Unmanged or Cheap Managed VPS
If you have limited budget but your web site is too popular to be hosted on a shared hosting plan you have 2 options to consider – unmanaged vps or cheap managed vps. Which one should you choose? There are some factors to consider before you can find out which one is better. First of all, let’s see what is involved in choosing each of the options.
Managed Virtual Server
If you have no technical knowledge and no experience with managing a server then this is the only option you have. Ordering an unmanaged server because it is cheaper may result in downtime, problems and decrease of the popularity of your web site. A managed VPS will let you sleep at night while your hosting company is taking care of the configuration and monitoring of your server. Make sure you don’t buy the cheapest managed vps though as cheap usually comes with bad quality. When you are looking to find your hosting company to order the server from check that they have been enough time in business and their clients are happy with their services. Look for reviews on Google, check their Facebook page and the reviews posted there. It would be best if the server comes with a control panel such as cPanel. It will make your life much more easier. You can also use the chance to learn how to manage the server and once you gain enough experience you can switch to an unmanaged vps and pay less.
You can get an unmanaged VPS if you are absolutely sure what you are doing and you are comfortable with working via a console. If you have never accessed a Linux server via SSH better look at a cheap managed vps solution. If you are comfortable with SSH then you can get an unmanaged vps, install Apache, MySQL, PHP and any other software your web site requires to function. Alternatively, you can install a free control panel such as the CentOS Web panel which will install a web server, database server and a mail server for you automatically. Then you can pay for support on per case/ticket basis. If you have too many tickets per month your monthly fee may become higher than if you got a managed server. Be careful. An unmanaged vps can give you a chance to learn much more in regards to linux systems administration though as any problems you face will have to be resolved by you. That’s the best way to learn. Solving issues yourself will give you lots of knowledge and experience which you can use moving forward. There are many other free control panels which are easy to install and can be used such as Webmin
It is clear that a managed vps will be much more expensive than an unmanaged one. That is because of the extra cost involved for the hosting control panel license and the staff needed to provide support and manage your server. The unmanaged option is less expensive but it requires knowledge and experience with systems administration of servers. If you lack that then your only option is going managed. Bigger companies choose the more expensive option in order to save time and outsource activities which are far from their core business.