I'm just starting out and I am trying to figure out if I want to host on my own servers or find an online webhost. In your opinions and from your experiences, can you tell me which one would be better.
Like I said, I'm just starting out and don't have many large pages yet so I don't think bandwidth or storage would be an issue. What I am concerned about is the cost comparisons between the two options.
By the way, if I would build my own server I would use linux (fedora, to be more specific).
you gotta consider this.. how many years how you had with unix expierence? i assume you'll run an all unix based shop based on the fedora comment.. You pay for a nice data line, T1 to start.. after you start making money you can upgrade.. it'll take you a while to get there.. I run mine on my own hardware, i also have 12 years of unix under my belt too, so i've been doing this sort of thing for quite some time now... I also suggest you have at *LEAST* 6 months month operating expenses the first couple months are going to be rough...
When I started HN, I knew pretty much next to nothing about hosting but still started off at the server level. But to do that you need money and to surround yourself with people that do know what they are doing. I was lucky as I had a partner who bankrolled the business so I had a budget to pay staff, get a good server at Rackspace and pay for advertising. But you need about $10k to do that and you need to learn fast.
So it's not impossible to start off at server level and not know much - just difficult (and expensive).
██ Laurence Flynn @ atOmicVPS LTD ██ Linux & Windows Cloud Hosting Solutions Powered by OnApp
██ Fully Managed [Shared] ► [Reseller] ► [Cloud VPS] ► [Dedicated]
██ Featuring the atOmicSTACK™ ● Speed ● Performance ● Reliability
I'd say definitely go with the hosted option...hosting yourself is going to be expensive, and like others have pointed out, the learning curve is a major factor.
Unless you're talking about a sample site hosted from your DSL connection? That's a cheap option, of course, but i wouldn't bother with it, because online hosting is so cheap nowadays for basic starter accounts. The only reason i'd recommend trying to set up your own server is if you want to learn the ins and outs of web server administration, when it'll probably be an absolute necessity to have hands-on 24/7 access to a connected webserver. Personally, i wouldn't have the budget to set up a dedicated high-speed line just for learning purposes, so i would only think of that as an option for commercial setups. What are you planning to use this for?
I would recommend a reseller account with a provider who also offers affordable dedicated servers. That way if you build a relationship you like, you can stay with them a while. The business term is called "scalable".
A few that offer BOTH affordable reseller accounts and dedicated servers pop to mind:
Since I'm still a very small reseller I agree with vantasticman7. For staters, start SMALL. Focus on getting a solid client base established so you are guranteed steady income. Then branch out and determine how many clients you can handle and when a new plan/new server is required. For me a simpler reseller account works (24hostingnow). But I have considered servermatrix and other dedicated solutions - I just could not justify the costs until I actually can utilize (and profit) from them.