NameHero’s “Managed Cloud” service is a VPS that NameHero manages for you, so you can focus your attention on your website instead of dealing with the headaches of server management. While NameHero doesn’t offer unmanaged VPS servers, many other web hosts do. In this article, let’s look at what separates unmanaged from managed VPS servers and why you would choose one over the other.
Unmanaged VPS Servers
Unmanaged VPS servers are the cheapest way to get into VPS hosting. It can even be cheaper than shared hosting! Unfortunately, it requires much more expertise and constant surveillance than a managed VPS server. If you’re running a business, you have better things to do with your time than constantly babysitting a server, not to mention picking up the server management skill required to run a server. In an earlier article, I’d written about the skills required to manage a VPS, and I was talking about a managed server.
With an unmanaged VPS, you need to take care of the following tasks:
1. Install a Control Panel Software
An unmanaged VPS doesn’t come with cPanel, DirectAdmin, InterWorx, or any other GUI software that lets you carry out server management tasks without the command line. Though using a command line is great for experienced users, it’s a lot harder, and despite what some purists will tell you, a GUI is great for ordinary tasks.
Web hosting control panels aren’t free; you need to purchase a license to use them.
2. Install and Configure the Web Server
This can be particularly hard if you’ve never done it before. Whether you use Apache, NGINX, LiteSpeed, or a combination of Apache/NGINX, you must install the software and then configure it for all your sites. Unless you already have significant experience with this, I wouldn’t suggest you try it yourself.
And if you have more exotic configurations in mind, then it’s even less advisable.
3. Install the Application Environment
If you’re running a WordPress site, you have to install and configure PHP and any complimentary packages like Memcache or Redis. Each architecture has a different way of doing this, and unless you’re familiar with the process, it’s all but impossible to get it right without dozens of hours of trial and error.
3. Update and Patch your Server Software
Once the web host hands over the server, it’s your responsibility to patch the software. This includes the OS, the webserver, and any other applications you’ve installed.
4. Configure Security from Scratch
With an unmanaged server, you have to configure your iptables firewall all on your own or install a 3rd party software like ConfigServer Firewall. This has its own learning curve, and you’ll be spending a lot of time configuring it just right.
Managed VPS Servers Take Care of all of This
Your web host handles all the above tasks with a managed VPS server. You might also get a web hosting control panel for free. For example, NameHero offers the InterWorx control panel for free with its managed cloud offering. cPanel is still expensive, though.
A Managed VPS Saves you Time and Headaches
With a managed VPS server, you can focus on improving your website rather than on the internal plumbing of server management. If you’re not a dedicated system admin, I wouldn’t suggest trying to learn everything about managing a VPS from scratch. You’ll get much better returns on your time, maximizing revenue from your website instead.
With an unmanaged VPS, you must be prepared if something goes wrong. And when it does, you have to take the time to debug your server, identify the problem, and fix it. This is a harrowing experience, and I speak from first-hand experience. It’s much safer to let professionals handle it. My own website WP-Tweaks.com is hosted on a NameHero managed cloud, and they configure everything so that my server is running smoothly.
Bottom Line: An Unmanaged VPS is only for Professionals
I’m not saying that you can’t learn to handle an unmanaged VPS. You absolutely can. But you’ll spend so much time learning, configuring, debugging, and pulling your hair out, that you won’t have time to focus on your business. A managed VPS saves you from having a heart attack if your site goes down, and you can spend your time on what matters most – generating revenue.
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!
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