Our company web site is currently hosted by a large web firm. We have had GREAT service from them however, the bean counters upstairs want a "cheaper" solution. They want to host our own site. Can someone out there give me some advise on how to handle this? We have an interactive site with encrypted applications and Efinance and 42,000+ visitors a month. I just think this is more than we can handle.
You'll find running lines to host your own site is far-far FAR costlier for a single website than shared hosting. The reason hosting companies are capable of offering such good prices is because we lease ultra-high capacity lines and share the cost with thousands of clients. As an individual site you'll have to bear the full cost of running these lines and upkeept costs yourself.
If what you're paying seems average right now finding a less expensive host may become a real hit-and-miss. There's many hosts who cost less but in turn have to cut the cost out of their support budget and as such can't offer a quick response if something breaks.
42k visitors - even for an interactive site - shouldn't cost you all that much. Even with popular download-intensive sites that's still only a couple gigs of traffc with a price range between $9 and $30 depending on where you go and what your needs are.
Also, if you're looking to cut costs consider first building a site that fits mainstream hosts more easily. If you're using ASP/MS-SQL consider upgrading to PHP/MySQL which is supported by many more hosts and as such more people competing for your buck!
Your best bet (if you are forced to do this) is to get a box and colocate/co-locate/collocate it with someone. This will probably increase your administration needs by having omeone to admin the box day-to-day. If that is not an option, you could get some managed services from a company like mine, or Verio, etc. In that scenario, the provider is generally responsible for running the machine, (administration/upgrades/management/backups) and the customer handles the content. I'm not a sales 'droid' by all means, i'm giving an objective opinion. It will probably be cheaper to stay where you are, as collocation(w/bandwidth) as well as managed service charges are not very cheap.