Even though Media Temple has been in the hosting business for a long time, their managed WordPress hosting is still relatively new (it was only just released in March 2014). But don’t let that hold you back – their new WordPress specific plans are better than ever. In this post we’ll talk about what’s included in Media Temple’s managed WordPress hosting plan and show you step by step just how easy it easy to get setup.
Managed WordPress Hosting Features
Ok, time to dig into what comes with a managed WordPress hosting account from Media Temple. Many of the hosting plans from Media Temple include great features you’d want for any website: unlimited bandwidth for data transfers, 20GB of SSD storage, a lovely custom all-in-one Account Center, super fast SSD servers, 1000 email addresses and of course awesome 24/7 support. But the beauty of their managed WordPress hosting plans is the added features you get that were created specifically for WordPress users.
WordPress & Security Auto-Updates
WordPress already includes the option for automatic updates for maintenance and security fixes, but with Media Temple’s managed WordPress hosting you don’t have to worry about any updates. They meticulously test and implement each update for you, so your installations are always up to date.
Auto Malware Scans
Security should be a top priority for any webmaster, and Media Temple makes it even easier for you to add an extra layer of protection to your WordPress websites. Their managed WordPress hosting plan includes automatic Malware scans that can help protect your sites from phishing and hack attacks.
Daily Backup Snapshots
Another security bonus is the automatic daily backups of your sites. For each of your installations Media Temple stores 30 days worth of backup snapshots. If something happens and you ever need to restore you site, all you have to do is go to your Account Center Settings and select one of your backups from a drop-down list. The one click restoration makes it easy to fix your sites fast.
So you get 3 installations with your plan, but you can also create 2 stagings sites for each. This means you can safely test new themes, make changes, add custom post type and more all without having to create a local installation of WordPress or mess with your live site. For developers this is a huge asset. Plus there is a custom Site Stager plugin that is automatically activated on each of your WordPress installations, so merging your live site with one of your staging sites is as easy as a few clicks.
Another one click feature, you can clone any of your sites to create a brand new, pixel perfect duplicate as a new site. This could come in very handy if you plan on developing a group of similar blogs, stores or other sites where you want the same theme, plugins and even settings.
Who doesn’t love a nice free theme? Of course we have plenty of awesome free WordPress themes here at WPExplorer, you do get a couple nice free themes when use Media Temple’s managed WordPress hosting. These are great options for your blog or portfolio site, or to use temporarily while you search for a premium WordPress theme that meets your needs.
So just to recap, this is fully managed WordPress hosting. You don’t have to lift a finger to manage your server or to update your core installations of WordPress. Media Temple techs take care of this for you. Plus you get tons of awesome features like 1-click staging, email accounts, non-stop support and more. There are just a few caveats you should be aware of.
Managed WordPress Hosting Limitations
For some, the $29/mo price tag for 3 installations (plus $9/mo for each additional site) might be a bit expensive. But you have to remember that the extra expense you’re paying for is fully managed WordPress hosting. If you want to save some cash, you can always checkout a shared hosting plan elsewhere but you won’t get the features, speed and support you find with managed hosting.
There are a also good number of disallowed plugins with Media Temple, but this really shouldn’t impact you too much once you take a look at the list. For the most part plugins are disallowed because they are duplicating functions already performed by Media Temple, or because they can cause performance issues due to they way they work or the amount of resources they require.
The other feature you might miss is multisite. I did try to enable it, and I went through all the steps just fine. I accessed my site via FTP (you can grab your SFTP information right from your Account Center Settings page), edited my .htaccess and wp.config files, and activated it via my WordPress dashboard. I even created a few sub-sites, but unfortunately none of them worked – I was just taken back to my main site dashboard each time I tried to go to a new sub-site. But maybe this is a feature Media Temple could consider adding in the future.
Other than these few limitations, Media Temple’s managed WordPress hosting is awesome. It has tons of great features you (or your clients) are sure to love.
24/7 Media Temple Support
One feature worth taking a closer look at is support. Media Temple offers round the clock support via tickets, chat, phone and Twitter – you can get help anywhere and any time your need it. So as I was attempting to enable multisite I decided to seek support. Just log into your Account Center to access ticket, chat or phone support links. The support ticket wait was just under 5 hours, and I wasn’t really ready to wait that long…
So instead I opted for their chat support. With a mere 4 minute wait time I was happy to see if they could help.
Well they did! And I didn’t even have to wait the whole 4 minutes. A very helpful support staff assisted me with my multisite confusion and answered my questions in record time. So the chat support definitely gets an A+ in my opinion.
Media Temple Quick Start Guide
Now that you know about all the goodies you’ll get with managed WordPress hosting from Media Temple, let’s get you all setup! First log into your Media Temple account. From your account homepage click on the Admin button.
This is where all of your WordPress sites setup on this account are listed. Click on the Add New Site button.
Now you should see a screen similar to the one below prompting you to setup your admin account. One thing we mention time and time again (and in just about every blog post we write about WordPress security) is that you should not have an admin account with the name Admin. We strongly suggest creating an admin account with a different name – you name, you job title, you company name, just pick something you’ll remember. Double check that the correct admin email is listed, then enter you password and click Create Site.
