Should You Self-Host Your Blog or Website?

First let me make something very clear.

While not all ISPs (Internet Service Providers; the people you get your Internet connection from) allow you to host off of your Internet connection, there are ones that will let you run your own server from your house or office.

For the rest of this blog post, I’ll assume you are using an ISP that allows you to run your own server.

I have read forum posts before about people who say that running a web-server from your own house is a bad idea. Well if they mean that it is bad to host your own server at the home/office in every single circumstance…then they are wrong. If you think about it, there are actually really good reasons to run a server from your house (or even office).

  1. Since your web-server is running from your house, you have better control of what happens to the server. On the other hand, running your web-server (or renting a web-server, which means you don’t even own a server then!) from a data center somewhere in the US does not really give you control of what happens to the server.
  2. You get more privacy when hosting yourself. You do not have to worry about someone copying your server data off onto some other computer to snoop through your information.
  3. When it comes to fire, floods, theft, etc. both the home/office and the data center are pretty much equivalent.
  4. If you have a business-grade connection from your ISP, you may get even better bandwidth than if you hosted from a data center, since the data center would be hosting 100s if not 1000s of servers.
  5. You get to choose all your server hardware that you want to use when you host at the home/office.
  6. Both the home/office and data centers can deal with power-loss issues. Of course, a data center will be better equipped to handle power outages. However if you have a battery backup on your home server, it will last for a bit. I do agree, if you have bad power (e.g., power goes off once every other day), then I would not try to self-host.
  7. In my opinion, you would get about the same (if not better) up time hosting yourself, then having a very busy data center try to host your server with everyone else.

Conclusion:  Assuming that you have the equipment and an ISP that let’s you do it, there is really no huge difference between hosting a server at a data center and hosting a server at the home/office for your personal or small business use.

Posted in Internet and Servers