Before discussing the advantages and downsides of self-hosting, let’s see what self-hosting really means. Hosting your own websites and applications doesn’t mean that you run a server in your house or basement, which is a very bad idea for many reasons.

What self-hosting actually means is that you rent a server or a virtual machine from an established hosting provider and you set it up yourself.

Of course, configuring and maintaining the server requires technical skills. However, easy to follow tutorials are available on the Internet and there are many advantages once you learn a few tricks.

Professional hosting

Professional hosting is a popular choice, due to some solid reasons. The most important one is the technical support, since such a server is administered by the hosting company. This includes permanent monitoring, which greatly improves reliability.

The hosting company also takes care of updates and their servers are protected by firewalls and other intrusion prevention mechanisms.

Hosting packages also include very useful additional services, like backups or cheap data storage plans. Overall, paying for hosting can be very convenient but there are also some disadvantages and annoying limitations. Let’s see why self-hosting your site or application can be a better option.

Self-hosting and its advantages

The most important advantage of self-hosting is the reduced cost. A small cloud server, which is powerful enough for most common needs, can be rented for only a few dollars per month. By contrast, professional hosting is a lot more expensive.

Most new websites generate little or no income at first, and the mounting hosting costs can force them to close before they have a chance to become successful. It is wiser to start small and keep costs at a minimum; you can always expand later when needed.

This is also true for small companies that need an online presence. Spending too much on hosting reduces the funding available for other more important projects, so an inexpensive solution is the way to go.

Of course, the cost is not the only factor; make sure you choose a reliable company with good reviews from users. Many cheap providers operate improper datacenters or use old hardware, which results in inferior performance and poor reliability.

Another key advantage of self-hosting is the freedom to do whatever you want. While professional server administrators follow a set of configuration standards, on your own server you can install any application and configure it according to your needs. If you are a skilled user, you can make your machine run faster and experiment with cutting-edge features.

What if you don’t have any IT experience, how can you configure such a server? The best idea is to hire a professional system administrator for this task.

If a server is setup correctly, the operating system and applications will not crash and no maintenance is required. You can learn how to apply routine updates yourself, or you can pay a sysadmin to do it for you according to a schedule.

Since it is your own server, you are free to host anything on it. The policies of most hosting companies are quite restrictive and do not allow any content that can be considered obscene, offensive or illegal. There are no such limits on your machine, and you can develop any kind of website, with total freedom regarding your code.

Some types of applications, such as VPN servers, peer-to-peer networks or a number of marketing platforms are not welcome on managed servers and companies will not provide support for them. If you need such an application, a server of your own is the only option.

Privacy is a major concern, in many cases, especially if a server hosts sensitive data. While hosting companies can be trusted, since they operate based on contract terms, a number of their employees still have access to your data. On a self-hosted server you can enjoy complete privacy, since you are the only one who can grant access to others.

Another important advantage is being able to advertise and monetize your site or application. Any revenues will be paid directly to you and you can advertise anything you wish, as well as pursue aggressive sales or marketing campaigns. The extra income can be very handy, even if making a profit is not your main goal.

Finally, as a bonus, you will gain valuable knowledge about how a server operates, that can really help you further your career. IT proficiency is highly prized by employers and you might earn a higher wage as a result.

 

Need a self-hosted server? Look no further, VPSCheap offers some of the cheapest servers on the market, starting at only $1.66 per month.

Despite the low price, our servers are very fast because they are built on state of the art hardware with pure SSD storage. Our systems are fully automated and your server will be online after only 5 minutes, we are eager to help you start your self-hosting adventure!

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