managed vs. unmanaged web hosting

Web hosting serves as the foundation for any website, and choosing between managed and unmanaged hosting can significantly impact your site’s performance, security, and maintenance. Both options offer distinct advantages and cater to different user needs. It is difficult to decide between Managed vs. Unmanaged Web Hosting, that is why we have compiled a detailed comparison in this article listing all the features as well as top hosting providers in both niche.

Understanding Unmanaged Hosting

Features of Unmanaged Hosting:

  1. Full Control: Unmanaged hosting provides complete control over server configurations, software installations, and customizations. Users are responsible for all technical aspects, including server maintenance, security updates, and troubleshooting.
  2. Flexibility: Users have the freedom to install any software or application without restrictions, making it ideal for tech-savvy individuals or developers who require specific configurations.
  3. Cost-Effective: Unmanaged hosting tends to be cheaper as users manage their servers, saving on service costs. However, it requires technical expertise and time investment for maintenance.

Examples of Unmanaged Hosting Providers:

  1. DigitalOcean: Known for its scalable infrastructure and straightforward interface, DigitalOcean offers unmanaged cloud hosting solutions with various pricing tiers to suit different needs.
  2. Linode: Another popular choice for developers, Linode provides unmanaged VPS hosting with customizable plans and powerful hardware.
  3. OVH: With a global presence, OVH offers unmanaged dedicated servers and VPS hosting, giving users control over their infrastructure.

Understanding Managed Hosting

Features of Managed Hosting:

  1. Expert Support: Managed hosting comes with a team of experts who handle server maintenance, security patches, backups, and technical issues, allowing users to focus on their websites or businesses.
  2. Convenience: Users don’t need advanced technical knowledge as the hosting provider takes care of server management, ensuring optimal performance and security.
  3. Enhanced Security: Managed hosting often includes robust security measures such as firewalls, regular malware scans, and proactive monitoring to protect websites from potential threats.

Examples of Managed Hosting Providers:

  1. Cloudways: Cloudways offers managed cloud hosting across various providers like AWS, Google Cloud, and DigitalOcean. It provides a user-friendly platform with excellent support and scalability.
  2. SiteGround: SiteGround is known for its managed hosting services, offering features like automatic updates, daily backups, and a user-friendly interface suitable for various websites.
  3. WP Engine: Specifically catering to WordPress sites, WP Engine provides managed WordPress hosting with features like automatic updates, staging environments, and specialized WordPress support.

Managed vs. Unmanaged Web Hosting

Comparison Table:

FeaturesUnmanaged HostingManaged Hosting
ControlUsers have full control over server configurations.Hosting provider manages server configurations.
Expert SupportNo dedicated support, users manage issues themselves.Dedicated support team for technical assistance.
SecurityUsers responsible for implementing security measures.Hosting provider offers robust security measures.

When to Use Managed Hosting and When not to use it?

Use Managed Hosting When:

  1. Limited Technical Expertise: If you or your team lack technical knowledge or time to manage server configurations, updates, and security measures, managed hosting is a better choice. It provides dedicated support, handling all technical aspects, allowing you to focus on your business or website content.
  2. Priority on Security: Managed hosting often includes robust security measures like firewalls, regular malware scans, and proactive monitoring. If maintaining a high level of security without managing it yourself is crucial, managed hosting is ideal.
  3. Ease of Use: For those who prefer a user-friendly interface and a hassle-free hosting experience, managed hosting streamlines processes. It’s often more intuitive, making it suitable for beginners or those who prefer simplicity.
  4. Business Critical Websites: If your website is crucial for your business and any downtime or technical issues could affect your revenue or reputation, managed hosting’s expert support can be invaluable in ensuring consistent uptime and performance.

Use Unmanaged Hosting When:

  1. Technical Control is Essential: Developers or tech-savvy users who require complete control over server configurations, software installations, and customization should opt for unmanaged hosting. It allows full freedom to tailor the environment to specific needs.
  2. Cost Consideration: Unmanaged hosting tends to be more cost-effective since users manage their servers, reducing service costs. If you have technical expertise and the time to handle server maintenance, unmanaged hosting can save money.
  3. Customization and Flexibility: Users who need to install custom software, unique applications, or have specific server requirements that might not be supported by managed hosting can benefit from the flexibility provided by unmanaged hosting.
  4. Experimental or Developmental Projects: For projects that are experimental or in the development phase where frequent changes or trial setups are required, unmanaged hosting offers the flexibility needed without constraints.


Choosing between Managed vs. Unmanaged Web Hosting depends on factors like technical expertise, budget, and the level of control desired. Unmanaged hosting suits tech-savvy users seeking customization and cost-effectiveness, while managed hosting appeals to those prioritizing convenience, expert support, and enhanced security.

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