Self-Host Everything

In today’s world there are legitimate reasons to be concerned about your privacy and your data. We live in a time when the government is fighting to have unrestricted access to your digital life. You no longer have privacy or even exclusive rights to your own data, if you are using a free platform, doubly so. I am not talking about a inter-government-corporation world-wide global conspiracy to steal your stuff. This is real and its happening right now.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that everyone should start self-hosting alternative services to replace the free and paid services that you rely right now. There are many reasons why its a bad idea, and its definitely not for everyone. More specifically:

  • If you value your time. It can be a steep learning curve for absolute beginner. Regular maintenance required.
  • It will cost you money.
  • Putting all your eggs on the same basket. If you don’t have a sound backup strategy you could risk losing everything.

There are benefits to self-hosting your own servers:

  • You have complete control of your data. This is also true to a certain extend for free services, but they also reserve the right to delete and own your data, depending where they hid the terms on their 30+ pages, lawyer-speak, TOS. 
  • Depending on your use case of paid web applications, you might actually end up saving money. Paid SaaS will almost always be more expensive than a self-hosted setup.
  • Web-apps can and do lock out or disable accounts without letting you save your data. Often with no explanation and with no human being to talk to.

So yes there are advantages and disadvantages to both options. You get to decide if the concerns are valid and if its worth your while.


So what can you reliably self-host on your own hardware (located somewhere your government doesn’t have any jurisdiction)?  Though there are many types of web-services out there the most common use-cases usually involves:

If you stick around for couple of days (subscribe to RSS or just check back when you have time) I will show you how to easily and painlessly install and manage your own self-hosted web services, that is secure, reliable and you have complete control of and is reasonably priced.

Do share, in the comments, your opinion about going rogue and hosting your own data for complete control.

If you are looking for self-hosted solutions, I would recommend Digital Ocean. Its cheap, fast and easy to configure.

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  • Dontloosetight!

    I hate when I don’t back up and then I have to go around tightening everything.

  • Cris Noble

    How about a self hosted web site?

    • Daniel Skyref

      What a problem. Have hardware, what you need – for www almost any computer will be enought. Internet you have already. Connect second computer (if you want buy new – good option is based on mini-ITX – not use many electricity, decide for 2 or 4GB RAM it is cheap, you can take 2 core Atom with 1,6Ghz and box with AC if you don’t have with mainboard, HDD – what you need – any should be enought, most limitation for your home-server will be your internet connection). Install debian (netinstall will be enought, install mc – “midnight commander”) and I next webmin and you have much more, than you need PHP, MYSQL, PERL. FTP, mail, dns server, antyvirus, firewall installed with 10-20 minutes. On www panel turn off unused packages, add user, copy your web site files, import database and public site. Remember only, that for hosting anything, only bother about upload speed – what you need depend how big is your site, how many users, and that is it contain many download or not. You can use own, but it is not good idea to run normall computer only for hosting sitea and especially Windows is it not so safe as linux. Read ho use it, configure what and how you need, remember to update – just click update :) Co -lo cost much much to much (like dedi server), so if you want, or thing about co-lo better option will be rent a server from hosting company. See many offerts, not only in your country – for most services will bee ok, when it is nearby your country. Sometimes it is big difference what you get for the same money.

  • Juanjo

    Good advice, although it is not for everybody (bwt, apparently you are outsourcing your comments to Disqus).

    • Joshua

      Disqus syncs comments with WordPress, so if you ever want to revert back to WordPress or another platform, you’re golden.

    • Slashgeek

      As already mentioned by @Joshua with disqus your self-install WordPress also keeps a copy locally. But to expend on that, think of disqus as a CDN for your blog comments, for performance reasons.

  • Tommaso Urli

    I love the Linode ad at the bottom of the article :D

  • Richard Bucker

    I used to self-host everything. Problem was that it cost too much money for a co-lo or it cost too much of my time. Trying to generate income when I spent all my time securing and admining as few as 5 servers… just too much $$$. But I’m still not comfortable enough with heroku and the like.

  • Luis Tineo

    I think this is a great advice, especially if you are the geeky type. Tools like Puppet and Chef make managing server really simple. If you use DropBox consider using OwnCloud for example in your own servers

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