If you're technical profession with hosting needs, you might consider whether to DIY a local server or sign up an existing hosting service. This article provides basic guidance on how to get your site online via local DIY hosting server. We'll also provide in depth reviews when you should use either option.
The local server setup is much the same from data center service, we may just implement less powerful hardware production. But we must configure all important server service to support a website. Hence, the following installation/configuration are MUST
- Web Server. For whatever rate, you need to get a web server installed such as apache or IIS based your preference. If you operate a dot net application, you also need to configure proper frameworks after IIS setup.
- Database Server. You need at least one type database engine to store website data like mysql or sql server.
The web server and database server can be automated by lots of available packages like LAMP or WAMP installer, just few clicks to have everything running. However, since we need to get website visable publicly, we must configure proper DNS pointer. Unless we registered a dedicated line, mostly we get dynamic IP support by ADSL connection so it's a challenge to configure on web server. In order to point our domain to the right IP number, we have to get a dynamic dns service like noip.com or dyn.com service. Depends your website requirements, you might need a paid service for quality performance.
Once all above service is setup properly, you can bind your domain name to web server and your website is ready to serve publicly.
DIY or Existing Hosting Service?
From all above description, it's not so easy to configure a local hosting server unless you're pretty confident about the entire process. But everything is ready with an existing hosting service. From editorial point of view, following categories are mostly concerned
- Performance & Stability. As we know, our local internet connection is not guaranteed as data center service that comes with dedicated power and bandwidth supply. Especially when your dynamic IP changes frequently, it can result in temporary website unreachable. But such problem does not exist for hosting service because everything is pre configured. Also, there're big difference based our choice on hardware production and system setup.
- Security. Probably the most important thing. Unless your put the DIY server in a dedicated room with well protection, you can't always guarantee nobody else can touch the server. Mostly, we use the server as personal computer too so we install lots of softwares that're not necessary for server purpose. Once we put the server publicly accessible on internet, we have to deal with virus and all kinds of attacks. If we can't well monitor it 24*7, there're big security risk.
- Costs. There's no cost advantage at all for DIY server. We must prepare everything by ourselves and put into lots of man power efforts to make sure everything working properly. However, everything is handled by support team and we just need to pay severl bucks per month for guaranteed performance.
Thus, DIY server is not really good solution from above comparison. A decent web hosting service is good enough to support most website requirements with extremely high performance and security.
When You need DIY Server Hosting?
Since there's no much advantages for live server hosting service, why we still use DIY solution? Well, we must understand all that is real is rational; and all that is rational is real. Sometimes we have no more good choice other than DIY.
Our DIY server is actually a small local hosting system with everything included like web server, DNS and security protection etc. It's very good start if you want to practise before launching our own hosting business. We can fully understand the process of configuring such service. Especially when you're system or network administrator, you will get good experience by doing so.
DIY server is also perfect choice for enterprise requirements when you need extremely high protection of sensitive data. Lots of big companies have their own IT departments, they're responsible for both networking and company data security. Most important service are self hosted on local servers.
From all above comparison & explanation, both DIY server or existing hosting service are good choice. You just evaluate what your purpose is. If you just need to get a website online and reduce the costs as much as possible. We highly recommend use an existing service other than configuring everything on local computer.