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Self-Hosting... who do you use?


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Please don’t forget they are asking who you are hosting with and how much!!!!

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Just curious, for those of you that self-host your websites: why do you prefer to self host, and who do you like to use?


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I prefer self-hosting because of the amount of control it gives me on my sites. The other aspect of self-hosting for me is not having someone else dictate Terms of Service to me...as long as what I'm doing is legal and above-board, which goes without saying. By self-hosting, I am not paying for the right to have an 18+ site (although, honestly, our rating is probably on par with TV-M) and our writing tends to be very vanilla - little to no graphic stuff of any kind.


I host one site here on the Initiative (currently it is an SMF forum, but will be changing to a new platform soon) and the rest are on Utopia-Host. I will eventually move them here as well. Right now, they are mainly test sites so are safe where they are.


Two of my sites are hosted by Invision Community. They are IPS boards and I'm working on saving up for licenses. IPS makes not self-hosting nice although I eventually want to move onto self-hosted licenses as stated.


My domains are through Namecheap. They usually have good prices and their domain management system is easy to use. Since I'm an older person and somewhat of a Tech Village Idiot these days, that's a nice perk for me.

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I prefer self-hosting because of the amount of control it gives me on my sites.


That's my main reason for liking self-hosting tbh. And also I really enjoy being able to heavily mod forums to suit my community's need. I'm still trying to decide which host to go with, but that's not super important right now so it's way on the back burner for me 😂


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I self host, primarily because my husband and I purchased a packaged 10 years ago with DreamHost that was unlimited everything, including size, traffic and sub domains. It's an account type that no longer exists and they no longer offer, but grandfathered in for those like us who took advantage of it. It costs us about 100 bucks a year. It is incredibly perfect for what I need. It didn't matter how many friends websites I hosted or let them borrow a sub domain for what they needed, let us make an amazing wordpress, and of course, my RP website's many changes over the years. We don't get charged for extra traffic. 

DreamHost gets a lot of flack from a lot of people, some of it well deserved, some not so. I have a good thing with them and so we/I keep using them. 

Self hosting also lets you (usually) have access to everything. Some sites have restrictions (such as no ability to edit your phpdatabase or download extensions for it.) 

Honestly though, when I was much younger, single, and too young to work or unable to, using (aging myself) Easyboards and  other sites you can create a forum for free on, was a very good starting point for a beginner too. 

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I just prefer the freedom and (given that I prefer IPS these days) find the costs more manageable. The cloud hosting at IPS is a bit too steep to maintain long term for my circumstances.


This is particularly true for my rp site... Hosted here at The Initiative for free.



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Like many have already said, ultimately, I prefer the freedom that self-hosting allows. I do front end development for a living, so being able to tinker (not just on forums) is a necessity for me. It helps me practice and customize coding. 


As far as software, I prefer phpBB and have used it for years. I'm getting more comfortable with their extension system (and grabbing data!) and I love the way their theme-ing is set up.

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SMF, Linode, and I prefer self hosting because lbr I am lazy and I don’t want to track face claim lists or jobs or applications. I’m pretty much just like, post and play. No hassle. No big rules aside from don’t be a dick to each other. 


Also yes. Self hosting does afford more control. Even for me, and I don’t have full access to all the things because my husband does most back end things. 


Im not revealing how much but it’s with Linode. Like I said. 

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Please don’t forget they are asking who you are hosting with and how much!!!!





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I host on the invision cloud and it is pretty pricey, although I have found it to be worthwhile. 


It is 30USD per month and with conversion costs, it is about 40AUD or thereabouts. 


I have self-hosted for a long time and the support of the cloud is pretty good so I get that peace of mind. My main complaint is that I can't put money into an account to hold and instead it comes out of my bank account every month. 

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Most of the hosts I've used in the past and liked are gone now. So goes life and business. I did use ByetHost for a while, and they were okay, I guess. There was another one... I can't remember the name of it now. The only one I really remember is Silver Knight, and they were awesome before they went under.

The last one I hosted on was DigitalOcean. I don't recommend them for users that are not familiar and comfortable with server management, but if you are, they're a dream. Pricing varies depending on how much in resources you need, but I was on a 20/m plan, and they actually charge by usage, not a flat monthly rate, so outages and deleting a droplet and whatnot makes it go down.


My problem finding hosting was most of them were shared hosts, and my site's URL got enough bot traffic they'd shut us down without warning because we had a bot traffic spike in the middle of the night. I eventually got pissed off about someone having more control over my shit than I myself did and the constant shut-downs, built myself a server, put it in my basement, and now that's normally what my sites are on.

I don't recommend doing that unless you're familiar and comfortable with server management, installation, etc etc, and also computer hardware, and ALSO have a good ISP because most will shut you down fast if they find a server running on your connection, IF you can even get the ports open, but hey. Rofl. (I have Google Fibre. I can legit just build servers and hook'em up and Google doesn't say shit.)


