When looking at the various options for web hosting, you may want to consider managed web hosting. This is an arrangement in which the web host takes care of all the technical issues for your server.
“Managed hosting” may be understood in a couple of different ways.
Technically, most web hosting plans are managed. The majority of hosting accounts are for shared hosting, which is the simplest and least expensive kind. These are managed by the web hosting company, and you only have to pay your monthly fee and focus on running your website.
However, the term managed hosting often refers to more advanced hosting plans, such as dedicated servers, VPS or cloud hosting where the web host manages the server. This is the kind of managed hosting I’m going to focus on in this article, since basic hosting is usually just called “hosting” or “shared hosting” rather than manage hosting.
Managed hosting is a good choice for individuals and businesses who don’t have the time or ability to handle technical tasks on their own. If you don’t have the expertise to manage your own server and you don’t have an IT team, managed hosting may your best approach.
Managed vs Unmanaged Web Hosting
Managed web hosting is for people who want a hands-off type of arrangement for their website. When is this a good option?
- You lack the technical knowledge and skill to manage your own site
- You don’t have time to work on your server regularly
- Your website requires a great deal of work due to its size or complexity
If you currently have a website that you are managing yourself (or if you are paying an IT person or company to do it), you have to consider the costs and benefits of this arrangement.
Managing a server can be very costly and time consuming. It can drain resources that might be better used elsewhere. It can be difficult, for example, to have an online store or other type of business and manage your own server. You have to work on your site’s content and customer service, so it might make sense to let the web host take care of managing the technical issues.
Managed hosting typically takes care of all the essential matters that go with maintaining your server and ensuring that your site runs efficiently. This includes:
- Upgrading hardware and software when necessary
- Monitoring the server at all times
- Backup services
- Setting up the control panel
These tasks can be time consuming, and you may end up neglecting some crucial areas (such as security or updates) if your site isn’t professionally managed.
An unmanaged server, on the other hand, is good if you do have the time and expertise to take care of these details. The main advantage of unmanaged hosting is that you have complete control and flexibility regarding your website.
Unmanaged hosting, however, is a great responsibility. In this case, the web host generally supports only the hardware. You may have to provide the server yourself, and you will be responsible for maintaining all the software.
WP Engine – Managed Web Hosting
There are all kinds of choices for managed hosting. You can find dedicated hosting plans, VPS hosting, co-location hosting and cloud hosting. One simple type of managed hosting, however, is to use a company such as WP Engine that specializes in hosting WordPress sites. They focus on the security, speed and scalability!
Naturally, WP Engine is only appropriate if you use WordPress, but this is a choice made by more and more bloggers and webmasters. This is a hosting company that offers several managed plans that help you optimize your WordPress site.
They have plans for hosting a single site or multiple sites. If you only have one site, you can get their Personal plan for $29 per month, which is a few times more than regular shared hosting. They also offer Professional, Business and Premium plans if you have several sites or a high traffic site.
WP Engine isn’t the solution for everyone, but if you use WordPress it’s definitely worth looking at.
There are advantages to both managed and unmanaged hosting. Once again, if we count shared hosting, most people will end up choosing some type of managed hosting. More robust types of managed hosting are appropriate if you have a more demanding site and aren’t able to do all the technical work yourself.
Even if you do decide to choose some type of managed hosting, you still need to break it down further and find the right alternative. WP Engine is great if you have a WordPress site. Otherwise, you can pick any reliable web host and explore the various plans that they offer.
Unmanaged web hosting is fine if you have the time, expertise or IT team to manage your server for you. Otherwise you are better off with managed web hosting.