The Truth about Managed vs Unmanaged WordPress Hosting

Unmanaged vs managed WordPress Hosting

Quick Quiz: What Type of WordPress Hosting do you need – Managed vs unmanaged hosting?

1. Are you more of a (a) Do-it-yourself (DIY) type or b) Plug-and-play kind of person?
2. Do you usually (a) go with the flow or (b) need a backup plan?
3. When traveling, do you prefer (a) shared accommodation or (b) space for yourself?
4. Looking at your lifestyle, do you (a) go for the basic stuff or (b) comfort and security

Unmanaged vs Managed WordPress Hosting Verdict

Well, based on the above criteria, Plesk can tell you which type of WordPress user you are – the managed vs unmanaged hosting type. If you mostly picked (a), then you are an unmanaged hosting type, whereas mostly (b) choices reveal your managed WordPress hosting preference.

Disclaimer: There is no right or wrong answer and you’re fine either way. However, having a full perspective can help you make the best business decisions later on. Keep reading for more info on your business needs, the core differences and benefits of the two different hosting types.

Managed Hosting: The Plug & Play Type

Your profile tells Plesk you are part of a managed hosting category for your WordPress. You trust and rely on someone else for your hosting solution, while you focus on your core business. Going deeper, you can choose from the following managed hosting types: a) Shared; b) Cloud; c) Virtual Private Hosting (VPS); d) Dedicated. 

Love Shared Hosting?

This hosting plan is typically the cheapest. Your site shares resources with other accounts on the same server. Shared hosting is a good option as long as website traffic and your end-user base don’t outgrow the server’s resources. The downside is that noisy/resource-hogging neighbors will affect your site as all websites have to share space on the same server.

Scale up to Cloud Hosting

Multiple physical servers work together and the network shares virtual resources. If you choose cloud hosting, it means you want flexibility, resilience, and redundancy. Also, you prefer a pay-as-you-go model. However, for cloud hosting, you need good planning abilities and management skills of this environment.

VPS Hosting Fan?

This means you prefer a virtual instance on a physical server with its copy of an operating system (OS). Plus, your own resources such as CPU, RAM or any other data. You can always add more resources on your plate without the need to migrate your website.

Moreover, you get a similar level of flexibility and benefits as with a dedicated server, but with a shared cost of services. This means almost full freedom. Because you have access to everything and can install any software you want and need. No dependency on traffic or audience.

Your Own Dedicated Hosting

Are you playing in the league of big numbers of visitors? Then dedicated hosting is for you. You probably have an online store with lots of rich media that need to max out on RAM. It’s also the most secure option and provides the highest level of system control.

Therefore, you can keep noisy neighbors out of the picture. However, know that dedicated servers usually come with monthly pricing or some kind of long-term commitment. So you need to think carefully in advance regarding how many resources you’re going to need.

Unmanaged Hosting (DIY) – The Good and The Bad

Based on Plesk analysis, you love being in the ‘techy weeds’. As a DIY type, you prefer to build, configure, maintain and secure your server. While also ensuring that your website is up and performing well. As basic needs’ fulfillment is enough for you, a server with only an Operating System (OS) installed will do. You need to install and configure any additional software such as WordPress, Apache, PHP or MySQL.

Why Unmanaged Hosting Can Be Tricky

If this tips you over between managed vs unmanaged hosting, then you’re dedicated to the tricky craft of managing your website(s) and server. You love it and it costs you almost nothing. However, this may take too much time and keep you away from other more important stuff for your business and growth. Also, you may be saving money now, but in the long run, this may not be as beneficial. Consider this: your site has always been a bit slow to load, but imagine it in two years’ time. When your business and website traffic grow.

Backup plans take too much time and energy for you, but if the worst happens you may pay for it in other ways. For example, after a few days off you find your site compromised and filled with spam links to random websites. Or when something goes wrong with your manual WordPress updated and the website goes down. Constantly having to monitor your site and implement performance and security optimizations may drain you. Thus, possibly crippling your business eventually.

