Beware Of Managed WordPress HostingOctober 25th, 2022

Beware Of Managed WordPress HostingI recently had a referral from an old friend. He had a business associate who was having difficulty with their WordPress website and their Managed WordPress Hosting. We stepped in to help as their site wasn’t displaying properly and was showing shortcodes everywhere.  As someone who deals with this content management system every single day, I knew right away it was a plug-in issue.

To explain: Shortcodes in WordPress allow you to add various functionality into posts, pages, and widgets without actually writing any code. Hence the name, Shortcode. Many WordPress plugins and some themes use shortcodes to add different elements such as buttons, text blocks, pricing grids, event calendars, rows and columns, icons and many other things into your WordPress website.

In this example, we generate a text block:

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

 

What should happen is the plug-in translates this and put a block of text on your webpage inside a column, inside a row.  But if the plug-in is disabled or broken, you just see the actual code on your page. In this instance, every single page was filled with the short codes.  Any website management company should’ve been able to fix this, unless you just aren’t doing your job as was the case in this particular issue.

More on shortcodes »

When they told me they had a Managed WordPress hosting plan, I assumed that this meant the company not only keeps your website WordPress core version, theme and plug-ins up-to-date but also troubleshoot whenever there is a problem.  Wow was I wrong!!  Once I logged in, I could see exactly what the issue was and fixed it very quickly.  The team at this Managed WordPress company had disabled all the plug-ins.  The site had an issue, so instead of investigating and figuring out which plug-in had a problem, they just deactivated every single one.  This is website management 101. I honestly couldn’t believe what this company was passing off as “managed”.

(You will notice I did not mention the name of this company, it is one of the biggest players in the market. My goal isn’t to destroy any companies’ reputation, but if you’d like to find out which, I would be happy to let you know.)

What is the answer for small businesses, who don’t have a huge budget but need someone to manage their WordPress implementation?

Here are four things to look for in a website management company for your small business:

  1. You need to look for a company who backs up your site every single day, so that if this type of problem happens you can revert back to the previous backup and resolve the issue.
  2. Look for a company that allows you to have multiple environments. So for testing you can set up staging and development environments. All of our new sites are hosted on a platform where we can achieve this.  This allows us to experiment and figure out where problems are, without impacting the live site.  Think how bad you look when someone comes to your site and there’s a bunch of gibberish showing.
  3. Use a company who is responsive to your needs. If your website management company doesn’t get back to you on the same day you ask a question, look elsewhere.
  4. Find a company that offers service/hosting plans which include hours to work on your website, both from a content angle and also from a maintenance angle. We offer companies plans which include anywhere from one hour up until unlimited support, this way we can help any size business.

Managed WordPress may be cheaper, but cheaper is not always better!

Remember, just because something is cheaper doesn’t mean it’s better, and most of the time cheaper is NOT better and sadly can be far worse.  Take the law firm we just assisted. For weeks their site wasn’t displaying properly and it was definitely costing them business. So while they may have only been paying a small amount each month for their Managed WordPress account, if you figure it out a basic support plan from a website management company like RooSites as an example, they would have made much more money in the long run. This is a firm that bills out at hundreds of dollars an hour, and downtime is not acceptable!  In this day and age, losing any business due to a website that doesn’t display is inexcusable. The customer/client you lose may make the difference and having a good year or a less than stellar one. So having a good website management is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

More on WordPress

WordPress is the top Content Management System in the world, and is the leader in the marketplace. But, it can be very confusing, and a simple update to your WordPress core, your themes or plugins can break your whole site. So you need to make sure you have a website management company that is prepared for any pitfall.  No legitimate company will tell you that it’s easy and that they haven’t had similar problems. It comes down to how they handle the issues when they arise.  When a company leaves you with your website not displaying, that is inexcusable. It’s one thing if they were just selling you hosting, but by calling it managed WordPress you assume all your problems would be taken care of when and if they happen.

Bottom Line

Hopefully this blog post has given you enough information to go forward and make a wise choice for your hosting and website management needs. We would be happy to assist you, and if we can’t, we will definitely recommend a solution. We have been doing this since 1996 and realize that we can’t help every single company that comes our way. But, our reputation is built on being helpful, so we always try to help small businesses find a solution that works for them. I can tell you, this is also a good business model as we have helped companies find solutions and as a reward we get tons of referrals from companies we work with now and have worked with in the past.

Contact us today, you will be glad you did!

 

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