Managed hosting is when a hosting company handles the setup, administration, management, and support of a server and/or application. Management services vary from host to host but typically include OS updates and patching, 24/7/365 support, network infrastructure, and hardware management, basic security measures including virus and spam protection, and monitoring and remediation of anything that could affect the performance of the server.

It’s the managed hosting company’s job to ensure their client’s websites and applications stay up and running at all times, and these guarantees are typically backed by a Service Level Agreement stating how the managed hosting company will compensate the client if something goes down.

In the same way that you work with contractors to scale more efficiently and effectively, you can outsource the management of your hosting to eliminate the need for in-house hosting infrastructure or experts.

We’ll talk about why that’s beneficial in a second, but first, let’s answer the obvious question — why does your hosting need to be managed at all?

The Tradeoffs of Unmanaged Hosting

To really understand the benefits of managed hosting, it’s helpful to first understand the alternative.

With unmanaged hosting, you rent space on servers owned by the hosting company, but it’s largely a do-it-yourself experience. You get a server with the OS of your choice, and the hosting company is responsible for operating the equipment and maintaining the physical environment in which the servers are kept. You are responsible for administering the server remotely, and that includes the responsibility of software upgrades, patching, security, and monitoring

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