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Managed WordPress vs DIY vs cPanel: Which Is Best?

Managed WordPress vs DIY vs cPanel: Which Is Best?



BACKUPS

  • cPanel: You can connect to cPanel’s backup tools, but know that it will save the files onto the source destination by default. This might be acceptable, but it should be noted that, in the unfortunate event that your server ever crashed, your backups would go along with it. 
  • DIY: To ensure you have proper backups, you’ll need to configure what you want backed up and when. This will involve continuously testing your backups, verifying them, and manually removing them so as not to overload your space. It’s a continuous and complex process, but it’s better than losing a backup before you really need it.
  • Managed WordPress: We take care of the boring and time-consuming work for you here, backing up every site on your account and removing old backups as needed. You can set up a daily schedule that suits your needs and run one-offs in between as desired. You can also rest easy knowing your backups are saved for 30 days on a separate server, eliminating risks and increasing security overall. 

PLUGINS AND CORE UPDATES

  • cPanel: cPanel offers the ability to install WordPress onto a website. The process involves downloading it, uploading it, and verifying it. It’s work for certain, but it gets the job done. Plugins can be added through the WordPress repo, but updates must be done on a manual basis, backing up the site (as previously mentioned), confirming the details, and agreeing to the update. Once it’s live, you can check your site to make sure everything worked as expected. 
  • DIY: There are many plugins and services that can assist with general updates, but nothing can automate the process for you for all. This leaves you in the driver’s seat to confirm updates for the many plugins you use on every WordPress site you manage. You’ll also need to spend some time after the updates to make sure everything still works right on your site — it’s not something that happens often, but plugin updates can adjust all sorts of functions and features you expect to be safe.
  • Managed WordPress: Nothing is left to chance with the managed approach. We run checks before any given plugin is automatically updated using our visual comparison tool, confirming your site will still look the same after the update as it did before. 

MANAGING MORE THAN ONE SITE

  • cPanel and DIY: Everything required for regular upkeep is done on a per-site basis. Multiple third-party tools are needed to simplify the process, which often comes with additional expenses and management tasks.
  • Managed WordPress: Every Managed WordPress account comes standard with iThemes Sync, giving you the ability to manage all of your sites in one beautiful dashboard at no additional cost. You’re also able to set up reporting and notifications as needed, tailored to your portfolio’s needs. 

CACHE + PERFORMANCE

  • cPanel: If you want to keep your individual sites running fast and smooth, you’ll need to investigate what plugins are available based on your specific capabilities. The best of these will not be free, but the alternative is too expensive. The management of these will all be on you, though some automation may be included with more premium options.
  • DIY: There are many things that require configuration and this will be necessary for every site you manage. All costs associated with the services employed are added to your monthly investment and obtaining support may be challenging, as each service is separate and solely focused on their product alone. The DIY hosting approach will also require regular tests and verifications, because setting these things up wrong is worse than not using any at all! 
  • Managed WordPress: From Varnish to Memcache to Redis and more, we take care of the licenses and support for you, preconfiguring all to help you run the fastest, most stable site possible. 

OVERALL CONTROL

There’s a common misconception that Managed WordPress is really just about giving up control to the host, but that couldn’t be further from the truth… 

In reality, you’re gaining MORE control! With more free time to focus on things that matter and access to SSH, phpMyAdmin, and your database, you can do everything you could with the DIY approach and more with Managed WordPress

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4 Best WordPress Page Builders for 2020

4 Best WordPress Page Builders for 2020

If you’re using WordPress, you already understand how important good page builders are. They allow you to take full control of page layouts, manage site elements as drag and drop modules, and even tweak the website’s header and footer. 

Without a good builder, you can only edit the rows and columns in the page body of your WordPress website and make minimal adjustments to its header and footer. 

With them, you can create great websites without any coding skills or design knowledge. Depending on your needs, this will either save you time or money. Let’s explain how. 

Normally it takes website developers hundreds of hours to learn the basics of website development, but with page builders, you can build a complete website from scratch in just a couple of hours.

Maybe you’re a small business owner and just want to hire someone to create a custom website for you? In that case, it’s good to know that great website builders can cost as low as $50. That’s quite a bargain since getting a custom small business website usually starts at $3,000, with many custom sites reaching $50k or more.

Taking all of this into account, it’s safe to conclude that WordPress page builder plugins are essential for creating custom designs and filling them with wonderfully styled content. For this article, we made sure to test and research all the popular WordPress page builders. Keep in mind, once you choose a page builder, you may want to stick with that one, since switching could cause pages to bread or slower speeds.

Read on to see our choices for the Top 4 page builders of 2020.

Beaver Builder

Features listed on the official website

Live Front End Editing, Shortcode and Widget Support, Mobile Friendly / Responsive, Developer Friendly, Translation Ready, Supports Posts, Pages, and Custom Post Types, WooCommerce Support, Hand Off Sites to Clients with Editor Mode, Tuned & Optimized for SEO, Multisite Capable, Reusable Templates, Save and Reuse Rows & Modules, Import/Export, and much more.

Pricing information

Beaver Builder comes with 3 pricing plans and they are: 

The Standard plan costs $99 one-time. It can be used on unlimited websites, and it includes all premium modules and templates.

The Pro plan costs $199 one-time and includes the same features as the Standard Plan, with the addition of the Beaver Builder Theme and multisite capability.

The Agency plan costs $399 one-time and includes all of the features of the Standard and Pro Plans, plus advanced multisite management and white labeling.

There is a free version available, and all three plans come with one year of support as well.

