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How hard is it to manage your own hosting?

Discussion in 'Server Configuration and Hosting' started by Rambro, Sep 11, 2016.

  1. Rambro

    Rambro Well-Known Member

    I am really getting sick to death of these managed hosts and their inability to get anything done. The jerkoff I have now can't even get imagemagick to work and is apparently unable to get cPanel working correctly. I have no experience with linux or any of the other systems, and don't really know what I'd be doing, but I could learn. Is this something that the average layperson could pick up? Can I get a cPanel-like front end to make it easier to navigate? Or am I doomed to be emailing back and forth with degenerate imbeciles for the rest of eternity?
  2. Mike Creuzer

    Mike Creuzer Well-Known Member

    In my opinion, the fact that the barrier to entry is so simple you're going to get people who do it as a hobby but promote themselves as a business. The fact of the matter is that without a few people in different time zones monitoring the server who actually know what they are doing, hosting with reasonable uptime and reasonable support is just physically impossible (unless you dont mind ever sleeping). Lots of things can go wrong, so having sysadmins that have experience is a must.

    A lot of large hosts promote crazy cheap deals and crazy awesome support deals, which many can actually back-up. So competition is going to be everyone and their neighbor, plus large companies that actually can do a reasonable job.
    tx_shooter and Xon like this.
  3. Mr Lucky

    Mr Lucky Well-Known Member

    Just contact @MattW
    Glockie and MattW like this.
  4. Rambro

    Rambro Well-Known Member

    i'm open to suggestions
  5. Mike Creuzer

    Mike Creuzer Well-Known Member

    Our company has been hosting for years. We've worked with many other hosts and also recommend @MattW and http://www.hostduplex.com/
    MattW likes this.
  6. radu81

    radu81 Member

    I'm not an expert in web hosting, that's why I choosed to use ServerPilot.io (free plan) and Linode. I never been happier
    I don't need a full panel like Cpanel so serverpilot works great for me, I use OVH as domain provider and for 6€/one time fee they offer 5 email boxes per domain
  7. Rambro

    Rambro Well-Known Member

    honestly i don't understand what the hell any of this is other than cpanel.
  8. Steve F

    Steve F Well-Known Member

    There are plenty of managed host out there that are very good. For any of them a good place to look for reviews and reputation is on WebHostingTalk. We went through a bit of a ride a year or so ago before we found a host that fit our needs and support thus far has been outstanding. Every host will likely have a bad review, what you need to look at is how the host handled that situation. You can usually find info on that on WebHostingTalk though.

    You do pay more for managed services whether it be for a VPS or Dedicated server. If you want to learn, get an account over at Digital Ocean to play around. They have a good FAQ and setups you can learn from. We don't know everything about server setups so we did go with a dedicated server with CPanel and if anything more in depth needs done we hire @MattW :)
    MattW likes this.
  9. Rambro

    Rambro Well-Known Member

    Our problems have been nothing has elements from both worlds. We started off with two very highly recommended hosts from WHT. MDDHosting and StableHost. While providing excellent hosting service, at some point or another they both ended up not being able to answer questions about the forum or the database or whatever our specific problem was. Then we went with two hosts from here who, while knowing Xenforo and forum operation, had horrendous support and service issues. So it seems we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. One of the reasons I was curious about going at it alone.
  10. Rambro

    Rambro Well-Known Member

    Also very wary of these providers where its just one or two guys. Then you find out that one of them was asleep or taking a long dump or decided to go to a concert all while your site is down and you can't get a hold of them.
    viper357 likes this.
  11. Pierce

    Pierce Well-Known Member

    You could get a vps and a control panel.

    Direct admin is very good for the price.

    A vps is a virtual dedicated server. Or virtual private server.

    Direct admin is a low cost control panel and is very good. You can buy out a lifetime licence to control costs.

    It can also be moved to another server.

    Hosting your own server is a learning process, and your going to mess it up.

    But if you back up back up back up you can always recover.

    But if your site's growing and getting bigger and bigger. Being the server admin will be required. Just as being everything else.
  12. Pierce

    Pierce Well-Known Member

    What size is your site?
  13. Rambro

    Rambro Well-Known Member

    Very small
  14. Pierce

    Pierce Well-Known Member

    Then it's a learning experience that may benefit you in other areas.
  15. Rambro

    Rambro Well-Known Member

    And what areas would those be?
  16. WSWD

    WSWD Well-Known Member

    It's as hard as you make it. If you're willing to learn, it shouldn't be too bad, especially when coupled with a control panel. cPanel isn't that expensive for a VPS license (<$15/mo.). Direct Admin is $5 for VPS providers, or you could even buy your own license for a one-time fee. cPanel and a $10 VPS, and your website is up cheaper than what most people spend a week on Starbucks.

