Are you wondering Why your website should be self-hosted?

Why self-hosted?

Why should your website be self-hosted? I look at the differences between free and paid hosting.

What is Self-Hosted?

If you are completely new you might well ask “what does self-host mean?” and simply put, it means you pay for the space where your website is kept so that it can be seen on the internet.

There are free hosting services that may tempt you when you are starting out, especially if you are on a tight budget, but paid hosting need not be expensive at all.

Although you can run a perfectly good website with a free hosting solution, the disadvantages are many when set against the small cost of hosting a single website.

The Difference between free hosting and self-hosting services

The main differences are all to do with the level of control you have over your property – and your website is your property.

Even with a very small business this makes a big difference to how you can expand and grow the business.

Let’s imagine you are a musician and you play at a local venue regularly. You have some large piece of equipment stored at the venue you play each week – a piano and amps maybe.
You are offered a gig at another club at short notice, but you have to pass it up because the first place is closed and you can’t go get your piano.

The next guy gets the gig because he has a small garage where his equipment is kept. It’s on his own property under his own control. He is available for expansion – not only that – he can practice whenever he likes and get better at his art.

  • Free Hosting limits the control you have over your website.
  • Paid Hosting gives you full freedom to add whatever you like to your business and, as it grows, so the hosting package you choose can be increased. You can even move to another provider if necessary.

The limitations of free services

  1. Customising the look of the site will be governed by the system they give you.
  2. The functions your site can perform
  3. Difficult to make money – They may only allow their own advertising and it can be impossible to add a shopping facility.
  4. You might not be able to make use of analysis tools to see how the website is performing.
  5. The system could be changed or discontinued and you could lose all the work you have done.

This is why your website should be self-hosted

If you are intending to build a long-term business your main online presence must be kept safe and be under your control. You own your website and it needs to be fully under your control.

No matter how small you start, you will be able to change it or expand it however you choose. Even if you only make a ‘calling card’ page, you will control what it says and where it directs visitors at all times.

Free Hosting advantages are obvious, you don’t have ongoing expenses. However for your main business website – it ends there. You may be tempted by seductive statements about the ease of use and needing only to start writing content, or that the website is technically maintained by the provider of the service, but all that can be obtained from a hosting provider anyway. It’s only a matter of choosing a plan to suit your needs.

(Link to ‘Choosing a hosting plan’ soon)

There are valid reasons to use free web services, but these only come into play when you have a your own website up and running. (link to: When are free hosting services useful to my business?)

It’s easy to think they are easier to set up because they have ready-made templates and you just have to start typing, but there is even more choice of templates and systems you can use on a self-hosted website.

In conclusion

Whether you intend to make a fully-fledged e-commerce site, only want to display a portfolio of your services or even only ever have a blog, Your website needs to be self-hosted so that it can change and grow with you.

Your comments on hosting are welcome – please make yours below.

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About The Author

Julie Ashti

Julie Ashti explores working from home and finds products and tools that help with Marketing on the internet. I work from where-ever I happen to be, and if you are wanting to do the same you can discover how to get there with me.

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