Is it best to choose a hosted or self-hosted website? That is a great question! It really depends on your specific needs.
- If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution (AIO), a hosted website platform may be your best option.
- If you need more control, then self-hosting your website on a commercial hosting provider may be the way to go.
It’s important to consider what level of control, flexibility, and customization you need, along with ongoing cost before making your decision. It’s worth researching the pros and cons of both hosted or self-hosted website options to determine what is the best fit for you. Good luck!
What is Web Hosting?
At its core, a website is a collection of webpage files that has an address (URL). On what web server those files are stored and accessed by Internet browsers are its hosting. For a monthly fee, your website files can find a home on a hosting server.
Advantages of All-in-One Hosted Website Solutions
A hosted website is often built with a Content Management System (CMS). A CMS is a user-interface that makes it easy for the layperson to make and publish content updates to their website. So, a hosted platform may be perfect for amateurs that have either basic or no coding skills whatsoever – or for business owners that want to make simple content updates to their own site.
AIO hosted website solutions:
- Let you worry less about the behind-the-scenes nuts and bolts operations of the website building process.
- Typically come with templates and tools such as proprietary widgets.
- The hosting provider is responsible for website and server uptime as well as software maintenance.
Popular AIO hosted website platforms include:
Advantages of Self-Hosting Your Website
When you do not use a hosted solution, you can select a hosting provider of your choice to update our web files. There are many commercial hosting providers available. Choose one with a track record for reliability and great, accessible service. Also, it’s necessary to consider how user-friendly their control panel is and what tools and features they offer that would be a value to you. For example, some hosting providers include free domain registration, free SSLs, automatic daily website back-ups, and one-click staging site creation.
Let’s explore more advantages of self-hosted websites:
- You have access to uploaded files to the server and can set up databases as needed.
- You don’t have to worry about major headaches like broken proprietary widgets if you decide to move from one hosting provider to another.
- The hosting provider is responsible for server uptime and maintenance.
However, if you’re considering self-hosting, you’ll need to manage:
- Software maintenance of the website
- Resolving technical issues of the website itself
Hosting Providers We Like:^
To Use a Hosted Solution or Not?
In my experience, self-hosting is the way to go! Self-hosting gives you unrestricted access to your site. Self-hosted websites can be easily moved to another hosting provider should you wish to, while hosted websites are often difficult (or impossible) to migrate elsewhere.
*Note: Regarding ecommerce sites, hosting through Shopify may be preferable since they have easy to set-up templates and are responsible for ensuring that the site is Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant. This ensures that sensitive card data is transmitted securely.
So, hosted or self-hosted websites aren’t inherently bad. While there are certainly pros and cons for both, self-hosted websites offer more webmaster control. Your decision really depends on your situation regarding time availability, budget, requirements, and skill set.
Contact UmeWorks if you want a new website. After speaking to you about your situation, we can recommend a solution that makes sense for you and your business!
^UmeWorks has an affiliate relationship with these providers and may receive compensation for new accounts set up via these links.