Embed video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCNDDQ7Jrs8

Divi Builder

Features listed on the official website

Drag & Drop Building, True Visual Editing, Custom CSS Control, Responsive Editing, Design Options Galore, Inline Text Editing, Save & Manage Your Designs, Global Elements & Styles, Undo, Redo, & Revisions, Multi-Select & Bulk Editing, Find & Replace Styles, Built-In Split-Testing, WooCommerce Modules, Global Website Styles, and much more.

Pricing information

Divi Builder, made by Elegant Themes, comes with just two pricing plans: 

  • Yearly Access
  • Lifetime Access

The Yearly Access plan costs $89/year and includes these features: Access to Divi, Extra, Bloom & Monarch, hundreds of website layouts, support, and it can be used on an unlimited number of websites. 

The Lifetime Access plan is priced at $249 one-time and includes the addition of lifetime updates and lifetime support. 

No free version is available, but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Embed video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zf2ay9YyHEE

Elementor

Features listed on the official website

Drag & Drop Editor, 300+ Designer Made Templates, 90+ Widgets, Responsive Editing, Popup Builder, Theme Builder, WooCommerce Builder, In-line Editing, Full Site Editor, Global Widget, Motion Effects, Global Custom CSS, Popup Builder, TypeKit Integration, 100% Responsive, 24/7 Premium Support, and much more. 

Pricing information

Elementor Pro offers three pricing plans: 

The Personal plan, which is priced at $49/year for one site, includes 50+ widgets, 300+ templates, Theme Builder, WooCommerce Builder, and one year of support. 

The Plus plan costs $99/year, comes with the same features as the Personal Plan, and allows you to use Elementor on 3 different websites.

The Expert plan costs $199/year, comes with the same features as the Personal Plan, and it can be used on 1,000 different websites.

There is a free plugin version available as well, and all paid plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Embed video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZlgNmbC-Cw

Thrive Architect

Features listed on the official website

Instant Drag & Drop Editing, Landing Page Templates, Pre-Built Conversion Elements, Ultra-Flexible Column Layouts, Total Font Customization, Style Every Detail, Perfect Mobile Experience, Mobile Responsive Editing, Dynamic Animations & Actions, Inline Text Editing, and much more.

Pricing information

Thrive Architect comes in three tiers:

  • Single License
  • 5 License Pack
  • Thrive Membership

The Single License plan costs $67 one-time and it’s intended for one website only. The 5 License Pack plan costs $97 one-time and, as the name says, it can be used on five websites.

The Thrive Membership plan costs $228/year for up to 25 websites and includes access to all plugins and themes from ThriveThemes.

All plans include 334 landing page templates and come with unlimited free updates and one year of support.

No free version is available, but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Embed video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeNWi8TaeO8

Feature Comparison

It takes time and practice to learn which features you need. Some will be immediately obvious and fit your current need, but it’s good to plan for the future as well. 

Using the table below, you can quickly see what may be a great fit for your needs.

Beaver BuilderDivi BuilderElementorThrive Architect
Live demoYESYESNONO
Free versionYESNOYESNO
Pricing starts from$99 one-time$89/year$49/year$67 one-time
Website usage at this priceUnlimited websitesUnlimited websites1 website1 website
User friendlyYESYESYESYES
In-line editingYESYESYESYES
Number of templatesNot stated1198300+334
Product support1 yearWhile subscribedWhile subscribed1 year
UpdatesNot statedWhile subscribedWhile subscribedUnlimited

Understanding Important Features

Having a cursory understanding of the lingo used across the page builders will go a long way to helping decide which you need, and which you can go without.

Responsive Editing means that the website you are building will automatically adjust itself for different devices and screen sizes. It also means that the builder includes additional options for customizing each version of the website separately.

Multisite is a feature that guarantees compatibility with WordPress Multisite and allows you to make changes to several websites from a single WordPress administration panel.

Live demos and free versions are very important because they allow you to test the builder before making an investment. Especially important for tight budgets.

Pricing per website should be considered if you think there is a reasonable chance you will need to use the builder to create several websites. Some of these builders come with a license that allows you to use them without any limits. 

User friendly means that the page builder is easy and quick to learn, doesn’t require specialized knowledge, and allows for a pleasant and intuitive workflow.

In-line Editing is a feature that allows you to add content like text to the live site in real time, without opening additional windows and moving away from the full-page preview. All of our recommendations include this feature, as we believe it is an essential part of a user-friendly workflow.

Templates are pre-built page layouts made from existing page builder elements. The more the better, since this allows you to quickly access dozens of page designs and just fill them with site content or tweak them to your heart’s desire.

Product support shouldn’t be underestimated when it comes to page builders. As you get familiar with a page builder, you will want to set some advanced settings like custom CSS, which might require a developer to get involved. This is where good support comes in, and helps you avoid additional expenses whenever possible.

Other Noteworthy Page Builder Mentions

Here are some other great page builders for WordPress that didn’t make our Top Four list:

  • Brizy
  • Themify Builder
  • Oxygen
  • Visual Composer
  • WPBakery Page Builder
  • SiteOrigin Page Builder

All of the above page builders are great candidates and we highly recommend checking them out as well.

Save Time and Money Using the Right Page Builder for You

Testing Page Builders and picking the one that works best for you can take some time, but there is an enormous return on investment.

We hope that this article will serve its purpose and save you the energy and money required to test out dozens of them. We made sure to highlight the important features so that you don’t settle for the wrong one. 

It is our firm belief that if you try out these four page builders in their paid form, you will get the best experience of features and overall satisfaction of use. This is the best way to find the one that fits you and to, finally, make an informed buying decision.

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