, malware and code injections to turn websites on themselves.
Millions of plugins were built to enhance the features native to WordPress, and they are again installed with a few simple clicks. Poorly configured shared web hosts would allow a single WordPress installation with rogue plugins and leaky scripts to crash an entire group of websites when traffic increased beyond a few hundred visitors.
It seems like the openness of the platform and ease of getting a website up and running had WordPress on the verge of becoming a victim of its own success…
Then Came Managed WordPress Hosting
Thankfully, enterprising web hosting companies introduced a concept into the ecosystem that allows website owners to host their website in an environment that is specialized for hosting WordPress sites. These managed WordPress hosting options start websites out with a perfect WordPress installation, and limit what plugins and add ons can be added to the site. They even apply security updates automatically, plugging security holes well before they become a problem. This increases performance of the sites as well as stability over time.
Using a few simple techniques and enough server firepower to weather a traffic storm, managed WordPress hosting has turned the few negative aspects of using WordPress as your blogging platform or CMS and turned them into a non-factor. There is no reason for anyone to avoid running their site on WordPress.
Managed WordPress Hosting is the present and the future of the platform, and in the past few years I have shifted away from shared web hosts and begun to move all of my websites to a managed host. It is a move that has given me both comfort and sanity as I no longer have to worry about security patches and popular posts crashing my site. In sanity dollars, it is an investment that has paid for itself many times over.
Soon I will write a post where I outline some of the options you have when it comes to managed WordPress hosting. For now, I just wanted to share some of the evolutionary elements that made managed hosting so important and declare to the world why I believe so much in the concept. Stay tuned for a post where I share several managed WordPress host options.