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The Debate between Managed and Unmanaged Hosting

managed vs unmanaged
Salman Saleem

Hosting is to a website what soul is to the body. Why have I used this analogy? To get your answer, you must read this article in full.

Before going into details about managed vs. unmanaged hosting, I have a question for you. Let’s say you own a thriving business. During the festive seasons like Christmas, you expect quite a large number of people to visit your website, right. The question is: Is your website capable enough to sustain the unprecedented online traffic spike on such occasions?

This is where the concept of managed hosting service comes into play. To find the right kind of hosting – managed or unmanaged – is probably one of the most crucial decisions that businesses have to make because deciding between management and cost-cutting does take time.

debate unmanaged vs managed

What Is Unmanaged Hosting?

In simple terms, an unmanaged hosting service is one, where, you as a user, only get a hosting platform, without any additional features. When you get unmanaged hosting, you become responsible for handling your website performance, your website’s security, backups, and website support. It’s like wearing a lot of hats on one head. It’s all about you. Downloading software, looking after the hardware, scaling requirements,  and all other website management issues become your responsibility.

Are you willing to take all these responsibilities? If yes, then go ahead. All you will get is a low-cost unmanaged hosting server, without any support. If you don’t know how to manage the server, you are at a loss. This is why many businesses rely heavily on managed hosting service providers.          

What Is Managed Hosting?

In contrast, managed hosting service comes with a full package. With managed hosting, you get additional services and features that include, but not limited to: dedicated servers, website monitoring, automatic backups, professional tech support, website patches, and much more. The managed hosting service incurs higher costs, but rest assured, every penny you pay is worth it.

As per the information available on Statista, a popular statistics website, in 2010, the market size of managed hosting services stood at around $12 billion. It is likely to hit $81 billion marks by the year 2020. It’s a massive surge.

managed hosting

Why You Need Managed Hosting

The online world is in a state of chaos. To sort this mess out, we need a technology that can help us keep the internet world in order. This is why, I, you, we, and all of us need a managed hosting service.

In this age, businesses need to catch up with the ever-increasing demands of online customers, visiting their websites in large numbers with each passing day. We reckon that managed cloud hosting service will help businesses address this unprecedented traffic surge – they are facing today – in a much better way.

Pros and Cons of Unmanaged Hosting

One word that summarizes the pros of using unmanaged hosting is freedom. Remember, with freedom comes additional responsibility. This is where, you will curse your unmanaged hosting service provider, because, once you get unmanaged hosting, the responsibility to upgrade your website, check your website traffic, communication with your clients, all befall upon you, with the hosting provider having no concern whatsoever about how you handle your website by yourself.

Although unmanaged hosting service seems to be cheap, it is not true. It incurs additional costs when you will have to download new software or upgrade your website; you will have to purchase everything on your own. The fact remains that unmanaged hosting is not cost-effective, but it is rather cost-consuming. It’s a lonely battle for you at the end of the long dreamy run. So, don’t fall prey to the trap of cheap, unmanaged hosting.

Pros and Cons of Managed Hosting

Now, it’s time to discuss the pros and cons of managed hosting. Why? Simply because the pros of managed hosting outnumber the cons by a large margin.

Let’s dig deep.

Performance Monitoring

If you own a website, it is your right to remain updated about its performance. With managed hosting service available, you can relax, as the provider will do it for you. Performance monitoring is an integral part of the managed hosting service package.

Every time if there is a surge or drop in traffic, or any other thing happens that triggers a response on your website, you will get an update on your website’s performance.  All you have to do is to keep a bird’s eye view on the performance indicators that hold importance for you. Do remember to ask the managed hosting service provider about the availability of performance monitoring feature.

unmanaged hosting


One of the factors that contribute towards the success of any online business is scalability. Most online businesses face crunch situations during special days and events when there is a surge in online traffic. Again, scalability is one of the hallmarks of the package that managed hosting companies provide to their clients.

How will you handle an unexpected traffic surge during Christmas or New Year? A good managed hosting service provider will always come in handy in this critical situation. The managed hosting provider will help you scale your web server in real time, thereby managing the load traffic on your website at any given time.      

Security Assurance

With an unprecedented increase in the number of cyber threats, a large number of websites have become vulnerable to hack attacks. Everytime a user visits your website, it becomes vulnerable to an online attack, because you never know about the intention of the user.

This is the reason why, security of any website, including yours, is important. But don’t you worry. The managed hosting service package comes with excellent security tools and features to keep your website secure and running all the year round, thwarting any malicious online security threat with ease. The advanced encryption, and iron-clad security algorithm and security protocols, are there to safeguard your website against all the evil designs of online devils.  

Support Service

Customer Support Service is the backbone of any successful online business. One of the best advantages of having a robust customer support service is that it helps businesses build trust and loyalty amongst the customers.

Do remember that people will forget about the products they buy online, but they will remember the customer support service they get when visiting a website.

It’s the ultimate truth, the only truth, and nothing but the truth.

All managed hosting service provider packages come with customer support service feature. With professional support help available with a managed hosting provider, you can always rely on them to provide you with the best possible customer support service. Before purchasing a hosting service, do remember to ask them about the availability of 24×7 customer support. A friendly customer support service will go a long way in establishing your business according to your expectations.      

Automated Backups

Consider a situation where you have lost all your website’s data. What will you do now? Develop your website from scratch? Well, you will have to if you are using an unmanaged hosting service. This is the reason why having a backup of all your resources is a must for all large and small organization. Your business is no exception.  

To take the burden off your shoulders, you must opt for managed hosting service providers who tend to provide the automated backup feature with the package. It means that if something goes wrong with your website or database, you can always trust your hosting provider to help you restore your data with an automated backup feature.    

Application Support

A trusted and managed to host service provider is the one that readily supports multiple applications and their versions. If there is no application support available, you must change your hosting provider and opt for a better one that helps your website keep running and progressing.

WordPress 5 is the latest version of the popular content management system (CMS) for blogging.  Magento 2 is the new version of the CMS for e-commerce store owners. Many other applications managed to host service providers tend to support.

One thing more, never be ashamed of asking your hosting service provider about application support feature. It is because there is always a new application coming up daily. To keep your website up to date, you need to have the latest tools and applications to garner benefits that you deserve in the long run.

One of the major drawbacks of managed hosting service is that the firms do not allow users the access to their control panel. They tend to control all the functions of your website for you.

More importantly, the managed hosting service comes with a hefty price tag. You have to pay for all the benefits that you get with the hosting package. But the money you spend is well worth it. 

Final Words

This brings us to the end of this article. In it, I have elaborated about managed hosting, unmanaged hosting, and their advantages and disadvantages. Many individuals and businesses will prefer unmanaged hosting, just because it is cost-effective. The fact is otherwise.

Today, all of us, including you and your business deserve better. A managed hosting is the way to go. Even if you have to pay some bucks to the managed hosting provider, every penny is worth it. The most important reason why managed hosting wins here is that it rids you and your business of the burden of handling the core server management tasks. All you need is to relax and see your business grow, while the managed hosting service provider will do the rest for you. It’s that much easy. As this article nears its end, we will advise you to do your thorough research before making any decision to choose your desired hosting solution.     

Hopefully, I have left some food for thought for you in this article. I do hope that you can understand the analogy that I have used at the beginning of this article. Now, it’s your turn to contribute to this article. Was this article helpful for you? You are free to share your thoughts on this article in the comments section.

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