Hosting a website out of your home is generally a bad idea. You certainly can, and if you’re just having fun learning to build a site, you won’t run into many issues. But if you’re serious about starting a business, it’s best to look for online hosting. Here we’ll explain the exact reasons why, and the benefits of having someone else manage it for you.

It’s a Security Risk

Running a server on your home network is a huge security risk, as hosting it at your house exposes your public IP address to the world. This leaves you open to malware being installed on the host computer or DDOS attacks that could shut off your home internet completely. Managing security patches on your home server is also something you’ll have to do, keeping everything regularly updated to avoid this problem as much as possible.

Your Upload Speed is Probably Too Slow

Speed is a major factor, and while it won’t matter much if you don’t get a lot of traffic, most home internet connections have much slower upload speeds than download speeds. Some even throttle the connection after you use a certain amount of data. Upload speed is important in being able to serve data to your users, and without a lot of it to go around, your site will be pretty slow.

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You’ll Need Hardware to Run It On

Running the site yourself means you need something to run it on, and unless you have a server rack in your basement, you’ll probably use your home computer. Running a website takes up bandwidth on your home connection and processing power on your computer, not to mention the fact that your computer will need to be on at all times to keep the site up, eating up power in the process.

While you can find used server hardware for pretty cheap, they’re usually loud, heavy, and take up a lot of space. You probably don’t want to deal with the hassle of setting them up, unless you really need to keep them local.

Your ISP Probably Won’t Let You

Most Internet Service Providers have premium plans for “business” internet with higher upload speeds and the ability to host servers from your house. If they find out you’ve been running a server from your home plan, they’ll likely tell you to shut it down before they shut your internet off.

But it’s not just your ISP making you pay more—the business plans usually come with a static IP address, which will never change and always point to your house–something you need for a website. Otherwise, every time your ISP does maintenance in your area, your IP address could get shifted around, leaving you with a website that doesn’t work. Having a static IP means you won’t ever have to change your DNS settings.

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What You Should Do Instead

If you’re serious about starting a website, don’t run it out of your home; it isn’t cost effective or enjoyable.

Instead, you should look into getting online hosting. You can get very cheap (or even free) hosting that will be many times better than hosting in your home. If you don’t know how to build websites, there are many website builders and hosting providers out there that can manage it for you.

  • Basic Web Hosting: If you’re just looking for very basic hosting, check out BlueHost. They have basic shared web hosting plans for really cheap (less than $3 per month), or specialized, high-performance WordPress hosting for a bit more. You can also look at InMotion or Hostgator for similar plans.
  • Site Builders: If you want to build a website without knowing how to code, 1&1 has both managed hosting and a site builder tool that makes it easy to put together a website without paying a lot of money.
  • Virtual Private Servers: If you’re looking for more serious hosting, you can rent a virtual private server (VPS) from a company like Digital Ocean or Amazon. These prices start small, but costs can rise dramatically as you grow, and you’ll have to manage everything yourself.

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However, if you want to run a simple site and don’t have big plans for it, or want to learn how to use web hosting software like Apache or Nginx, feel free to try out hosting it on your home connection.

Image Credits: everything possible/Shutterstock

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Anthony Heddings is the resident cloud engineer for LifeSavvy Media, a technical writer, programmer, and an expert at Amazon's AWS platform. He's written hundreds of articles for How-To Geek and CloudSavvy IT that have been read millions of times.
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