What is the difference between your managed and unmanaged accounts?

We understand some customers may prefer to be in complete control of their WordPress website, such as being able to install and update plugins, or if you want another web design/developer to have full access to your website to change the programming.

By default, all three of our hosting plans – Personal, Business and Enterprise – are on our fully managed service, where we take care of all the technical management for you. This is the safest option for most customers.

We can, on request, convert your website to an unmanaged account. This is where we have minimal day-to-day input, but your website still runs on our powerful web server infrastructure. If you want your website to be on an unmanaged account, then you (or somebody working with you) should have a good technical knowledge of using WordPress.

What’s included on managed accounts?

If you have a managed account with us, this includes all the benefits listed on our hosting page. We include free support for answering any questions or dealing with problems, including fixing your website if the need arises.

What’s included on our unmanaged accounts?

Many of the features included in our managed accounts are also included in our unmanaged accounts. However, you should be aware of the following differences about what is and what isn’t included:

Our fast, reliable UK-based web servers
Website health check
Limited technical support
Daily backups
Visitor stats
Security firewall

We don’t install WordPress/plugin updates
We don’t install security patches for you
No free troubleshooting / error fixing
No advanced security hardening

Benefits of having an unmanaged account:

  • You can have access to a hosting control panel, giving you full technical control over your hosting account and website, like you would with any other typical hosting provider.
  • You can connect to your hosting account via FTP, which means you can edit the files directly on the web server.
  • Your website will run on a standard WordPress installation, meaning you have an admin level login.
  • You can install and remove WordPress plugins and themes yourself (subject to some restrictions – see below).
  • You can give full technical access to your website to any third-party you trust, including other web developers.
  • Here at Primary Image, we’re experts in WordPress, so you can still reach out to us (on a paid basis) if you need additional support that you can’t handle yourself.

Limitations of having an unmanaged account:

  • Once we open up full access to your account, Primary Image will no longer have any control or visibility of what changes are being made to your website. For this reason, we unfortunately cannot provide free support for troubleshooting or fixing errors on our unmanaged accounts.
  • This means our relationship with you works like virtually any other normal web hosting company, where we provide the hosting infrastructure only. We will ensure the underlying web hosting account is working correctly (i.e. the server hardware and server operating system).
  • A typical WordPress website is made up of approx 2,500+ files (and around half a million lines of coding), so it’s extremely important that whoever has access to your hosting account knows what they are doing. If things get changed in your hosting account by somebody else, it may not be possible for us to easily identify what has been altered and what they have done.
  • As we’re WordPress specialists, we will of course try to help with any general WordPress queries or point you in the right direction where we can. However, if you want us to carry out any work on your website (including troubleshooting and fixing errors), we do this on a paid basis, which is on our advertised hourly rates.
  • We take automatic backups of your website at regular intervals. These are available in your hosting control panel for you to restore yourself. If you would like us restore a backup for you, we can do this on a paid basis.
  • You are responsible for installing WordPress updates yourself, including plugin and core updates. These are very important to install at regular intervals to ensure your website is kept safe with the latest security patches. Before doing any WordPress update, it’s best to backup your website first. Primary Image does not carry out software updates on unmanaged accounts, but we can do this on a paid basis. If a website is running unprotected or out-of-date software that could pose a serious security risk, we may request you update the software. If your website continues to run vulnerable software, we may have to suspend your hosting account if we feel it could put our web servers at risk.
  • As Primary Image will have no control of what files or programming is being added or changed on your website, you are responsible for the security, anti-spam measures and speed optimisation aspects of your website. We strongly advise you always take appropriate security precautions. If you have any specific questions, do feel free to reach out to us and we can offer suggestions.

Can I install any plugins?

Yes, with an unmanaged hosting account, you are free to install any WordPress plugins you like, subject to the restrictions below.

Whilst we do not offer any free support for plugins on an unmanaged account, we may be able to provide support on a paid basis, or you may be able to seek support from the plugin creator.

If, in the very rare case, we believe a plugin is a security risk or it’s affecting the stable operation of the web server (usually because it’s been poorly programmed), we may have to prohibit it from our hosting accounts. If this is the case, we’ll get in touch and discuss options with you.

Please do not run WordPress backup plugins, because a backup system automatically runs on your hosting account and stores a copy of all your files off-site (on a separate web server). You can access these backup files via your hosting control panel. However, you are free to use a backup plugin for the purposes of migrating website files to an offsite location or to your computer, so as long as the plugin is not left activated (for longer than one day) and backup archives are not stored within your webspace.

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