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Why Not Run Your Own Server?
It might seem like a good idea to run your own server to save a few bucks on hosting a website. However, saving a few dollars month-to-month may cost you a lot in the long run. It might make more sense for you to pay a hosting company with a team of expert administrators to host your site, and here’s why.
Let the experts set up and configure the server.
If you decide to be your own system administrator, setting up the server is entirely your responsibility. If you are unsure of how much memory, space, and power you’ll need to run the site, it is probably a good idea let the experts handle this task. But, it doesn’t stop there. Once you decide on the correct machine for the job, you’ll need to set up everything from scratch. This might include:
- Assigning an IP
- Setting up DNS records
- Installing software needed to run a site
- Keeping everything up to date
This can be time consuming for an expert. Imagine how long it can take someone who doesn’t do it for a living! Not to mention, if you make a mistake, it can mean a poorly functioning website, if your site functions at all.
Do you need to worry about backups?
ABOSLUTELY! Not only do you need to worry about backups, you need to find the solutions that works best for you. Do you need daily, weekly, or monthly backups or a combination of the three? Do you need to back up the server or just your website or both?
Choosing a reliable host who offers backups as part of their hosting plan is a lot easier than learning how to setup and maintain backups on your own. While no backup can be guaranteed, it is far better to have something than nothing.
Security is not optional.
Internet security is certainly a hot topic. When one chooses to be their own system administrator, all of the security responsibility falls on your shoulders. Securing a sever is important, as some attacks can take an entire server down within minutes. Are you willing to risk it?
Research hosting options that are honest and transparent about their security measures and uptime. It’s also a good idea to seek out a company with good customer support. Sometimes attacks are targeted to a website rather than an entire server. Do you know what to do if your WordPress website has been hacked?
Server updates can be a hassle.
What happens when the operating system needs updated on your private server? Most times, operating systems cannot be upgraded in place. A second server has to be configured, from scratch, and then all settings, files, Email, etc., has to be ported and copied to the new server. Then the old server is terminated.
These updates happen once every few years in our experience, and, usually, our clients know nothing about them because we handle everything from start to finish.
How will you cache your website?
Caching helps WordPress websites run quickly and efficiently by reusing resources when a website is viewed more than once. There are different types of caching solutions available. But, the average person doesn’t know which is the best solution for their website.
Who is going to monitor your site?
Websites are not set-it-and-forget-it appliances. Servers need to be monitored in the event that they go down. Down time translates into lost sales. It is important to catch these blips as soon as they happen to minimize cost. If you’re running your own server, this means that you are the monitor (and fixer) of issues.
Installing SSL certificates.
Brand credibility is important online. One way to improve your site’s credibility is by installing an SSL certificate. Not only do you need to install, but you need to set up a system to handle automatic renewals.
Think your site doesn’t need SSL? Think again. Google has started flagging non-SSL sites as not secure in an effort to make its users feel safer online. If you decide to forego an SSL, you can expect to see a decline in traffic.
What happens when something goes wrong?
Let’s face it – using technology is never completely smooth sailing. Issues arise, and someone needs to fix them. If you’re the system administrator, this means you are it! Is your WordPress website suddenly super slow? Have some of your pages seemingly disappeared? Being able to troubleshoot these issues is a must, and being able to troubleshoot them quickly is even better.
Sometimes something even as simple as updating WordPress can wreak havoc on a site that ran perfectly fine before an update! Worse, updates are required to maintain security. It takes time to search out needed updates, install them, and check everything to make sure the update didn’t break something. Would you rather spend your time updating your website and server or growing your business?
Unless you have been running WordPress websites and servers for a while, it can be difficult to research and troubleshoot issues and updates. Having a team of experts behind your website can save time, money, and aggravation.
What happens when something goes right?
Sure you need to account for the time it takes to keep a site running smoothly when issues arise. But, what about issues that sprout from everything going right? Is your server and website prepared for unusual spikes in traffic?
It is important to be ready for anything – good and bad. Setting up a scalable server is important to manage steady growth. But it’s also important to be able to handle those unexpected (or expected) short-term spikes in traffic.