Hosting your website in-house

This is a question we get asked from time to time: “Can I host my website in-house?” In this context it refers to clients who want to host their website on their own computer, within their own premises (as opposed to co-located or outsourced hosting).

Webservers in a data-centre

Our answer is always a resounding, “No!” The reasons might be obvious, but it’s understandable if more clarification is needed. After all, a web server is simply a computer connected to the “Internet”, so why can’t you do it yourself?

Speed

The chances are your Internet connection just won’t be fast enough. Even the fastest residential and small business broadband connections are limited in terms of upload speed. Professional hosts have multiple Gigabit connections (both download and upload) which are around a thousand times faster than the upload speed you have at your own premises.

Server configuration & administration

You’ll need to install a suitable operating system together with software for serving webpages, databases and emails. Aside from the initial complexity, you’ll then need to administer it full time, which requires a specialist degree of knowledge to keep things running smoothly.

Security

You’d need to check for security updates, apply patches and configure firewalls. Because a webserver is public facing, it’s more prone to attack and as such requires more work to protect it from intruders. Unfortunately there is no guaranteed way to always keep the bad people out – ask NASA and the New York Times – but you’re certainly better off leaving the security to someone who knows what they’re doing.

Downtime

Unless you have a cupboard full of spare parts, your site could suffer lots of downtime if the computer you host it on becomes faulty. Servers based in a data-centre are more likely to be repaired quickly when hardware fails.

For all of these reasons it’s more reliable and cost effective to outsource your hosting to a specialist provider.

One reply to “Hosting your website in-house”

  1. Jennifer Wells says:

    Also there is a HUGE difference between desktop-grade and server-grade hardware components. The mean-time-to-failure of server-grade components is far longer and server-grade components can be faster to replace (most servers are designed to be opened and altered without the use of tools, everything is pop-and-lock).

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