This article was updated in August 2022.
Managed hosting is an efficient way to take care of your online store. However, like any other part of your site, you might want to know more about your options before you decide. Fortunately, analyzing your needs can help you reach a verdict.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to the concept of managed hosting. Then, we’ll cover four key aspects that you may want to consider when deciding what type of hosting you need. Let’s get started!
An Introduction to Managed Hosting
Managed hosting is an arrangement between you and a hosting provider. The provider takes care of the majority of the technical aspects involved with your website. While the exact services can vary, they often include Content Management System (CMS) setup, maintenance, website migration, and security.
There are several benefits to this type of hosting. For one thing, it can take a lot of tasks off your plate. As such, you might find that you have more time to manage your business or work on your marketing strategy.
Managed hosting can also prevent problems. Taking care of your site can be complicated. It’s easy enough to make a mistake that completely breaks it. Additionally, entrusting site maintenance to professionals can also relieve you of the need to keep up with emerging technology and best practices.
If you’re considering a managed hosting solution, we’re partial to WP Engine:
It offers 24/7 support, as well as hands-off maintenance options that have been tailored to best serve WordPress websites. WP Engine also offers a variety of plans to fit different budgets and needs. (Read a recent review from software reviews/market research agency Ciroapp here.)
Is Managed Hosting Right for Your Online Store? (4 Key Considerations)
While there are definite advantages to managed hosting, it might not be right for everyone. Here are a few considerations that you might want to keep in mind as you make your decision.
1. Your Level of Technical Expertise
Running a website takes a lot of technical knowledge. Some of it tends to be complicated, but unfortunately, very necessary. If you’re not comfortable with this type of work, you may want to consider a managed hosting solution that will take care of it for you.
To help determine your level of technical ability, consider this image of the WP Engine dashboard and see how much of it you can confidently identify:
If you’re a little intimidated, you’re not alone. Learning as you go is possible, but this can leave room for costly mistakes and endless frustration. The odds of you being able to keep your site running smoothly get worse if you don’t have professional support.
However, you might be comfortable with this kind of technology. Understanding your hosting control panel and cybersecurity basics can open up a lot of options. If you’re well-versed in the intricacies of the web, you may want to opt for non-managed services for full control over your site.
2. How Much Time You Have to Carry Out Key Maintenance Tasks
Like most technology, websites require continual maintenance. You’re probably familiar with this if you’ve ever had to update WordPress. However, hosting-related tasks can be more complex to undertake and just as vital to your site.
Even if you’re tech-savvy, you might not have enough hours in the day to worry about security scans and software updates. Nevertheless, overlooking these responsibilities can put your site at risk. Managed hosting can take care of them for you if you’re low on time.
This kind of service can ensure that you dedicate all the necessary time towards tasks like growing your user base. Additionally, as this growth occurs, your managed hosting provider can make sure that your server resources scale to support it.
However, if you do have the time and skill to oversee those changes yourself, even during growth periods, you might want to consider a non-managed hosting solution. By handling maintenance tasks yourself, you can save a bit of money.
3. Your Security Needs
Having a secure website is essential. This is especially true for your online business, as you’re probably collecting sensitive information like credit card numbers and customer addresses. Consider how confident you are in your ability to protect this data when choosing your hosting solution.
Managed hosting can take some worry off your mind by ensuring that your site follows all security standards. Moreover, this can have implications for your bottom line, too. For example, consider the lock that can appear in the browser address bar:
This symbol indicates that there’s a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate in place, which is a file that encrypts and protects user data. Without that certificate, users will see a message that your site is insecure. Even seemingly small elements like this can affect your brand’s reputation.
Additionally, security needs tend to change, sometimes quite rapidly. Trying to keep track of the latest threats and protections can take a lot of time and energy, regardless of your technical skill.
Therefore, we generally recommend that any business dealing with payment information consider managed hosting. It’s the easiest way to safeguard your customers’ data against malicious actors. Nevertheless, you might also want to institute your own site protection protocols to double down on your defense.
4. The Flexibility of Your Budget
Budgets are an unfortunate reality of running an online store. You might be operating on narrow margins, or just trying to make the most of your money.
Managed hosting has a long list of benefits. Nevertheless, these tend to come with a higher price tag than non-managed alternatives due to the high-level service you receive.
Realistically, you may not be able to afford managed hosting right now. If your budget is tight, you might want to keep this option in mind for the future if your traffic and profits increase.
However, managed hosting can help with those aspects, too. Web professionals can make adjustments to attract more visitors, such as improving your site speed.
Managed hosting can also act as a preventative measure. Broken sites can be more than aggravating – they’re expensive, too:
Security recovery tends to be costly. Your site will likely be down while you try to fix it, resulting in lost sales and frustrated customers. As such, you might want to think of managed hosting as an investment. Try finding the needed funds by trimming your website’s budget in other areas.
Managed hosting can help you take your site to the next level while also saving you time and money. Nevertheless, it’s not necessarily a one-size-fits-all solution. Fortunately, you can analyze your site’s unique needs and funds to determine the best hosting option for you.
Do you have any questions about managed hosting? Let us know in the comments section below!
Featured Image credit: Gerd Altmann via Pixabay.
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