When Should Managed Web Hosting Be Considered
If you are looking for web hosting solutions for your website you may be confused as to which hosting option to choose. You can choose between free and paid hosting, or shared and dedicated hosting. Then there are other hosting solutions such as virtual private servers (VPS) or cloud hosting. With all the solutions you may feel a bit overwhelmed.
If you feel your site is going to be rather popular, yet you do not have the knowledge or staff to deal with administering all the server possibilities, it may be beneficial to consider a managed web hosting solution.
What is managed web hosting?
Simply put, managed web hosting is when the web host takes care of the operation of the server so that you don't have to. It used to be that managed web hosting was a term specifically applied to dedicated hosting. This is still the most prevalent use of managed hosting but you can find managed services these days applied to other hosting solutions such as co-location, cloud hosting or VPS.
If you do not have the knowledge to set up your server space the way you need to in order to conduct your business, or if you find you do not have the time to do so, a managed hosting solution may be an ideal option to consider.
Who uses managed web hosting services?
There are two basic reasons managed web hosting is used. It is used by both individuals and businesses to minimize the amount of hands on IT work that needs to be performed on the server in order to keep it maintained:
- Limited IT Knowledge - Some websites are highly popular and need a more robust web hosting solution. However, the business owner or the staff may concentrate on the business as opposed to the hosting solution and simply do not have the knowledge to administer the server space properly. They can then rely on the web hosting managed services to ensure everything is set up properly.
- Limited Time - Even if there are available resources they may be dedicated to other tasks and hence, there may not be enough time to properly administer the server as needed. Instead of a need for knowledge there is a lack of time available to devote to it, thus managed services are a convenience.
What is included in managed hosting services?
If you are considering paying the additional cost for managed services you want to know what is included in that cost. All web hosts have various services that they consider managed. Some provide particular services as part of a package and then some are available a la carte and only paid for whenever you need them. You may find:
- Trouble shooting
- Server monitoring
- On call maintenance
- Hardware upgrading
- Software upgrading
- Software installation
- Backup services
- Security auditing
- Control panel set up
Benefits of managed hosting services
Managed hosting services are available at an additional fee. This may seem like an expensive way to host a web site. However, there are many advantages you will possess by choosing managed services that often make it a great value, even though it may not be the least expensive:
- If you have an IT staff, their time can be better utilized with other functions. Professional IT staff are expensive so you want to make the most of their talents. The web host is often better suited to handling critical server issues because of their concentrated knowledge. Often issues can be handled quicker and more efficiently allowing your own IT resources to be free for other tasks.
- If you decide to administer your hosting needs yourself you may find that it is a highly expensive venture. Because a web host is in a position to demand bulk rates for bandwidth, server space, hardware parts and software you will very often save a lot of money overall.
- The web host will provide much greater security and increased performance by using the technology available through the datacenter. This means that your website will be available and reliable for your customers.
- You can never guarantee that something will go wrong during working hours. It is usually cost prohibitive to have your own IT staff available 24/7 just to monitor your servers. However, the web host will often already have available 24/7 support staff who will monitor your server and deal with any possible issue that may arise.
Managed web hosting services are not cheap. You will pay extra for the benefit of having the web host's technical support staff available to you. You may pay for it for a monthly fee or on an a la carte basis whenever you need specific services. However, just because you are paying extra for it does not mean it is not worth it. With all the advantages you are likely going to pay less for managed services than you will if you have to hire someone to deal with it yourself. Therefore you are, in fact, procuring better value for your money.