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Do I Need Managed Web Hosting or Shared Web Hosting?

Aug 18, 2007
There are many different choices to make when it comes to selecting the best type of web hosting for your particular needs. Shared hosting is by far the most popular type and is ideal for most websites. However, many websites, such as those with very high traffic or form whom security of sensitive information is of utmost concern, managed web-hosting just might be a better choice.

Shared Web Hosting
For smaller websites, purchasing a server or paying to leasing a dedicated server would be an unnecessary and very significant expense. This is an inexpensive and effective solution for most smaller websites. This type of hosting is referred to as a shared web host simply because multiple websites share space on a single server.

Web host servers are large and powerful, and have sufficient room and bandwidth capacity to host multiple websites with ease. When you select a shared hosting option, you purchase a package from a web hosting company that includes a certain amount of space and bandwidth on the company's server. This option allows website owners to enjoy the power of a powerful server without having to pay for more than is actually needed.

The number of other websites with which your site shares a web host depends on the size and bandwidth needs of each website along with the capacity of the server. As long as your shared hosting agreement includes a sufficient amount of space and bandwidth for your needs, you don't have to worry about running out of room in a shared environment.

If your website grows faster than you expect, and you do find that it is outgrowing your current hosting agreement, you can always negotiate with your hosting company to add additional space and bandwidth capacity to your current agreement. Another option is to step up to a higher level of hosting, which could mean getting a dedicated server with managed hosting.

Managed Web Hosting
Websites that deal with highly sensitive confidential information, as well as those who receive a great deal of traffic are more suited for a dedicated web hosting environment than for shared. With dedicated web hosting, your website does not share a server with other websites. One server is dedicated specifically to your website.

Most companies who need the capacity of a dedicated web host decide to go with a managed web hosting solution. This is because the actual management and administration of a dedicated host can be very time consuming. If a website owner selects an unmanaged hosting option, he or she becomes responsible for every aspect of maintaining the web hosting server. Managing a web host is very time consuming, and involves everything from day to day maintenance to security issues.

Those who operate large websites are typically busy with other activities, and it is worth setting up their web hosting agreement so that the hosting company handles most of the task associated with managing the dedicated host. Another option for managed web hosting is simply to contract with an outside organization to handle the duties associated with managing the web host server.

Making a Decision
If your website is large enough to need a dedicated web hosting, it is certainly in your best interest to go with managed hosting instead of unmanaged hosting unless you employ a server maintenance expert who has the time to handle the large task of maintaining your web server.

However, before making the decision to invest in managed hosting, it is in your best interest to see if shared web hosting will meet your needs. Shared web hosting is significantly less than dedicated hosting options. Remember that shared web hosting is sufficient for most websites, so don't take on the expense of managed hosting if it is unnecessary.
About the Author
Fusepoint.com provides solutions for business continuity services, managed security and disaster recovery, managed hosting capabilities.
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