Managed vs. Unmanaged VPS?
A lot of people fling the term VPS hosting around a great deal, but very few of them really know what it means. To break things down a bit, let’s explain the meaning of this mysterious Virtual Private Server. The core concept here is that the web hosting provider is taking one massive server and dividing it up in such a way that it can have several servers on it, each of which can run their own operating system. Simple enough, isn’t it? So that begs the question of what managed versus unmanaged VPS would be all about. Quite simply, it is just like it sounds – in the managed version the web host takes care of all the details for each of the users and in the unmanaged VPS solution it is up to the customer to set things up the way that they want it.
This does not mean that unmanaged users are adrift with no tech support if they ever run into problems; it is more of a question of how much freedom they would like in order to be able to do things by themselves without having to wait around.
Most people will have a preference, but it should be noted that unless one is very skilled not just with computers and the web, but the actual hosting side of things, it may be better to go with managed hosting solutions at first. The reason is that when you are running a web site, the last thing you want to do is encounter the fact that you are out of your league trying to keep your site afloat due to tech oriented details that you should have been able to get quick help for.
This is why managed VPS can cost a little bit more, too. It is a situation in which the user not only needs, but expects fast and efficient help when they need it with the admins or tech support crew taking care of everything for them. This is exactly why a great number of new web site masters will choose managed – they need the help to get their site off the ground and really see it succeed. They will do better with the level of help that gives them a little less control over every tiny detail because they are focused more on the content angle of their site rather than the myriad of tech details.
Those who are debating the question really need to ask themselves where their skills lie and if not their own skills, then what are the skills of those in their team? Be careful of the confident tech that says they believe in unmanaged VPS hosting as the best solution unless they can prove that they have handled these types of situations in the past in a profitable way. Many times, teams find out too late that their tech crew did not have the needed skills to get the job done in a sticky situation and the site, or worse yet multiple sites, end up suffering for it.