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The Case for Unmanaged Hosting

Nov 13th, 2017

If you’re going to be using a dedicated server or a VPS, you’re going to have to make the choice between managed and unmanaged hosting. With managed hosting, you’ll not only receive server space equipped with an operating system, you’ll also get a web host that manages that server for you. They’ll provide backup, performance monitoring, software updates, malware scanning and removal, control panels, and more. With unmanaged hosting however, you’ll only get the server space and operating system. The rest is up to you. So why would you ever choose unmanaged over managed?

It’s true. With unmanaged hosting, you’ll need to have a solid understanding of server management, and that includes knowing how to do everything listed above when talking about managed hosting. Of course, many business owners have founded their business using knowledge that has little to nothing to do with server management. For this reason, they hire IT consultants or in-house IT staff to manage the server for them so they personally don’t need to have this knowledge. But still, why would you spend money on additional IT resources when you can just choose a managed web hosting plan?

Mainly it’s because with unmanaged web hosting, the world of server and website management opens up completely.

It’s true. While managed hosting might be convenient, website owners will give up some choices and freedoms for that convenience. For example, say you currently have a managed hosting plan and want to install an application on your server. However, that application is going to require some special tweaking or fine-tuning of the server. In most cases, the web host will not allow those changes to be made under the managed hosting plan. With unmanaged hosting however, that server – or at least the space on it – is yours to use however you wish and so, you can not only install the application, but make any necessary changes to the server.

Control panels are another point of contention when it comes to managed web hosting options. Because the web host is managing your server space and therefore will need to regularly make changes or updates to it, you will be required to use a certain type of control panel. For those just starting out in server and website management, this might not be a big deal but for many, an alternative option to their preferred just isn’t feasible. Using the control panel of your choice is just one more area of control you’ll have over your website.

Of course, because unmanaged web hosting plans use fewer resources from the web host, these plans are typically much cheaper than managed plans, but that’s not the main reason why business owners choose them. They choose them because they have the final say in everything in their business, and they don’t think it should be any different when it comes to their server and their website.