One of the most fundamental questions for creating on the web is whether you should choose hosted or self-hosted. We answer that question by weighing the pros and cons of each.
In this Episode
Hosted: A full, all-inclusive solution that you generally pay monthly to use, but someone else manages. Everything is provided for you except the content.
Self-Hosted: You buy the hosting, domain, and install or build the system (like WordPress) yourself, or hire someone to do it. You’ll need to assemble all of the parts and manage everything.
How do you choose?
Determine what you need for features, and how much time and budget you have to work with.
Pros and Cons
- You can get up and running fast
- All you need is your content
- It’s easier to manage
- The software is updated automatically
- There is usually a built-in support team
- It generally costs more
- The cost grows as your site grows
- There are limitations on customization
- It’s hard to switch to a new platform or host
- You don’t own the platform, so you have no say in changes
Bottom line: If you’re willing to give up some freedom for ease of use and speed, go with a hosted solution
- You have full control over your site
- You can customize everything – theme, features, custom development, etc.
- Your site is more portable. It’s easier to change hosts
- You own everything. You don’t lose features unless you want to
- These are harder to set-up. There’s a higher technical barrier
- There’s no centralized support
- Choosing the right hosting can be tough
- Updated are completely up to you
Bottom line: If you want more freedom or need custom features, and have the ability to spent the time or money, go with a self-hosted