If you are setting up a corporate website, you will need to choose between outsourcing your hosting or hosting the site internally.
Both approaches have their positive and negative aspects. You will need to weigh them up carefully to ensure that you choose the right fit for your business.
In-house hosting vs outsourcing
Outsourcing to an external web host may be an attractive proposition if you need an 'off the shelf' solution, or lack the skills and infrastructure internally to carry out the necessary work.
Typically, small and medium size businesses prefer to contract out their hosting to either a specialist provider or an ISP. See pros and cons of using ISP for hosting.
In-house hosting may be a good choice for businesses large enough to have the expertise and the financial resources to ensure security and smooth operation of the hosting equipment and systems.
Not only will you need a web server, but you'll also require a high-speed connection to the internet, and you will be directly responsible for its day-to-day operation and 24-hour support.
You will also have to take account of the cost of maintenance and software licences.
Advantages of the in-house web hosting
- You have full control over access to the website.
- The choice of hardware, including the ease and expandability of upgrades, is yours.
- You also have control over the operating environment - the software and systems that run on the web server.
- You can manage web storage space and performance more effectively.
- You are not contractually or legally bound to use a specific provider.
Disadvantages of the in-house web hosting
- The cost of buying your own web server hardware, associated software and high-speed internet connectivity (typically using a dedicated connection).
- The technical skills you or your staff will require in order to develop, maintain and upgrade the website, and to keep up to date with the latest technical developments.
- The resources capable of providing round-the-clock support for the website in order to ensure its availability for users.
- The need for specialist security expertise in employing tools and techniques to maintain the security of your website.
If you're considering hosting your website internally, make sure that you can:
- provide 24-hour support internally on an ongoing basis
- build an in-house IT team with the right set of specialist skills to maintain the system
- implement appropriate monitoring systems and procedures
- take immediate and effective action when problems occur
If you're unable to guarantee this, a hosted option may be cheaper and less risky. See factors to consider when choosing a web hosting provider.