Sleep Tight: Top Benefits of Managed Hosting vs. Unmanaged
The debate about whether to select managed hosting or to “go it on your own” has been fierce for years, and there’s no sign it’s slowing down.
There are two camps of people who square off in the world of website maintenance and hosting. There are those customers who would rather pay the lowest possible price and handle all the technical details on their own. The other team contains people who will pay more as long as someone else is responsible for all the heavy lifting. We're going to make our case for the latter.
Offload Server Maintenance to a Third Party
Managed Web hosting is a solution for businesses that do not want downtime and are not going to handle necessary maintenance for their Web servers. They are leaving the job up to the expertise of the hosting company and will not have to make backups or apply the latest security patch. Let’s face it; it’s no fun having to spend Saturday night making sure the newest kernel upgrade goes smooth.
- Managed Web hosting alleviates stress and allows small business owners to focus on their core competency.
- Companies that specialize in server maintenance are experts so tapping their expertise makes sense.
- You'll lose any savings you may get from a non-managed account when you experience downtime.
- Busy sites cannot afford to be down. A loss of revenue is the inevitable result.
Not Much More Expensive
Saving on monthly costs is a great idea. However, managed hosting is not that much more expensive than its standard counterpart. Downtime, on the other hand, has enormous implications. Your site will receive fewer visitors and will likely be downgraded by search engines. Ignoring server performance is something you should only do at your peril.
Maintenance problems have a way of dragging on until they’re eating up your time. A botched upgrade can take hours to fix. Even a simple “disk check” can go on for much longer than expected. Experienced service people who do managed Web hosting must always be on hand to ensure smooth operations of servers. If you aren’t prepared to staff them yourself, then leave it up to a third party.
Doesn't Waste Time or Resources
Wasted time equals wasted money. Spending crucial business hours working on servers will not earn your business more revenues. There’s no upside to “doing it yourself” so you may as well pay the managed hosting fee and revel in the perfect uptime and stress-free operation!
Keep in mind just how many tasks are needed to maintain a modern server.
- Scripts need patching and upgrading.
- The system kernels need patches and upgrades.
- The environment needs upgrades and patching.
- Installation of scripts requires intervention.
- Maintenance of scripts requires proper monitoring.
- Securing servers is a full-time job requiring expertise.
To discount the work of hosting professionals is a mistake. Specialization is required just because of how complicated server-related security is these days. There’s no reason to leave any of it up to chance. Your business relies on a constant, stable Web presence. With fully managed hosting you’ll get that every time.
These days, security breaches happen quickly. Without a specific plan in place to deal with threats, your website will be vulnerable to exploits and attacks.
No Learning Curve
There are times when unmanaged hosting is appropriate. For Web developers who are taking a hands-on approach to developing a code base for their users, having access to the server makes sense. They are already working on their script, so spending a portion of the day improving or maintaining their virtual environment will be useful.
However, people with limited technical knowledge should not go this route. There are too many incidents where something goes wrong. Without a solid professional background, the chance of an amateur fixing a significant server problem is unlikely. Plus, if you don’t need total control over your server environment choosing an unmanaged plan is overkill and the wrong move.
Business owners are always best on a managed hosting plan. That way they will not deal with any of the core maintenance issues that they would otherwise. This freedom from the wrong kind of responsibility allows them to work on more crucial aspects of their online presence.
Optimized Server Performance
Where managed hosting excels is in the area of server performance. Server professionals understand the need to tweak the performance of their machines constantly. Their customers are only happy when their sites are running at their absolute optimal performance. Amateurs do not have the tools or knowledge necessary to make the right performance tweaks.
Unless you commit unleashing real-world technical excellence and possess the skill to get it done, chances are high your organization would be better off leaving server management to someone else. That’s no insult to your company. Most likely, server admins will not be very good at your job, either. Fast servers bring in more money so leave it to the hosting company to extract the ultimate level of performance from your server.
The Course to Higher Profit is Set
There’s only one thing to conclude. Managed hosting is the best choice for small businesses because it eliminates all the problems associated with maintaining a server for a reasonable cost. Companies that are not experts in server administration are better served handling their business functions while leaving the server work to a third party. That way they spend their precious time earning the highest return possible.
When you choose unmanaged hosting, you will encounter downtime and stress that could otherwise avoid altogether. Why put unnecessary pressure on yourself when a reliable option exists that ensures smooth sailing. Your Web presence is too necessary to allow for errors. Stick with the plan and leave optimization, maintenance and upgrades to experienced technicians. If you do, you can sleep well at night knowing that it won’t be you who is up until 4 a.m. fixing a broken server.
About the Author
Zach Hughey is an online marketing specialist with the desire of helping companies implement better marketing strategies. He is co-founder of a few blogs and hosting services/offers is always an interesting subject for him. That’s why he writes articles for TopWebHost.net.