Choosing a hosting plan for your website or application can be a daunting task. There are so many options and factors to consider, such as cost, performance, security, scalability, support, etc.

How do you know which one is the best for your needs and budget?

In this article, we will explain the pros and cons of two common types of hosting: self-managed and managed hosting.

We will also introduce you to a better solution that combines the advantages of both: RunCloud.

Read on to find out more about self-managed vs managed hosting and how RunCloud can help you with your web hosting needs.

Self-Managed Hosting

Self-Managed Hosting, sometimes also known as self-hosted WordPress, is a setup whereby a website runs on a web server that the user chooses and pays for. A self-hosted WordPress website gives the user more control and flexibility over their website, but also more responsibility for managing and maintaining it.

To create a self-hosted WordPress website, you will need to:

  • Buy a domain name from a domain registrar
  • Get a hosting account from a suitable cloud provider
  • Configure DNS records
  • Manage SSL certificates
  • Periodically check for new updates or vulnerabilities in plugins or themes.

These are the basic steps to create a self-hosted WordPress website.

Pros of Self-Managed Hosting

  • Lower cost: Self-managed hosting is usually cheaper than managed hosting because the customer doesn’t have to pay for the additional services and features that the hosting provider offers.
  • More control: Managing hosting often gives the customer more control over the server and its configuration. The customer can customize the server according to their needs and preferences. They can also install any software or application that they want on the server.
  • Flexibility: This hosting allows the customer to change or upgrade the server as they wish. They can also scale the server resources up or down, depending on the demand and traffic of their website or application.
  • Customization: Customers can tailor the server to their specific requirements and goals. They can optimize the server for either performance, security, or functionality.

Challenges of Self-Managed Hosting

  • Technical skills: Self-managed hosting requires you to have technical skills and knowledge to manage and maintain the server. You will have to deal with complex tasks such as installation, monitoring, and troubleshooting. You also have to be familiar with the underlying operating system and the software that you use on the server.
  • Security: When choosing this option, you might be faced with more security risks because you are responsible for securing the server and its data. You must implement security measures such as firewalls, antivirus software, encryption, authentication, etc., and then continually monitor the server for any potential threats or attacks.
  • Maintenance: Self-managed hosting demands more time and effort to keep the server running smoothly and efficiently. You need to perform regular maintenance tasks such as backups, updates, patches, etc. 
  • Support: If you host your website yourself, you won’t get any support from the hosting provider. You must rely on your own skills and resources to solve any problems or challenges that you might face on the server. The hosting provider may only offer basic support, or charge extra fees for advanced support.

Managed Hosting

Managed hosting is a type of hosting where the hosting provider takes care of most of the server management and maintenance tasks, such as installation, updates, security, backups, monitoring, and support. The customer only has to focus on their website or application and its content.

The hosting provider also provides additional features and services, such as performance optimization, scalability, load balancing, caching, etc. The customer has less control over the server and its configuration, but also less hassle and risk.

Benefits of Managed Hosting

  • Higher performance: Managed hosting providers work with thousands of websites, and often optimize servers for speed and efficiency. The hosting provider also uses advanced technologies such as caching, load balancing, CDN, etc. to improve the loading time and responsiveness of the websites or applications.
  • Reliability: Managed hosting provides more reliability than self-managed hosting because the hosting provider monitors the server for any issues or errors – and fixes them promptly. 
  • Security: The hosting providers often work with a team of security experts that implements security measures such as firewalls, antivirus software, encryption, authentication, etc. 
  • Support: You can easily get 24/7 technical support by contacting the hosting provider via phone, email, chat, ticket system, etc. Good hosting providers also provide documentation and tutorials to help the customer with their website or application.

Drawbacks of Managed Hosting

  • Higher cost: Managed hosting is more expensive than self-managed hosting because the customer has to pay for the additional services and features that the hosting provider offers. The customer may also have to pay extra fees for exceeding limits or using additional resources on their plan.
  • Less control: You will get less control over the server and its configuration than self-managed hosting. You must also follow the rules and restrictions that the hosting provider sets for their plan. 
  • Vendor lock-in: This is one of the major problems with managed hosting. A lot of hosting providers try to “vendor lock-in” the customer by forcing them to use a proprietary solution for their website.

This is concerning because you may face difficulties in the future should the company remove a certain feature or change the pricing plans. Increase in hosting costs might tempt you to switch to another hosting provider but then you will lose some features or functionality that are specific to their current hosting provider or plan.

  • Compatibility issues: Managed hosting may cause compatibility issues for the customer because they have to use the software or applications that are compatible with their hosting provider or plan. The customer may not be able to use some software or applications that they want on their website or application.

For example, If you rely on a legacy version of PHP for a certain application and the vendor chooses to phase that out, then your options are limited. You may have to update your plugin or find an alternative one that works with the newer version of PHP. In either case, you will need to solve a problem that was created by your hosting company. 

RunCloud: The Best of Both Worlds

If you are fretting over which hosting option to choose, then worry not – RunCloud brings you the best of both worlds.

RunCloud is a platform that lets you host any web application on your own server, whether it’s on a cloud provider or a private datacenter.RunCloud gives you the benefits of a managed service without the drawbacks of vendor dependency.

With RunCloud, you can instantly deploy new WordPress websites with a few clicks, update DNS records with Cloudflare integration, and enable page caching with the RunCloud Hub plugin.

You can also choose from different server types, such as Nginx+Apache, OpenLiteSpeed, or Docker. Furthermore, you can use the HTTP/3 protocol on your websites for faster loading.

RunCloud provides you complete access to your server, application, database, and even underlying operating system at all times – there is no vendor lock-in. You can also back up your applications to any storage location you prefer, such as AWS S3, DigitalOcean Spaces, SFTP storage, etc.

RunCloud is user-friendly: you can manage your servers from a dashboard without needing Linux skills. But you also have the option to log in to your server via SSH as the root user to customize your server settings if you want. You can also use the Developer API to control your servers programmatically.

RunCloud ensures that your server and web application are secure and protected from any threats or attacks. We automatically update your server and apply security patches to keep it up to date and safe.

RunCloud also has a built-in firewall and configures Fail2Ban on your server to block automated attacks. Best of all, you can configure Slack, email, and Telegram notifications for key actions on your server – such as ssh login, backup failure, etc., ensuring you stay informed and alert.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we have explained the pros and cons of self-managed and managed hosting for your website or application. Here are some recommendations or tips for choosing a hosting plan that suits your needs and budget:

  • Consider the type and size of your website or application, the traffic volume and growth rate, and the features and functionality required. These factors will determine the amount of server resources and services that you need.
  • Compare the cost of different hosting plans based on the criteria such as storage space, bandwidth, CPU cores, RAM, backups, SSL certificates, domains, etc.
  • Weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each hosting option in terms of performance, reliability, security, scalability, and support. You can use lists or bullet points to summarize the pros and cons of each option.

Givе RunCloud a tеst drivе and discovеr its capabilities in meeting your web hosting requirements. RunCloud lets you to еffortlеssly host any wеb application on your sеlf-ownеd sеrvеr, whеthеr it’s hostеd by a cloud providеr or within a private datacenter.With RunCloud, you gain the advantages of a managed sеrvicе while avoiding the limitations of vendor rеliancе. Sign up for RunCloud today!