Should you Go for Managed or Unmanaged Hosting for your WordPress Site?

WordPress drives 33% of the web with 500 new sites being developed in the top 10 million websites every day. Anyone with minimal technical knowledge can use the platform to create appealing, professional websites. WordPress is also free, which adds to the perks of using the content management system.

However, while you do not need to pay for the CMS, you still need to pay for hosting your site. One of the main considerations while choosing a hosting plan is whether you should opt for managed or unmanaged hosting.

Both managed and unmanaged WordPress hosting have their pros and cons. Your needs will determine the type of service you require. Let’s take a look at both managed and unmanaged WordPress hosting so that you can select the right one for your site.

Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress hosting includes the hardware and additional services and support from the host. The host provides all the required software and applications you need to create and run your website. On top of that, they will also offer comprehensive management services which lift the responsibility of managing your server from your shoulders.

The nature of services offered in managed WordPress hosting differs from host to host. But all of them provides some standard services such as automatic backups, performance monitoring, virus scan and removal, software updates and more. Let’s explore some common management services offered in managed hosting-

Control Panel

A managed plan provides you with a control panel like Plesk or cPanel to set up your website. The panel lets you create databases, DNS records, email forwarders, logs and so on.

You can also install your own control panel in unmanaged hosting, provided you have the technical skills.

Automated Backups

You can rest assured knowing your data is safe with automated backups. The nature of backup differs from host to host. For example, some may store the backup on a different server while others may keep it in the same server.

Performance Monitoring

The host will monitor your performance and warn you in advance so that you can resolve the issue. Monitoring may include the use of resources, traffic surges, downtime and so on.

Software Updates

The host offers automatic updates of various software and application to keep your server up to date.

Malware Scanning

Some managed plans offer security measures to scan and remove virus or malware. You can ensure the safety of your site and save it from online attacks.

Unmanaged WordPress Hosting

Unmanaged WordPress hosting is the most basic hosting plan that only provides you with the server. You may have an operating system installed, but no software or services are offered. So you need to take the responsibility of installing all applications and programs required to run your website.

You not only have to install software like WordPress or Drupal, but also basic things like Apache and PHP. The hosting company will not play any part in your server management or offer any support or services. That means you have to create backups, monitor performance, run security patches and software upgrades, scan for viruses and so on.

You may also not get any control panel or graphical interface to manage your site. Everything needs to be done using the command line, so it’s imperative that you have the know-how.

Managed Vs. Unmanaged WordPress Hosting: Which One Should You Choose?

You are free to decide whether you need a managed or unmanaged WordPress hosting. Your needs will, of course, influence your decision but let’s discuss a few things to keep in mind.

Managed plans are more expensive compared to unmanaged hosting because of the additional services. Managed WordPress hosting makes sense when you don’t have the technical knowledge to manage your server. The host will take all the responsibility of providing the tools and services required to run your website ‘out-of-the-box.’

Managed hosting is also more secure as backups and malware scans are part of the plan. You don’t need to worry about performance issues, traffic surges or other problems. The host will resolve and get things back running in case of any issues.

You are free to focus on your business while the host takes care of everything else! If you need any support, you can always depend on the technical team to help you out.

Now let’s see when unmanaged WordPress hosting makes sense. The biggest advantage of unmanaged hosting is cost. The plans are really inexpensive as you only opt for the hardware. But you also have to consider the cost for all the additional applications or software you need to install.

Unmanaged plans also offer freedom where you have control over the whole server. Sometimes you may need to run applications that need special server settings which the host doesn’t offer. In that case, unmanaged plans make sense as you can tweak the server any way you want.

Unmanaged WordPress hosting is suitable for people who want to learn or take server management in their own hands. You can experiment all you want and learn the technical aspects of running a server.

To sum it up, unmanaged plans are reserved only for expert users with proper server management knowledge. But if you don’t have much idea about how things work, then you can run into problems. If you want the support team to help you out, you have to pay extra charges.

With managed WordPress hosting, you don’t need to worry about anything! The host ensures that your website is up and running and provides all the necessary services. You only need to work on your website and can focus on growing your business.

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