Managed Vs Self Hosted Website Platforms
Are you planning to set up a website for a business of your own? If yes and you are like most people out there who want to have their own website but do not want to write code from scratch, you are not alone!
Fortunately, there are a number of options that are available for you to skip the massive coding required and publish your content faster. However, you need to decide whether you want to use whether you want to use a managed website platform or a self-hosted website platform solution. The aim of this article is to discuss the pros and cons of both the solutions so that you can make an informed decision as to which one suits your needs the best.
Making a choice between a managed solution and a self-hosted solution can be a little tricky. There are a few clear trade-offs between these two solutions and the whole process might be a little scary if you are new to online business.
On the other hand, if you are the owner of a small business and are expanding your activities online, you will be able to better appreciate what it is like to lose your hard-earned money unnecessarily. You do not want to arbitrarily choose an option and then find out it is the wrong one for your needs. Therefore, some of the questions that you need to ask yourself about your specific situation prior to choosing a managed or self-hosted website platform are as follows:
- Are you in a hurry to set up your website or do you have some time with you?
- Do you have to create any type of special functionality for your website?
- Do you need to have code-level access to your website?
- Are you looking for round the clock customer support?
- What would be your monthly budget for operating your website?
If you have a clear idea as to what exactly you are looking for, the following discussion will help you to make the right decision for yourself.
Managed Website Hosting Platforms
If you are running your website on a domain that you do not own you are using a managed website platform. Many managed platforms also allow you to use a custom domain name, usually with an upgraded package. While managed platforms can save your time and money, they also limit how much control you have over your site. The functionality of your website could be limited and the hosting service provider may change the rules at any time.
Typically, managed website hosting platforms are cloud-based and are run on servers owned or rented by the cloud provider. They will not provide you with access to the program code set that runs your website.
#1: Generally, managed website hosting platforms have only one web interface. As they do not require you to write a number of lines of code, they are not only easy to set up but also easy to operate. As such, your website can be made operational fairly quickly.
#2: As such services are often cloud-based, the issue of updating the platform software does not arise at all. Updates are frequently rolled out, sometimes even multiple times in a day, by the provider. Further, bugs are often fixed immediately and you do not even have to even log in for manually updating the changes. This is to say that you will be relieved of system downtime problems to a great extent.
#3: You are not required to employ a large IT team when working with a managed website hosting service provider.
#4: The cloud web hosting service provider will have technical experts in their team to handle or maintain the software that runs the platform. Therefore, you do not have to worry about the technical aspects related to running the online store.
#1: As you do not have access to the source code, you will not have the kind of flexibility that you might be looking for.
#2: Some service providers may not allow you to use your own domain name. You may be forced to use their subdomain URL.
#3: You may be provided with a few third party software and plugins that you can use in their platform, but you may face problems when integrating the systems that you might be using internally.
Self-hosted Website Platforms
Self-hosted solutions are those wherein you download the required software and run the website on your own servers. These platforms help you to overcome the disadvantages that are associated with hosted platforms. These include the following:
#1: Ability to customize your website and its operation as per your requirements.
#2: As you own the software, you will have complete ownership and control on the codebase.
#3: You can decide and ensure that your website is always running according to your preferences and you are not bound the policies of hosted solutions providers.
#4: You can add plug-ins/tools of your choice to extend or improve your website’s functionality.
As with anything else in life, there are negatives associated with self-hosted website platforms too:
#1: When technical problems arise, you will have to deal with the issues yourself or pay for support by a third party.
#2: The solutions may come with extensive documentation, but the systems are often very complex and it takes time and effort to have a clear understanding as to how they work.
#3: The servers have to be configured, databases maintained, backups managed, lost data recovered and updates implemented in order to ensure the smooth operation of the system. You will be focusing more on these aspects instead of worrying about your conversion rate, product sale and profits.
#4: Self-hosted solutions are not out-of-the-box systems and, therefore, they are to be optimized for obtaining best results.
In conclusion, the best solution in your specific case will entirely depend on your answers to the questions listed above. You may choose a managed or self-hosted website platform after considering your needs and researching the available options. You should identify at least three to four website hosting solution providers, evaluate their offerings and go through some reviews on these providers prior to finally deciding to work with one of them.