In this article, I’ll be discussing the difference between managed and unmanaged hosting and what each of these terms really means for you.
Hosting is one of most crucial aspects of any internet-based business. In Shared Hosting, you don’t have the root access to the server. So there is no question of managing the hosting server. This job is done by your hosting provider.
The question arises for managed and unmanaged hosting when you come to VPS or Dedicated Hosting . The whole server is handed over to you with root access to the server. In simple words, For Managed hosting the look after of server and performance monitoring is done by your hosting provider. While in unmanaged hosting all the responsibility of the server is your only.
Lets’ start with a general example which might make things more clear for beginners:
You are buying an office and you have two options. One you can go simply with an unmanaged office space where you have to set your own furniture , power supply , power backup management, internet facility , fire protection , mop the floors etc . These all works have to be managed by you only. While on another hand if you will go with managed office there is no responsibility on you for cleaning, landscaping, security and maintenance with some little extra cost.
Well, you might think why would I pay extra if I can handle all the responsibilities and hassles. But if I don’t have any knowledge then fully managed office is a better option for me.
This scenario is much like what newbies face when to deal with the hosting industry. Often they don’t have the tools or know-how to manage a server on their own and a fully managed hosting plan can help.
The main question arises here is that Do you have the time and knowledge to monitor and manage everything? Let’s dig deeper about managed and unmanaged hosting with their own pros and cons.
If you do not have IT support staff or are not comfortable with the full deployment of hosting software, managed hosting is often a better solution. Managed hosting gives you the full support of the hosting company. The host offers support for every problem or task, emergency or routine. There’s a limit, obviously, in that you may not get support for a coding problem on your website.
Benefits of Managed Hosting
Security: Hosting providers have the tools and experience to monitor and handle your security issues properly: they filter spam, scan for viruses, run security audits, configure software firewalls, and provide OS updates.
Backups: Lost data can be detrimental and expensive for a company. In many cases, a natural disaster is to blame for a significant loss of data, but a hosting provider has procedures to deal with data loss and provide secure, backed up data after such a situation occurs.
Monitoring Server: This is the process of constantly scanning the server for any problems or irregularities, and it’s crucial for your small business. System admins will ensure network availability for your clients by constant monitoring.
Cost Effective: Even though managed hosting costs more than unmanaged, you’ll be spending much less money in the long run. Hiring in-house admins is an added expense to your company, one you can afford not to have if you elect a fully managed hosting option.
Saves Time: The day is too short for a small business owner to waste hours focusing on server management. Use that time to focus on growing your business, rather than managing your server and site. Managed hosting saves you time, and time is money.
Customisation: Every business has different needs. When you choose a managed hosting plan, experts provide you with solutions that best meet the needs of your business and budget.
Unmanaged hosting gives you the root access to your server. This is a great solution if you have an IT team in place and need minimal assistance. Unmanaged hosting is cheaper because there’s no management – i.e. no routine support. The host will replace failed components, reboot servers, maintain the network. But it won’t support any software or install anything for you.
If your server software happens to crash or some security issues happen, you are the one to fix it being the only administrator of your server.
Benefits of Unmanaged Hosting
Expand as much as you want: This is the best part of having unmanaged servers. You can get the bandwidth, the storage space, the memory, etc, all according to your needs. There will be no restrictions
Cost effective: Why would I pay extra to someone else if I already know how to do? Apart from the fact that it provides you with so much freedom? The hosting companies provide unmanaged servers for a lot less price than they provide the managed servers.
Fully customisable: If you ask me, this is the best part of having an unmanaged server – you can customize it anytime as per your customers needs.
Disadvantages of Unmanaged Hosting
– Sometimes Troubleshooting an error can become a pain.
– If you are not a pro, you may have to hire a server administrator and you have to pay it obviously.
– Website security starts from the server security and a server that is managed by the hosting provider will have a better level of security.
Which is for me?
The bottom line is which type of web hosting suits you the most. According to the comparison above, both managed and unmanaged servers have their own advantages. The main differences lie with factors: flexibility, cost-effective and control. If you are an expert in server management, You can buy an unmanaged hosting without any problem. This may save you some bucks. According to me managed hosting is a better option and as unmanaged hosting is a bit of a gamble for newbies.
Simply stated, keep the following in mind when making your choice:
Q: Can your business afford to pay for managed hosting so you can spend more time marketing and running your business?
Q: What kind of applications do you plan to install?
Q: Do you lack manpower, but have the technical knowledge of server administration?