Managed Hosting Prevents Maintenance Headaches

How Managed Hosting Can Help Prevent Maintenance Related Headaches

If you’re a small business owner, you often feel pressure to be a jack of all trades. This is both a practical manner and preference. You trust yourself to do the job right and you want that control. Also, hiring staff is an expense. If you’re at the point where you’re looking to launch a business online or at least a digital component, you probably already have at least a small team to make it happen. What the team does is obviously unique to your individual situation.

 

The question you have to ask yourself is, “Is one of those people on the payroll just to look after the server?”

 

Now, you may be wondering why you need a full-time employee just to deal with the server. Let’s just say there’s a reason why a managed VPS is one of the most popular hosting solutions for businesses. For those who aren’t so interested in the technical goings-on of what happens on a server, the perceived savings of going for an unmanaged plan often aren’t worth it.

 

What many business owners may not realize when setting up a website, whether it’s e-commerce or informational, is that it’s not just a “set it and forget it” arrangement by default. With a developer’s help and managed hosting services, yes you can reach that point. You and your team would only need to spend minimal time in the backend of the site. But, those are conscious decisions you need to make when planning your site rollout. The decision of what hosting provider to go with and what kind of hosting solution to sign up for is a critical first step. That’s why it’s so important to not necessarily look at just the monthly price of a hosting plan, but to also factor in the hidden costs you would need to pay if you don’t sign up for the hosting plan that best suits your realistic needs.

 

Let’s explore what those hidden costs are and why most business owners would be wise to opt for managed hosting over unmanaged solutions.

 

What Do We Mean by Hidden Costs?

 

When first looking to purchase hosting, your eyes immediately go to the big number on the bottom line that displays the monthly cost. That should certainly play a role in the decision you make. Any good business owner knows the importance of keeping overhead low. But, it’s important to point out that in the discussion of managed vs unmanaged hosting, unmanaged has some hidden costs that may not be immediately apparent.

 

We’ll get into the major differences between the two next. To put it simply, though, unmanaged hosting gives you login credentials and that’s it. So, nearly everything going on with the server is up to you to manage. This will be an everyday job. In order to keep your site online and working properly, you’ll need to dedicate a full-time employee to handle these rudimentary tasks. It may even require after hours work. That comes at a big cost. The loss of time and personnel resources are major hidden costs that can quickly add up and far outpace the comparatively higher monthly price tag associated with managed VPS hosting. The few extra dollars per month for managed hosting in comparison to unmanaged usually pays for itself.

 

Managed vs Unmanaged

 

When evaluating the pros and cons of going with unmanaged vs managed, it’s easy to get caught up in the weeds of an exhaustive list. By all means, weigh the arguments for each. The decision you make will shape your business. But, it may also be helpful to summarize the ways the two differ from one another for quick reference.

 

Unmanaged hosting gives you nearly complete control and responsibility over your server environment, for better or worse. Backups are on you. Migrations are on you. You can choose the control panel you want to use, but you’ll also need to install it yourself. You could even be responsible for figuring out why your site is offline if you’re experiencing downtime. In many instances regarding unmanaged hosting, the host is only responsible for hardware malfunction. Even upgrading software will be up to you. Having technical knowledge and an in-depth understanding of the OS is a pre-requisite for unmanaged hosting.

 

Managed hosting offers more of a hands off set up. It’s ideal for the less tech savvy and for those who don’t have the time to spend on managing the server. While you are encouraged to always take your own protective measures when it comes to multiple backups and security, your host will provide some assistance on that front. Typically, you get a daily backup and migration assistance should you need it. You have 24/7/365 monitoring should anything go wrong. If your site is suddenly offline, you have someone to call and that can investigate. You also have DDOS protection, which can help you thwart an attack in many of the most common scenarios. The only real downside to managed hosting is you are presented with the hosting company’s options for control panels and the like and you have to use them. If you’re not a tinkerer, that’s fine.

 

How Managed Hosting Contributes to Performance

 

A lot of factors contribute to how well your site performs. Traffic levels, bandwidth, CPU, and your coding are just some of the contributing factors to site performance. While not as direct an influence, don’t discount how managed services will help your VPS perform better. For example, you may see that 99.9% uptime figure and think that’s a great guarantee. That’s only possible with managed hosting because of the constant monitoring that occurs and the customer service you have access to. This is important because performance issues greatly affect your bottom line. This is especially true if you’re running an e-commerce operation. Downtime and slow speeds severely impact customer behavior, to say nothing of the lack of sales if no one can actually access the site.

 

Struggling with Downtime

 

No matter what industry you’re in and what downtime looks like to you, the results are the same. Downtime costs you a lot of money and it’s not just from lost sales. Also consider that page load delays can cost you significant revenue, and you can see why it’s worth having the peace of mind provided by leaving your server in the hands of the experts. In an unmanaged hosting environment, not only do you have to deal with the customer service issues that will arise from a site malfunction, but you’ll also have to figure out how to get the site back online at the same time.

 

Conclusion

 

There is more riding on your hosting solution than you may realize. While everyone recognizes the importance of having a website that is reliable, it’s also critical to your business’ success that you have the right infrastructure to support your personnel needs. Whether it’s hiring more staff or stretching your current staff thin by having them perform duties that are outside their job description, managing your server yourself is often too costly in both time and money. Let your hosting company manage your VPS environment for you. Contact us today. The team at KnownHost is here to partner with you so you can have the hosting solution that makes the most sense for your business. Ask us how our managed services can help your business grow.

