Before signing up with a web hosting provider, take time to understand the differences among managed dedicated hosting, shared hosting, co-located hosting and unmanaged dedicated hosting.
- Managed dedicated hosting
You have to lease a server from a hosting company. The company provides a strong level of support and maintenance. There are guaranteed levels of quality support and maintenance. The hosting company usually provides server uptime monitoring and hardware warranty. Security updates are also provided by the web hosting company. When you choose dedicated server hosting, make certain that the web hosting company is clear on its specific scope of services. For many, this is not their kind of affordable web hosting.
- Shared hosting
You share a server with other customers of that web hosting provider. The host administers the server completely. You maintain your account and you manage your website. An advantage of this kind of hosting is the very low cost. This is due to the fact that you and many other customers are paying for the use of the same server. This is the most affordable web hosting service.
The downside, however, is that you and other clients are using the resources of that same server, meaning, that if you are in a company of high traffic sites, then the performance of your website suffers.
- Co-located hosting
You get your own server from a vendor and you provide this to the web hosting company. The Web hosting provider integrates the server you bought into its network which includes the power systems. The hosting provider takes charge of the network availability but you are responsible for the maintenance of your server.
Responsible web hosting providers would suggest a management contract so that you can have them manage the server for you and in this case, it would be like managed dedicated hosting.
- Unmanaged dedicated hosting
This is like the co-location hosting. In this case, you lease a server from a hosting company. The web hosting company provides partial support, most of the time through the web only. Support of this kind is not quite specific, mostly offered only in general terms. You have to inquire from the hosting company what these activities that they shall provide are. Unmanaged dedicated hosting is not good if you run a serious business that requires a high level of maintenance.