Plesk and WordPress Hosting –  Plug, Play and More

You’ll see many options in the WordPress managed hosting candy shop. So it’s hard to choose. But for the ones who prefer a turnkey solution for their websites, Plesk WordPress Edition with WordPress Toolkit is the right combination.

Watch and see how quick you can activate your WordPress hosting solution with Plesk.

Top Plesk WordPress Hosting Benefits

Especially when compared to shared or VPS providers, this WordPress hosting provides better maintenance and data integrity. According to market benchmarks, data hosting providers offering the ability to change the version of PHP used for WordPress score higher.

24/7 customer support 

Managed WordPress Hosting is intuitive and requires a few clicks installation. But the house’ specialty, the sweet cherry on top of the Plesk’s WordPress Hosting is our customer support. From onboarding to finish, all clients get 24/7 attention from our side, including website support and tech support for non-developers.

Automated WordPress Security, Backups and Upgrades

Another advantage you’ll welcome with open arms is the free WordPress vulnerability scanner when you create a new site. Plesk’s WordPress Toolkit security scanner goes beyond the basics and implements the latest security recommendations and best practices from WP Codex and WP security experts.

Performance and Speed 

Get Plesk with your WordPress Hosting and you’ll have this included in WP-CLI. Thus helping clients import a database, create a new user, update themes and plugins in a flash using the WP-CLI. Speaking of plugins, for an enhanced customers’ WordPress experience, any caching plugin will significantly improve your WordPress performance.

Shared Hosting vs Dedicated Hosting: Which is Best?

Shared Hosting vs Dedicated Hosting: Which is Best? - Plesk

In the web host universe you have to pick from servers exclusive to your own use, or the shared use of a server – indeed called a shared server. Choosing between the two is more complicated than just considering cost. Because there are more factors involved when making the choice between shared hosting vs dedicated hosting. Let’s have a look.

Introducing Shared and Dedicated Servers

Here’s an outline of the two different models. On the one hand, with a dedicated or exclusive server, you have the entire machine fully under your operational command. And so, you determine how to manage and maintain it. No other web apps will compete for hosting resources because it’s only your applications running on the machine.

Comparatively, shared web hosts mix your web applications with other users. So you don’t fully-control server operations, unless you have a provider who offers tweaking abilities. So, when comparing shared server vs dedicated hosting, know that shared servers always imply restrictions. However, shared machines can also be more cost-effective.

Management & Configuration – Shared or Dedicated server?

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Dedicated Hosting gives full control

One of the main deciding points is control. When the machine is dedicated, it is fully-exclusive to your web apps. Hence, as a result, you have complete configuration and maintenance command over the machine. So you can set various parameters, like server power usage and distribution, and the HDD space available to an application.

If your app is one of many which needs highly-customized server configurations, then an exclusive server is your only option. Because it’s the only way you’ll get root access that allows you to change server variables end-to-end. On the flip-side, exclusive servers do imply that you’re responsible for all upkeep and smooth-running of the machine. This includes installing patches and running updates when necessary.

However, dedicated server resellers can offer a helping hand by offering full management of all dedicated server requirements. There are also middle tiers of management, including semi-managed servers where the host does some of the work for you. The host-manager options make the shared hosting vs dedicated hosting decision a bit easier, unless you’re keen on doing server management yourself.

What about Mixed-use Hosting?

On the flip-side, with mixed-use hosting you share with other users, and you won’t need to fulfill any management duties. This is because it is the host who manages it. So when deciding on shared server vs dedicated server, mixed-use servers are going to be in the lead in terms of price. Partly because you don’t need to do any management, or assign managements services externally.

You can customize and change mixed hosting machines to a  certain extent. For example, you can load CMS, like WordPress or Joomla, and directly access the server’s file content and directories. Most shared hosts also let you configure MySQL and inboxes, plus give some access to server logging. However, forget about full root access and absolute control over resources.

Growth and Scaling – Why Shared isn’t best

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Every business must plan for growth or the occasional downturn. Scaling your IT infrastructure along with this growth is important, but it can be costly to scale. Scalability is, therefore, a big factor when picking between shared vs dedicated servers. We can hence verify that with an exclusive server, you have more growth opportunity.

