This might seem like a pretty straight forward comparison, managed means you get support and unmanaged you have to do things yourself. If you thought that then you are… correct! The common mistake that many people make when ordering a service such as a VM/VPS or dedicated server is to what level are you on your own.
Most hosting companies that do not include the word ‘Managed [service]’ tend to mean it is self-managed (unmanaged). With this you will see a lower price when comparing to a company that advertises their services as managed, such as we do.
Before purchasing an unmanaged service ask yourself a simple question “Can I fix anything that goes wrong with the server (excluding the hardware of course) and know what tools I need to fix it (for example SSH – Putty/Terminal)?” if the answer is “Yes” or a “Yes, I will research the fix and I don’t mind if there is downtime” then a unmanaged server sounds like it will fit your needs. If the answer is “No” then your best option is to go ‘Managed’.
Now if your answer was “No” then lets go a little bit more into it. Managed hosting for a large number of hosting companies out there means no root access to your service for you. It is there way of limiting anything you might do to cause issues. For example you delete a folder which contains OS data and then breaks the service/website, this would be very rare and is the point of backups. At Host Media, this is where we have decided we don’t want to limit customers and to give customers the option to do what they want. Most of the common features you will want to use are pretty high up there in the access requirements. You might want to install cPanel or another control panel yourself and then ask support “did I do it right?” or “is it all OK?“. We are here 24/7 and do everything possible to support you what ever your server skills are. You could be an expert with years of experience and just need the team to help now and again or maybe when you are on holiday so you can properly enjoy those cocktails on the beach. On the other hand you might not know a single thing about servers and just know you want a VM with lots of power to run your website, and a team to setup everything to run it.
What ever type of hosting you go with, make sure to ask yourself that important question; Can I fix anything that goes wrong myself – this includes maybe finding someone to do it for you.
If you have any questions about managed hosting our sales team will be happy to help.
We have been hosting websites since 2002 and are always moving forward. All articles written under the Host Media author are created by the team who support our customers.