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Can You Host Your Own Website Using Your Home Broadband?

By Edited Jun 4, 2014 0 1

Website Hosting - Can I Do It Myself?

If you want to have your own website, you're probably going to go ahead and host it elsewhere, as the vast majority of people do. However, hosting from home is possible. The question is whether or not you really want to. Today we're looking at whether it's worth hosting your web site from home, or whether you're better off leaving it to the pros...

Got a Regular Post Office Home Phone and Broadband Account? Think Again...

Let's say you're a regular web user, and you've already got a broadband plan, something simple and ordinary like a Post Office home phone and broadband account, maybe even an unlimited data account. Think that you can use that Post Office home phone and broadband account to run your web site? You'd better think again. For a variety of reasons the average broadband service contract is just not going to fit your needs. Things like speeds, static and dynamic IP addresses and even your contract itself are all going to affect whether or not you can host your own web site from home. So let's look into those issues in a little more detail...

Why Would You Want to Host Your Own Web Site?

Firstly, let's look at why you would want to host your own web site. If you're looking to make money, then this isn't really going to be the way to do it, at least not yet. Hosting prices are at an all-time low, and you can host your site elsewhere for very little money a month. And as you'll find out, the process of hosting your own site is difficult and time consuming, so it really might be worth paying that small fee to get someone else to do all the work for you. The only real reason that you should consider hosting your own site is because you want to learn how to do it, and it will be a tough learning experience, or if you're considering starting your own web based business, in which case this will be a valuable experience. If it's money that you're looking for, this isn't a good plan. But for experience? Sure, it's not a bad idea.

What Do IP Addresses Have to Do with Anything?

An IP address is a little like a house address in that it gives your location an identifying number so that it's easy to find. However, an IP address isn't necessarily like a house address in that it can change. Here's the deal. The majority of broadband providers give you something called a dynamic IP address. This means that the address is new every time you log on, and that it might even periodically change whilst you're online. In terms of personal use, this isn't really a problem. However, in terms of hosting a web site, it is. You see, when someone wants to access your web site then they're going to need a real, permanent house address to be able to find it. If you have a dynamic IP address, nobody is going to be able to locate your web site. However, you can get a static IP address, meaning one that never changes to solve this problem. There are way that you can host a site on a dynamic IP, but this is a complicated issue and really not recommended for beginners. A static IP address is going to make things easier. This will probably mean that you're going to need to get a business broadband plan from a provider, since these plans are generally the only one that will offer a static IP option.

About Speed...

Another problem that you're going to run into is speed issues. Whilst a home broadband connection can give great downloading speeds nowadays, uploading speeds are nowhere near as good. And in order to host a web site, you're going to need some pretty good uploading speeds. This is going to mean, again, that you're going to have to find a package that offers better than average uploading speeds. This is possible, and you might even get fast enough speeds to run a reasonably popular site. However, should your site spike in popularity overnight, your upload speeds on a regular broadband connection are going to be nowhere near good enough to support your site, and the whole network is going to come crashing down around your ears...

And Then There's Your Contract...

Many broadband providers specifically forbid the hosting of public web sites over their connections. This does vary by provider, but most have this clause in their contracts and they will act upon it and close your site down as well as probably cutting off your service. You'll need to check this out with the provider that you choose and make sure that you're allowed to run a site off their network.

Reliability and Security

Finally, there are two very big issues with reliability and security. You will get nowhere near the level of reliability in a home network as you'd get from a professional web hosting service. You won't have the time, the money, or the bandwidth capability to run all the different backup systems that you would need to limit your site's down time. You system will go down, and you will lose site hits because of it. And you're going to need to invest in a server as well. Hosting your site from your personal computer opens that computer up to all kinds of security threats that you just don't want on a valuable piece of work equipment. So, you're going to want to get an additional computer through which to host your site. Sure, you could go for an old, cheap one, but that's really not going to give you the kind of speed and reliability that you're going to need, so you're probably going to end up investing in something a little more expensive. When it comes down to it, you could, theoretically host your web site from your home broadband connection. However, doing so isn't going to reap you any benefits, and is likely to cost you more money than you'd save by giving up your hosting service.

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Aug 17, 2013 7:11am
Some good info. I had considered doing this, but didn't know if it was worth it. Looks like probably not. Thanks for the article.
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