by Juan Robin II
There are more than 1.7 billion websites on the internet right now, and more are added every day. Are you looking to throw your hat in the ring and set up a website of your own?
Whether you’re building a website for business purposes or for personal use, there’s a lot that goes into the process. For example, you have to figure out how you’re going to host your website. Will you pay a hosting service, or will you host your own website?
If you’re leaning toward the latter option, keep reading. Listed below are five essential things you ought to consider if you want to host your website by yourself instead of paying for a hosting service.
Benefits of Hosting Your Own Website
Many people choose to pay for a web hosting service because they’re drawn to the convenience of outsourcing the process of keeping their website up and running. This can definitely be alluring, especially if you’re a busy person or someone who’s not particularly tech-savvy.
That being said, there are also a lot of benefits to learning the ropes and hosting your website on your own. The following are some of the specific benefits you’ll get to enjoy if you take this approach:
- You own your server, as well as everything on it — no sharing required.
- You have total control over your server and the way you configure it.
- You get to enjoy faster response times from your own tech staff — there’s no need to wait on another business’s employees to get the job done.
- You can host anything you want on your server — there’s no red tape or hoops for you to jump through.
It’s also easier for you to monitor and pick up on intrusions when you host your website yourself instead of trusting it to someone else.
Things to Keep in Mind When Self-Hosting
If you’re intrigued by the benefits of hosting your own website, there are some important things you need to keep in mind. Remember these points before you decide to go all-in and start self-hosting:
1. Self-Hosting Can be More Expensive
When you choose to host your own website, you also choose to take on all the costs of hosting.
This includes more than just the cost of the server itself. You’ll also have to think about the added energy expenses associated with keeping the server running.
If you have the means to do this and aren’t working with a tight budget, self-hosting is still a viable option.
2. You May Still Need to Outsource
It takes a lot of round-the-clock work to keep a server up and running.
Unless you want to monitor your server all day and into the night (which is a full-time job in and of itself), you’ll likely need to hire some people to help you with this task.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as you still get to control who you hire and what their specific responsibilities are. It’s worth keeping in mind, though.
3. There’s No Redundancy Plan
When you pay for a web hosting company to host your site, there’s often a redundancy plan in place. This means that, in the event of a crash, your website can be shifted to another server to keep in running.
Unless you invest in a second, backup server, you won’t have such a plan in place if a crash happens on your end.
4. You’ll Become Much More Knowledgeable
There are a lot of hurdles that you have to overcome when you’re hosting your own website. However, you also have an opportunity to learn a lot about hosting.
The experience can be very rewarding and empowering, as it shows you that you’re capable of making something out of nothing and don’t need to rely on other services to get your website up and running.
5. You May be Able to Profit from Your Server
There may also be potential for you to profit from your server. Once you start hosting your own website and learn the ropes, you may decide that you want to offer to host other people’s websites.
This would be turning your server into a shared server, which negates some of the benefits of self-hosting. However, you also get to control the people with whom you share the server, so there’s still a sense of autonomy that comes with it.
How to Host Your Own Website
Does the idea of handling your own webhosting appeal to you? If so, here are the steps you ought to take to get started:
Start with a Web Stack
First, you’ll need to choose a web stack. Most people choose to download a pre-made software package that features Windows Apache, MySQL, and PHP. You can also build an Apache server on your own Windows machine, but that takes a lot more time and energy.
Add Content and Pages
Once you’ve downloaded your web stack, you can start adding the content and pages that will make up your website. Many people use website builders like Dreamweaver to help them with this step, especially those who do not have coding experience.
Establish a Database
This step is only required if you’re using WordPress or another content management system while developing your website. If this is the case, you’ll need to establish a new database on the home server.
Allow Visitor Access
Next, make sure your site is set up to allow visitors to access it. To do this, you’ll need to make a change to the code so that everyone is allowed to view your site.
Add Your Domain Name
Finally, add the domain name to your website. This allows visitors to access the site even if they don’t have the exact numeric code that makes up your IP address.
Get Started Today
Now that you understand more about the pros and cons of choosing to host your own website, have you decided that it’s a good option for you? Are you ready to move forward and start hosting your website yourself?
If you are, don’t forget the self-hosting tips listed above. They’ll keep you on the right track and ensure you have everything you need to successfully host your website on your own.
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