Penny Wise or Pound Foolish? Why Hosting your Own Website Doesn’t Add Up
Web hosting is about as foreign to most as that clickety clack Khoisan language, indigenous to South Africa. Despite it’s convoluted nature, every website owner eventually has to decide whether to host their own website or pass the buck to their digital agency. But how do you know which option is best for you if you don’t even know what hosting your own website means?
You’ve come to the right place, weary travelers. Here’s a beginners breakdown that will bring some clarity – no clicks or clack about it.
What Does Web Hosting Mean?
Building a website is like building a house. You can’t just plop that sucker anyplace! You need to purchase land and that is exactly what hosting is to your website – Internet real-estate. Just like constructing a home, much goes into hosting a website. We’re talking:
Then, of course, there is time and effort. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to host your own website or not.
Hosting isn’t a plug and play environment. You need to know how to set up a windows server (server software, IIS, sql server and asp.net). Translation – the operating system, web server, database management system and scripting languages. Let’s say you purchase a book called “Windows Hosting For Dummies” and manage to surmount this feat. You still need to maintain this framework and the hosting equipment with regular updates and software checks. At this rate, you might as well go back to school!
You may see advertisements for “free” or “cheap” hosting solutions but the reality is – there’s a cost hidden someplace – usually in the form of forced ads or bugs and issues you’ll need to pay to have fixed. Additionally, free or cheap hosting will have you sharing server space with potentially hundreds of other sites! If one site hogs all the bandwidth, the server will run slow or quit working and your site will pay the price.
When something does go wrong with your free or cheap hosting service, it’ll be one of those days when your schedule is full, you have that important meeting with those key clients and there isn’t a spare second to waste! You’ll want to call someone to fix it and that’s when the metaphorical wrench will lodge itself into the critical gears of your operation, halting the day’s productivity. You’ll discover there is limited customer support for your issue with free or cheap providers, which means you’ll have to cancel your afternoon, get on the horn with some other web hosting wizard and find the solution yourself. This will take time, effort and – you guessed it, money.
Thieves, hackers, ruffians; they’re in the business of stealing data or disrupting service and an infiltration can mean disastrous consequences for you and your company. Recently, an investigation determined that “73%
of the 40,000 most popular websites that use WordPress software are vulnerable to attack.”
A security threat can mean down time, lost or stolen data, infected infrastructures and lost revenue. There is no guarantee against breaches but hosting handled by a digital agency means certain protective measures will be in place to reduce your risk, like:
Data back up
Security breach support
When you host on your own, defense is in your hands and free or cheap solutions like WordPress can’t hold a candle to the security offered by a digital agency. A hacker is like a street mugger, they are more likely to attack the weak and unprotected, which makes independently hosted or cheaply hosted accounts a prime target.
Being cost conscious is an excellent quality, commendable in many circumstances; but hosting isn’t one of them. Your best bet is to invest in proper support and security by paying for your website hosting through a trusted digital agency
. Because most digital agencies have a standing partnership with hosting providers, they can offer you service, support and security at a discounted price that is far below what you’ll pay to recover from a catastrophic hosting mishap.