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In this article, we will discover managed hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated hosting, how they compare and differ from each other, as well as the pros and cons of each. These concepts aren’t mutually exclusive; we hope to provide you a better idea of what to look for in a hosting solution.


In today’s online world, web hosting has become a necessity for all kinds of individuals, hobbyists, artists, social organizations, schools, soccer clubs, businesses, and large corporations with hundreds or thousands of employees. All of these circles use websites to distribute their thoughts and ideas with an online presence.

dedicated servers

Some clients decide to host their own servers on-site or select a collocation service to maintain more control. A collocation service is a type of plan where a hosting provider, such as Liquid Web, houses customer-owned server hardware within a secured data center, mainly providing power and a connection to the internet. Similar options include a self or core managed hosting plans. 

These plans are defined as models in which the customer rents the server from a provider, but chooses the level of support they require. In these cases, the hosting provider supplies the hardware, power, and internet connection, while other support options and responsibilities will vary with the plan they choose. Due to the infrastructure requirements, technical expertise needed to efficiently run a server, as well as the costs both plans incur, many prefer a Managed Hosting solution instead.

In this article, we will discover managed hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated hosting, how they compare and differ from each other, as well as the pros and cons of each. These concepts aren’t mutually exclusive; we hope to provide you a better idea of what to look for in a hosting solution.

dedicated server hosting

What Is Managed Hosting?

Managed hosting is a service in which the hosting provider is responsible for the deployment, configuration, maintenance, administration, troubleshooting, and monitoring of a hosting environment. Depending on the specific hosting package, this can range from the administration of core services (e.g., web server and SSH access) to fully managed solutions, including application-specific support. Generally speaking, the higher the cost of a managed hosting solution, the larger the scope of support you can expect. 

Who Would Benefit from Managed Hosting?

Managed hosting is an authentic, fully managed hosting solution in which sites are hosted within an environment specially designed for a specific type of application, like WordPress or WooCommerce. With this type of service, a provider’s support team will assist with not only configurations but also will troubleshoot problems at the site level. An excellent example of this is Liquid Web’s Managed WordPressManaged WooCommerce, and Cloud Sites products.

vps managed app

Pros of Managed Hosting

One of the top benefits of managed hosting is it gives you access to a support team 24/7. With managed hosting, your hosting provider handles the setup, administration, management, and support of a server or platform application. Other advantages include:

  • Fully managed – Provides all of the support and assistance you need as a new server owner. 
  • Lower overall hosting cost – Basic necessities like firewall protection, a server control panel and backups included in the costs  
  • Lower in-house costs – Avoid the additional costs of hiring an administrator or overextending IT resources
  • More security – Get stronger protection from viruses and other types of hacking attempts

Cons of Managed Hosting

The disadvantage of manage hosting offerings it that they do not provide clients with server-level access and usually offer less customization than a traditional VPS or dedicated server. However, the end product is a hosting environment where you only need to maintain the content of the site rather than worrying about managing servers, services, and the technical specifics related to them.

vps uses

What Is VPS Hosting?

A VPS, or virtual private server, is a full server OS that is emulated or replicated within a more substantial physical server, which is called a node or parent. There can be multiple VPS operating systems running within a single node (multi-tenancy), each running their own unique operating system and software. Those systems are wholly isolated from the other instances on the parent. These instances only share the parent node’s resources, processing power, RAM, bandwidth, and disk space.

Who Would Benefit From A VPS?

There are many situations in which want to go with VPS hosting rather than the other available options. For starters, it makes for a good middle ground between shared vs. VPS vs. dedicated hosting in terms of price to performance ratio. Since a VPS is an isolated system, clients looking for more freedom in what applications they want to run and how they can be configured could benefit from VPS hosting.

Pros of VPS Hosting

One of the optimum aspects of VPS is the speed at which they can be created, deployed, and modified. Many developers and end-users utilize managed VPS hosting as a flexible and affordable solution for both staging and production hosting environments. Being separated from other customers instances also provides an extra layer of protection.

Hosting providers typically offer a few different configurations of VPSs with different technical specifications and price points. This limits how customizable they are, but one of their main advantages is how quickly they can be created and scaled up or down to adjust to different resource configurations if needed. Other advantages of VPS hosting include:

  • Isolated – Unlike shared hosting, each customer is isolated to their own server, improving performance and allowing a higher degree of freedom and security. This level of security can be largely attributed to the cloud-based hosting options available to customers.
  • Control – Outwardly, a VPS is nearly indistinguishable from a dedicated server. You have complete access to the operating system, can install the most compatible software and make configuration changes at will while making system backups easy.
  • Fast deployment – A VPS can be usually be created, cloned, or reimaged in minutes, as opposed to hours or days when dealing with dedicated servers.
  • Scalability and flexibility – VPSs are easy to scale up or down within given parameters, depending on your current technical and financial needs.
  • Cost-effective – VPSs provide most of the advantages of a dedicated server at a significantly more approachable price point.