You can increase your storage space, the available size of the internet pipe and the CPU capacity power. Ultimately, you can process more transactions and handle more website visitors with a dedicated server. Especially if you’re running SaaS applications where you need to serve complex applications to many clients. If your server solution is scalable, it can prevent downtime that occurs from hitting capacity limits.

Shared hosting doesn’t provide the same scalability

Yes, you can increase certain elements of your shared-use server, including HDD space and the size of individual databases. You also get an unlimited number of email accounts on the one hand while some web hosts will even offer unlimited internet. But any shared server vs dedicated server comparison will quickly show up the scaling restrictions of shared-use hosting.

You can’t upgrade the CPU power of a shared-use hosting solution and you won’t be able to increase the amount of RAM in use. For complex applications, this would quickly pose a problem. But simple websites should cope well on shared hosting solutions. Just beware of cheap shared hosting solutions that pool hundreds of thousands of websites on a single machine.

When Considering Server Performance…

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Managing performance on a dedicated server is a lot easier. But again – it goes back to control. Because you can control how much CPU resources you allocate and you can decide whether you opt for SSD drives over HDD drives. You’re also free to choose OS on an exclusive-use machine, whether it’s Windows, or Linux distributions like CentOS or Debian.

Unfortunately, with shared-use hosting, you are very restricted. Yes, your hosting provider can promise 99.9% uptime, but no web host will allow you to use an unlimited amount of resources. At some point, you will hit a performance cap and your website will fail. Always ask what workload a shared-use hosting account can cope with before you sign up, especially if you are running a website with a lot of visitors.

Redundancy & Security – Perks of Dedicated

Layered Security - CloudLinux Cyber Security strategy 2019 - Plesk

When comparing shared vs dedicated servers, consider that having a dedicated server prevents others causing server security gaps. Since you’re the one managing your server, you can ensure security is airtight and reliable. This includes managing a RAID array – ensuring your data storage is safe and unaffected by potential HDD crashes. And also, fine-tuning your DDoS protection according to your app parameters. No need to leave hundreds of access ports open “just in case”.

On the other hand, shared servers can be huge security risks due to other users’ failures when sharing the machine. If a security hole in one application leads to a server overload, you may find your website failing too. Nonetheless, most simple company websites work well on shared hosting, so long as their chosen host manages security well. It’s also worth noting that being on shared hosting means the provider implements security controls. Plus, you may also benefit from instant roll-backs if your website runs into an issue.

Costs of a Shared vs Dedicated server

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Now for the big Cost factor – The turning point for many companies considering shared server vs dedicated server hosting. Exclusive servers cost more. And we’re not talking 10-15% more – Dedicated hosting prices are up to 20 times more expensive than shared hosting. However, you may find it worth the price if you plan on running intensive website applications.

Alternatively, you can get shared hosting for a very low price. In fact, $10 or less will get you a month of shared hosting, which works fine for a basic website. At the same time, your cheap shared hosting account will be beginner friendly and much easier to manage than a dedicated server.

Shared vs Dedicated Hosting – The Pros & Cons

Here’s when you should choose shared hosting over dedicated hosting:

  • You need an affordable, beginner-friendly solution
  • Fast and easy setup is important
  • You want to avoid hardware maintenance
  • Tools for easy site-building are important
  • Your hosting choice depends on cost

Skip shared hosting altogether if:

  • You need full, server-level control
  • Site uptime is really important
  • Your application will use tons of bandwidth

Buy a dedicated hosting solution if:

  • Full control of server resources and setup is important
  • You need root-level access to a server
  • You’re hosting a growing app that needs to scale
  • Security is paramount
  • Managed hosting support is essential

Don’t buy dedicated hosting if:

  • Costs are a key factor
  • You can’t manage a machine and can’t afford managed services
  • You have no in-house IT staff

Choosing the right hosting solution won’t be simple. However, we’ve outlined the pros and cons of shared vs dedicated hosting in hopes of simplifying your choice. Nonetheless, you should always consult with your hosting provider if you’re still unsure.