Managed vs. Unmanaged Hosting: Which Is Best for You?

Managed hosting and Unmanaged hosting are two approaches to hosting websites on a web hosting service.

They differ in the level of control, responsibility, and technical expertise required from the hosting provider and the user.

Key Takeaways:

  • Web hosting types such as VPS or Dedicated can be Managed and Unmanaged.
  • Managed hosting doesn’t require knowledge, it’s best for beginners.
  • Unmanaged hosting requires more technical skills.
  • The managed option is more expensive than unmanaged hosting.

What is Managed Hosting?

Managed hosting is a type of hosting service where the hosting provider takes care of various technical aspects on behalf of the user.

If you choose the Managed plans, the web host will be responsible for the server management, configuration, and maintenance.

Managed hosting also offers great support for users, the support team will be willing to fix any issue that might face you.

This option is generally more expensive than unmanaged hosting. But, it is the choice to go for beginners who don’t have the technical knowledge.

The best and low-price Managed hosting is Cloudways for as low as $11/month.

What is Unmanaged Hosting?

Unmanaged or self-managed hosting is when the user is responsible for configuring, managing, and maintaining the server.

The hosting provider provides the server resources and network connectivity, but the user is responsible for everything else.

This is generally less expensive but requires the user to have some technical knowledge to do all the server configuration by himself.

The best and low-price Unmanaged hosting is Vultr for as low as $2.50/month.

Differences Between Managed and Unmanaged Hosting

1. Support:

  • Managed Hosting: Provides great support for any issue that might face you.
  • Unmanaged Hosting: Limited support, usually related to hardware or network issues.

2. Security:

  • Managed Hosting: Offers many security approaches and techniques for the servers.
  • Unmanaged Hosting: They do only overall server security, app, and website security is your responsibility.

3. Cost:

  • Managed Hosting: More expensive due to the maintenance and support provided by the hosting company.
  • Unmanaged Hosting: Less expensive, but might require additional costs for hiring technical expertise.

4. Server configuration:

  • Managed Hosting: The hosting provider handles server configurations.
  • Unmanaged Hosting: You will have to configure the server and applications by yourself.

5. Server customization:

  • Managed Hosting: Server customization options may be limited to maintain stability and security.
  • Unmanaged Hosting: Offers complete control over server customization, so you can install any software and configure settings.

6. Server root access (SSH and SFTP):

  • Managed Hosting: Direct server access might be limited for security reasons.
  • Unmanaged Hosting: Offers full SSH and SFTP access to your server files.

7. Technical expertise:

  • Managed Hosting: Requires less technical expertise as most technical tasks are handled by the hosting provider.
  • Unmanaged Hosting: Requires a higher level of technical expertise to run your server smoothly.

Price Comparison

The managed hosting option is more expensive than unmanaged hosting

This is because they do all the server configuration and maintenance, in addition to an expert support team for any issue might face you.

For example, A2 Hosting offers Managed and Unmanaged VPS hosting.

Their 2 CPU core Unmanaged VPS hosting prices start at $7.99 per month, while their 2 CPU core Managed hosting prices start at $39.99 per month.

A2 Hosting Managed VPS Hosting Plans And Pricing
A2 Hosting Managed VPS Hosting Plans And Pricing

Which Hosting Option to Choose?

When you want to choose between managed and unmanaged hosting, you should consider your technical expertise, budget, and your specif specific needs.

Managed hosting is suitable for beginners, or users who don’t want to spend time on server management tasks and focus on their core business.

Unmanaged hosting is better for users who have the skills and desire to manage their server environment by themselves.

Read also: Shared hosting vs. VPS hosting.

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