Next Media Temple will do all the hard work of installing WordPress, configuring settings and adding your admin user for you. While all of this is going on in the backend you’ll see an in progress screen like this.
It’ll only take a minute. Just go check your email or watch a funny YouTube video for a minute, then come back and refresh your page. Your site should be good to go. Just click on the temporary domain name or click on the website snapshot (which is empty at the moment since you haven’t added theme or content just yet).
From this screen you can manage all of your awesome website features that come with your Media temple Managed WordPress hosting. First up – staging site. You can add 2 staging sites for each of your WordPress sites. This is great for building sites before you want them to go live, or for use as a testing area so you can tweak a new theme before activating it on your live site.
On this page there is also the option to clone your entire WordPress site. You might want to do this for testing purposes to make sure a new theme plays nice with all of your required content and plugins, or if you want to reuse your current site to build a new one.
The next option you’ll see as you scroll down is to import a website. If you already have a WordPress site on another installation, or even on another host, you can import it via FTP. All you need is a bit of information (including the FTP server/IP address, FTP username & password, WordPress server path, and your admin username & password of the site you want to import) and you can move all your site information over (themes, plugins, content, comments and all).
NOTE: You cannot migrate a site from WordPress.com to self-hosted WordPress using this option on Media Temple (you can checkout our video on the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org to learn more).
The last feature on this page is for one click site restorations. With Media Temple automatically takes a backup snapshot of your sites each and every day, and then they save the last 30 days for you right here. If for some reason your site breaks and you need to restore it, all you have to do is select one of your backups from the drop-down list and click Restore. It’s that easy.
There are a few other useful links you might want to take advantage of. If you click on Settings you’ll find your domain and SSH/SFTP information, a link to log into your phpMyAdmin, and a link to delete your entire site. This is also where you can change your primary domain. If you purchased your domain name from Media Temple you’ll see them displayed as a part of your drop down list. If you purchased your domain name elsewhere you’ll need to point it over to your Media Temple Server (GUIDE???). If you click on Email you can manage any emails accounts you’ve setup on this account, and the Tutorials link includes helpful video guides for using options within the (mt) themes.
Now that you’ve seen your Account Center let’s keep chugging along and click on the WP Admin button up in the top right corner to go to our WordPress dashboard.
If you’re still using your temporary domain name there will be notice just to remind you. You can ignore it for now, or click on the link to change your primary domain name. Other than that you’ll notice that your WordPress site is all setup and ready to go!
There are a few extra links you won’t find on all WordPress installations through other hosts. Media Temple adds their own (mt)Mail plugin to give you quick access to your email accounts, as well as their Site Stager plugin (which is still in the works) that makes creating a staging site and later merging it with you live site easier than ever (have no fear, there are detailed instructions on the main page when you click on the Site Stager menu item). The other feature that I really like is the Flush Cache link in the top admin bar. When I add new content to a site I like to flush the cache, just to be sure that everyone is seeing the proper recent posts and what not. This Flush Cache link is much more convenient than having to navigate to a different part of the WordPress dashboard.
To setup your WordPress site, you’ll first want to select a Theme. Navigate to Appearance > Themes where you can use one of the preloaded themes by hovering on a theme and clicking the Activate button. Or upload your own by clicking the Add New button at the top of the screen to upload a zip file for a WordPress theme you’ve downloaded elsewhere (our top selling Total WordPress theme is great for any site thanks to the super flexible, built-in, front-end drag & drop page builder and other great customization options).
After choosing a theme you should also go to Settings > Permalinks to make sure your links slugs have the formatting you want for your website. If you want to install any plugins just go to Plugins > Add New where you can browse the WordPress.org plugin library for free plugins like Contact Form 7 or WordPress SEO, or upload any premium plugins that you’ve purchased.
Once you’ve fine tuned all of your website settings you can start adding content! Depending on the theme you’re using you might have a blog, portfolio, staff, testimonials or other custom post types. After you’ve started adding posts, categories and pages, don’t forget to setup your menus and add widgets to any sidebars or footer areas you might have. Other then that you’re all done! If you haven’t switched over from the temporary domain name your website isn’t live just yet. Either use the link in the WordPress dashboard notice, or go back to your Media Temple Account Center Settings page to select the active domain you want to use for your site.
And that’s it! In (hopefully) less than an hour you have a fully-functioning WordPress site (go you!). Media Temple makes it easy for any user, beginner to pro, to get their WordPress sites setup fast. And managing your sites couldn’t be easier thanks to the awesome Account Center.
Media Temple Review Wrap Up
So now that you know what Media Temple has to offer, and you’ve seen how easy it is to get started with their managed WordPress hosting, what’s stopping you? Dive right in and signup for an account today! Managed WordPress hosting is not only going to save you time, but with all the added boys features for speed, security, email, 24/7 support and everything else it’s sure to save you money in the long run. Media Temple knows websites, and they know WordPress.
Do you use Media Temple’s managed WordPress hosting? Or have you? We’d love to know what you thought, and for you to share your experiences with our other readers in the comments section below.