My currently-promoted site is on the Initiative's hosting, because I wanted cPanel tbh and I can't afford it on basement toaster (the license is manageable, it's just my internet cost would triple because I need static IPs to run cPanel). Irony of the century, I hardly use cPanel to access it anyway, but hey, I have the option, and also auto-backups. Always good.


As you can probably guess, I mostly self-host because it's MY site, and THEY, whoever they are, need to stay out of it.

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Please bare with me, I attempted to make this short but its long. I'm sorry.


why do you prefer to self host?

  1. I like to be dependent on myself and no one else. With self hosting I have complete access to everything I personally need in my control panel (cPanel). I am actually a reseller as well though, so I have a host manager too (WHM Panel). Self hosting, like stated above somewhere, basically means you make your own rules. Most host providers have their own set of TOS which is a general thing. Like no hosting malicious content, ripped off content, and so on so forth which is simple enough and mostly just legal things anyways.
  2. This sort of goes with reason number one but I want to brag a little on the control panel area. I'm pointing out here only very few of these things but these are things I absolutely enjoy about with 'back end' access.
    1. File Manager, which is basically like an in web version of an FTP client if you are familiar with that, its the best way I can describe it. So if I am not at home where I have my FTP client on my desktop, I can access files on the go directly from my cPanel. Administrating while on vacation is painless. 🤷‍♀️
    2. FTP Accounts/Connections, create FTP logins for specific directories and even see what connections are currently ongoing. Something look fishy? Disconnect it or change your password immediately. 
    3. Backup/Backup Wizard, easily create full/partial backups with one click.
    4. Database management means if any of your tables or other information gets corrupted or destroyed or anything along those lines, you do not have to wait for someone to fix it for you. You can go in and fix it yourself or allow a trusted individual to help you out. Lots of web documentation for these things too so a quick google search of any error you have will come up with an answer and most of the time straight forward answers.
    5. Domains. Lovely lovely domains. You can run MULTIPLE sites on your account using multiple domains by using addon domains or subdomains. Depends on your self hosting package though you may have limited domain usage, you'll have to read up on your package specs.
    6. Email stuff directly within! No need to set up a gmail or whatever for your RPG needs, you can actually have an email for you domain (youremail@yourdomain.com) thats all right within the cPanel or you can connect it to apps on your desktop like mail on Windows.
    7. Metric tools. In here you can see traffic, errors, bandwidth usage, stats and blah blah blah. The list goes on.
    8. Security tools as well! IP Blocker, SSL/TLS, Hotlink Protection and so on. I like having this access personally.
    9. Software, depending on who you host through can come with the ability to use Softaculous/Installatron to install free softwares for you with the click of a button and some information input. PHP management is in here too if you have it. I have some pages and sites using old PHP versions for testing and learning purposes, some softwares in use are on older PHP versions and some sites use the latest version.
  3. All in all, I self host for the pretty much endless ability to control MY things.


who do you like to use?

  1. I've been all over the place with buying my own hosting packages but if I was to have to pick two I would go with Host Gator and A Small Orange (even though ASO lacks in specs they do have some quick customer service).
  2. I am now on a VPS with a friend who has the server professionally located in a data center. So we are basically are own 'company' lol, we just resell self host things to others at super cheap prices. I much prefer this option but its not exactly an ideal thing for most, especially those that are not into the deeper tech related side of things. Most whom self host, self host for the reasons I listed above with cPanel.
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I do not prefer self-hosting! But as my favorite software is MyBB and the only free alternative isn't... one that I care much for now that Icyboards is dead, I am using @isoldehn's hosting services! Her prices vary depending on the package you select.


I am also using FastComet, which seems okay so far! They are very concerned with making sure everything is secure and no fraud is going on, and the cheapest pricing option runs about $60/year, which isn't too bad.

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  • 3 years later...

I've been buying my hosting service through Namecheap for some time now and have been very happy with the service that they've provided. This has been using both Mediawiki (I used to host a game on it) and Wordpress (where I am currently hosting my game). Highly recommend them.


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  • 10 months later...

I prefer self-hosting because of the control it allows me over the software. I run MyBB and I've tweaked a lot of features, and added a whole bunch more. I think going back to something "set"/where I can't control everything like that would frustrate me too much.


I used to host with DreamHost, I was very happy with them, but a good friend offered free hosting with her so I canceled my DreamHost stuff and transferred to said friend. 🙂

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  • 3 weeks later...

I like self hosting because I get to set my own rules, even though it can be a pain in the butt to maintain the site sometimes... but it can be a cool learning experience.


In terms of finding a good host, I like NearlyFreeSpeech.NET, they have a very cool policy of only charging for what you use. And that means that they can charge very little for it. They even register domains too.

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