A self-hosted website is one that you host on your own servers through your web hosting company. Essentially, you need to download the software, install it in your server, and then you are responsible for maintaining, upgrading, and fixing your website software. Essentially, you are the 100% owner of your website. All the responsibility falls squarely on your shoulders. When you’re going with a hosted solution, the solution provider, the company that’s selling you the service is responsible for maintaining the software on their servers. They do all the maintenance, they do all the upgrades and they fix any bugs and hacks that might occur with their software. Typically what this involves is you’re paying them a monthly service for the privilege of using their solution.
Which is better for your business website? I think that really depends on two factors.
- The first factor is what do you need your website to do? There are many different solutions out there both self-hosted as well as hosted that are fantastic products that can power your business website. So it’s important for you to sit down and understand what you want your website to do, whether it’s a hosted solution provider or whether it’s open source software that you download whether or not that solution will do the job.
- Secondly, and this is incredibly important for small businesses and solopreneurs, is how involved do you want to get in the day-to-day maintenance of your website? Often it’s usually not day-to-day but if you have a self-hosted website, there’s going to be maintenance involved and either you are going to have to maintain your software, fix it, and deal with hacks & malware, or you’re going to have to hire someone that will do that for you. That’s a lot of time, energy, and money that you may or may not want to spend or invest in the technical nitty-gritty of maintaining a website.
You might just want to focus on the core aspects of your business and if you’re really not technologically savvy and you want to spend zero time maintaining your website, then a hosted solution is probably the best solution for you. If you do like to have complete control of your website and you don’t mind getting into the technical nitty-gritty of it, then having a self-hosted solution might be a good one for you.
If you decide to go with the self-hosted software solution and you’re choosing to build your website that might be on an open-source software solution then I recommend you choose an open-source software solution that has a really big developer community around it because anytime that you need to make changes to your website or if you need to fix something or update something, you’re going to want to be able to tap in to a big community of developers who can do the job rather than have to search around for a small handful of folks that are qualified to do that job and chances are you’re paying them more money every time you need something changed