Both unmanaged hosting and managed hosting rely on the same hardware, utilizing a single third party dedicated server. In this way, both unmanaged and managed hosting have the same growth potential and security options. However, the cost and support of these two types of dedicated hosting plans vary drastically. Because of this, the choice between these two options will have a dramatic impact on the website's long term maintenance and success. Therefore, it is critical to understand what each type of dedicated hosting provides in order to assess which option will best work for a website's unique needs and resources.
Unmanaged Hosting – The Less Costly Option
For those interested in the bottom line, unmanaged hosting is the less costly option. Leasing unmanaged dedicated hosting will cost significantly less, which is often appealing for new websites without much start up capital. When using unmanaged hosting, websites still have sole access to a server, which can provide key bandwidth and security options, but there is minimal background support to maintain normal server issues. While this dedicated hosting will have some technical support in place from the third party provider, most of it is only available at an extra cost for those who lease with unmanaged hosting. Usually, the support does not extend beyond simple hardware issues. The majority of the upkeep on the server is the responsibility of the website owner, making it necessary to handle problems with security and bandwidth in house.
Some website owners, especially those with newer websites or less traffic to worry about, prefer the lower monthly costs of unmanaged hosting since the occasional maintenance fees often cost less overall than the monthly premiums of managed hosting. Other website owners may opt for unmanaged hosting if they have a strong technical staff already employed that is capable of handling such website upkeep. It is also good to understand that some websites start off with unmanaged hosting but eventually graduate to managed hosting once their need for updates and maintenance becomes pressing enough.
There are several good alternatives when it comes to unmanaged hosting but one that I would like to recommend is SingleHop. They have plenty different server types to choose between and I'm sure you'll find something matching what you want and need.
Managed Hosting – All-Inclusive
In contrast, managed hosting has an inclusive support structure. This type of dedicated hosting not only leases the server itself but also the support staff from the third party provider to maintain it. In this way, managed hosting is more hands-off most of the time, since the third party host is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the server and its bandwidth and security. This support should include basic hardware maintenance in addition to standard upgrades and the installation of extra features. Such support becomes especially important for sites that are extremely active, when bandwidth and security are palpable day to day issues. However, because of the added on-call support staff in place, managed hosting will usually cost more.
Because of the increased cost associated with this type of dedicated hosting, managed hosting is usually more popular with well established and profitable sites. This type of site would utilize the extra support services enough to make the jump in cost worthwhile. Other website owners may opt for managed hosting if their capabilities are extremely limited, with little or no knowledge about how to properly maintain and update a server. In this way, managed hosting is also common amongst novices who simply lack the skill set to adequately maintain a site. Some website owners may eventually shift from managed hosting to unmanaged hosting if their website flourishes enough to warrant adding full time in house technical staff to support server issues.
It's difficult to say which provider that is the best in regards to managed hosting as we all have different needs but one that I believe to stand out in the crowd is Dedicated Now. Top servers and competent staff that always knows what to do.
What’s the Best Alterative for You?
Overall, the choice between unmanaged hosting and managed hosting is usually about cost, demand, and growth potential. Both options benefit from the increased bandwidth and security of dedicated hosting and vary with the amount of technical support that each hosting offers. By realistically gauging a website's needs and the owner's capabilities, it should be easy to discern which option will be more effective for one's dedicated hosting goals.