The mega MediaTemple WordPress hosting review, learn the truth about one of the most popular managed WordPress hosting provider from a MediaTemple WordPress hosting user. Find out how, it competes with your typical shared or VPS hosting and other Managed WordPress hosting providers.
It’s been a long time since I am with MediaTemple WordPress hosting, after numerous switch with various shared and VPS hosting plans, I’ve a good feeling that finally I found a host to settle down. Two years back, one day I heard about the newly launched MediaTemple’s Premium WordPress hosting, in the early launch MediaTemple came up with only a flat $29 plan for the managed WordPress hosting, that includes “millions of monthly visitors” and integrated email and it took no time for me to sign up with them, and it’s been already two years since I am still using their managed WordPress hosting.
Learn everything about Managed WordPress hosting in this everyone’s Guide to Managed WordPress hosting.
Nearly all my sites are now hosted with MediaTemple WordPress hosting, including this site Blogosense.com. People, repeatedly ask me about my experience with MediaTemple, today I decided to write down my honest review of MediaTemple WordPress hosting.
As I had already told you all, that I am an early customer of MediaTemple’s Managed WordPress hosting, and since the beginning I am few of those customers who are still with $29 monthly plan. I can use the same plan, as long as I want to keep the account active.
However, last year MediaTemple has updated their managed WordPress hosting and released four new plans, that includes the introduction of three new plans, Personal, Studio and Agency. In this plan revamp, MediaTemple removed few earlier features such as integrated MediaTemple webmail, at the same time, they had added several new features, such as advanced malware protection, Google Apps for work user accounts, developer tools such as Git, WP-CLI administration, access to PhpMyadmin, which wasn’t available earlier.
In this review of MediaTemple’s premium WordPress hosting, I’m going to talk beyond what you might have ever read about MediaTemple in all those reviews out there on the web. I will portray everything that I had experienced with MediaTemple be it good or bad, whatever, today I’m going to write it down all.
My issues with previous hosts, shared and VPS
But before I being the review, I would like to share few of those crucial issues which I had always experienced with those shared and VPS hosting plans with so-called “dedicated resources.” and those issues completely vanished after I made a switch to the MediaTemple WordPress hosting.
Slow site loading speed
My site used to get lot of traffic in the early days, as I was actively working at that time, and whenever my site used to get sudden traffic surge, the site used to become super slow, it used to take “many seconds” to just fully load any page on the site. And every time I reach out their support team, they always came up with statements like these
- Your site is on shared hosting, and server resources are limited
- Your site is consuming too much resources, ask your developer to fix the script (and at that time I was like, what script? I am using WordPress, I don’t even know a word about PHP, how could I even fix a script?)
- You should move your site to VPS, there you will get unlimited resources and when once I switched to the VPS server, the issue remain persist, and their response went like this –
- “Please understand the fact that VPS is not so powerful as shared server. Because the shared server is a very powerful resources, our shared server have 32GB RAM and Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5645 @ 2.40GHz. But VPSes are running with very less resources, so if the domain is is slow or taking more resource on shared server, never go for a VPS plan, this will make more load and slowness. So if you need better performance, please go for a dedicated server which will provide you more exclusive resources with high-end hardware configuration.”
- So switch to a dedicated server – yes! why not? a site with moderate traffic of just 15K daily pageviews needs all dedicated resources, VPS is ain’t enough.
500 Internal Server Error
Followed by slow site load speed, this error was a nightmare with my previous hosts, as soon as my site hits some 120+ real-time visitors, the site started experiencing Internal server errors, or in case if I publish two or more posts at a time the site used to throwing 500 internal server errors.
Upon raising support tickets and talking with support agents of the respective hosting providers their representatives will always blame on your site’s database, plugins or themes and if nothing then they say native WordPress features such as WP cron etc are the culprit for consuming high resources.
“I noticed you are using the an SEO plugin. While many of these plugins are popular, the degree of automation they use causes performance problems for sites — especially those which have other intensive plugins. In relation to Yoast SEO Plugin and suggesting some other SEO plugin”
Error establishing a database connection
With all my previous hosts this was the most consistent error, whenever I try to publish a new post, open multiple posts to edit, or delete multiple hosts, this issue arises it was very persistent. Imagine, you get all ready to work on your site and the moment you type the URL and hit the enter, and your site greets you with following message “Error establishing a database connection,” how cool is that?
