When you decide to make the move from a shared hosting account to a VPS or dedicated server, that is only the first of many decisions you will have to make. You will also need to decide whether you want a managed or unmanaged server and if you want traditional hosting or cloud services. There are benefits and disadvantages of each that you should closely consider before deciding.
This is the least expensive option, which you can usually find in dedicated server and virtual private server packages. When your server is unmanaged, even if it is owned and hosted by a web hosting company, it will be totally under your control. You decide when updates happen, how the server is managed, who has access, and what software you install.
With a managed server, all of the headaches that come with the freedom of a managed server are left to your hosting provider. There are differing degrees of server management, depending on how much you need and are willing to pay.
The cloud is like the packaged kit that comes all ready to go. Instead of building your server from scratch, the operating system and possibly even the applications are all installed and configured to your needs. You pay not only for the server management but for the platform and/or software itself. This model is often called Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).
Which to Choose?
Your choice ultimately depends on your needs. If you are comfortable with managing an entire server, the unmanaged option will give you more flexibility at a lower price. If you need help, a managed server is the way to go. And if you need everything prepared and ready to go for you in a totally hands-off relationship, the cloud may be right for you.