As the hosting industry continues to grow and expand they offer clients even more hosting options. There was a time when hosting providers offering dedicated servers, only offered unmanaged hosting services. Many companies that needed dedicated web hosting found that they did not have an IT staff that was able to manage and maintain the servers well. The web hosting industry responded to this need by offering managed hosting?
What is managed hosting? When your hosting provider manages your dedicated server, this is referred to as managed hosting. “Managed Hosting” means different things depending on the hosting company. The host will usually monitor and maintain the server, and all related hardware and applications. The systems are secure and should include backup and disaster recovery. An uptime guarantee (preferably of 99.9%) should be offered. Uptime is especially important for business websites. If your website is down, you can lose customers and lose sales.
When you are looking for a managed hosting provider, check with each individual company that you may consider for hosting to learn what services their managed hosting includes. One company may offer you more services for your money than another. Take your time to compare companies and make sure your hosting plan will include all the features that you need. Also be sure that all aspects of your hosting service that you or your staff cannot manage will be managed for you. Different companies provide different levels of managed hosting. Learn what each companies definition of managed hosting really is so you can select a plan best suited to your needs.
When you shop for web hosting you have the option of shared hosting or dedicated server hosting. Most individuals and even small-mid sized business opt for shared hosting. Shared hosting means your website is hosted on a server with several other sites. You “share” the server. This form of hosting is inexpensive and the hosting plans include many features and applications. For the average website, the amount of disk space and bandwidth included with a shared hosting plan is more than enough.
If your website is large and will have a very large amount of traffic each day, you may need dedicated server hosting. One server will be “dedicated” to hosting your website. Your website alone will be hosted on the server. Managed and unmanaged dedicated server hosting is available. If the server is not managed, you will be responsible for all technical aspects of hosting your website. This means you will either need the technical knowledge and expertise or will need to hire someone who does. For this reason, many customers needing dedicated servers, now opt for managed hosting.
Do you need managed hosting? If you need a dedicated server for your website and you do not have the knowledge or time to manage the servers, then you should look into managed hosting. Keep in mind that managed hosting is the more expensive dedicated server hosting option. However, if you do not have the technical expertise to maintain and manage your website’s hosting, it may be the best option. You will either need to hire or pay one or more staff members to do the work or select managed hosting.