“Regular” Managed WordPress Hosting
The next step up from self-hosting is a managed hosting provider. This allows you to “self host” but with help and guidance from people who should be able to help you manage areas you know nothing about so you can manage your business.
Rates can vary, but most small businesses can get a WP-optimized managed plan for somewhere around $50 per month. You will still be on a shared server, but in a shared environment where they tend to understand WordPress security and support much better than a generic hosting provider that does it all.
If you want to be on a dedicated VPS or run WordPress Multisite, these plans will usually not cover you, so you’ll have to bump to a next level plan that can run between $125-150 per month.
As for themes to design your site, you will still need to purchase one separately, so consider roughly $79.95 for this expenditure.
If the regular small business plan works, consider the total cost to be around $679.95 for the first year.
Premium Managed WordPress Hosting
With premium managed hosting (like what we provide here at Synthesis), access to the Genesis framework comes as part of the package.
In addition — even in the Standard plan — all security, storage, and support are included and delivered at top of the line levels. This is where the value of premium managed hosting, like what we provide here at Synthesis, really shines through.
There is immense value in having the backing of experts who’ve specialized their servers for the idiosyncrasies of hosting and securing a WordPress website. More so, there is value in having a team of people in your corner who not only know hosting but know content, promotion, and design as well.
A generic host — and even some managed hosts — may not be able to answer an intricate question about how adding a thousand 301s will impact SEO.
They might not be able to help out in diagnosing a problematic RSS feed or give recommendations on the best way to integrate a form for capturing email subscribers.
At a place like HavilahMedia, the support staff can and will … because we’ve all been there.
We provide expert support and proactive advice with the empathy of experience. That’s tough to quantify into a neat and tidy value for TCO purposes, but it will certainly save you time, money, and frustration. And there is no more real a cost in business than time.
But let’s get back to the numbers, because even they paint a compelling picture with a premium WordPress hosting provider.
If you only have one site, and the regular small business plan works — as in the regular managed hosting example above — the total cost of WordPress ownership in that first year is just $564, which is over $100 less.
The Value of Premium Managed WordPress Hosting
There really has not been a formalized TCO study performed for WordPress. And what you see above is far from complete. This was intentional.
What we have tried to do here is simply give you a rough idea of the real costs involved with owning and running a WordPress site. What you’ll have to do to take it the next step is figure out that number associated with your personal or professional time.
For a service provider, this is easy. For every hour they spend trying to fix, de-hack, or improve their site, the costs range from $75 (developer) to $400 (attorney) per hour.
If you are a business, the costs could be greater, even if less obviously quantitative, as your reputation could be damaged if your site were hacked with pornography links or your phones stop ringing due to the site not working.
Or you might be an independent media producer who’s looking to derive more revenue from your site, and the time you spend trying to fix your site takes you away from your family … which is, of course, priceless.
What’s it all worth to you? Let us know in the comments below …