Self Hosting – The good and the bad.

When it comes to website hosting, the need for a stable site is crucial so picking the right hosting company to go for is something you need to think long and hard about.  In my case I’ve been very lucky and when funds dictate, i’ll go with UK based company Memset.  When funds are an issue I’ll self host.  This for me is a good and bad thing, here let me explain.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked in the web hosting industry for a while, so being able to setup my own server and webhosting system, is a godsend, but it also has it’s own problems.

While I have full control over the server and it’s settings I’m limited and reliant on home based broadband and power, I don’t have redundancy in anything, once the site goes down it goes down, I’m the system admin for security/updates, troubleshooting everything regarding that machine/server/settings.  That can soon cause you to be under a lot of pressure.  On the flip side, you learn a lot and quickly.

My point is, when you have the knowledge does it make it easier to host websites, or should you always go with the professionals?  In my case, I’m not 100% sure.

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4 thoughts on “Self Hosting – The good and the bad.

  1. I’m in a situation similar to yours: years of experience on isp, expert linux sysadmin, i want to self-hosting to escape from google.
    I’ve choosen to not use a home-server for your own reason and i’ve choose one VPS, there’s various isp that offer cheap vps.
    With a vps you don’t have to worry about rendoundancy on hw,power,bandwidth … but you have to worry about the software stability of your server.
    I’ve buy two server, one that’s the primary and another that is the secondary MX server on another isp on another country.
    Yes, isp has potential control over your server, but this it a trade-off

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  2. I’ve done both and while self-hosting is cheaper in the long-term, it’s not dissimilar to renting vs owning a house. When you own you can customize the house and it’s cheaper in the long-term, but you’re on the hook for all repairs. With renting you call the super and they fix things. But you can’t customize it as much.

    If we ever get to the point in the USA where it’s not too expensive and against the TOS to have an IP address and high upload with home Internet, I might consider it again. What I hated when self hosting was when Internet went out, taking my site with it or when the power went out. Additionally, it is more expensive to have a system with redundancy in case things go awry. Finally, with shared hosting (at least at Dreamhost) I get unlimited disk space. Not so when hosting on my own.

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  3. I have mixed feelings about self-hosting. I like the control. I like the clean environment I create when hosting my website. The biggest problem is that I don’t always have time to keep it updated. It becomes even bigger problem when you are on vacation and your website goes down. I currently host and manage my website but my long term plan is to use managed hosting so I don’t have to worry about administration. You can spend time writing or you can spend time managing. You have to decide where your time is best suited.

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  4. I totally agree that self hosting can sometimes be a pain in the a*s.
    The last problem I had when I self-hosted my website was a small DDOS attack that I was absent to address to. And I think that even if I was, I would have still had troubles blocking the offending IPs. The result of that attack was my website being unavailable for 14 hours straight during which I lost couple of sales.

    Another possible problem when you self-host is the loss of internet which with some ISPs can happen frequently.
    With this taken in mind I decided to purchase a VPS with a respectable web hosting company with managed support which gave me peace of mind and time to purchase other business possibilities and hobbies.

    Btw Paul, good article.

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