Would you prefer to be a guest or a host?
The level of control and autonomy a site owner wishes to have may vary depending on who you ask. The need to oversee the servers could be cumbersome to some, and necessary to others.
As its name suggests, self-managed hosting allows the owner to act as the main administrator for the site. On the other hand, managed hosting gives a vendor the responsibility of managing and maintaining your servers although you will still be accountable for the site that is being hosted.
Both forms of hosting oppose each other in degrees of flexibility, however, this does not meant that one particular form outweighs the other in being favourable. Once you have moved past the actual design phase, the decision of where to host your site becomes an important one to make.
Check out these 5 things that you should know before you decide.
Self-Managed Hosting is Not a Quickstart
Although we are often under the impression that doing something ourselves will help us get things moving a lot quicker, the exact opposite can be true when it comes to self-managed hosting. Choosing to manage your own server means that you are responsible for the installation, set up and configuration, sourcing of server applications, server updates and even firewall and security.
If you do not have the confidence in executing these various aspects of managing your own server, it could result in a series of issues ranging from failed configurations to a breach in personal data protection. While it is true that managed hosting will cost you a fair bit more, the actual cost that you might pay from a poorly hosted site might far exceed the initial savings.
Self-Managed Hosting Might Mean Losing a Little More Sleep
As with any project, outsourcing to a vendor helps you to spread out the amount of work that needs to be done when there is a problem. With self-managed hosting, any pressing issues from your site (bugs, fixes, slow load times, server crashes, etc.) will be your burden to bear alone. If you do not have the technical expertise, this could be a huge challenge that you will struggle with finding solutions for. To make matters worse, your slow response time could seriously affect sales if your business is heavily dependent on e-Commerce or online transactions.
Without individuals in your team that have technical expertise, it could be a real risk to opt for self-managed hosting rather than to rely on professionals.
Managed Hosting is Not a Totally Hands Off Experience
If you’re reading this and considering managed hosting as way to shirk off all the scary technical stuff – you might want to hold off that thought. With a managed server, you could still have access to all the server resources, likely via a user-friendly control panel. The range of features offered on each control panel may differ.
However features that you can expect to see on a control panel include the ability to install new OS, change the root password, obtain server stats and real-time resource usage information, check network graphs and many more.
In that sense, site owners would not be relinquishing control entirely and need not worry about the several working days it might take to get something done if you were to use a managed hosting service. The managed hosting service will provide you access to the things that matter.
Managed Hosting might exceed your Budget!
Within managed hosting itself, there are different price tiers depending on the hosting solutions being offered. One important distinction is the cost of managed hosting with a Virtual Private Server (VPS) versus a dedicated server. The latter comprises of a server that hosts your site only and is thus completely configurable. Naturally, this means the price of a dedicated server is significantly higher.
Choosing a VPS as a form of managed hosting allows you to share the (server) space and the costs involved. Think of it as a Netflix account with multiple users.
Within the VPS tier itself, you can also choose a plan that is customised to your needs. For example, there are three tiers of plans under A2Hosting.com. All three comprise of different levels of RAM, storage size and number of vCPUs. So even within managed hosting, you can still make sure that you get what you pay for, nothing more nor less.
The eventual option that site or business owners go for hinges on a few factors: the technical expertise of your team, the response time that you would like to have in managing your server, the size of your company as well as costs.
So be sure to take time to consider all the related factors before you jump into the world of hosting.
At Krome, we specialise in website design and development services. If you or your client are interested in creating a site, it’s time to tell us about your project or have a chat about what we can do. You can contact us here.