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Managed or Self Hosted? What is the best choice for small businesses?

May 3, 2019 No Comments

Featured article by Laura Harvsey, Independent Technology Author

When you run a small business, you have limited resources. You have to make the most out of the resources that you have. With all of the expenses that are vying for your limited resources, the last thing you probably want to think about is spending money or wasting time with server management. That is why, when people ask if managed or self-hosted is the best choice for business, we say managed hosting.

This is an opinion that is shared by many businesses and individuals who are respected in the field of hosting. In a recent interview with Gary Stevens of Hosting Canada, he stated, “Managed hosting ends up saving small businesses startup costs as security, backups and troubleshooting are all handled by the managed solution.”

The reason why we feel this way is that we have seen a number of businesses, especially small businesses or freelancers, get into financial problems, lose customers, and lose credibility because of server issues. This, along with a few of the other points we are going to discuss in this guide, assures us that managed server hosting is the right option for small businesses.

What Is Managed Hosting?

We are sure that you have heard of managed hosting a number of times. Or at least you’ve seen it used by hosting providers. The simplest way to describe managed hosting is to say that a hosting provider cares for everything associated with your server. You just rent the hardware from your host. Of course, in exchange for them managing your server for you, you pay them. It’s kind of like the relationship you may have when renting a condo. When there is a maintenance issue, such as with the plumbing and electricity, you don’t worry about fixing it yourself. Instead, you call the landlord or the maintenance company that’s responsible, and they get the job done.

With unmanaged hosting, you’re simply renting the server. If anything goes wrong, you’re the one who’s responsible for fixing it and handling maintenance. Some companies offer a service that’s in the middle of unmanaged and managed hosting. Depending on the package you purchase from them, you’re responsible for a good portion of the maintenance, but there are also issues that they agree in advance to care for.

As Foti Panagio from eurovps.com points out, “Even experienced administrators often opt for managed hosting because it gives them an extra pair of eyes and hands. It’s that added layer that helps to give you peace of mind and the best performance possible.”

Let’s take a few minutes and pinpoint some of the benefits of managed hosting. We’ll look at it from a tech side and then from a business side.

The Tech Benefits of Managed Hosting

There are a couple of things you need if your server is going to work well for you. They include:

• Server monitoring
• Security
• Managed storage
• Managed databases
• Backups

Let’s just look at a couple of these options.

Discussing the value of managed hosting as it relates to e-commerce, Sumesh Soman, Enterprise Sales Manager at Kinsta.com, stated, “If you prioritize saving money rather than investing in managed hosting, you might be going in the wrong direction! In the present scenario, managed hosting is significantly excelling in the e-commerce industry.”

The security of your server is key for the success of your business. Server security covers a number of aspects, such as filtering out spam, searching for viruses, updating operating systems, and running security audits.

SPAM 300x129 Managed or Self Hosted? What is the best choice for small businesses?

With managed hosting, your provider has the tools and the experience to adequately protect your server. Because their reputation is on the line, they are relentless when it comes to scanning the operating system and core applications with the goal of identifying and rectifying security vulnerabilities.

Server monitoring is where your servers are being scanned for irregularities that could lead to failures. With managed hosting, admins are monitoring servers and looking for potential points of failure with the goal of addressing them before they become a major problem. They are able to provide constant detailed attention to your servers. This means that you’re going to have better uptime and network availability. Even if you are tech savvy, it is unlikely that you’re going to be able to dedicate the time needed to monitoring your servers.

Business Benefits of Managed Hosting

From a business perspective, you want your server to be as flexible as possible. Managed servers make it possible for you to customize your hosting to meet your needs. Managed hosting is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, it is a solution that is tailored for you. You can actually interact with your hosting provider to determine the service that is going to fit your needs.

managed hosting 300x170 Managed or Self Hosted? What is the best choice for small businesses?Since you are running a business, you’re concerned about making the best use of your time and money, as these are the most valuable resources you have and the resources you have the least of. If you spend time managing servers, that’s time you’re spending on something that’s not your core business.

And since this is not your core business, you are not going to be able to do it as well, things are going to take longer, and you’re going to be distracted. Just think, if this is true when things are going their best, how much more of your time and money would you spend when things are going bad?  If you are really serious about your online website or business, then opting for managed hosting is no longer a choice but a necessity.

If you have a web-based business, you probably thought about a lot of the points that we have mentioned individually. The idea of this post was to take a few of the ideas and put them together in one place with the goal of emphasizing the benefits of managed hosting over self-hosting.

We hope this brief review has given you a good understanding of what managed hosting is and how it can benefit your business. If you have any questions, any comments, or would like to give a unique perspective on managed hosting, we invite you to do so in the comments section below.

 Managed or Self Hosted? What is the best choice for small businesses?

Laura Harvsey

I’m a part time blogger and tech investor specialising in early stage technology companies and blockchain startups. Currently traveling the world and working remotely in Europe. 

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