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What is Managed Hosting & Do I Need It?

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A managed hosting solution is when the hosting provider handles all aspects of your web server’s setup, maintenance, and operation.

Managed hosting covers a wide range of web hosting solutions, saving website owners with limited technical expertise the hassle of maintaining their server and site themselves.

A managed hosting solution is not a specific hosting type, like a VPS. Instead, it’s a description of a hosting solution – such as a managed VPS or managed dedicated server solution.

With a managed service, the provider takes care of all the security patches, OS updates, and other maintenance duties involved with server and website maintenance.

There are plenty of advantages to using a managed hosting service.

However, the most important being that you have access to a team of skilled experts that manage your server and to some extent your website, ensuring only rare occurrences of downtime and a consistent, smooth user experience.

Here are the different types of managed hosting solutions.


1. Managed VPS

A Managed Virtual Private Server (VPS) describes a hosting service providing a virtual server space on a larger server.

The server usually comes with a cPanel, tech support, 24/7 real-time monitoring, and fast response times to any service interruptions.


2. Managed Dedicated Hosting

Managed dedicated hosting is when you lease the entire server from the hosting provider.

You get full access to the server and resources, allowing you to load as many of your sites onto it as you like as well as configuring the server as you please.

The service provider manages the server for you, ensuring everything is configured in an optimal manner for your sites.

This hosting solution is ideal for the large websites or companies with multiple sites they want to manage from one central server.

With managed dedicated hosting, it’s important to note that you never own the server; you’re leasing it from the hosting provider.


3. Managed WordPress Hosting

WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world, with millions of sites using the platform. Several hosting companies offer managed hosting services for WordPress sites.

These providers offer you a range of shared hosting, VPS, and dedicated hosting solutions, with the company taking care of all your sites and updates on the backend.

Like a managed solution, a managed WordPress host comes in different levels to suit your business and website requirements.

However, these hosting solutions specialize in the WordPress CMS.

Using a managed WordPress solution ensures that your site gets a secure setup and is monitored for any potential threats.

The provider updates your plugins and completes security patches, ensuring your site stays as secure as possible from malicious actors.

You also get backups of your site, and some hosting companies even offer optimization solutions for page speed and more.


4. Managed Cloud Hosting

Managed cloud hosting involves a network infrastructure where servers share resources across multiple locations.

Cloud server hosting is gaining traction with the business community, as it is flexible, offers high levels of performance, and an excellent ability to scale with a growing business.

With managed cloud hosting solutions, you’re purchasing a spot on a server network, not an individual server. As a result, if one of the servers starts to crash, it doesn’t affect the rest of the network, and your site stays up.

Managed cloud hosting is slowly starting to take over from other dedicated solutions as the preferred hosting option.


Managed Hosting vs Unmanaged Hosting

With both managed and unmanaged hosting solutions, you’re essentially leasing space on another company’s servers in one shape or form.

With regular hosting (unmanaged), it’s a do-it-yourself experience that requires technical know-how to set up and configure the server the way you want, including installing a custom OS for dedicated servers.

If you have no experience setting up servers, you’re probably going to need some help and may want to opt for a managed solution.

If you’re a large corporation and you have a dedicated IT department, you may prefer unmanaged hosting so you can custom configure the server as per your requirements.

However, it’s not the ideal solution for small businesses that lack a team of IT professionals. It’s for this reason that hosting companies offer managed hosting services.

Managed hosting takes the responsibility away from you and leaves it with the experts. You get dedicated monitoring of your server and sites, and the team fixes and updates them without you needing to ask them to do so.

When purchasing managed hosting, read the terms and conditions to understand what exactly the provider will be doing as well as there SLAs to resolve any issues you may experience.

Unmanaged hosting solutions are affordable, but you’ll have to spend money on a team to manage the server for you unless you know how to do it yourself.

While this may be pretty straight-forward with shared hosting, as you make your way up to a dedicated server, it becomes more and more complex.


Managed Hosting vs Cloud Hosting

As mentioned, a managed solution describes a service where a team overlooks your servers’ operation and maintenance. A managed cloud solution describes a cloud solution managed by such a team.

A managed private cloud hosting service is the best option for businesses that demand a higher-security environment.

It offers a low-risk infrastructure optimized and protected by experts, which translates into outstanding performance for your websites.


Managed Hosting vs Colocation

The key difference between colocation hosting and managed dedicated hosting is the control you have over your server.

You own the server with colocation hosting, in contrast, you lease it from the provider with managed services.

Colocation hosting models are ideal for large companies with a full tech team that want own their server assets vs leasing them.


Managed Hosting vs Self Hosting

If you’re signing up with an eCommerce platform like Squarespace, they provide hosting for your webstore as part of the monthly fee you pay.

Squarespace comes as a “business-in-a-box,” giving you everything you need to start your business directly within their platform.

Platforms like Squarespace also offer domain registration services to their subscribers.

As a result, you get a site with hosting and servers that are maintained by the expert Squarespace team.