Why managed web hosting is better for businesses
Whether you’re in the process of building a new website or just want it to be as reliable, secure and fast, as possible, this all comes down to how you choose to host the site.
There are a range of options to choose from, including free and paid hosting, managed and unmanaged. Then there are other hosting solutions such as virtual private servers (VPS) or cloud hosting.
To avoid feeling overwhelmed – here’s a look at what an unmanaged and managed solution could mean for your business.
If you’re looking for a cheaper solution – unmanaged hosting may be for you. However, while it’s certainly better for your wallet, you often have to take on a lot of responsibilities for your website yourself. These include installing security updates and monitoring for any patches, maintaining your website hardware and infrastructure, and handling network failures.
As you can see, going down the route of unmanaged hosting means you’ll need a fair amount of technical expertise, which if you or your team has, you may be able to get on well with.
Otherwise, in most cases, we’d suggest looking at a managed hosting solution.
In the simplest terms, managed-to-host means the hosting provider takes care of all your server-related issues. You not only rent the hardware from the host, but you also pay them for managing it.
It’s an additional cost to use a managed service, but your provider will have access to the latest tools, software, updates, and best practices. They also have specialist staff to deal with any issues.
Some of the other things they may take care of, depending on the package you go for, include:
- Server monitoring
- On call maintenance
- Hardware and software upgrading
- Software installation
- Backup services
- Security auditing
- Control panel set up
Here’s a look in more detail at the benefits for your business:
Server monitoring is simply critical for your business. It’s a process of constantly scanning your servers to search for any anomalies or potential failures before they become major problems.
If you wanted to do this yourself, it’s not impossible, but does demand specific skill sets, time and money.
Server and website security are paramount for every business. A managed web hosting service is well equipped with the necessary tools, equipment, processes, and procedures to monitor and enhance security.
Your provider will perform security audits, carry out virus scans, firewall software configuration, operating system updates, and spam filtering to enhance server and website security. This keeps your website safe from malicious threats. They will also ensure your internal network remains secure, protecting any files or sensitive information that could be accessed by hackers.
Your website could fail due to natural disasters, human error, or hardware failure. In this case, your managed hosting company will completely back up your site on a regular basis. Plus, should the worst happen, services providers are far more geared up to help clients with disaster recovery – they’ll be able to restore your website quickly and efficiently, ensuring you don’t lose valuable data, time or revenue.
Regular software upgrades
As technology advances, so does the software for website and server performance. Luckily, a managed web host will keep track of and implement these software updates for you. These often come with improved security features and patches to keep your site safe.
You don’t want to spend your time, money, and effort getting people to your website only for it to crash or take them to a 404 page when they click a link. Managed hosting companies will continuously monitor your website, and either fix any problems themselves or email you if your site goes down.
This means everything will get back up and running quickly, minimising downtime and ensuring customers can find you.
Speed and reliability
Slow websites mean your visitors are more likely to bounce from your site or look elsewhere for products or services. A fast, and reliable site is key if you want people coming back again and again.
A managed web host will have the tools to see where the hold-ups are so the site can continue running fast, often without any input from you. Load balancing is another managed hosting perk that keeps your website running quickly, by distributing traffic evenly across servers.
This all means a faster-loading site that will attract new customers and build loyalty with existing ones.
As you know, your storage requirements will change from time to time. The amount of space you need for your data now may not be the same as you need in a few months or even years down the line. A managed website host can help you get the right balance – and monitor when you might need to allow for more room on your server.
This then usually only involves a quick check with you to adjust the cost, and in the long run, saves you the money needed to buy and set up other storage services.
Customised to meet your requirements
It’s clear that there’s no one size fits all for a website, and with a managed web host you can get a tailored solution to fit exactly what you need.
And you should always check with your provider to choose the service that best fits your needs, based on your business needs and budget too.
On-call maintenance and support
One top benefit of working with a managed web host is your access to (usually) 24/7, 365-day support.
If you notice slow load times or encounter a problem, you can just pick up the phone or use a live chat or portal service to raise a ticket. This helps avoid extended website downtime, improving user experience.
Ultimately, unless you want to become a web hosting expert, managed-to-host is a better option for your small to medium-sized business. Although you’ll pay a little bit more, the biggest benefit will be your peace of mind knowing your website is secure.