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The web hosting industry today is quite sophisticated. With the advent of cloud hosting and distributed networks, it is now nigh impossible for a hackers to bring down a website. This is one primary reason why businesses – even the large enterprises – prefer to host their websites on reputed third party services. But this is not the only reason.
There are a number of other reasons that compel businesses to look for outsourced hosting services. Firstly, the job of a server admin is quite niche and so non-tech businesses would prefer an expert third party to handle the operations. Secondly, the job of maintaining the website comes with the need to protect your website from malware and DDoS attacks, monitoring bots and generally ensuring that the service is online. All this costs money if done independently. So unless it's a large enterprise, it's an expense that can be avoided by going through the third party route.
Despite this, there are some compelling arguments for hosting your business website on your own server. Here are a few:
You Own Your Website : No matter how reputed your web host is, the truth is that the content you own is not with you. Although rare, there have been cases in the past where rogue webhosts have meddled with the content of their customers. By maintaining your own web server, you can ensure that the content you own stays with you and you control the destiny.
Better Control On Server Performance : A lot of cost-effective server options comes with shared hosting. In these cases, your website is hosted alongside a multitude of other websites. A malfunctioning script or traffic spike on one of these websites would mean your website gets hit. There is little control. By hosting your own website, you can decide on the kind of high speed business internet that connects the visitors to your server and thus optimize the customer performance as you see fit.
Better SEO : As the internet matures, more and more people are logging online to find products and services to buy. Consequently, it is extremely important that your website ranks on top for the keywords that matter. The problem with third party hosts is that they own a barrage of different sites from various industries. Your website may be hosted from the same IP address that host adult, gambling or other illegal content. Well, even if not, shady strategies deployed by other websites in your server can affect your ranking. By keeping your website hosted on your own server, you can be rest assured that you alone are responsible for the direction that your website takes.
Local Benefits : If all your customers are located locally, then hosting your website on a server located in a different part of the world would mean more delays for your customers. Studies have shown that there is significant churn for every millisecond of server delay. In such cases hosting your website locally becomes critical. Not just this – if you are from a country where English is not the primary language, then using the web hosts would mean the technical support offered would be in English which would cause a communication barrier between your company and the web host.
The decision to migrate your website to your own server is a tough one. There are a lot of cost implications in the short term. However, the long term benefits outweigh the immediate challenges that may arise. What are your thoughts?
Ian McGrath is an IT consultant and writer on tech security. He lives with his family in Sydney, Australia.View Ian McGrath`s profile for more