Unmanaged or Managed VPS

If you have found this page, this could only mean two things. Either your business has outgrown the confines of a shared web hosting environment, or your project needs more server resources and security right from the get-go.

A VPS server is the most logical step if you need more than a run-of-the-mill shared solution, but you don’t have the budget to invest in your own dedicated server. Virtual private servers are a hot commodity nowadays, and the market is evergrowing. A recent survey from Allied Marketing Research shows that the VPS niche is expected to reach $8.39 billion valuation by 2026 at this rate.

Looking around for a new virtual solution, you can choose between two main types of service – Managed VPS and Unmanaged VPS.

But what does that mean for you, and how does it change your hosting experience?

What is Managed VPS Hosting?

This one is for all the first-time users and businesses who don’t have time and manpower to handle all the technicalities. A managed VPS, as the name suggests, includes hands-on assistance from your hosting provider.

From the initial setup and optimizations to server software updates and security patches – the host takes full care of you. Ideal for small enterprises, as you can focus on establishing and growing your business, instead of worrying about technical issues. Price-wise, the managed VPS servers are costlier because of the extra assistance, but with some digging around, you can find some cheap solutions as well.

What is Unmanaged VPS Hosting?

The unmanaged VPS service leaves everything in the hands of the customer. The host provides the server and sometimes installs a basic OS and control panel for you. From there on – you are in full control of the virtual machine.

Unmanaged VPS platforms come with root access so you can change practically anything. Still, self-managed servers are better-suited for developers and webmasters as beginners might find the whole thing confusing and needlessly overcomplicated.

Naturally, it all boils down to your personal needs, so let’s break things down to the most common factors clients look for when choosing a new hosting provider.


This is often the biggest selling point for managed services. Instead of learning about server management or hiring an administrator, you can choose a host with trustworthy support to help you out. 

The unmanaged virtual private server is much more reliant on your own expertise. The hosting provider can install the operating system on your VPS, but that’s pretty much it. You are fully responsible for all installed software or technical issues related to your operations.


One of the big advantages of VPS hosting vs shared services is the ability to scale your resources according to your needs. This means you should be able to just add more RAM or another CPU core without having to upgrade your whole package.

There isn’t much difference between unmanaged or managed VPS solutions on the Scalability field. Any reputable provider should give be flexible enough with resource allocation for all virtual server clients. Still, make sure to double-check with your potential host about their policies in that aspect.


This is where unmanaged VPS hosting services excels. 

It’s the closest you can get to a dedicated server – you have absolute control over the hardware.

  •   Want to run a gaming server?
  •   Maybe install a reservations software?
  •   How about a media streaming app?

As long as you comply with the Terms of Service, the unmanaged VPS provider won’t limit you in any way. In comparison, while you still have a lot of freedom on a managed server, you are still bound to the technology limitations applied by the host.

Ease of Use

To determine that, you first have to answer the question – how much do you know about server management? If you are well-versed in technologies, it won’t make much difference if you are on an unmanaged or cheap managed VPS. You’ll be good either way. Even more, you can find the root access on a self-managed server much less limiting.

It’s a whole different ballgame if you are the average business client with zero knowledge about how a server works and what does it need to run smoothly. In this case, a managed VPS server is definitely the way to go.


VPS services are often much costlier than the average shared hosting plan, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find great affordable solutions out there. As you have probably guessed, the lack of involvement and support from the host makes the unmanaged VPS platforms less expensive than their managed counterparts

After all, you are in full control of the server, and the hosting provider just needs to maintain a perfect uptime. Still, as the VPS market gets more and more competitive, the difference between the two types of service often boils down to a few dollars only.

Final Takes

We’ve arrived at the end of our comparison.

By this point, you should not just know more about the different types of VPS hosting services, but also have the answers to the questions:

  •   What are virtual private servers and how are they different from a physical server?
  •   What is the difference between managed and unmanaged VPS?
  •   Which one is better for startups, and which one – for established businesses?

Highlighting one of the services as “better” would be impossible, because every client has different requirements.  If you want something user-friendly and well-supported by the host – choose managed VPS. If you are after a fully customizable platform at a minimum price – go for unmanaged.

Luckily, Scala Hosting supports both Managed VPS and Self-Managed VPS, and we will be happy to find a fitting solution.


Q: What is unmanaged hosting?

A: Unmanaged hosting is any type of service where the provider provisions a server, and the client is in full control. This includes software installations, app upgrades, security measures, hardware optimization. 

Quite often, the hosting company gives the client root access and lets them customize everything.  Efficient for web developers and server administrators.

Q: Do I need managed WordPress hosting?

A: Managed WordPress hosting, when done right, comes with a lot of perks. The provider often applies specific WP-related optimizations to their servers and sets them up with things like a staging area, automatic updates, and essential plugin integration. 

It’s a service, which strongly overpowers the simple shared hosting, but that comes at a cost. Still, if you want to supercharge your WP website and enjoy the extra support – managed WordPress solutions are a no-brainer and give great value for money.

Q: How much does a VPS server cost?

A: Prices for virtual private servers can vary greatly. The monthly rates depend on a number of factors – contract length, features included, level of support.  While generally more expensive than the average shared account, there are a lot of high-quality VPS solutions that keep their pricing affordable. You can expect anything between $10/mo – $80/mo for a reliable server with the managed services a bit more costly than the average unmanaged host.

What is a VPS – Everything you need to know!

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