Fully Managed vs Unmanaged Hosting

How to make the right choice for you and your business?

Introduction

Nowadays, most websites begin their digital life on a shared hosting account. Most website owners will not switch to a VPS or a dedicated server before they are certain that it's required for them.
(confused about all these types of hosting? read our guide to Shared Hosting vs VPS Hosting vs Dedicated Servers).

The terms "unmanaged" or "fully-managed" (or sometimes just "managed") are only truly relevant when talking about VPS hosting or dedicated server hosting. Shared hosting is always considered fully-managed due to the fact that multiple clients are using the same server, and none of them have root access and so the host actively manages the server for them.

The easiest way to choose between unmanaged and fully-managed

With most VPS or dedicated servers, you will receive full root access which means you have full control and power over your server. However, with great power, comes great responsibility. With any server, the software running on it must be properly updated, secured, and optimized on a regular basis. Choosing the fully-managed option means having a dedicated support team that can do this (and a lot more) for you instead of you having to do it yourself!

So at the end of the day, the question of whether you should get a fully-managed server or an unmanaged server depends on whether or not you have the experience to manage a server. But wait, how do you know if you have enough experience? If you have to ask, you probably don't.

You might be thinking "So what? I have cPanel/WHM, I'll just use that to secure, optimize, etc". Many website owners make the mistake of thinking that a control panel is a valid replacement to a server administrator. At the end of the day, the question of unmanaged hosting vs fully-managed hosting is really a question of having fully-managed support when you need it vs being on your own and having to figure issues and problems out yourself.

1. Choosing between cPanel Server Management and Non-cPanel Server Management

Our Fully-Managed hosting requires cPanel/WHM. We only provide Fully-Managed support for servers that run cPanel/WHM.

cPanel is an online Linux-based web hosting control panel that provides a graphical interface and automation tools designed to simplify the process of managing a server and hosting websites. As a result, getting a cPanel server management plan will be the most affordable way to have a fully-managed server. Some providers will have a fully-managed support option that covers more than just cPanel server. These usually cost more for the hosting provider to maintain and provide and will ,therefore, be more pricey. Many times, non-cPanel server management plans will cost more and include less than a cPanel-only server management plan.

2. Who will perform security hardening?

Our Fully-Managed hosting includes server security hardening. We make sure your server is safe and secure with our own security hardening recipe.

Over 30,000 servers are hacked every day and the average time it takes to detect an intrusion is 156 days. Properly securing a server is an ongoing process and not a one-time procedure. Properly securing a server can be quite complicated with many independent tasks, for example, you must regularly make sure the kernel and binaries on the server are properly updated, that the server has a properly configured firewall, if you use WordPress, you must make sure all of your themes and plugins are up to date, and more.

3. Who will perform performance optimization?

Our Fully-Managed hosting includes server performance optimization. You will notice significant performance improvements with our optimization.

Everyone wants to have a fast website. No one ever tries to make their website slow down a bit, but if you're not properly optimizing your server for performance, you're not reaching the full performance potential that your website and server have.

You could buy the fastest hardware in the world and have the most resources available for your website, but without proper performance optimization, you're only really doing 50% of the work, if that. An experienced system administrator will know how to properly optimize the software running on your server so that it reaches the best performance it could.

4. What will you do when things go wrong or stop working as expected?

Our Fully-Managed hosting includes tech support for common issues. Our highly experienced technicians will quickly resolve common issues & problems.

If you're new to the world of servers and hosting, you should know one universal truth: things can and sometimes will go wrong. Imagine that your car battery died, that's a common issue that has probably happened to you in the past. What did you do when that happened? You took it to the mechanic so that he can fix it, right? You didn't try to fix it yourself because you don't know enough to fix it and for a mechanic that's an easy task.

The same exact logic should apply to your server. If something goes wrong, you could spend hours or even days trying to figure it out, while your users suffer downtime or slow performance. But why would you? Wouldn't you prefer having a professional server administrator available who will fix the issue for you quickly and easily?

5. Who will migrate your websites from your current server?

Our Fully-Managed hosting includes migration of up to 20 websites from an existing cPanel server.

Migrating websites the right way can be a complicated thing to do. cPanel/WHM does simplify the process but you still need to make sure the migration is done properly. Examples of common issues that happen during cPanel to cPanel migrations are permission issues or mismatch between the software on the origin server and the software on the destination server.

Fully-Managed support includes SO MUCH MORE

There's only so much we can cover but the bottom line is, a high-quality fully-managed hosting provider will include quite a lot as part of their managed support. Choosing such provider with a fully-managed solution rather than an unmanaged one will allow you to focus on your business and save you money & time.

Additional examples of what a Fully-Managed support team can help you with include cPanel/WHM configuration, configuring and running backups, restoring data from backups, support for DNS configuration and issues, email issue troubleshooting, server health checks, SSL certificate set up & maintenance, help with the management of cPanel accounts, firewall configuration and support, resource usage analysis and so much more. Keep in mind that development work is usually not included with server management plans and support for 3rd party software may sometimes be limited.

Getting a fully-managed hosting service means having a support team that goes beyond the hardware and network.

The following table summarizes the main differences between our unmanaged servers and our fully-managed servers
Unmanaged Server vs Fully-Managed Server Comparison

Click the table to zoom in

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