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Managed Hosting for Your Team

Looking to Refocus Your Team? Managed Hosting Can Help

Budgets, budgets, budgets. Businesses of all sizes live and die by them. But, it’s small businesses that really have to walk the tightrope of skepticism of every single expense. There are some things that are non-negotiable in the modern, digital-focused economy. For example, every business needs a hosting solution. It’s incredibly difficult to gain any kind of meaningful traction without a website for your business. Executives agree on this. However, while having a website is a given, the hosting solution you ultimately choose isn’t. As you know, there are many options available to you when it comes to web hosting.

 

If your business is running lean and you need your team to be strategically focused, managed VPS hosting could be the solution you’re looking for. You’re probably thinking that sounds all well and good as a suggestion, but why? Isn’t that kind of hosting more expensive than a basic hosting plan that’s a few dollars a month?

 

This is a fair concern and one that many business owners have. If you’re just looking at the numbers side by side comparing monthly plans from different hosting providers, sure substantial differences can be found. But, it’s what’s being offered in those plans and how they affect your site’s performance along with the burden on your team that’s really important. Suddenly, the decision isn’t so clear. Paying a little bit more per month for a managed hosting solution could actually save you money in ways you may not have considered. It’s not just about the costs, either. Managed hosting can help you work more efficiently so that you can focus on what you do best: providing a quality product or service to your customers.

 

Don’t spend resources, both monetary and employee time, where you don’t have to. Here are some of the ways opting for a managed VPS hosting environment can help you reorganize and grow your business.

 

No Need to Hire More Staff

 

If your business is still in the early stages, you know how critical it is to keep your overhead costs as low as possible. One of the ways to do so is to assess how your team is using their time. We’re not talking about letting go of underperformers or anything like that. Rather, the idea is to use the team you currently have and to keep them focused on the jobs they’re already doing.

 

With simpler hosting solutions, you are given a login and that’s that. The server and hosting environment are now your responsibility. Are you experiencing downtime? Better figure out why. Has everything on the server been backed up recently? Someone on your team would need to be responsible for that. In fact, you would need someone just monitoring your site full time in order to deal with any issues ranging from the smallest thing to major concerns. Hiring a full time IT person just to make sure your site is functioning properly probably isn’t a cost you’re looking to take on. While managed hosting still leaves certain responsibilities up to you, basic issues like investigating the reason the site went down and getting it online again or a simple backup are taken care of.

 

Not needing to hire someone to monitor your site full time is worth the additional costs of managed hosting, which leads us to the next point.

 

Security and Expertise

 

You’ve decided that it would be too expensive to hire additional personnel just to monitor the site. So, what’s the alternative if not managed hosting? It means you or someone on your existing team needs to stay on top of security and performance issues. Do you have a background in managing servers? If not, this task can easily become overwhelming.

 

As with all things in life, it’s easier to leave things in the hands of the experts. You can consider managed hosting an investment in peace of mind, which is quite valuable. Instead of having to wear many different hats, you and your team can instead focus on their core competencies. That is, focusing on doing the job you’re already doing well. With managed hosting, you’re leaving the basic task of keeping a server running up to the professionals who do this for a living.

 

Additionally, with managed hosting, there are more security measures in place to protect your site. Being the responsible party for navigating a DDOS attack isn’t exactly an easy job and can become overwhelming. Managed hosting brings security through redundancy and constant monitoring. A lot of work goes into being able to maintain that 99.9% uptime guarantee. That’s work that would be cost prohibitive to do on your own.

 

Save Time and Money

 

Sure, time is money. But for the purposes of managed hosting, let’s separate the two. We’ve talked about the time aspect quite a bit. As a business owner, you simply don’t have the time to constantly check on your server and make changes to it. If you hire someone in-house to do it, yes, that person will require a salary. But, it can cost you time as well. You need to manage that person. There will be performance reviews and meetings. More employees mean more time spent on the management side of things rather than the execution.

 

The thing about being responsible for a server is that it’s time-consuming enough on a good day when things are working smoothly. If at anytime there is an actual crisis, you won’t have any choice but to put all of your energy into resolving the problem yourself. That’s not to say managed hosting is completely hands off. But, you will spend significantly less time worrying about the nuts and bolts of keeping your site going if you leave it in the hands of the professionals.

 

Scalability

 

The ability to have a business that scales as needs change is important if the business is to remain successful. This is true for start-ups, especially. Managed hosting can help with scalability. As you grow in popularity and see more regular increases in traffic, you may see your bandwidth limit approaching. You may even start to be concerned about slowdown and site performance. Managed hosting offers solutions in a few ways. For one, you have customer service representatives you can contact if you know in advance traffic might unusually pick up (say you’re running a promotion) or if you’re noticing some performance issues. Secondly, if you know that you’ve outgrown your current hosting plan, you can easily have your plan changed to a higher tier. You can even get assistance migrating to a different solution entirely. Is it time to move on to a dedicated server? Piece of cake.

 

Conclusion

 

At KnownHost, we know how important your hosting solution is to your business. If refocusing your team while maintaining a high-performance website that keeps your customers happy is a priority for you, we’re here to help. With managed VPS hosting, you can have peace of mind knowing your server environment is being monitored and is working properly while you focus on running the day to day operations of your business. Contact us today. Our team of experts is here to answer any questions you have and to help you find a hosting solution that makes the most sense for your business needs.

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