Website downtime was extremely frequent back then with all my previous hosts, I still remember when I used to sleep in the night hours, occasionally in every few weeks my site host also take down my site for a good 4-5 hour sleep, in the name of server maintenance or sometimes even my VPS server also gets crashed.
Slow WordPress back-end
Previously, when I used to host my sites on shared or VPS hosting, it was one of the major issue that navigating within the WordPress back-end was really a pain, most of the times it took many seconds to just open a post or publish them. Forget, doing bulk tasks such as deleting many posts, or pages, or deactivating or activating all plugins, mostly it was resulted into Internal server error or if not then over 20-30+ seconds, at least.
Slow and delayed response to support tickets
Besides of all these issues and errors, the biggest headache was always the unavailability of support team, or extreme delay in response with support tickets. There was cases like when I need an urgent talk with the support agents, and unfortunately, at the night-time phone support used to remain off, whereas live chat support guys used to keep me in a queue and upon raising tickets it takes 3-4 hours on an average to respond my tickets.
This kind of weak support system always used to turn my urgent queries remain unresolved for long duration or sometimes I receive response when I had already fixed the issue on my own, all thanks to Google.
After switching to MediaTemple WordPress hosting
Once I switched to the MediaTemple, nearly all of the above issues simply faded, it feels like my site is now rocket charged.
- I barely feel any slow down in the website load time, the load time is always faster.
- As far as I remember, my site never met any 500 Internal server error at MediaTemple.
- Very rare, “Error establishing a database connection” upon publishing any post.
- WordPress back-end is almost snappy, I can easily perform bulk tasks without any delay.
Here you could my site up time report for this year 2016
Since: January 27, 2014
Total Uptime: 99.787%
Total Downtime: 0.213%
|Year||Outages||Uptime||Downtime||Avg. Response Time|
|Year||Month||Total/Failed Checks||Outages||Uptime||Downtime||Avg. Response Time|
|2016||June||1274 / 0||0||100.000%||0.000%||0.117|
|2016||May||1472 / 3||2||99.796%||0.204%||0.119|
|2016||April||1438 / 2||2||99.861%||0.139%||0.157|
|2016||March||1476 / 4||4||99.729%||0.271%||0.178|
|2016||February||1385 / 1||1||99.928%||0.072%||0.179|
|2016||January||1483 / 1||1||99.933%||0.067%||0.178|
As you could see there were no major outages, and the uptime for any month in the current year, never went below 99.7%.
When it comes to MediaTemple support, I would say they are actually aware of WordPress inside-out. Though, support ticket system at MediaTemple is no different from any other hosting provider, as they also take a healthy amount of time to respond to your tickets. And to be very honest, I hardly raised ticket with them, not more than 4-5 times so far which usually got response in no less than 1-2 hour or even more.
However, the good part of MediaTemple support is very active and dedicated live chat support for WordPress hosting, they’re mostly online and almost every time my queries or issues gets resolved over a simple chat or two.
Henceforth, my overall experience with MediaTemple was free of any major issues. I would now like to take a detailed overview of MediaTemple WordPress hosting, the interface, performance and support
MediaTemple WordPress Hosting review
Once, you sign up an account with them, you’ll received a welcome email, along with all the account details. You can now log in to your MediaTemple account and you’ll see the, above dashboard. At first look, the dashboard seems modern with flat and minimal user interface, definitely one of the best user interface in comparable to all other hosts that I had used so far.
In order to access your site or create a new site you need to click on the “Admin” button and you’ll see the following dashboard to manage your individual sites. As you could see, I’ve hosted Blogosense.com on the MediaTemple WordPress hosting, besides this site, I’ve one more site hosted on this account and there’s scope for hosting one more WordPress site.
How to create a fresh new site at MediaTemple WordPress hosting
So, I am going to create a new site, and tell you step by step the process of how to create a new site on MediaTemple WordPress hosting, First up, click on the “Add a new site” box and upon clicking you’ll be redirected to a new page with the following options.
