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What is Managed Hosting? How it Works

Web hosting provides a wide variety of features, plans, plugins, prices, and added bonuses. Today we’ll focus on managed hosting — including its features, aspects that differentiate it from shared hosting, advantages and disadvantages, and what you need to consider when choosing a hosting provider.

What Is Managed Hosting?

Managed hosting is a model where a service provider handles the management, setup, administration, and overall support of a server. When you choose a managed hosting service, the hosting company makes sure your sites and applications are running all the time – and they fix things that go wrong along the way. 

Understanding the Different Types of Hosting Services

Managed hosting is not the only type of hosting available. There’s also shared hosting, cloud hosting, VPS hosting, and more.

In simple terms, shared hosting would be like staying in an apartment building. You have a place to live, but you share it with many other tenants. It’s less comfortable than living in your own house.

Think of VPS hosting as owning a condo where you may end up sharing certain resources with your neighbors but you’re mainly responsible for your own property.

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Cloud hosting, on the other hand, equates to staying at a hotel or renting a room. In other words, it’s not your permanent home, but you have a place to stay. Dedicated hosting is when you own a house, which means others don’t have access to your resources.

In the end, a managed hosting company is your best bet. It’s like having a property manager to take care of all the work that needs to be done. That way, you can relax and focus on other things — like your business.

How Managed Hosting Works

A managed hosting service is a system combining support and technology.

To establish a hosting deal, you don’t need to own a physical server. You don’t rent it from the hosting company — you get space within the colocation site or data center. However, you are the owner who’s in control of all software and hardware settings.

The hosting company has a professional team of experts you communicate with — and they help you quickly react, upgrade, or downgrade certain features. In other words, they will take care of all the technical stuff so you can focus on creating the content and running your business.

Managed Hosting Features

The main aspect that makes managed hosting different from other dedicated hosting options are management services they provide.

Managed hosting companies are in charge of software and hardware setup and configuration, together with monitoring, updates, technical support, and maintaining the system. Managed hosting solutions can mostly be customized to meet the specific requirements of your business.

However, they cover general features like:

  • Technical support for dealing with problems. Managed hosting companies employ system administrators, technical staff, and network operations engineers specialized in a wide variety of technologies. They invest in their employees to stay up-to-date with the latest tech solutions which results in long-term customer satisfaction and better service for your business.
  • Security services. Security standards are crucial for both big and small websites. A managed hosting provider covers services such as intrusion detection, virus and spam protection, vulnerability scans, physical security (safeguarding data centers), etc.
  • Disaster recovery and (automatic and manual) backups. You need to make sure your data is saved even if your site goes down due to unexpected disruptions. A good company makes sure your data is saved by providing you automatic or manual backups, together with disaster recovery procedures.
  • Automatically managed updates. They allow customers to keep their programs updated without checking and installing the newest updates manually. The software should check for available updates, and install them without your intervention.

Pros and Cons of Managed Hosting


  • Time saver. When someone is taking care of maintenance and managing, you can spend more time focused on your business
  • Reduced risk. Hosting support is important. You get highly specialized technical support that’s always available and ready to help when issues arise.
  • Flexible up-to-date technology. A professionally managed hosting service keeps up with the latest technology and updates so you make the most out of your business and don’t lag behind.
  • Excellent performance and high speed. Regular shared hosting is made for basic site needs. It can also implement software and plenty of unnecessary modules that will slow down your site. Managed hosting solutions, on the other hand, provide only features you need for running your site and special plugins used there. This significantly speeds up the site and boosts website performance.


  • Price. Managed hosting services will cost you more than a shared hosting option. Keep in mind that with shared hosting, you don’t get the same level of support — just the basics.
  • No access to own servers. One of the disadvantages of a managed hosting service is that companies don’t allow their clients access to the control panel — since they manage your site for you.
  • No email hosting. If you want a plan with the option of hosting both your site and emails, a managed hosting solution alone won’t be enough.

Managed Hosting vs. Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is an option where your website “shares” resources with others on the same server. It’s a self-managed solution that comes in handy for beginners with brand new websites. Shared hosting offers a decent amount of resources for personal websites, start-ups, or local business needs.

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Shared hosting is popular because of the prices. Since plenty of people are sharing the same server, costs for individual users are kept low.

Most shared hosting plans provide simple and easy-to-use features. For instance, you get a user-friendly control panel where you can make an email account, upload your site files, and add the databases that certain services need.

