As a website owner, hosting is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make. It’s also one of the most overlooked, as the majority of people think all web hosting is one and the same.
Yes, traditional hosting is relatively cheap. But, there is also a lot you’ll miss out on if you decide to go this route.
Managed hosting, on the other hand, looks good from most angles, but there are also some drawbacks to be aware of.
This article will shed some light on managed vs traditional hosting. Once you’re done reading it, you’ll be able to make the best decision for your website.
Let’s start with the basics.
Web Hosting in a Nutshell
Think of hosting as renting out a digital web space for your online store or website.
It’s where all of your website’s code, graphics, blogs, and content will be stored. This information can only be retrieved when a user searches for or types in your domain on a mobile or computer browser.
Traditional Hosting Explained
Traditional shared hosting is the most basic form there is. It’s like buying a regular ticket to see your favourite band.
Usually, with traditional hosting, hundreds or even thousands of websites are accommodated on a single server and it’s serviced by the service provider. Yes, this service can be insanely cheap (as low as £5 per month) but as you would expect, there are going to be trade-offs and compromises you’ll need to accept for that low price point.
Managed Hosting Explained
This is the VIP ticket we all dream of – in the world of hosting anyway.
With managed hosting, the number of websites accommodated on a single server will be less than 100 and often less than 50.
Depending on your needs, you can move to dedicated hosting where only one website is accommodated on a server.
In addition to fewer sites siting alongside your website, you also get extra perks that traditional users can only dream of.
Many people believe managed hosting can be hard on your pockets. It certainly can be, however, a company like WP Support Specialist are bringing this option to many more people and businesses so they can benefit from a higher level of security, performance and reliability than ever before.
How Do They Weigh Up?
Let’s look at how traditional hosting compares to managed hosting by looking at a few key factors.
Any digital marketer will tell you just how important performance is to your website. Even Google announced that your website’s loading speed affects your SEO ranking.
Need more convincing? Here are some reasons why your WordPress website should load faster.
Logically, one server is not enough to comfortably accommodate hundreds or thousands of websites. Not with all the videos, blogs, pictures, and podcasts uploaded daily. All this data will cause a strain in bandwidth, storage memory, and processing power.
It gets worse if a few websites experience a sudden increase in traffic, which is bound to happen. Increased traffic further drains these resources leaving little performance available for the other websites sharing the same server.
The last thing you want to happen is to discover that your website has been down for several days (imagine the loss in profits).
Let’s say you’re the lucky one getting a sudden increase in website visitors. Once other website owners start complaining of down-time, your hosting service provider will be forced to shut you down. You’ll still end up missing out on a lot of profits.
What more do you expect? This is the VIP lounge.
With fewer websites on a server and more powerful servers, there is enough for everyone! Plus, there are experts around the clock to monitor the use of resources.
Some managed hosting service providers even offer cloud hosting service. Cloud hosting is very fluid and expandable, allowing websites to use more bandwidth, storage space, and processing power. It effectively means the resources are limitless! Whilst this isn’t a requirement for most, it’s good to know it’s there for you should you need it.
Your website is faster and rarely experiences downtime as the infrastructure is generally better on managed hosting.
Our Verdict: Traditional hosting sounds like a great idea if you have a personal blog or a small-scale business website. However, if you have a larger business website or a website which needs reliability and speed such as an online store, managed hosting is the way to go.
According to a study conducted by a Clark school in the University of Maryland, there’s a cyber attack every 39 seconds. In short, your personal and business records and accounts are at risk every 39 seconds!
Aren’t these attacks aimed at large businesses and organisations? Think again! 43% of cyber-attacks are aimed at small businesses.
Here are some top-secret website security tricks from us.
Traditional hosting tend not to have great firewalls, intrusion detection and regular malware scans in place to protect your site.
Often the first time the hosting company finds out you have a malware problem is when your website starts sending out huge numbers of emails to spam people.
