Do you have a contingency plan to deal with downtime on your website? If not, you are at hands of your hosting provider because is cheaper, due to no management.

Yes, it’s true everyone is different and no one can give you a one-size-fits-all service. Most businesses start out hosting their websites on shared servers, and they don’t come across the word ‘management’ at all. The term only really applies once we start looking for VPS hosting, semi-dedicated hosting or dedicated servers.

There’s a clear price difference between unmanaged and managed, but it’s not a good idea to make your decision on cost alone. Picking the wrong plan could become extremely expensive in the long run.

On a managed hosting package:

The host offers support for every problem or task, emergency or routine. There’s a limit, obviously, in that you may not get support for a coding problem on your blog. But the operating system, control panel, server setup and any pre-installed applications are all managed – supported, in other words. Often, managed hosting comes with automated backup and monitoring.

Unmanaged hosting package:

Is cheaper because there’s no management – i.e. no routine support. The host will replace failed components, reboot servers, maintain the network and keep the lights on, but it won’t support any software or install anything for you. It’s effectively your computer to maintain and control. You install security patches, you fix weird error messages and you’re responsible for installing everything but the OS. Many hosts won’t even provide a control panel or web server software: it’s up to you to do that.

What’s important to you: low cost, or fewer maintenance tasks?.

If you’re not comfortable tinkering with the insides of your server, you should stick to a managed solution. If your host doesn’t offer one, ask about a maintenance agreement or hybrid plan. And never sign up for a long unmanaged hosting contract if you’ve any doubts about your ability to handle the workload solo.

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