It’s suitable when:

  • You have a limited budget and only want to do things on your own. Price is certainly a legitimate concern, especially if you’re just starting or want to run a small website where you’re comfortable with managing it. You’ll need to cover things like backups, updates, and general server maintenance — depending on your host.
  • You don’t expect to have a web traffic boost. When you’re sharing resources and server space, you may experience slow speeds and lags, which shouldn’t be a problem if you don’t expect big amounts of web traffic on your website.

In terms of everyday life, think of shared hosting like taking public transportation. It’s cost effective, but can be packed at times and the route from point A to point B can take longer.

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Managed web hosting, on the other hand, is like taking a taxi. It will cost you more, but you’ll be more comfortable and get better and faster service.

Managed hosting solution is a better choice when:

  • You are not able (or don’t want to) maintain your website. If you want to work on expanding your business and constantly creating new content, you’ll need a reliable team that will cover all the technical features.
  • You need specific technical support for your website that can react fast. When you have a complex site with large amounts of traffic, you want to have a team that will help you solve all the potential issues as soon as possible. 

What to Look for When Choosing a Managed Hosting Provider 

Before signing on with a hosting company, be sure to check:

  • If the communication is professional. Even the best products can fail if they’re not supported by a professional team that will help you out with any questions or confusion you may have.
  • If the managed hosting company has its own hardware. If not, it means they either resell servers from another company or rent it. The first option here is usually more common. This can be a problem because your host won’t have:
  • Custom solutions. If you need some extra features or want to customize the setup, you’ll have to search for those somewhere else.
  • Spare parts. If the hardware goes down, they’ll need a whole new server, which means your website will be offline until they migrate it which may last for hours or days.
  • On-site support team. With no data centers, the company will use a third-party host to provide the support team — which can be lower quality and less efficient for finding solutions to your problems.
  • If the company is experienced with aspects crucial for your business. You want a host that will be able to deal with the specific niche you’re targeting and all the specific needs of your business. Ask about all the things you want to know. Specify your goals. Talk about applications, the CMS, and frameworks to make sure you’re collaborating with a team that knows what they’re doing.

Consider Managed Hosting With Hostdedi

Managed hosting is usually associated with WordPress, since it provides the flexibility and customization to shape your website the way you prefer. But there are many managed hosting options — including Managed WooCommerce and Managed Magento, for example.

Either way, running an online business can be pretty demanding, which is why you will, at some point, feel the urge to hire someone to handle the technical, backend aspects of hosting so you can stay focused on core business.

Now that you know the benefits of managed hosting solutions, learn some of the features you get with Hostdedi fully managed hosting:

  • Easy-to-use control panel. With a managed WordPress hosting plan, you get an approach to the proprietary control panel with a simple interface and the ability to handle more WordPress sites from one place.
  • Excellent performance and speed. Hostdedi owns more than 25,000 servers in their 3 privately-owned core data centers which provide exceptional speed and performance of their services. They provide expert network monitoring 24/7 which, amongst other things, helps to maintain the next important feature.
  • 100% Uptime. Hostdedi puts a lot of effort into keeping 100% uptime. Of course, the company outlines exceptions such as scheduled network, software, or hardware maintenance. Hostdedi even gives 10 times credit for the overall downtime the user experiences. For example, if your site is down for 1 hour, you’ll get a 10-hour hosting credit.
  • Professional support team. Hostdedi has specialized support staff, trained to help with all the problems your website faces along the way. They will provide you with useful information and helpful tips as well as guide you through the process of setting up your site.
  • Free migrations, no matter the reason. Not only that — the support team will help you throughout the entire process and make it all easier for you.

Get Started Today

For 24/7/365 support and limitless potential for your online business, explore Hostdedi hosting plans today — or start your free two-week trial of fully managed hosting.

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7 Ecommerce Analytics Tools You Might Not be Using

Although there are many data analytics tools available, most people continue to associate ecommerce analytics with Google Analytics. While it’s the standard choice, that doesn’t mean it’s always the best choice for measuring your ecommerce business.

Many of the most powerful analytics tools are tailored for a specific facet of ecommerce including brand management, customer data, or something in-between. If you are looking to supplement Google Analytics or replace it with another analytics platform, our list of effective data analytics tools can help. 

Ecommerce Analytics Tools you might not be using

Leads and Customer Data Analytics Tools

Customer acquisition and retention ultimately drive most ecommerce business decisions. More customers mean more sales which in turn means more revenue. For this reason, data analytics tools that focus on your leads and customer data (like Kissmetrics and Leadfeeder) can be central to your technology stack for your ecommerce business.

1. Leadfeeder

Leadfeeder tracks companies

At first, the features seem narrow or limited in scope, but Leadfeeder is an ideal and comprehensive tool for many businesses. While other tools track pageviews and customer data, Leadfeeder actually tracks companies that are shopping an online store. This makes it an ideal analytics tool for ecommerce businesses in the B2B space.