As, we’re going to create a new site, you’ve to choose and click on the “Create a site” option. For those, who want to import or migrate a site at MediaTemple WordPress hosting, you can find the complete details in the FAQ section, after this review.
Upon choosing create a new site option, you’ll be presented with a 4 step form to create a new site from scratch. You’ll require to fill the basic details such as your site name, WordPress admin email, desired WordPress user name and password, in order to set up a WordPress site and then click on the “continue” button.
The next option is to choose whether you’re going to use a custom theme/MediaTemple designed theme or a default WordPress theme, I guess you’re going to go with “Yes” here.
Choose from the existing MediaTemple theme or scroll down to the bottom, and click on the “Custom” theme, and upload your custom theme, and click on Continue.
Once again, you’ll be asked to review the entire data before clicking on the finish button.
That’s it, now sit back and your new WordPress site will be ready in few minutes. Initially, the site is set up on a temporary domain, which you can change later onward from your site control panel. Meanwhile, your site is being created you can play the sky shooter game. And as soon as your site will be created, you’ll be presented with a message, that your “Your site has been created.”
Though, the theme which I had chosen wasn’t activated, it generated an error somehow and default WordPress theme was activated, instead. Once your site is created, you’ve to navigate to the control panel
So now your new site is created, in order to manage this site, you’ve to click on the site thumb image.
The control panel for your site displays all the basic information you quickly need to know about your WordPress site. The quick glance feature shows the site status, load time (which is not accurate), your WordPress version, last backup date. It also shows you the WordPress stats of your site, such as number of posts, pages, comments and user. For developers or enthusiasts, If you’re willing to access your site content using sFTP, or if you want to access SSH, you can find the login credentials right on this page.
Additionally, you can even check your Google Analytics data, right from this dashboard, all you need to is enter Analytics ID and grant permission.
In order to access your newly created WordPress site you can login by clicking on the “WP-Admin” button from the top right of your dashboard.
Inside the developer tools section, you can create staging sites, restricted up to 2 sites. This is a great feature, earlier this was not possible with shared or VPS hosting, but now with Managed WordPress hosting you can create a staging site, where you can create a clone of your site and do all kinds of experiments. You can easily sync the staging site with the live site, all with the push of a button.
To create a staging site, just click on the “Add staging site” and your site will be created, it may take some time for a staging to fully operational, depending on the total number of posts and other content your live WordPress site has, as it simply clones your live site.
The staging site dashboard is no different from the live site, minus few features of the live site. You can access the staging site content via sFTP, and if required then you can also access the site’s database using phpMyadmin. If you want to push the changes from your staging site to the live site, you’ve to use the sync site feature.
If you want then you can clone a new site based on your existing site, by using the clone feature. In order to restore your site from a previous backup, you can select a restore point from the last 30 days, and your site will be restored with files and database. If you’re willing to migrate any of your existing site to this newly created site then choose the migrate here feature.
To migrate a site, you’ll need to provide FTP details of your external site, site URL and WordPress login credentials. It’s similar to import a site feature, I’ve added all details about migrating a site on MediaTemple WordPress hosting in FAQ section, after this review.
From this section you can set the primary domain for your site, by default MediaTemple readies your site on a temporary domain name, To assign a domain name for your site, click on the “Add domain” button. Next, if you are going to register a new domain name with them then select the above radio box, else fill your domain name that you already owned and select I already own this domain option.
Now you’ll be prompted, to select your WordPress installation, and click next. That’s it, now your domain is added to your newly created WordPress installation.
Again, I’ve to go back in to the control panel, in order to set the primary domain of my WordPress installation as “Likedesk.com” so navigate to the “Admin > Your site > Domains ” and from the right box labelled as “Info” select the desired domain name and your primary domain name will be changed in real-time.
This section closely resembles, native WordPress themes settings page, and shows the current activated theme and rest of the total 9 MediaTemple exclusive themes. As far as I remember, the MediaTemple didn’t make any addition to their exclusive list of themes till today.
I’ll prefer to skip to discuss the email feature here, as integrated email feature is no more provided for the new MediaTemple WordPress hosting accounts. And I don’t have any Google Apps for Work emails with MediaTemple.
