Thinking About Off-Siting Site

august 5, 2005

I am pondering whether I should move ultramookie.com (and her sister sites kim-kong and mookiesplace) to a hosting company and out of my home office. I feel there are a few reasons for doing this -- and also against doing this. Just for my own edification, I am going to write them down. Here are some reasons for moving the domains off my server, off my DSL line, and out of my office. Electricity: The server runs an Athlon XP, which though really (really) fast, chugs up electricity. Reliability: ultramookie might not be a mission critical server, but still, it is annoying when it goes down (DSL or otherwise) and I can't access it until I get home to reset it -- if I move it offsite, someone else has to worry about the 99.9% uptime SLA. Security and Upkeep: This is the big one for me. I am tired of admining the box, trying to keep it safe, keep spam out, keeping it up-to-date, and other assorted tasks. For the cost of shared hosting, someone else can worry about that stuff. Speed: 1.5Mbit up/384Kbit down is nice -- but, a redundant OC48 connection is much better! Heat and noise: My office sounds like the inside of a wind-tunnel with all those fans blowing. It is also more hot and stuffier than the rest of the house because of the firewall and server machines running 24/7. Turn those two boxes off? The office instantly becomes quiet and cool. Cost: It costs almost the same to have dnydns.org service (custom DNS, mailhop, etc) for all the domains as it is to move the hosting outside of the office -- throw in electricity each month, and I think it makes it even. Here are some reasons for not moving the domains off my server, DSL line, and out of the office. First and foremost: I am a control-freak and love to control my own server. Shared hosting means no ssh access to edit files directly, I'll need to ftp. But, cpanel and other utilities should help. Mail: Right now the server is my archive of all my mail. I use IMAP to access it from different machines -- I always have the same mail with whatever machine I use. The future: Will the hosting company be around next month? What if they shut their doors and I am left without data? At least if I have the machine in my house, I'll know who to blame for lost data and I'll know that my data is...well, my data. What do you think? I am looking at four hosting services: Dreamhost, HostGator, BlueHost, and Micfo. I have heard good things about Dreamhost from a friend. Anyone have any experience with the other three hosting companies or with another one that I haven't mentioned?