Which is best for you?

Understanding the jargon surrounding web hosting plans is one of the biggest barriers to entry for potential website owners. When researching web hosting providers, you’ve probably come across the terms “self-managed hosting”, “semi-managed hosting”, and “fully managed hosting”. But what do they really mean?

In this article, we’ll explain the difference between these three types of hosting services to help you determine which one is best for your specific needs.

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Self-managed hosting: the most common and profitable option

Hosting services are commonly compared to household properties: shared hosting is like renting an apartment, VPS hosting is like owning a condo, and renting a dedicated server is like buying a house.

To borrow an analogy from a useful HostingTips article on the subject, outsourcing is the equivalent of a handyman or a maintenance team for your good. Whether you live in a shared environment or have your own server space, someone is responsible for the initial website setup and ongoing maintenance.

With self-managed hosting, also known as unmanaged hosting, that person is you. Setting up your website and managing ongoing maintenance is your responsibility, just as you would be responsible for unpacking your things, fixing the leaky faucet, or regularly replacing air conditioning filters in an apartment, condo, or house. home.

Self-managed hosting is the most basic and affordable type of web hosting. It is perfect for those who are comfortable with server administration and want full control over their server.

If you choose self-managed hosting, you will need to be familiar with web hosting administration tasks, including installing software, such as WordPress or Magento, setting up firewalls, and setting up server security . Now, that’s made easy by many of the top web hosting providers, who offer cPanel (or a comparable hosting control panel) to help customers administer their hosting setup.

That said, the vast majority of hosting services are self-managed. Although it may seem like a lot of work, it’s actually not too difficult for someone with basic technical skills. Additionally, there are many resources available online to help you with these tasks.


Managed web hosting has grown from a $12 billion industry in 2010 to an $81 billion market in 2020, according to G2 Statistics. The biggest advantage of self-managed hosting is that it is much cheaper than fully managed hosting plans.

Fully Managed Hosting: The Premium Service Experience

With fully managed hosting, the web hosting provider is responsible for the physical server, network, infrastructure, and most maintenance applications/software. The hosting provider will also provide 24/7 support for server issues. However, you, the customer, focus largely on website content, design choices, and any marketing that comes with owning your website.

In other words, a fully managed hosting service is like the concierge of a five-star hotel. The hotel is responsible for the physical room and will provide 24/7 support for any issues in your environment, such as a broken TV, noisy air conditioner, missing toiletries, or service requests floor.

Fully managed hosting is the most expensive type of web hosting, but it’s also the most convenient. This is perfect for those who want someone else to take care of server administration and don’t want to be bothered by server issues.

As the name suggests, fully managed hosting plans include everything needed to keep a website running smoothly. Customers can focus on their business while the host takes care of all the technical details.

Fully managed hosting plans often include additional features and services such as daily backups, malware scanning and removal, firewalls, and premium software add-ons. They also generally offer more support than self-managed or semi-managed plans. However, all of this comes at a price: fully managed hosting plans are usually much more expensive than other options. Managed hosting


Semi-managed hosting: the happy medium

With semi-managed hosting, the web hosting provider is responsible for the physical server, network, and infrastructure, as well as some software maintenance such as WordPress core updates, but perhaps not plugins. Additional maintenance features vary by carrier and plan. You, the customer, are responsible for everything that remains, as well as the content, design and marketing of your website.

In other words, semi-managed hosting is like having an awesome landlord or handyman in your apartment or condo. The building owner or condo association is responsible for the physical building, and the association may provide free cable, but you are still responsible for everything inside your unit. But your beloved handyman is on call to provide limited assistance for issues like a broken elevator or a leaky faucet.

Semi-managed hosting is a good option for those who are comfortable with basic hosting administration but need help with server issues or advanced troubleshooting. It’s also a good option for those who want more control over their server than is offered with a fully managed hosting plan.

Semi-managed hosting falls somewhere between self-managed and fully-managed plans. With a semi-managed plan, the hosting provider will take care of some tasks (such as security updates and backups) while the customer is responsible for other tasks (such as website content) .

Semi-managed hosting plans are a good option for those who want help with the technical aspects of running a website but don’t want to pay for a fully managed plan. They are generally more affordable than fully managed plans, but more expensive than self-managed plans.

Understand what you pay

When comparing different hosting plans, it’s important to understand what you’re paying for. In general, self-managed plans are the cheapest while fully managed plans are the most expensive. However, there is no single solution.

  • Self-managed or unmanaged hosting comes with the most responsibility at the lowest price. You’ll likely pay $3-$10 for an unmanaged shared hosting plan, $15-$30 per month for an unmanaged VPS plan, and north of $50 per month (depending on CPU, RAM, and other server resources) for dedicated server hosting. plan without managed services.
  • Semi-managed hosting is priced midway between self-managed and fully-managed hosting services. Expect to pay a modest monthly premium for any hosting plan in this category.
  • Fully Managed Hosting Plans are the most expensive but offer the most administrative benefits and peace of mind. Don’t be surprised to find fully managed hosting services starting at $50 and quickly reaching hundreds of dollars per month.


The best option depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you’re not sure what type of plan is right for you, it’s always a good idea to contact the hosting provider and ask about their services before making a decision. If you can’t reach anyone to get the answers you need, that’s an answer in itself.

Hopefully this article cleared up the confusion about managed hosting service offerings, allowing you, the consumer, to make a buying decision with confidence. Good accommodation!