UK: Internet - Should I host my own site?

UK: Internet - Should I host my own site? - Ask yourself if you have the technology to run your own web page.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Ask yourself if you have the technology to run your own web page.

As an SME looking to establish a web presence there are two main options available to you.

Firstly you can host the site locally on your own internal computer system.

Alternatively you could form an agreement with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to host your site. In effect this means renting some space on the ISP's own computer. Many ISPs will offer other services such as web site design and Internet consultancy. Before you make your choice, however, there are various issues to be considered.

Should you opt for the internal hosting route you must first ask yourself if you have the requisite internal expertise to manage and maintain an internet connection. If you do, you need to work out the immediate cost of a host computer, bearing in mind that a site which includes graphics and video will require a more powerful computer. If you expect a lot of people to browse your site you will require a fast, permanent web link.

However, with internal hosting, while you are entirely responsible for maintaining your site, you also retain complete control.

If you go ISP, you effectively devolve most of the responsibility: it is, at all times, the provider's responsibility to ensure your site is operational. The provider will be able to implement new technology faster than you. With an ISP, you will be able to agree a fixed monthly cost based on the size of the connection to the Internet, the space you use and the traffic that passes through your site. The ISP market is booming at the moment and new players offering cheap prices are two a penny, so it is worth shopping around. But before you choose the cheapest option, ask yourself what you want from your site. When setting up a web site, the best deal may not necessarily be the least expensive.

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