Leadfeeder has deep integration with Google Analytics — potentially adding a new dimension to Google Analytics data. But Leadfeeder also works with popular customer relationship management (CRM) tools including WebCRM, Pipedrive, and Salesforce.

Besides tracking the companies that visit your ecommerce site, Leadfeeder has other compelling features. For example, you can select specific companies or organizations that you would especially like to convert and have Leadfeeder notify you by email whenever someone from one of those companies visits your site. This gives you the chance to follow-up and further warm a lead, making Leadfeeder an effective selling tool.

Cost: Variable. Lite version (up to 100 leads and 7-day history) is free. Premium version starts at $53 per-month.

Web Analytics and SEO

A core metric of web analytics is tracking movements. For example, who is visiting your site, how they are interacting with your site, and what brought them there in the first place. These data points provide important direction for your ecommerce business. The data will show you which keywords drive the most traffic and the value of your backlinking strategy for conversion.

2. Gauges

The Gauges user interface is clean, user-friendly, and makes the most relevant data points extremely accessible.

Gauges is an up-and-coming web data analytics tool that is most notable for providing real-time insight into the traffic that your ecommerce store is getting. The platform is also lauded for its clean, user-friendly interface that puts the most pertinent information front and center.

Gauges was designed to be flexible and highly scalable. Businesses of all sizes can benefit from its live data tracking capabilities. Business owners who use Gauges appreciate that there’s no delay between a pageview or other engagement event, and the data being reflected in the platform. Plus, Gauges offers you a “bird’s eye view” so you can see what someone who is currently on your site is seeing.

Besides live data, Gauges offers other features that are common among web data analytics tools. These include keyword tracking, conversion tracking, referral tracking, and campaign management. The main drawback to Gauges is the thin integration support. However, even without official integration, Gauges is a very compact, non-invasive tool. It plays nicely with most other tools that you may be using simultaneously. Once you have a Gauges subscription, the platform allows you to install the tool on an unlimited number of websites that the tab-based interface keeps very organized and accessible.

Cost: Variable. Starts at $6 per-month for 100,000 pageviews. Offers a 14-day free trial.

3. SEMrush

SEMrush is a web analytics tool with robust reporting options.

SEMrush is a very versatile analytics tool. In fact, its ability to cover nearly your entire ecommerce technology stack has made it one of the top data analytics tools outside of Google Analytics. 

At its core, SEMrush is a robust SEO platform that is also a capable web analytics tool. For small and medium-sized ecommerce businesses, SEMrush is a popular choice for keyword tracking, search monitoring, and gathering important metrics like pageviews, referrals, and the performance of paid advertising campaigns. The platform also has some unique features including the ability to monitor your competitors, analyze the content on your site, audit your backlinks, and track what people are saying about your brand on social media.

SEMrush has a breadth of data visualization options, as well as the ability to customize your reports. For instance, you can have the graphs and charts on the main dashboard showing the performance of a handful of keywords that you’re trying to rank. So instead of forcing you into a certain view, SEMrush provides a variety of tools that you can use in whichever ways are best for your ecommerce business.

The downside to SEMrush is that there can be a bit of a learning curve, particularly with its somewhat complicated user interface. However, SEMrush does integrate with all the major social networks as well as WordPress, Trello, and virtually every cloud service Google offers. It’s no surprise that companies like eBay, PayPal, Forbes, and Wells Fargo are among SEMrush’s subscribers.

Cost: Variable. Starts at $99 per-month. Offers 7-day money back guarantee instead of a free trial.

Brand Management and Social Media Analytics Tools

For an ecommerce business, social media is an incredibly important marketing channel. In the absence of physical retail, social media is often the most effective way for ecommerce businesses to strengthen relationships with customers. As a result, social media analytics tools are core to rolling out a successful sales and marketing strategy. 

4. Keyhole

Keyhole is a very powerful brand management and social media analytics tool.

While many social media analytics tools track your brand, Keyhole is one of the most full featured tools in the market today. In fact, it largely makes up for the narrowness of its scope by offering impactful features like hashtag analytics and in-depth data tracking of your social media accounts.

As a brand management tool, Keyhole provides a complete picture of how your audience sees your brand. You can even track specific keywords or phrases. This is particularly useful when users don’t tag or mention your social media accounts in their posts. Keyhole also tracks your influencer marketing campaigns. You get full access to relevant engagement and conversion metrics for influencer content including estimates for your return on investment. There’s also versatility in reporting. You can filter and sort influencers based upon specific attributes like audience size and content engagement rates.