Cons of VPS Hosting

The only limitation to what you can accomplish on your VPS is confined to the provider’s Terms of Service. This is a huge factor if you are planning to run custom software such as chat applications, VoIP servers, private game servers or even non-standard database systems like MongoDB. Other disadvantages to VPS hosting may include:

  • Sharing a node means the activity on one VPS can adversely affect the performance of the others.
  • It costs more than shared hosting.
  • Most providers offer only a few preset configurations of VPSs.

Depending on the configuration of the parent server and how virtualization is set up by the hosting provider, the combined maximum resource usage allocated to all the VPSs on a node can be higher than the available physical resources of the node. This can be a drawback when compared to a traditional dedicated server, as this can cause a resource-hungry instance to affect the overall performance of the other instances on the same node, which is one of the main drawbacks when compared to traditional dedicated servers. 

A good compromise between a cloud VPS and a dedicated server is what’s known as a VDS or virtual dedicated server. This is basically a single-tenant VPS, meaning it is the only VPS instance running on a node. It provides all the advantages of a traditional dedicated server and many of the same scalability features of a multi-tenant virtual server.

vps servers

What Is Dedicated Hosting?

Dedicated hosting refers to renting a physical server, also known as a dedicated server, from the hosting provider. Dedicated servers are constructed to the specification a client selects, within what the hosting provider offers. Similar to a VPS, clients have full root access to the server and are at liberty to choose the software they want to use and how it should be configured. Unlike a VPS, you are not sharing any of the server’s hardware or resources with anyone else.

Who Would Benefit from Dedicated Hosting?

The main benefit of dedicated servers is the level of customization available, especially in our VMWare Cloud which can be defined to fit the client’s requirements perfectly. For example, a server delivering media content on a single site may need a large disk for storing files. On the other hand, a server hosting a few smaller but higher traffic sites won’t need as much disk space but would benefit from more processing power and RAM.

Pros of Dedicated Hosting

Most businesses choose a dedicated server with the following advantages:

  • Reliability – A dedicated server is a consistently more reliable and stable when have higher level of traffic.
  • Security – A dedicated server has a superior built-in level of protection so you don’t have to security attacks because of another site on the same machine.
  • Resources – Because more resources are focused on your environment, speed is consistently greater than other platforms.
  • Customizable – A dedicated server offers more precise control and configurable options and customizations to meet your specific needs.

Cons of Dedicated Hosting

The disadvantage of dedicated servers is that system administrators are responsible for all aspects of web security including the OS and installing extension frameworks. Dedicated servers may be updated by remote technicians with security patches, which can cause data access issues.

However, on both dedicated and virtual servers, the hosting provider’s support team usually assists with troubleshooting server-related issues, installation, configuration of supported software, and monitoring critical services.

Why Choose Managed Hosting?

Liquid Web’s approach to managed hosting is that we fully support the LAMP Stack, InterWorx, cPanel, Plesk, Windows and the core WordPress files. However, we also provide limited support for some custom applications and will cover most third-party software in what is called a “Beyond Scope” basis. For example, if you notify us that a website is down, we will immediately investigate the cause of the issue.

If the problem is with server-level software or services, (PHP, Apache, or MySQL) we will quickly work to resolve the issue. If the problem turns out to be with the site’s code, or with a WordPress plugin or theme, we may be able to offer information or assist with identifying the cause, but cannot promise to provide a solution or render developer-level assistance.


Virtual private servers provide an excellent middle ground between shared hosting and dedicated servers, providing you with the performance of a dedicated server while remaining scalable and affordable. A managed VPS is a great way to host sites for small and medium-sized businesses, wing you to leave the technical dirty work to your hosting provider so you can focus on what matters.

Check out Liquid Web’s range of Cloud Virtual Private Servers.

If you’re looking for a more powerful and flexible hosting solution, check out our Cloud Dedicated servers.

The Lowest Prices Ever!

Our revamped pricing for our ManagedApplications has allowed us to provide our services at a competitive price. Give your blog or e-commerce store a rock-solid, stable and advanced system in which to host your blog or e-commerce store.

You’re busy handling all the other day to day tasks of running your business. Give yourself the opportunity to take a hands-off approach moving forward. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable Solutions or Experienced Hosting advisors to learn how you can take advantage of these prices today!

Avatar for Joseph Molloy

About the Author: Joseph Molloy

Liquid Web Security Operations tech Joseph spends his days cleaning up malware and doing his part to keep the Internet safe. He is interested in all things Linux and always looking for something new to learn. In addition, he enjoys cooking and playing guitar, is an avid horror and sci-fi reader, and is a fan of black metal music.

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