The last feature in the control panel is phpMyAdmin, it’s the good old way to communicate with your WordPress database. You can edit the database, run SQL queries, export, import and export database and more.
Well that was a complete feature overview of the MediaTemple’s control panel for WordPress hosting.
Now, I’ll talk about the interface of WordPress with Managed hosting at MediaTemple
The WordPress Installation
The default WordPress installation comes WordPress 4.5.3, the latest version. It comes with 6 plugins pre-installed, that includes Mail, MediaTemple system plugin, Akismet, Sidekick, Site stager, WP101 Video tutorials.
- The mail plugin allows you to access your mail/Google Apps mail right from your WordPress dashboard.
- The system plugin is required to be activated, as it gathers and displays site related data inside MediaTemple website control panel.
- Akismet – The popular spam control plugin by Automattic.
- Sidekick – This is an excellent plugin that helps you to learn WordPress, using excellent audio-visuals.
- Video Tutorials – These are professional videos by WP101, that teaches your how to use all the features inside WordPress.
I believe both Sidekick and WP101 video tutorials, will be greatly helpful for you to learn or if you’re running a web agency then it’ll also ease your work by allowing you to train your clients on how to use WordPress, in a professional manner.
Testing MediaTemple’s WordPress Hosting performance
Alright, so that was the entire tour of features from MediaTemple’s WordPress hosting and WordPress back-end. It’s time to check out how our newly created WordPress site performs with content on-board, in terms of load time and scalability.
I’ve felt the back-end at MediaTemple’ WordPress hosting is really quick, I mean if you’re equipped with a decent internet connection, and average modern computer then you won’t feel any extra time in navigating through the WordPress back-end of your site at this managed WordPress hosting.
Site load time tests
WordPress version: 4.5.3
Theme : Twenty Sixteen
Plugins: Total 6 active
Total number of posts & pages : 2
Widgets : 8
Users : 1
Comment : 1
Test – 1
Test – 2
The performance of the default WordPress site was quiet impressive in the first test, it was just 232 miliseconds. Obviously, I was surprised, so I did a second test and this time it showed 497 milliseconds, well that’s still impressive and the site managed to load under half a minute. Though, the Google pagespeed score remained poor, just 62 with a D, see that’s how default WordPress comes with, poorly optimized theme.
One more thing to be noticed that the test was conducted from the US locations, and the MediaTemple’s data center are also located in US, this greatly helps in keeping the latency low.
Second test with loads of content
Any default WordPress setup with decent hosting could manage to load a basic WordPress under 1 seconds, that’s not a big deal. Therefore, this time I installed the plugin “FakerPress,” and created 8 more users, and generated more than 200+ posts & pages, 264 comments and the front page was set to display 6 posts.
WordPress version: 4.5.3
Theme : Twenty Sixteen
Plugins: Total 3 active
Total number of posts & pages : 208
Widgets : 8
Users : 9
Comment : 264
Test – 1
Test – 2
I need to say, MediaTemple has done a really nice job at fine tuning the managed hosting for WordPress. The site with hundreds of posts, pages & comments, again managed to load under 600 milliseconds, in both the tests.
This time the performance grade improved somehow to 71 and C, maybe because I had disabled three plugins The total number of requests increased to 29, and the site is classified as faster than, 96% of websites on the web.
Again, you’ve to notice that the low load time is more due to the location of test sever of Pingdom and MediaTemple, both is in the US. That’s why I conducted two different load test from, Melbourne, Australia and Stockholm, in Sweden.
Speed test from Melbourne, Australia
Speed test from Stockholm, Sweden
Did you figured out something different here? now the same site can’t even manage to load under 1 second, do you know why, as the speed test server location is now shifted from the US, to Australia and Sweden. The difference in sever location increased the latency, resulting into the increased website load time. This usually happens with all of us, while we optimize our WordPress sites for speed, what we do is that we continuously check the load time from single location. Instead, in order to make our site load faster, consistently from all locations, we should test the load time of our site from multiple locations.
Now, 1.38 seconds load time from Sweden or 1.18 seconds from Australia, isn’t bad at all considering the fact that this is not a multi-location hosting. As you can see, the site is still faster than 83% of sites on the internet, without even my attempt to optimize the site code, database, or combing/minimizing the site scripts.
