How does 'Self-hosting' work?
You want to create a website for your business; you have asked a web developer to build a website for you.
Once your developer has done building the website, your website files and codes need to be uploaded to a web server in order to get hosted for the world to visit. In most cases, the developer may suggest you to upload and deploy it at a web hosting company with a monthly or annual fee.
In Self-hosting, instead of uploading the website to a web hosting company, you will be hosting it in-house by yourself without paying recurring fee.
* You still need to own a domain name which requires an annual fee.
Self-host with Synology NAS
No Sophisticated Hardware
You do not need a huge rack of servers to host your own website. Just a Synology NAS will be sufficient.
Size of a tiny box that sits on your desk.
Easy to Update
You can login to the admin console to update it with ease in just a few clicks. This is particularly important if there is security update.
Web technologies for the server have advanced so much that you do not need to know command lines or scripts to host a website.
Hosting a website can be done in graphical user interface (GUI) with minimum efforts and guidelines.
Have a glance on how the web management screens look like below.
Screenshots: User-interface to create & manage web hosting
What are the advantages of self-hosting?
No Monthly or Annual Fee
Regardless of how many websites you host, how many storage you use, and how many visitors to your website, there will be No Recurring Fee.
All you need is the Upfront Cost of the hardware to host the websites. You need to have an Internet connection with public IP address to host.
Most affordable packages offered by web hosting companies have their hardware resources shared with other customers.
However, in self-hosting, all the CPU, Storage and Memory resources are used exclusively for your website(s).
If your website is a dynamic website such as Wordpress, it will utilise the available resources to speed up the compiling process during page loading.
Host Many Websites with Free SSL Cert.
You can host as many websites with different domain names as you want, as long as the hosting is still within the hardware resources.
What's more? You can get Free SSL certificate with auto-renewal for each individual website that you host. Your website will use the protocol of https which is more secure.
We certified that the following applications will work
We have done our own in-house testing to ensure that systems can be installed in Synology NAS. Any system that runs on PHP and MySQL should work.
How about disadvantages of self-hosting?
Nothing is perfect. We wish that we could say everything is going to be fine and there is no issue with self-hosting. However, we believe that it is our responsibility to point out some of the drawbacks and the potential issues that may arise. Then, we will suggest some solutions to the issues.
With the given information, cost, and risk assessment, only then you may decide if self-hosting of website is for you.
Internet Connection: Stability of your Internet connection plays a huge role in hosting a website. If your Internet goes down, your website will be offline. Moreover, Internet speed and bandwidth of your Internet are both important as well. A sudden huge spike of visitors regardless of how much hardware resources there are, internet connection can be the bottleneck of the loading speed.
Potential Solution: Upgrade your Internet subscription to a more feasible package. Study the data of the website for the first few months of the self-hosting. Then, adjust your subscription plan accordingly.
Redundancy: Most web hosting companies have established an IT infrastructure with multiple redundancies of hardware, storage, power and Internet connection lines to prevent downtime. For example, power outage will have a backup power generator kick-off automatically to supply electricity to the hardware.
Potential Solution: It depends on your business nature and workflow operations. You may ask yourself the following questions:
How critical is your business operations that rely on the website?
If the website goes down, how much damage or loss will your business suffer?
For how long are you willing to let your website to stay offline before suffering any damage? Is a short downtime tolerable?
Rather than investing in all hardware redundancies can be costly for most businesses, we would suggest to come out with a plan that is inline with your business, tolerance and potential loss per hour of downtime. Then, invest in redundancy that is necessary only. Consult us and we will gladly assist you with the plan.
If your connection is using dynamic IP address instead of static, you can consider either one of the solutions below:
Contact your Internet service providers to upgrade your IP address from dynamic to static. Usually, it will incur additional cost to your monthly Internet bill.
If upgrading your IP address to static is not viable for you, you can consider subscribing to an online service called Dynamic DNS (DDNS). There are many affordable services that you can choose from.
If both options above still are not viable for you, we can host DDNS for Free without any obligation. However, we will not bear any responsibility for any direct or indirect loss you may have for using our service and we reserve the right to stop providing DDNS service at any given time. Notice will be given if we are going to do so.
Loading Speed: If website target audiences are within the country or Asia regions, the loading speed should not be an issue provided that an appropriate Internet package is selected. However, if your target audiences are from other side of the world (i.e. western countries), your visitors' user experience may not be ideal due to slower latency.
Potential Solution:Actually this can be resolved easily by using Content Delivery Network (CDN). It is an online service that allows your website to be cached in servers located in other countries. The CDN service will serve the website to your visitors from the nearest server location to them. Hence, it will speed up the page loading and improve the user experience with better latency.
But, there are potential costs involved. Firstly, setting up a CDN requires some technical skills to do so. Secondly, you may need someone who is familiar with your website system to best optimise the CDN. For example, if your website is based on Wordpress, you need to look for that Wordpress web developer to configure it for you. Finally, Cloudflare is one of the CDNs we can recommend and they provide Free-tier subscription with limited features. Depending on your requirements, you may need to pay for enhanced features.
Security Risk: Hosting a website requires you to open port 80 and 443 at your firewall. Once the ports are opened, you are allowing the world to access your server. Therefore, there is a risk and it is compulsory to ensure that the server applications are up-to-date with security patches at all time. Updating the server applications in Synology NAS has never been easier, it can be done with just few clicks.
Although updating the server can be done by non-technical user or automation, the front-end system (e.g. Wordpress, Joomla or Drupal) that runs the website is the point of concern and requires skilled personnel to perform any security update. Usually, the web developer who built your website should be the right person to perform this update task. We are sure that your web developer can provide maintenance service for your website.
If your web developer needs the access to your website files and code to carry-out the update, access to the file manager can be given securely with Synology NAS.
Updating of Server applications can be done by yourself or automation.
Updating of Front-end system requires someone who is familiar with the system.
Self Support: Self-hosting means you are on your own if website goes down. You have to figure out what is wrong and what causes the downtime. If it is a simple power outage, the server should be able to restore itself once electricity is back online. On the other hand, if the issue is caused software related issue or bugs, manual intervene is suggested to diagnose the issue.
If it is a software related issue with the front-end system (e.g. Wordpress), it is suggested to request the support from your web developer.
Learn the system and get support from online community. Or train and delegate someone in your company to take over the responsibility.
If none of the solutions above work for you, we are here to support you. We will try our best to resolve your issue. However, take note that our support is chargeable.
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