Understanding Managed Web Hosting
Mar 20, 2020
More and more businesses and professionals are realising that they need to dominate the online world if they want to stay relevant to their target audience. And one of the best ways to build up rapport online is through your social media platforms and your website.
Social media marketing is relatively easy for as long as you are working with the right people, or if you, yourself, know how to build a following. But a website requires more than just creating a page on a platform. It involves web design, development, web hosting, and more.
Since web hosting is one of the foundations of a good website, understanding more about it will work in your favour. You want to make sure that you are looking at the bigger picture and that you are ready for growth. Read on if you’re going to learn what managed web hosting is, why you need it, and what you should look for in a web hosting provider.
What is Managed Web Hosting?
If you are a business or a professional looking to expand your horizons through the power of the Internet, then you might want to check out your web hosting options. As mentioned before, web hosting is one of the foundations of a great website. It’s like a building that you are leasing for your website stuff. If you keep all your website related files and code in your computer, then no one else will see it– it’s like keeping your products inside your house instead of a physical store.
A hosting service provider can lease you a server where your website stuff can go. But there are different kinds of web hosting services out there such as managed, shared and dedicated.
Managed web hosting is when your service provider gives you a dedicated server but manages the server themselves. This means that they have control over your server, conduct software and hardware maintenance, provide security, monitor activity, and take care of backup services.
On the other hand, dedicated web hosting only gives you a server without all the special treatment. It requires you to manage the server all by yourself.
Lastly, shared hosting is when there is more than just one business or individual on a single server. The web hosting service provider usually takes care of managing the underlying server and won’t cater specifically to your needs or offer any proactive monitoring of your website
Things to Consider
As you may have guessed, managed web hosting services are much pricier than both dedicated and shared hosting. After all, you are paying for 24/7 IT support from the web hosting provider. So, the existence of your IT department is one of the significant factors that come into play when deciding which type of web hosting to choose.
Here is the list of why that is:
- Server management is a 24/7 job that involves many different areas of expertise. Your IT staff should be knowledgeable in systems architecture, configuration management, monitoring, backups, restoration processes, security, and more.
- Security is one of the main selling points of managed web hosting services. You need to make sure that your IT staff are proactive and reactive enough to keep your server safe from issues at all times.
- Server management is a 24/7 job; you should have enough staff resources to turn to when something goes wrong.
Shared Hosting Vs Managed Hosting
Aside from the dedicated server component, dedicated and managed web hosting have nothing else in common. It is easier to choose between the two. Obviously, if you have a full staff of IT professionals, then you can survive with just the dedicated server. And if you don’t have an IT department (or if your IT department cannot handle more than they are already working on) then you are better off with managed hosting.
Shared web hosting and managed web hosting have a lot of similarities. For example, the web hosting company provides management for both shared and managed servers. The fact that shared hosting is much cheaper than the latter may persuade you into thinking that maybe it is better to go that direction – but it is not as simple as that.
So here are some points to consider and compare when deciding between the two:
Low-cost Shared Hosting
Your website and email accounts are hosted on a single server that is shared with other users. It is best suited for hobby websites on a tight budget and where 24/7 uptime is not a high priority Since low-cost shared hosting services are offered at a low price despite all the efforts that go into managing a server, some companies resort to false advertisements like:
- They put hundreds and thousands of websites and emails on the same server and advertise an amount of disk space and bandwidth for each customer that is simply not possible given the situation.
- They advertise features that are not relevant or needed for a successful website.
- They might not be able to provide the latest server software, extensions and security patches, which make your website prone to security risks and online threats.
- They provide multiple services on the same server, which strains the server’s CPU, memory and bandwidth resources..
- There may be an unreliable backup service (or no backup at all).
High-cost Shared Hosting
- Your website and email accounts are hosted on a server with much less number of users compared to a low-cost server (perhaps up to 100 depending on the provider).
- This is best suited for websites that need better performance but still stay within a specific budget.
- They will offer extra storage space and bandwidth but will be provided on the same low-cost hosting environment.
- You will be sharing the CPU with thousands of other companies/individuals.
That’s not really the end of it. Shared web hosting companies can offer you extra hard disk space and bandwidth, but they are not very flexible to the idea of growth. Once you have reached a certain amount of disk space and bandwidth, you will have outgrown their shared hosting services. Why? Because of CPU performance issues, security issues and other factors that a busy site needs but is simply not possible within a shared hosting environment.
Low-cost Managed Hosting
- You will have a dedicated server for your website and email accounts.
- Your website will perform better since you are alone on this server.
- The hosting company will manage your server.
- You will be provided with customer service tailored to your needs and website behaviour.
Note: Some low-cost managed web hosting companies will focus on the number of clients they get, so you may experience poor customer service and less hands-on management. Backups may be neglected and not performed on a daily or even weekly basis.
High-cost Managed Hosting
- You will have a dedicated server for your website and email accounts.
- They will manage your server in its entirety.
- You will be provided with 24/7, high-quality customer service.
- They will provide hands-on server hardware and software support, monitoring, backup, and more.
- They also have a framework and action plan in case of a significant spike in your visitors.
- They can also handle situations wherein you need to instantly add servers or load balance traffic between several servers (scalability).
Although both shared and managed hosting companies offer to take care of your servers, you need to keep in mind that there are many reasons why there is a big difference in their price points. You need to consider the fact that you are not going to be the only customer using the server if you proceed with the shared web hosting option. And of course, the quality in which the service is done would have serious differences too.
There are other online resources outlining why you should avoid shared hosting as you may have read above, while managed shared hosting has many benefits that will be helpful to you in the long run. But keep in mind that you should always do your research before making big decisions such as this one.
Not all low-cost hosting companies offer subpar performance and service, but you would have to manage your expectations. Being realistic is essential when choosing a hosting company. In most cases, you get what you pay for. There is a good reason why managed web hosting companies charge the price that they do. You should check for reviews and testimonials, compare different providers and contact the hosting company if you have any clarifications.
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