Managed vs. Unmanaged VPS Hosting: What’s the Difference?

Giving your website a solid foundation, such as the ability to withstand sudden surges in traffic, is just one reason why hosting is one of the most important facets of any web-based business. Therefore, you should carefully consider your choice of web hosting service.

There are many aspects when it comes to selecting a web host. The first thing you need to decide is the type of web hosting you want to use (shared, VPS, cloud, dedicated) and then you need to choose a provider. Lastly, you need to decide whether you want to manage your hosting service yourself or if you want the provider to take care of things for you.

VPS hosting

Let’s imagine you decided to go for VPS hosting for your website. VPS stands for Virtual Private Server, and its name refers to the fact that the hosting provider splits a physical server into multiple “virtual” servers. VPS hosting is advantageous for several reasons. For example, it has more resource allocation compared to shared hosting. With shared hosting, all the websites on a server share the processing power of that server. As a result, if any website on the server experiences an increase in traffic, the performance of all other sites on the server will suffer. In contrast, VPS hosting gives each website in the service a specific amount of computing power. As a result, websites using VPS hosting will not be affected by the traffic levels of any other site on the shared physical server. Also, due to this resource allocation, websites using VPS hosting also load faster.

When you choose VPS hosting, you have the option of having the hosting provider manage it for you, or you can manage it yourself. These options are known as managed and unmanaged VPS hosting.

Managed hosting

The hosting plans offered by providers consist of several elements, the most basic of which is the server hardware. This server generally has an operating system and a variety of software required to run websites.

Additionally, hosting companies can offer many different services, such as automated backups, health monitoring, security sweeps, malware scanning and removal, and more.

The additional features are what are known as management services. This is where the “managed” part of the term “managed hosting” comes in. Thus, managed hosting simply refers to a hosting plan that contains various additional benefits or services. Also, instead of implementing these features and services yourself, the host will do it for you. Not only does this simplify things as you don’t need to be a technical expert, but a managed VPS hosting plan also saves you time, allowing you to focus on running and growing your website.

Services included in managed VPS hosting

The precise services you will receive with managed VPS hosting vary depending on the hosting provider you choose. However, there are some services that most companies offer.

Automated backups

Your website data can disappear for a number of reasons, but regardless of the reason for its disappearance, you’ll want to get it back as quickly as possible. This is where automated backups come into play. Automated backups ensure that a copy of your website is always available, so you can quickly restore it if something goes wrong.

Performance monitoring

For monitor your site performance, you can be alerted before disaster strikes. For example, your host can notify you if it is about to exhaust all of its available resources (such as memory). With this warning, you will have plenty of time to refresh your resources before your website crashes or becomes so slow that you lose potential visitors.

Automatic software updates

Major software programs like PHP, Apache, MySQL, and others will sometimes need to be updated to ensure they have the latest security patches. Fortunately, your host will keep track of any updates you need and do them for you.

Security, scanning and malware removal

Server security should be a priority for website owners. Fortunately, security and malware scanning can identify any issues, and removal / cleanup services can remove it.

Unmanaged accommodation

Unmanaged VPS hosting is a VPS hosting plan that has no or very few additional services. For example, with this hosting plan, your server may not have more than one operating system installed. As a result, you will need to install all the necessary software on your own.

In addition, the hosting company will not provide any services or perform management tasks on its server. Therefore, if you want something done, you will have to do it.

However, there are a few reasons why you might want to choose unmanaged VPS hosting over managed VPS hosting:

  • You want to learn more about server administration and are interested in playing the server independently.
  • You want to save money.
  • Your website requires special handling at the server level.
  • You have the skills and time to manage the server on your own.


The main difference between managed and unmanaged VPS hosting is that the former gives you additional services that the hosting provider manages and the latter does not. Deciding which one to use will depend on your technical expertise, your website needs, your budget, and how much time you have to spend managing the server. For example, if you don’t know anything about servers and prefer to spend time developing and growing your website, then managed VPS hosting is the best option for you. However, if you prefer to handle things yourself and save money, you should go for unmanaged hosting.

David balaban

David Balaban is a computer security researcher with more than 17 years of experience in malware analysis and antivirus software evaluation. David runs Y projects that present expert opinions on contemporary information security issues, including social engineering, malware, penetration testing, threat intelligence, online privacy, and white hat hacking. David has a solid background in troubleshooting malware, with a recent focus on ransomware countermeasures.

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