In order to fix load time of your site for all locations, I suggest you to combine a CDN service such as KeyCDN with your hosting, which costs you additional $8-10 a month, on an average usage of 200 GB of CDN bandwidth. For demonstration of speed benefits of KeyCDN, I went ahead and teamed my test site with KeyCDN and results were drastically improved.
Re– Speed test from Melbourne, Australia + CDN
Re – Speed test from Stockholm, Sweden + CDN
Like I suggested, now the site load time decreased after I combined the site with KeyCDN, and matches nearly the same level of load time, as it was loading in the USA.
Previously, it was 1.38 seconds without CDN, now it loads just under 577 milliseconds in Stockholm, Sweden
Whereas, in Melbourne, Australia, previously it was loading in 1.18 seconds, and now it loads under 912 milliseconds, not a big decrease in speed, but yes addition of CDN did make your website load faster than earlier.
MediaTemple WordPress Hosting Stress test
It’s a common perception to analyze the capabilities of a hosting by just testing the load speed of the site, all we do is just test the speed and came to a point that website is loading fast, that means hosting performance is great.
However, one can never determine whether his/her site is ready to scale, will my hosting server will bear the stress of many concurrent unique visitors at a time?
To answer this question I conducted a very small load test with the help of loadimpact.com.
Under this test, 100 virtual users were generated on my MediaTemple’s WordPress hosting test site, the site has to bear the traffic of 100 users, simultaneously for five consecutive minutes.
After the results, you could see the test site easily managed to handle 100 real-time users, with consistent virtual load time of around 200+ mill seconds for continuous five minutes, without any sacrifice in the performance.
With an average load time of 216.55 milli seconds, and 565 successful get request, the site didn’t even generated even a single failed response.
Though, these tests aren’t 100% accurate but still, I would prefer to rely on them.
Hence, we need to accept the fact that MediaTemple WordPress hosting is perfectly crafted to handle good amount of simultaneous traffic.
MediaTemple WordPress Hosting vs other Managed WordPress hosting providers
Comparison of only starter plans with similar price managed hosting
|Pricing starts at||$3.99/mo.||$3.95/mo.||$20/mo.||$19.95/mo.||19.95/mo.|
|Visitors||~25,000 (Unmetered)||~10,000 (Unmetered)||400,000||No limits||~25,000 (Unmetered)|
|Storage||10 GB||Unlimited||30 GB||No limits||10 GB|
|Bandwidth||No limits||Unlimited||No limits||No limits||1 TB|
|Integrated email||Yes (charged)||Yes||Yes (charged)||Yes||Yes|
|Site staging||No (only higher plan)||No (only higher plan)||Yes||No||Yes|
|One-click backup & restore||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|One-click migration||Yes||No (free migration)||Yes||No||No (free migration)|
|Expert WordPress support||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Visit Godaddy||Visit SiteGround||Visit MediaTemple||Visit DreamPress||Visit WPOven|
~ = Estimated.
MediaTemple WordPress Hosting Plan Comparison
In the plan above plan comparison chart, you can see the difference between each of the plan. However, you will get extra benefits, if you’re planning to bill annually or biennially or more with free domain, and SSL, along with extra free months of hosting.
- Limitless Managed WordPress hosting – support for over 400,000 monthly visitors even with lowest plan
- Integrated email with Google Apps for Work
- Blazing fast, load balanced hosting without the need of cache plugins
- Secure – guarded against DDoS attacks, intrusion prevention, malware detection & removal
- Advanced WordPress hosting – WordPress updates, WP-CLI support, Git integration
- Site staging and sync
- Automatic daily site back up with one click restore
- phpMyAdmin access
- sFTP and SSH access
- SSL support
- Expert WordPress support
- Free WordPress resources – Sidekick, WP101, Free WordPress themes
- No integrated CDN
- No support for SSL certificate other than MediaTemple’s or Godaddy
- Ticket support system is slow
- High level support staff isn’t available 24×7
In this long MeidaTemple WordPress hosting review I just tried to share my experience with them, I’m not saying they are the best instead, they’ve the qualities of one of the best-managed WordPress hosting out there. I’m using their services since a very long time, and MediaTemple was able to hold me with their services so far, I’m definitely not going anywhere near soon.
