2020 may have been the year for physical separation, but it was also a year of digital connection. Many organizations began to use everything that the web has to offer and elevating their websites from an information warehouse to a digital experience epicenter.
Websites have become more integrated, handling more responsibility, delivering experiences, and contributing more to an organization’s overall success. As a result, there is often a need for enhanced services, such as managed hosting. Hosting is a less sexy and more technical part of a web presence, and it can be challenging to figure out exactly what services would work best for your organization, websites, and visitors. To help you sift through the noise around managed hosting, we have answered the most common questions.
What is the difference between managed hosting and general dedicated hosting services?
Dedicated hosting is essentially paying rent for connected server space, storage space, and basic network connections. It is comparable to paying rent for an apartment. You get space, utilities, and basic entry and exit points.
Managed hosting is a service provided by IT professionals that offer many benefits. While “managed hosting services” may consist of a unique mashup of services, most of those service packages include crucial items, such as hardware and software configuration, security patching, backups, disaster recovery solutions, and server monitoring. In going back to the apartment metaphor, managed hosting is like adding furniture specific to the occupants, installing a Ring, paying for monitoring services, and disaster insurance, all wrapped into one.
The best managed hosting providers will also help architect the ideal server topology and resource allocation. These services will ensure your websites run optimally and can handle minor issues and rapid growth without disrupting your visitors’ user experience
Checklist for Managed Hosting Providers
Hardware maintenance, inspection, and recovery
Hardware and software backups, redundancy, and disaster recovery
Early intrusion detection
Server configuration, maintenance, and monitoring
Compliance with industry standards and government mandates such as HIPAA or PCI
24/7 technical support for server-specific issues
Why does web hosting require ongoing maintenance?
Web technology is fluid and always evolving, meaning that your website will grow and change to meet your organization's needs. This could mean more users, more content, increased integrations, or growing databases. For most organizations, websites grow and demand more capacity over time. When that happens, your website may need additional resources like CPUs, RAM, storage space, bandwidth, or additional servers. As these resources' capacity is utilized, hosting experts will need to perform maintenance to ensure that the website remains assessable, loads in a timely manner, and provides the user experience your visitors expect.
What is the real risk to security for non-managed hosting?
Let me start that saying some managed hosting providers DO NOT provide security patching and you need to be clear on who is responsible for your website's security.
Now back to the question. There is a real security risk when it comes to unmanaged hosting. Cybercrime is on the rise, increasing 11% from 2019-2020, and an even more significant increase is expected from the 2020-2021 assessments. Insecure hosting environments offer lucrative opportunities for hackers.
If your site is on a server with missing patches, it could result in data breaches, downtime, or even a complete takeover of your website.
Who needs managed hosting?
2020 was a rough year for many people, businesses, and organizations. As a result, many of us are trying to cut costs and be as efficient with investments as possible. Managed hosting may be viewed as an unnecessary expense, but it also provides tremendous value to those who need it most.
Based on our experience, we have built a list of questions to help your team decide the best fit for your hosting needs.
If your website is a crucial element to your organizational operations, there is often a tremendous benefit to managed hosting services.
What if you already have cloud hosting?
If your company is currently hosting on a cloud environment such as AWS, Azure, Digital Ocean, or Google, you can still obtain managed hosting services through a third-party provider. Many cloud hosting companies offer a managed hosting option. However, their packages may not meet all your website's unique needs, so it is recommended to shop around and compare options. Not all managed hosting services are equal.
Hosting your website is complicated and time-consuming, so managed hosting is so essential for many organizations. Unleashed understands the nuances in web hosting, cloud hosting, managed hosting, and all the other options. If you still have lingering questions on what managed hosting service is best for your organization, Unleashed is happy to assist.