Managed Vs. Unmanaged Hosting – Explained

Success and failure of online businesses heavily depend on hosting as a robust hosting provider helps build the right foundation for businesses to thrive. It’s imperative to choose an appropriate hosting service for your website or online store because efficient hosting can handle traffic surges, maintain low downtime, offer the latest security features, and facilitate scaling up business operations. 

Apart from the hosting server’s technical features, it would help if you also considered things such as additional services on the offing and quality of customer service. Thus, we can easily conclude that the right hosting provider will shoulder much of your burden and help you focus on your core business activities. On the other hand, a low hosting server can lead to multiple problems resulting in complete disruption of your website’s or online store’s operations.

Choosing an appropriate hosting server often boils down to taking your pick between managed and unmanaged hosting. In this blog post, we shall compare both these hosting options and try to give you a clear perspective on what both have to offer. You’ll get to learn in-depth about both the services to make an informed choice. Let’s begin… 

Managed Hosting – An Overview 

Hosting plans comprise of different components, including the server hardware, which plays the most vital role. All servers have an operating system along with essential software needed to support website operations. 

Apart from these, the hosting companies also provide various services like malware scanning, automatic backups, security sweeps, status monitoring, etc. Now, hosting companies’ additional services are managed services, which give it the name “managed to host.” Thus, managed hosting refers to the hosting plans that come loaded with additional services and benefits.  

Your hosting service provider will implement all the services or features, and you won’t have to manage anything. This makes it easier for you to run your online store or website, especially if you lack the necessary technical knowledge and skills. By opting for managed hosting, you’ll be able to save a lot of time and effort, which you can use to focus on your core business activities

Unmanaged Hosting – An Overview 

In stark contrast to managed hosting, unmanaged hosting offers to host plans that offer very few or no additional services or features. Thus, you can expect to purchase a server with the only pre-installed operating system with this hosting. This also implies that you’ll have to install and manage any additional software or service without expecting any help from the hosting company. Software and services include not only Drupal or WordPress but also system software such as PHP and Apache.   

These hosting plans are known as unmanaged hosting because the hosting company isn’t involved in installing or managing tasks about your server. Any service or software you intend to install or manage will have to be done without the hosting provider’s help. 

Managed Vs. Unmanaged Hosting Simplified 

To clear any other confusion you might have, let us replace hosting with a house. 

Managed hosting is similar to buying a newly built and fully-furnished house, where you can move in at will and start living without having even to buy a bed. 

On the other hand, unmanaged hosting is like buying an empty plot of land, and you need to plan and build a house as per your needs. The great thing about buying an empty plot is that you can build the house as per your needs and budget. You also don’t have to compromise on your choices since you’re the one who decides what materials to use to build your house, and right from the planning to the design and from the construction to the interiors, you’ve absolute control over everything. 

However, if you lack the experience or expertise to build a house, you’re bound to make mistakes, resulting in a faulty structure that fails to withstand heavy storms or earthquakes!  

Services Offered with Managed Hosting

Even though the services offered with a managed hosting plan differ from one company to another, a few common ones include the following:

Automated Backups: If you don’t want a critical website and user data to vanish into thin air, you need to activate the automated backup service. It not only gives you a reprieve from daily manual backups but also offers you a very well-managed regular backup service for your website. However, not all automated backup services are the same, so you must enquire with your hosting service provider about two particular things:

Where’s the backup data stored, and whether it contains the databases or not. It’s essential to ensure that the backup data is stored on a different server so that in the event of a hardware failure on your hosting server, your backup data remains safe. It would also help if you found out whether the databases are backed up or not so that you can easily re-download and reinstall as per your needs. 

Performance Monitoring: It’s essential to monitor your server’s performance so that you’re warned before a failure strikes. Activating this service ensures that you’re automatically informed when any of your resource usages reaches critical levels. 

Automatic software updates: You should always have the latest versions of the core software like Apache, MySQL, PHP, and others. Your managed hosting plan will include this so that you never miss out on any of the updates.   

Other managed services included in the managed hosting plans include security, malware scanning and removal, an easy and intuitive control panel, SSH, and advanced support service. Various other on-demand services are also available; however, you’ll have to pay for availing of these individual services. 

Managed hosting offers innumerable benefits, and it ensures that your website is more reliable, faster, and secure. However, managed hosting is always more expensive than its unmanaged counterpart. The only significant disadvantage of managed hosting is that it’s not as flexible as unmanaged hosting, and you’ll have to choose from the services or features offered by a particular hosting provider. 

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