Still, they have a long way to go, I personally feel they are slow at upgrading their servers to support modern techs. MediaTemple WordPress hosting is yet to support HTTP/2 protocol as it brings significant improvements in efficiency, speed and security. Similarly, they are still using PHP 5.4.42, whereas PHP 7 is known to deliver lower response time, and much better executing time. Even if there is compatibility issues, they should bring PHP 7 as an option over current version of PHP.
On the exclusive themes, they should consider adding more feature-rich themes for bloggers, businesses, etc.
Overall, without a doubt I would recommend you MediaTemple WordPress hosting over any other Managed WordPress hosting provider. Their service is blazing fast, feature-rich, expert WordPress support and relatively affordable in comparable to any other provider out there. After all, as far as I know there’s no managed WordPress hosting provider, who can fully satisfy you, every provider out there has few weak points and so does, MediaTemple.
What kind of server setup MediaTemple WordPress hosting has?
The managed WordPress hosting server at MediaTemple runs Apache web server, with all SSD backed storage. With 4 caching layers atop, Varnish, Memcached, PHP Alternative PHP Cache, and storage L2 caching.
So what does the term Managed WordPress means?
The term managed means, all your WordPress updates will be automatically done by MediaTemple. This excludes, all Plugins and Themes, you need to update your plugins and themes on your own, for now.
You can learn every thing about Managed WordPress hosting, in this guide recently authored by me.
Can I delay WordPress auto-updates?
Yes, this feature was added by MediaTemple lately, that allows you to delay automatic WordPress updates by 30 days.
Can I use the cache plugins?
No, all popular cache plugins are banned at this kind of managed WordPress hosting, as the these WordPress plugins are not at par with server level caching such as Varnish and Memcache. Also, these plugins also interfere with the server caching, that’s why with any managed WordPress hosting, cache plugins aren’t allowed.
Here’s a list of all black-listed plugins at MediaTemple
Alright, is there any way to control the cache?
You can’t completely turn off the cache, however you can flush the cache site-wide from your WordPress toolbar. Hover over the Media Temple icon on the WordPress toolbar, and click on the “Flush cache,” button.
Can I access my database?
Yes, you can access your database using phpMyadmin.
Will I be able to access my site backups?
No, MediaTemple don’t provide any simple option to download your site backups, they only have backup and restore facility. In order to download your site data, you need to use WordPress plugins, export database using phpMyadmin, and need to use WordPress export feature. Also, you can download the site content using sFTP access.
How to get SSL certificate installed?
MediaTemple WordPress hosting only supports, SSL certificates which are provided by themselves or either Godaddy. Other than these two no other SSL certificate can be installed on your site. I had bought a SSL certificate for one of my site using Godaddy, and provided all the certificate files to them, and they had installed the SSL certificate for free.
Do they offer integrated CDN with managed WordPress hosting?
No integrated CDN is not even a scene with MediaTemple, despite of providing TrueSpeed CDN by SiteLock, they don’t even offer an option to integrate CDN. However, if you want then you can ask them to integrate TrueSpeed CDN, for a monthly fee of $30.
Alternatively, if you really want to use a CDN, I would suggest you to look for affordable CDN such as KeyCDN, with flat billing plan of $0.04 per GB, so even if your site consumes 200 GB of CDN bandwidth in a month, then you’ll be only charged just for $8. Read my full KeyCDN review here.
How to set up CDN on media temple?
In order to setup any CDNs for MediaTemple you can use plugins such as CDN enabler.
How to transfer my site on MediaTemple?
MediaTemple offers an extremely easy tool to transfer your existing WordPress site all you need to do is provide your existing site URL, WordPress user name and password, and FTP credentials of your site, that’s it. The tool will automatically pull all your site content including images, posts, plugins, themes, database everything on its own.
The duration of site import process depends on the total number of posts and size of your site’s database.
Here are the step by step guide to migrate your site to MediaTemple WordPress hosting
Are you an existing MediaTemple WordPress hosting customer, please feel free to share your personal reviews. To all those who are looking to switch to MediaTemple WordPress hosting, let me know your views and questions in the comments below.