Managed vs. Unmanaged hosting

Managed vs. Unmanaged hosting

Hosting is one of the most important aspects of any online business. Giving a solid foundation to your website, such as the ability to withstand a rush of traffic and avoid traffic jams, is just one of the many reasons why choosing the right service is essential. Getting a hosting plan is one of the first steps you’ll need to take when creating your website. Hosting is what enables your site to be visible on the internet. 

Many hosting solutions are available on the market, such as VPS hosting, shared hosting, cloud hosting, dedicated hosting, etc. A lot of those hosting solutions could be managed or unmanaged. When the hosting plan is managed it is stated as such, for instance managed cloud hosting, contrary to cloud hosting, which refers to unmanaged.   

But what is the difference, and how can you know which one is right for you? This article will discuss the differences between managed and unmanaged hosting and what each of these terms really means to you, the user. At the end of this article, you should know a lot more about these two types of services and which one suits you the best.

Managed hosting

Any hosting plan consists of several different components and features. The two basic components are the server’s hardware and operating system. The most commonly used operating system for a server is Linux. However, some servers run on Windows. Along with that, different software is installed to keep the server’s operation smooth and the websites stable.

Furthermore, hosting companies can also offer various services such as automatic backups, malware scanning and removal, status monitoring, backups, and more. These additional features are administration services, and the hosting company manages them. 

In its essence, managed hosting simply refers to a hosting plan that comes with a number of additional benefits or services that are provided and managed by the host company. Anything ranging from technical issues to the configuration of the server is in the hands of the host. 

Unlike other hosting solutions, the client doesn’t need to have any IT knowledge since the host also does the maintenance.

Now let’s take a look and some advantages and disadvantages of managed hosting 


Fewer maintenance tasks to worry about

Tasks such as security and updates are mostly taken care of 

Backups and other features are usually pre-configured

Customer support is always ready to help you

You don’t need any technical knowledge 


Higher cost

Less flexibility with software versions

Limited access to account configuration 

Unmanaged hosting

Unmanaged hosting is a hosting plan without additional services or with very little. With unmanaged hosting, often, you will get a server with only an operating system installed without any other programs. This means that you will need to install the necessary software yourself, not just WordPress or Drupal. You will also need to use coding languages such as PHP or Apache software. 

For this reason, it is called unmanaged hosting. The company itself does not provide any services or perform administrative tasks on its server. You need to configure and maintain the server yourself and take care of any other technical issues that come along. Furthermore, you are responsible for the security of your site, running backups, and optimizing loading times. However, the hosting provider will still be there to support you if the server is offline.


More flexibility 

You can optimize the server according to your website’s needs

You have complete control over the server

Low cost


Extensive technical knowledge 

You have to worry not just about your website but the server as well


In a general sense, managed plans are largely favored by those who require some level of technical support, which makes them perfect for small business owners. On the other hand, users who require a greater level of freedom and have the technical ability to build their own server are better suited to unmanaged plans. However, both types come with their advantages as well as disadvantages. 

Hopefully, after reading this article you know the differences between managed and unmanaged hosting and you have gained a basic understanding of both. If so, you will be able to decide which hosting solutions fit for needs and expertise.

Christophe Rude
Christophe Rude
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