Managed website hosting essentially means that a large portion of the server side work is done by the hosting company, rather than the client themselves. This takes a lot of weight off the client’s plate, giving them more time to focus on their business or the client side’s aspect of the hosting.
There are a number of different options available when it comes to managed hosting, this is due all hosting companies having a unique offering when it comes to the level of services, support, benefits and features that they offer. Pricing will vary significantly from hosting company to hosting company, and from plan to plan, meaning that there is plenty for a potential client to do before they select the right managed hosting plan for their needs. Here are some of the options that are available for your consideration;
Unmanaged Hosting – With unmanaged website hosting, the client is expected to manage the majority of his or her account alone. While unmanaged website hosting does offer support services, data monitoring and back up services and disaster preparedness are usually handled by the client rather than by the hosting company. Some unmanaged hosting accounts do offer hosting services, but they will cost extra in addition to regular monthly fees which makes them less than a cost effective service for most business clients.
Semi-Managed Hosting – This is exactly what the name would suggest, a website hosting plan that offers some management by the hosting company without their services treading in fully managed territory. Semi-Managed hosting for business clients may include a certain amount of system admin time per month, monitoring of data, data backups, automatic notification for events, scheduled backups of the server, kernel and OS updates, virus scanning on the server side, spam filtering and so on. However, most semi-managed hosting plans only offer some of these features, requiring extra fees for a more complete managed hosting solution.
Fully Managed Hosting – This, as the name suggests, is website hosting that offers a fully managed solution on the server side for clients. This is a cost effective solution as it means clients do not have to worry about server and data backups, disaster preparedness, constant monitoring of data, event notification and so on. Fully managed hosting solutions usually include a predetermined number of hours available for system admin time, along with a myriad of other services which keep the data and server side of things effectively managed and out of the hands of the client.
Depending on your knowledge, expertise and experience with website hosting and the server and data side of things, different levels of managed hosting may be more or less ideal for your purposes. If you want to save time and money by forgoing the hiring of a system admin, allowing your hosting company to handle the server instead, then managed website hosting may be the level of service that you have been looking for.
If you feel comfortable handling the server and have the time and energy to monitor your data and to plan and prepare for disaster and data loss, then managed hosting may be an expense that you can pass on.