If you are considering managed web hosting, it will involve leasing/renting a server, and your web host will be responsible for operating and managing it. There was a time when the term managed web hosting was applied exclusively to dedicated web hosting, but these days, managed services are also applied to other web hosting solutions, such as cloud, co-location, and VPS.
If you have limited IT knowledge and/or time to handle the technical side of operating and managing a web server, then managed web hosting is definitely for you. However, make sure you keep the following in mind when choosing one.
Applications & Languages
The managed web hosting provider you will choose will also depend on the applications and languages you will use. The managed web host should support applications like Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, etc. and languages like .NET, PHP, Python, Ruby, etc. Also, you need to decide if you need a Linux or a Windows server. Never opt for a managed web hosting provider that does not support the applications and languages you’re already using or intend to use.
Your choice should definitely not be based on cost alone, but ultimately, it is a factor that you will ultimately have to consider. You will likely end up compromising between how much you can afford to spend and what you require to meet your web hosting needs. Often, managed web hosting providers have varying pricing plans that you may choose from.
A data center has to stay up and running around the clock, which is not an easy task. Hence, to ensure the data center of the managed web hosting you choose is well-staffed and -supported to ensure that your very little down time. At the same time, the managed web hosting provider should also provide 24/7 assistance and support, available by chat, email, telephone, etc. Their rate of problem resolution should be high and their response time should be rapid. It is best better if the managed web hosting provider has invested in 24/7/365 dedicated monitoring systems so that problems are recognized before your network gets shut down.
If you expect your website to be fairly popular, there will likely be tremendous spikes in activity. Whether or not your website will be able to handle them will depend on both your managed web hosting provider and how well you will end up programming your website. Different managed web hosting providers are able to support different levels of traffic. So, make sure the managed web hosting provider you choose will be able to accommodate the peak levels of traffic you expect will be visiting your website each month.
Many managed web hosting providers offer plans ranging from partial managed ones to fully managed ones, so be sure you select the one that will be suitable for your web hosting needs. If your IT knowledge is extremely limited, make sure your web host will managed the entire platform, which includes the database, domain name system, firewall, hardware, networks, operating system, storage, etc. They should also take responsibility for applying security patches and upgrades. They should be able to manage both Linux and Windows environments. Last but not least, you may also look for additional services like Application support, Backups, Website security, etc.
Of course, you probably want your website to remain accessible at all times, but that is not practically possible. However, make sure you only choose from managed web hosting providers that guarantee their claim of offering 99.9% uptime. There are plenty of managed web hosting providers that maintain an uptime that is considerably over 99% and you may even check the performance of a web host through Netcraft.
As long as you thoroughly review a managed web hosting provider before actually signing up with them, you will likely be able to avoid most hosting problems with ease. Above all though, make sure you are certain about your hosting requirements, especially if you need a dedicated server and a service provider to handle it, then you will surely end up finding the right managed web hosting provider.