What is Unmanaged Hosting?
It helps to think of an unmanaged solution as your server to maintain and control. It’ll be up to you to secure and install security patches, fix errors and install and configure software. Unmanaged hosting is often a cheaper option because there’s no routine support. It’s the host’s responsibility to replace failed components and maintain the hardware, but they are not responsible for anything other than keeping the machine turned on and connected to the internet.
If you do encounter problems that you cannot fix yourself, your host will likely offer an hourly rate for help with fixing issues and installing updates. This can be quite expensive depending on the issue, mostly because there’s no guarantee of how long it will take to get the server back in working order. Therefore if you are not able to fix the problem yourself, you will be leaving yourself exposed to unknown expenditure.
On the plus side, unmanaged hosting gives you complete control with sole access and total freedom, which can be a good choice if you have the skills, expertise and time to manage your own set-up. In short, unmanaged solutions are usually much cheaper (not taking into consideration additional hourly rates incurred) but are a riskier choice if your site suffers when downtime occurs without the means to rectify the situation quickly.
- Client’s responsibility to secure and install security patches & fix errors
- Often a cheaper option because there’s no routine support
- Host’s responsibility to replace failed components and maintain the hardware
- Host will likely offer an hourly rate for help with fixing issues and installing updates
What is Managed Magento Hosting?
Fully managed Magento hosting means a dedicated solution crafted by in-house system architects, specifically tailored to the Magento platform for optimal performance. In general, managed hosting is far less work and requires little expertise on behalf of the client, and incurs no additional costs beyond a monthly retainer fee.
Working directly with a secure data centre (at The Pixel we work with The Bunker – one of the UK’s leading & most secure data centres) enables a state of the art environment that is fully scalable and finely optimised, to give the highest possible performance for both Magento 1 and Magento 2 installations.
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Managed hosting includes the services of system analysts that are constantly monitoring and securing servers, ensuring security patches and updates are applied, making it a much more robust option for sites where security is a critical factor.
An effective managed hosting solution provided by an agency such as The Pixel, that can also take responsibility for developing and maintaining your site, will remove the barrier between your hosting provider and support agency – i.e. you should never have to face a situation where your hosting partner blames poor coding, or where your developers claim the culprit is your server infrastructure.
Another advantage of combining your web development agency and managed hosting provider is that systems will never be left unpatched and open to vulnerabilities. Up-to-date security patches for all the key applications and Magento security monitoring will be provided, reducing the likelihood of common exploits.
For a Magento ecommerce site, it is imperative your provider should be both a Magento expert and hosting specialist, providing a complete solution.
- Dedicated solution crafted by in-house system architects
- Specifically tailored to the Magento platform for optimal performance
- Less work and requires little expertise on behalf of the client
- Incurs no additional costs beyond a monthly retainer fee
- Includes the services of system analysts that are constantly monitoring
When choosing your hosting service you should weigh up all the factors specific to your business requirements and finances. If you have little or no experience of server management, it is highly likely that choosing a managed Magento hosting service will actually save you time and money when a problem occurs that you do not have the skill set to rectify. However if your organisation has an experienced web server administrator you may want to consider the unmanaged route – bear in mind it can be a steep learning curve if they do not have Magento experience.
It is usually more cost effective to use a managed hosting solution if you have an ecommerce business that turns over regular revenue and you stand to lose out financially during downtime or the time it takes to identify and fix any errors on your own.
It’s also important to compare any time spent by your own employee(s) performing remote server administration (which may or may not be their speciality) against that of a specialist server administrator, who will likely address any issues in a much shorter time-frame.