Managed Hosting – The Contenders for the Best Service Around
Typically associated with dedicated hosting, managed hosting services also offer shared and VPS users the opportunity to largely forget about their back-end and focus on developing their website.
From small startups to enterprise-level companies, users are increasingly embracing the idea of entrusting their hosting service providers with the day-to-day running of their server’s hardware and software.
Looking to take some of the pressure off of your overworked IT team? Here are some questions to ask before subscribing to a managed hosting service:
- Is your move to managed hosting financially smart?
- How fast can it migrate your website?
- Do you need managed shared, VPS, cloud, or dedicated hosting?
- Does it offer root access?
While there are certainly other factors that come into play, these questions should help you discern between above and below average managed hosting solutions.
Ready to get started with managed hosting? Read our expert review followed by our user reviews to find an outstanding managed hosting service.
What is Managed Hosting?
The term managed hosting has different connotations depending on the type of server your website is hosted on. In managed VPS, cloud and dedicated hosting, your hosting service provider takes on the routine maintenance of your server’s hardware and software.
In shared hosting, managed server hosting refers to hosts that update, patch, backup, and provide support for the software your website is run on, such as WordPress or Drupal.
Why do You Need Managed Hosting?
Companies that are trying to scale can take advantage of managed wordpress hosting as well as managed VPS, cloud, or dedicated hosting services to enable their IT teams to focus on more pressing issues instead of routine server configurations and maintenance.
By running 24/7 network monitoring, DDoS protection, firewalls and malware scanning, managed hosts keep your website and your customers’ information safe from hackers. Similarly, frequent backups by your managed host keep your business safe in the unlikely event of a hack or natural disaster.
To boost your page load times, managed hosts use a combination of caching, CDN, and software updates to optimize your server for speed. While there are adjustments you may need to make on your end, you don’t have to worry about any of the server-side factors that can impact your load times.
For beginners, shared managed hosting takes the stress out of your first web venture by optimizing the server for platform you’re running your website on. Whether it’s updating the software, plugins and widgets or taking care of caching, shared managed hosting looks after your back-end so you can attend to your content.
What are the Benefits of Managed Hosting?
- It lets your IT team prioritize other things. IT have so many internal areas that they need to be investing time in, such as building custom databases and resolving employee queries. Relieving them of most network and server duties leaves them more time to develop your business’ offline and online infrastructures.
- It lets beginners make the most of their shared hosting plan. If you’re just starting out with web hosting, learning how to navigate features like cPanel can be stressful. Shared managed hosting is geared toward the large swathes of people with very little tech experience, handling most of the back-end updates and configurations so that you don’t have to worry about it.
- It can help you comply with HIPAA regulations. Certain businesses, such as businesses that deal with protected health information (PHI), have to meet very specific server and network privacy requirements or face legal consequences. Checking off all the HIPAA boxes can be extremely time-consuming and confusing but choosing a managed web host that specializes in HIPAA compliance can give you peace of mind.
What Factors to Consider for Managed Hosting
- Is it financially worthwhile? The main draw of managed hosting is that it ostensibly saves you time and money. However, if you’re looking at fairly standard server configurations and setups or configurations that can be set to run automatically, your own IT team might be able to get the job done and still have time for its other projects.
- How seamless is the migration process? The best managed hosting solutions offer free migrations with zero downtime. If a hosting solution is charging for the migration or doesn’t provide a no-downtime guarantee, it’s not the one for you.
- Are you entitled to premium support? Since managed hosting charges extra for making sure your back-end runs smoothly, in the event of a problem you want to know that you can reach tech support quickly. Hosting services that offer 24/7/365 expert support are a good start, though it’s important to look into how long their response and resolution times are on average for each channel they offer.
- How do their features stack up? There’s a lot more that goes into web hosting than server performance. Are you satisfied with the amount of bandwidth and storage space you’re getting? Does it offer a rich developer toolkit? How does it test for speed and uptime? If you’re unhappy with any of the answers to these questions, your search for a managed host isn’t over.
Choose the Best Managed Web Hosting
Whether we’re talking about managed VPS, cloud or dedicated hosting or managed shared hosting, managed hosting is a great option for users that don’t need to be personally involved in their server maintenance. To discover the best managed hosting solutions, read our user reviews and find the right managed host for your website.