Businesses of any size can benefit from this effective social media analytics tool. Rather than choosing from the Twitter or Facebook analytics tools available, Keyhole integrates with all major social networks including YouTube, aggregating your mentions across all of these popular platforms in one central dashboard.

Cost: Variable. Starts at $26 per-month (billed annually). Offers a 7-day free trial.

5. BrandMentions

BrandMentions is a holistic social media analytics tool that shows the emotional response your audience is having to your brand

BrandMentions is unique compared to other social media analytics tools because of its holistic approach. While the service offers in-depth data tracking, the focus of BrandMentions is to track the emotional response your audience has to your brand. 

This is perhaps most apparent with the “sentiment meter” which is a concise visual representation of how your audience sees your brand. Each impression from your customers affects this meter, and you can set alerts for when there’s a social media post that falls below a certain level on your sentiment meter. This allows you to have a more proactive hand in solidifying a positive reputation for your ecommerce business.

BrandMentions also lets you do “competitor spying.” In short, this means you can track your competitors on social media — almost like your competitors’ social accounts were your own. By tracking the social media presence of your competitors, you can see what they’re doing and most importantly, find ways to do it better. The idea is to help your business be more visible and garner stronger, more positive feedback.

As a social media analytics tool, BrandMentions is effective for businesses of any size. The biggest weakness of BrandMentions is the very minimal integration options. In fact, you’ll need a tool like Zapier to enable something as simple as real-time notifications.

Cost: Variable. Starts at $49 per-month with user and keyword limitations. Offers a 14-day free trial.

Ecommerce Analytics Tools

Ecommerce analytics tools help you track sales and grow your business. They give you insight into customer behavior from tracking products often left abandoned in shopping carts, to finding the most relevant products to upsell.

6. Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg is an ecommerce analytics tool that lets you track how your customers and leads are interacting with your store.

Crazy Egg is among the most popular data analytics tools for ecommerce. That’s because it has features that are useful for online retail businesses of any size.

Arguably the most notable of Crazy Egg’s features is its heatmap. It’s an invisible layer placed over your ecommerce store, offering a thermal visualization of the “warmer” parts of a page that get the most activity. A heatmap is a useful at-a-glance representation of how your customers are interacting with your ecommerce store. For instance, you can use a heatmap to find out whether your customers are seeing and responding to your call-to-action.

Aside from the heatmap, Crazy Egg offers robust A/B testing for your ecommerce store. This makes it very simple to test variants of landing or product listings so you can determine which generates the most sales. There’s even a user recording feature that does exactly what it sounds like. It creates “recordings” of each user’s experience that you can play back like a video.

Crazy Egg is an ideal choice if you’re looking for a tool to better understand how customers are interacting with your ecommerce store. In terms of integration, Crazy Egg supports WordPress, as well as Google Cloud services.

Cost: Variable. Starts at $24 per-month (billed annually) for 30,000 pageviews and 100 user recordings. Offers a 14-day free trial.

7. is the most full-featured ecommerce analytics tool available today

Whether you’re a multi-channel retailer or a humble online store, is one of the best ecommerce analytics tools around. The platform has almost everything you could want: a familiar, WordPress-like interface with tons of reporting options, in-depth customer tracking, order management, and even financial data to complete the picture.

As an ecommerce analytics tool, tracks many key product metrics and allows you to quickly distinguish top-selling products from those that generate the least profit, or products with the highest overhead from those with the lowest margins. In short, provides tons of useful, actionable insights to strengthen your ecommerce business. Additionally, it’s designed for multi-channel retail, meaning tracks sales from each platform you use. It can also pull data from your Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, and Google AdWords campaigns to give you a complete picture of your ecommerce store’s performance. 

With more than 30 integrations for WooCommerce and other top platforms — including marketing automation, point-of-sale, shipping management, and enterprise resource planning tools — is useful for ecommerce businesses of any size and revenue. Plus, there are more integrations being added regularly. 

Cost: Variable. Starts at $169 per-month with a 36-month agreement. Offers a 10-day free trial.

Editor’s note: If you want to save some money and get a plethora of data at your fingertips you can signup for our Growth plan which includes

Using Analytics Tools That Help You Make Smarter Choices

There are a ton of analytics tools for ecommerce businesses. And while Google Analytics is a great place to get started, you won’t be able to answer all of the questions your business will have using that tool alone.

We think the most robust solution is one where you use several data analytics tools simultaneously. This is one of the many reasons why we include in our Growth plan for Managed WooCommerce hosting

Ultimately, you should use services that help you better understand your customers, gauge the success of your advertising campaigns, and generally make smarter choices for your business.

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