Monday, October 27, 2008

Hosting a web site at home?

There are thousands and thousands of web hosting companies out there with redundant storage and redundant bandwidth and various levels of reliability. But, the question that still comes so ones mind is why cant i host a web site at home? Is hosting a website at home beneficial? According to me; nope, its not. Why? Thats what I will try and concentrate on in this post. Why should you invest that small amount of money in a web hosting account and why not host your website on your home server.

Now, to start a website, there are several things that are required; some of them are as listed below along with the problems that you might face if you are planning to host your website at home.

Server Software: Now, there are several server operating systems, but most of the server operating systems are either Linux based or Windows Based. For a Windows Based operating system, you of course have the licensing costs where as in Linux based operating system you have the maintenence costs. If you are good with computers and installation and updation of the softwares then these costs can be saved; although they will take so much of your time that you wont have time to do anything else with your website.

Server Hardware: If you are planning to have a professional always available website then you need to have good and efficient server with enough processing power and memory. Along with processing power and momory you will need redundant storage usually with arrays of disks(RAID levels) along with redundant network access devices so that if at all a device fails the access to your server wont fail. So, what you need is a full fledged web server. Now, web server hardware can come anywhere between $800 to thousands of dollars depending upon your requirements.

Software costs: Apart from the server operating system there are several software costs like database licenses( if you use MS-SQL or Oracle or Enterprise MySQL), developement environment licenses(like Visual Studio etc) and much more.
Personnel: Installation and upgradation of all the above services need expertise. If you are planning to do all the installation and upgradation on your own then it will take almost all of your time and hence you wont be able to do anything else. And website creation and maintenence has a lot of things hence you will also have to bear the costs of hiring people.

But like the above disadvantages or pitfalls, there are also some advantages of hosting a website at home. The main advantage of hosting a website at home is scaling, which means you can increase and decrease the bandwidth, the storage required to host your website and loads of other things more easily and relatively cheaply as compared to hosting companies. But i think these days most of the hosting companies are pretty accomodative and you can change hosting plans very easily and you can upgrade and downgrade very easily as well. So i think you will have to decide if it is feasible for you to host a website from home.

I personally suggest a web hosting company primararily because of their webhosting experience as well as the amount of expertise and the professionalism that these web hosting companies have. so, if you are serious about having a website or an online business, web hosting companies are your best bet.

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