The host will see a spike in traffic, they will locate the issue and potentially shut-down your email and website until you can ensure all is running as it should.
This setup is far from what you need . In addition to that, you are at risk of getting an infection from a nearby infected website.
Just like babysitting hundreds of babies at the same time and one develops a cold, it’s very hard to ensure that none of the other babies also get ill.
It’s a similar situation when you have hundreds or thousands of websites on the same server, they’re not easy to protect.
With Managed Hosting, you’ll always have an expert keeping an eye on your website.
Depending on your service provider, your defences can be customised to help secure your website. Even if you do get hit, a team will be on standby to quickly identify and fix your website before you even notice.
After all, its way easier to check on one baby than an army of them.
Our verdict: Cybercrime is a myth until one hits you in the face. Managed hosting secures your website and in the long run, saves you a lot of time and money. Of course, you can choose to keep your fingers crossed and go for traditional hosting. It might be an option if you haven’t got much to lose.
Ever wondered why some websites look so stunning, operate fast and everything just works as it should? Whereas, others are slow, look old and don’t work quite right? Updates are the reason why.
There are no proactive updates on traditional hosting. Apart from server updates, everything else is in your hands.
It’s up to you to always be on the lookout for new software updates (very tiresome work). You might even have to hire a professional to do the work for you if don’t have the time or know-how.
With managed hosting, your service provider will take care of many of the updates on your behalf.
Generally WordPress core, server and PHP updates are all carried out on a regular basis.
There’s a team of experts who take the time to keep an eye on your website and advise you on what has been done and what needs to be done.
Yes, it’s that simple.
Our Verdict: For peace of mind, managed hosting is the best option.
What will you do if a new plugin or software update crashes your website and destroys all your files? That’s a whole lot of money and time lost unless you’ve got a backup that’s up to data and easy to restore.
Sometimes traditional hosts will make a weekly or monthly backup of your website. Often they won’t, unless you subscribe to their backup service on a monthly basis.
This means you’ll have to manually backup your website and all your content via a WordPress plugin.
Even if you do remember to manually back up all your website content, will you store your data on the server? What if the server crashes? Not a good idea and not recommended.
If you store your data off-site, where will you store it? Will you have enough storage available and how will you restore data in the event of emergency?
Even if the backup is available, manually restoring your website can be a difficult and time consuming task.
Your website’s data is automatically backed up. There’s a sacred vault guarded by monkey ninjas where your website’s data will be stored ;-p
In addition to that, you can apply your backup with the press of a button. In less than a minute, your website will be up and running.
It’s simple, easy and automatic.
Our verdict: Again, managed hosting wins the day.
For most people, it doesn’t matter how good managed hosting sounds. They can’t resist the temptation of “saving” £150 per year with traditional hosting.
That leads to the obvious conclusion that the winner, as far as pricing is concerned, is traditional hosting.
Part of the issue is, many think that all web hosting is the same. It’s simply a place to store your website and the many offers of unlimited hosting space for less than £100 per month is too tempting to resist.
For personal blogs, non-profit websites, and some small business websites with very few visitors, traditional hosting is a sound option if you don’t have the finances for a managed option.
Given our managed hosting plans cost as little as £250 per year, you should strongly consider it if security, reliability and speed are important to the success of your business or organisation.
Increasing your hosting budget by £3 per week will bring you far greater peace of mind, give you protection against malware and access to free malware removal should anything bad happen (this is worth around £400 alone). You will also have a staging space to test design and development changes without them affecting your live site or SPEED.
A managed option is around 3-4 times faster than a traditional package. Google has confirmed that the speed of your website on desktop and mobile directly affects your ranking position in search results.
So, whilst there is a difference in pricing, that difference is actually very small and you get a huge amount of value for that small increase.
You should consider how well managed hosting will improve your website for your visitors and also your search engine rankings and compare that to the annual costs.
Contact us today if you’ll like to trial your website on our system and experience the benefits without any trial costs or obligations.