What you need to know before you decide to run your own server
We’re fond advocates of the DIY (do it yourself) mentality. So you won’t find us dissuading you from taking the reins of your internet presence fully and hosting your website yourself on your own server, if that’s what you want and are prepared to do. Consider this checklist-cum-article your minimal preparation.
First and foremost, do you have what it takes? How tech savvy are you, anyway? Do you know what it means, for example, to secure a server? Do you have the time to devote to the arduous maintenance of a server, responding personally to every glitch that comes with the territory? And do you have the inclination?
Secondly, do you have what it takes? No, you’re not seeing double. This time what we mean by “what it takes” is hardware and software and internet access. Hosting your own server requires the following:
A dedicated computer
This means a computer that will be used exclusively as your server and for nothing else. And it can’t just be any computer. The computer you choose to be the server that’s hosting your websites must be able to handle the amount of server requests you’re hoping to receive (remember, most websites are built with the dreams of getting more and more of these, not less and less).
A Network Interface Card (NIC)
A broadband connection
This must be reliable, secure, and has a high enough upload rate to serve your web hosting needs.
A server-capable OS (operating system) for your server
Just like your computer has an operating system, your server must too. This can be Linux or Windows or something comparable.
An Internet Service Provider (ISP)
Your ISP will need to be able to support the degree of web traffic you’re anticipating. One of the worst things you could do is thwart interested visitors from accessing your website. One of the easiest ways to do this would be to choose the wrong ISP, one that starts curtailing your traffic unbeknownst to you.
Thirdly, do you have currently have a website or websites, and if so, what’s the traffic like? If you’re running multiple websites or applications already and they’re already generating a steady flow of traffic, then it makes good sense that you’re thinking about hosting your own server.
If you’ve gotten this far in the checklist and are still seriously contemplating hosting your own server, we’ll only offer up one alternative for your consideration before you make your final decision: a Dedicated Server.
With a dedicated server, you get all the benefits of hosting your own server without the burden of hosting it yourself. You’ll have your own IP address, you won’t have to share bandwidth, memory, or storage space with anyone else and you’ll maintain 100% control over server administration.
But you’ll benefit also from the committed services of a professional team of experts managing and maintaining the machinery that’s running your business and a secure, safe, and reliable datacenter with redundant power, environmental controls, and other features you probably can’t provide hosting your own server in your own living room or office space.