Host Your Own Web Server

Sanat Singha is a technical writer, an editor, a blogger and a web marketing consultant. Contact him at wsigmas@gmail.com

Are you still cursing your current web host for compromised and interrupted hosting service? Does your web host often go down due to technical fault and maintenance related issues? This is simply disgusting and disappointing from website owner’s point of view. When you are running a bunch of commercial websites and you want to make global changes on them almost in no time, there is no room for excuses. Your customers demand improved performance 24/7.

So, what will you do?

It’s time to take a call.

Host Your Own Web Server

Switching from one web hosting company to another is not something that solves your purpose. In fact this is not a reliable and long-term solution.

How about hosting your own websites at your own business place? Did you ever think of managing and controlling your own web server? I am sure you are getting butterflies in your stomach.

Let me tell you (before you read rest of the article) that hosting your own web server usually does not save you great money. In fact, sometimes you may end up spending more. However, the benefits of having your own dedicated web host are many and are undisputable.

If you weigh between dedicated web host and shared web host, the former one is undoubtedly a better and trustworthy solution.

Let us see why spending on dedicated web server makes sense.

  1. You have complete control over the hosting system
  2. You can apply your own sense of responsibility
  3. There are no monthly hosting fees or recurring costs
  4. There is no scope for incompetence
  5. You can host unlimited websites, no restrictions on database size, storage and content
  6. You can enjoy more bandwidth, more reach to target audience
  7. There is no need to wait for someone else responding to your technical queries or providing you technical support
  8. You have a dedicated server, so no sharing and no dependence
  9. You are aware of everything happening to your server from the frontline
  10. You have the sole authority and access to make major changes on the server, instantaneously and globally.
  11. You are able to implement specific applications based on customer request. You don’t have to wait for your web host to answer to your query and then explain it to your customers.
  12. Your customers are always happy and confident about working with you, because they know their business is at safe hand.

What it needs to become your own web host?

First and foremost, you should be technically-adept and knowledgeable about operating systems. You should also understand the basics of scripting languages, database management (MySQL, Perl, PHP). Knowledge of hardware and server components and related server technologies is a must.

However, this does not mean you have to be technically expert and professionally trained to install a web server. What is most important is that you need to be resourceful in terms of knowledge, ideas and efficiency and equipment. You should also have quick answers to common technical queries.

If you run into problems with multiple resources, search techniques, engines and find difficulty in managing web server, you can hire someone to fix the issues.

Now when you decided to purchase your own web server, it is necessary to consider a few things. A superfast turbo server with quadruple processor is a good buy, but this is not always affordable. You need to be logical while weighing your options.

Would you prefer purchasing the whole unit or you want to order for separate server components such as server racks and cabinets, rack accessories, cabinet rack steel door and more?

What is the price you can afford?  Where to buy them from?

 Even if you are buying a low-end server what would be the final cost including equipment and services.

There are ‘N’ numbers of questions you need to find answers for. If you are looking to buy branded server racks and cabinets, Net Shop Server Racks are the ones you can count on. At Netshop you have the leverage to choose from different cabinet types, different height and dimensions, different colours, front door type and different brands.

Web-Server

Following are a few points to help you choose and install the right web server:

  1. First, decide on your ISP (Internet Service Provider) or broadband. Ask different vendors before choosing a plan. Each plan is different with different benefits. Compare them well and then select the final one suited to your needs.
  2. Buy a backup device before installing the server. This should be double  the size of your server storage space.  The backup device has to be external, portable and removable.
  3. Decide the total number of space you require in that server. There is a way to do this. Calculate the maximum number of daily traffic you expect in next 1 year, divide that number by the current daily traffic and then multiply the number with 5. You will get the result.
  4. Determine the memory. A web server with 5, 00,000 daily traffic needs at least 2 GB of memory.
  5. Choose network components such router, hardware firewall, software firewall.
  6. Processor’s speed and power is also worth considering. No matter what traffic you have on your sites, dual processor or higher version is always recommended.  A dual 32-bit processor is good to go with than a 64-bit compatible processor. However you can always upgrade it if required.
  7. Ensure you arrange CD- ROM drive. You may need to do system restore for which you need some type of removable storage device.
  8. Choose an OS that you are comfortable with. Linux is open source and for developers; Mac is for web/graphic developers. Unix is the most secure one among all. Regardless of what your IT person suggests, you should always stick to what you already know.
  9. You have to install all web services, web applications, scripting language, database and web log analyser on your server system.  One should also perform system update, apply security patches, install firewalls, and do configurations time to time.
  10. Placing the server in correct location is also important. If the size of the server and its components are heavy, it may be extremely noisy and loud. Therefore, one should avoid placing it near peaceful area.

Finally, your own web host requires frequent monitoring and maintenance. You need to have an expert at your finger’s end who can conduct performance check and integrate new applications as and when required. You can also discuss with companies selling server related products and services.

Remember, hosting your own dedicated web server is beneficial for both- your web business and your customers.