Unmanaged web hosting accounts typically provide hardware support only (mostly with shared hosting). The provider shall replace failed components, maintain the network, reboot servers and keep the lights on. There is no software support. The host may not even give the control panel provision. The owner has to set up a system from scratch. This makes the webmasters take care of the implementation of security patches, fix issues and maintain the server.
The main benefit of an unmanaged web host account is total control. The client is the sole administrator of the website. He/she can virtually do anything he wants. He/she may install different operating systems or different control panels. Unmanaged accounts are also cheaper since the host is not required to provide support. Thus, it saves on support personnel and the client on hosting fees.
Managed Dedicated Web Hosting Accounts
Most of the web hosting accounts that can be bought are managed. That means the website owner or client does not have a root access to the server. Responsible for all the software maintenance is the web host provider. The host’s responsibility includes running the operating system, control panel, and other pre-installed applications. The managed web hosting offers service and support for almost everything. Most managed solutions have automated backup features and some server monitoring. This could be an extra expense if you don’t know how to manage a server (depending on the hosting company).
Choosing Between the Two Accounts
To choose which account to purchase, between a managed account or the unmanaged, one has to consider the needs of the website. Plus, what the host providers offer. If one wants to pick a good provider and has great expectations, a managed account might be better. On the other hand, unmanaged accounts may also offer more support and service than most think. It is good to ask the features they offer and do some research first.
If there are in-house technical people, then an unmanaged hosting may suffice as the technical part shall be done by them. However, the technical personnel needs to be experts. Unmanaged web hosts do offer some technical service for the asking, and sometimes for some extra fees. That means the technical service is only paid when needed and used. Many unmanaged web host clients can vouch for good technical services they received from their web hosts during times when they needed them.
As time passes by, the need for more features from the web host services increases. Web hosts offering managed fully dedicated hosting accounts have to cope up with the increasing number of more-demanding customers. Clients just keep on needing more features. Host companies are also competing with each other to offer more features and even cheaper services. Some decided to offer unmanaged accounts to give their clients more control of their websites. For the webmasters, most of them prefer managed solutions. Managed solutions require less work and less technical expertise. In a managed solution, one does not need to be comfortable with the technicalities of running the website as the host takes care of that.
The difference between a managed account and an unmanaged one is total control and technical support. If one got a mission with critical needs but do not have in-house technical stuff, the managed account is a good choice. It can even be more cost-effective than hiring technical staff. If the needs are just basic, and there are some personnel to do the technical staff, then a cheaper unmanaged account can be a good choice.