Looking for a hosting plan? In your search, you may be made to choose between sharing a server’s resources versus renting an entire server to host your website. If you believe that your website will consume more resources than what a typical shared hosting environment can provide, then you need to get dedicated server hosting. Once you have gone beyond this point in your hunt, the question that you will now need to answer is whether you will just stick to the traditional unmanaged dedicated hosting or will you have the web hosting service provider take care of your account for you.
What management entails
Those who have their websites hosted in a shared server may never come across the term “management” ever. It only covers hosting types like VPS, semi-dedicated, dedicated server, or cloud hosting. With shared hosting, it is a given that the host is in charge of managing the server. For this particular article, the focus will be on managed or unmanaged dedicated hosting. With managed hosting, it is as if you have an entire team of technical support personnel on call to address each and every issue that you have regarding your hosting. Because of the significant price difference, this becomes the basis for deciding which kind of dedicated hosting to get. Unfortunately, as many find out, a decision based solely on price can result to more expenses in the future.
The difference between the two
Because you are getting dedicated hosting either way, the features you will get are similar. Basically, you get a whole server, and the corresponding resources, for hosting your website, or websites if you plan on building many. The main differences between managed and unmanaged hosting are:
- Other than coding assistance, every other aspect of your hosting gets covered by the web host in a managed hosting plan. This means all the tasks, whether routine or emergency, related to the operating and maintenance of the server, control panel, operating system, down to the applications needed, are all managed by the host. Even monitoring and automated backup will be done for you.
- As for unmanaged hosting, you will be left on your own devices. Other than the regular customer assistance, no other routine support will be extended to you by the service provider. If you want to upgrade or install anything, you will have to do it by yourself. The server is “virtually” yours to control and maintain. With this type of dedicated hosting, even the server software and the control panel won’t be provided.
Weighing the pros and cons of unmanaged and managed server hosting
Looking at the differences above, one would think, “Why even consider getting unmanaged hosting?” It sounds so tedious and complicated. But, there are some web developers who require absolute control over their machine in order to work. Plus, it is cheaper by a huge margin. So if you need the freedom and are well versed in server maintenance and operation, then unmanaged hosting may be perfect for you. On the flip side, if you are unable to even install a simple control panel or struggle to choose the right tools for developing your website, then you may have to shoulder the extra expense and get managed hosting. This takes less time and expertise.
Which option is right?
There is no cut-and-dried formula for selecting the type of dedicated server hosting. There are, however, questions that can lead you to the answer.
1. Can your company afford any downtime should a software problem occur?
2. Is your web developer capable of using security patches?
3. Do you absolutely require unfettered access?
If the answer is yes, then you should opt for unmanaged hosting. The amount you will save will go a long way in improving your website. If you still cannot decide between the two, or need the assistance but cannot afford managed hosting, there are hosting service providers that offer hybrid solutions.