In this article, we are going to dive deeper into managed hosting. You’ll get to know what hosting is, which types of hosting there are, what managed hosting is, and what would be a good option for you and your business.
Hosting: the basis
Simply put, web hosting means renting out a space on a server and storing your websites/applications’ files. A server is a computer that is connected to the internet 24/7. Whenever an online visitor wants to visit your website, their browser will make a request to your server. Your server will then “serve” your website so that the user can see it. A server, in other words, makes it possible for visitors to access your website.
Different types of hosting
You’ve probably heard the terms Shared hosting, VPS hosting, Dedicated Hosting, Collocation, Cloud Computing, and more. You might have wondered what they mean and what they can do for you. Here’s the answer:
When you were younger, you might have shared an apartment with friends and students. Sharing an apartment was probably one of the cheapest options out there. In this shared apartment, you shared the building but had your own life. However, your life was also impacted by the people living with or around you. Shared hosting is similar: you share a single physical server and its resources with other people.
Shared hosting is a good choice if:
- You have a small website
- You aren’t planning to receive a lot of visitors anytime soon
- You’re on a tight budget
- Downtime isn’t a big issue for you
- You don’t have any or little technical knowledge
With dedicated hosting a physical server is reserved for your website and/or application. This means that you don’t share any resources with other people. The behavior of other websites and applications won’t influence the performance of your website and/or application.
Dedicated hosting is a good choice for:
- Businesses that need full control over their server
- Websites that get a lot of visitors
VPS hosting stands in between dedicated hosting and shared hosting. You still share a physical server with other users. However, with virtualization technology, your hosting provider creates a virtual layer on top of the operating server. This divides the server into different “virtual servers”. This means that you get your own virtual space on a server and your own resources. You’ll also be able to install your own OS and software.
Virtual server hosting is good if:
- Your website is growing quickly
- If you don’t need the resources of a dedicated server
- You need good security
- You need flexibility
- If you want to manage multiple websites
Collocation is a hosting service that allows you to place your own/rented server in a data center of a hosting provider. When you do this, you use the facilities of the hosting provider such as rack space, electricity, and more. You will have the responsibility for the server and software.
Cloud hosting is similar to regular hosting: you need a data center, servers, and everything else to host a website or web application. The biggest difference here is the scale: a cloud provider has a lot of data centers and servers worldwide. This means that a network of connected servers hosts your website or application
Unmanaged v.s. Managed hosting
Generally, hosting providers offer unmanaged and managed hosting. Within these terms there are variations.
What is unmanaged hosting?
With unmanaged hosting you often don’t get a lot of help from the hosting provider: you need to have all the technical knowledge. This means that you have to install the OS, install other software, configure the server, do the back-ups, do the monitoring, optimize whenever needed, make sure it’s well secured, and more. In some cases, the hosting provider does help with installing the OS and control panel, and in some cases, you can hire them for help.
What is managed hosting?
Managed hosting is a type of hosting where the hosting provider takes responsibility for your server and everything that comes with that. This means that you don’t necessarily need any technical knowledge. It’s a bit like having a handyman around that can help you whenever you need it.
Depending on what type of hosting you choose, “managed” can mean different things.
Managed shared hosting
On shared hosting, “managed” usually refers to the application that’s running on top of the server. For example, with Managed WordPress hosting, the hosting provider will make sure that the application is up to date and that your website is taken care of.
Managed VPS or Dedicated Server
When talking about Virtual Servers or Dedicated Servers, “managed” usually refers to help from the lowest level of the operating system to everything on top.
When choose managed hosting?
Unmanaged options are usually cheaper, however, there are many reasons why managed hosting might be a better choice:
- You don’t need technical knowledge – The hosting provider will manage the technical aspects of your website/server.
- Customer service – With managed hosting you often get access to a support team. You can contact this support team whenever you need to change something.
- 24/7 availability – If it’s important for you that your website is available 24/7, a hosting provider can take care of this for you. This comes in handy when you’re, for example, running an eCommerce site that suddenly gets a lot more visitors than expected.
- Time – Letting a hosting provider manage your VPS/dedicated server will save you a lot of time.
- Maintenance – within a hosting environment, everything needs maintenance. With managed hosting, your hosting provider will take care of this.