Cost: Not including the original home-server cost (I had been using a $600 Dell desktop), it was cheaper to use DynDNS.com for my initial 3 or 4 domains. As I add new domains, the cost of DynDNS was about to become more expensive than Media Temple which allows me to host up to 100 domains for $200 a year.
Future Sites Planned: I have several websites planned for the future. I’m hoping one of those will take-off or get Dugg – where I’ll need the surge capacity that media temple can support.
Bandwidth Caps: As of August 2008 Rogers imposed a 95 Gig per month bandwidth cap. Unlike in the U.S. where a typical user accounts have 200+ Gig caps, the 95 Gig Rogers cap was attached to their highest price consumer account. I have bumped up against and surpassed that cap over the last few months (Rogers charges $2.95 per Gig above the cap). Note: Bell’s highest end consumer account cap is 100 Gigs.
Email Support Issues: I couldn’t use/add any email related functions to my sites. For example, I couldn’t set up wishhh.com to send email activation notices to newly registered users. Nor could I set up WordPress to automatically email database backups to me. Rogers blocks all automated email functionality originating from home-office servers. No self-respecting website can work with this limitation.
Management Hassles: I recently upgraded my Apache server. I was considering upgrading to MySQL 5. I had previously upgraded my PHP installation. Each of these take a lot of time. I’m now ready to pay someone else to manage those hassles.
Backups: While I had a comprehensive backup system for my sites, manual intervention was required from time to time. Rather than manage my own backups (and storage), once again, I decided to let the professionals manage the backups for me.
Possible Move: I have been contemplating a move – possibly back to the U.S.. I didn’t want my websites to be down during the period of the move. A move to the U.S. could have resulted in my sites being down for weeks.
My three years of self-hosting was a wonderful learning experience. But it was time to move on.
There is one downside to the change. It was really nice having the server so close. It was easy to update file on my home network. Now I must use FTP (I’m using Filezilla) every time I wish to manage my files. It’s slower and a bit of a pain.