    Keep in mind that the control panels won't handle everything...there is still stuff you will need to learn, but it certainly makes things easier.
    eva2000 and Steve F like this.
  17. eva2000

    eva2000 Well-Known Member

    how hard is relative to ones own experience and how much practice, reading and learning you do.

    I have always hosted myself - from noob online in 2000 i jumped into deep end with dedicated server at Rackspace never using linux or hosted a site prior to this so had hand holding until 2001+ and ever since have used dedicated hosting and then eventually VPS hosting starting in 2008. Mainly via whm/cpanel. So yes I went backwards starting with dedicated serving hosting then vps hosting. Never used shared hosting :)

    Then in 2011, forked and developed Centmin Mod LEMP web stack to develop my own Nginx + PHP-FPM + MariaDB web stack auto installer https://centminmod.com and haven't looked back since with up to 3,000 new installations by users per month :D

    99% of all my servers now run on my own developed Centmin Mod LEMP stack with a handful of whm/cpanel servers running either Apache or Litespeed web server.

    Here's my key tips to learning to manage your own server/linux hosting
    1. 80% is reading and learning - the internet has a vast amount of how to guides for all forms of linux hosting these days. So reading is key ;) Not all guides are created equal as some are better at explaining and illustrating concepts which maybe foreign to you initially. So reading dozens of guides on the same how to topic might be in order until you find one that you can grasp.
    2. 10% is practice, practice and more practice - setup a local virtualbox or vmware test server on your pc or laptop and setup guest servers to play with different server OSes like CentOS or debian/ubuntu most common and try these how to guides and see which works for you. Virtualbox is what i use and snapshot feature is most useful. You can install your OS snapshot image it. Then play with or test configs and if you mess up, just revert to the working snapshot image and try again and repeat :D
    3. 10% is asking questions, joining forums, mailing lists etc
    4. Also you learn more when troubleshooting or messing up or have issues, so don't be afraid to screw up the first time
    5. VPS hosting with hourly billing with the likes of DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr allow cheap testing sessions if you need a non-local setup so relatively cheap to spin up a new VPS for a few hours of testing and then destroying the instance.
    6. You don't need to switch your live sites to own vps hosting right away, keep with managed while you test and learn and get more comfortable with own vps hosting. Then make the switch.
    7. Polish your google-fu skills - being able to search well is a must :D
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016
    RoldanLT, Xon, Sunka and 5 others like this.
  18. Marcus

    Marcus Well-Known Member

    A (very affordable) server management company which you can message 24x7 costs around 50-100 USD per month. You have to add the cost for VPS (10-20 USD per month).

    Just rent a super cheap VPS somewhere and play a bit with the linux login. Do you like it? Try to install nginx, mariadb, php-fpm. This is actually all you need. To host your community, you have to make the server secure (iptables ...).
  19. teletubbi

    teletubbi Well-Known Member

    Learning the basics to run a dedicated server with a productive site isn't really recommend.
    Many of the the post "my forum get hacked" is related to this behavior.

    Best way will be run your forum on a managed host and learn first.
    If you got the feeling you understand how it works, a server is much more than only a forum, than you can make the switch.
    Forumsoftware is just another piece of Software like database, webserver, mailserver and so on.
    To run your own server you need to understand the underlying OS. Than need to understand how the different software must be configured to work well.

    Learning all this is possible. A lot of people did this already in the past.
    But is nothing what will be done in a short time frame. This all need time and work.
  20. TDUBS

    TDUBS Active Member

    Easiest way to catch on to things and how commands and whatnot function is Google. Don't Google for the answer, Google for the "how to" so you actually know what a command does and why it functions that way. Once you get down the entry-level commands like yum install, wget, change directory, view directory, copy/paste, etc - it'll be autopilot from there. I personally learned from researching everything, eventually starting a degree in Network Systems Administration which did include a basic Linux course. I also picked up a small Linux box and just went at it. Not to mention, you do have Filezilla or whatever FTP source you can use to manage stuff within your server you may not know how to do from command line. Since I've gotten past that stuff, I really enjoy using Centmin Mod for its Linux easiness of use and you still learn things at the same time.
    eva2000 likes this.

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