Hello, currently our small business has someone make us a website, host it, and put our product on the website. Its about $4000 a site for each individual product we produce. We also called in another company to give us an estimate on web site making, hosting, and cloud storage for our product that was valued at $50000 a year.
The websites traffic is medium, maybe about 2000-5000 hits a month.
My question is, what would it take for our company to host and make these sites ourselves. Each product is only about 20 gigs, and the web sites are really simple. here is one of them. matawan.ididigital.com
What kind of bandwidth would we need to support that kind of traffic.
What kind of connection would be needed.
What kind of servers would be required.
What Operating System
What space and storage type.
What kind of Database would be required to house this type of product.
What would be the most cost effective way of going about this. Going with $4000 a site, $50000 a year and everything is taken care of, or doing it ourselves.
How critical is the uptime on your sites? This is why people pay alot and don't host themselves. You host yourself your going to need 2 servers 1 for use and another for when that one goes down, you'll need to source hardware if anything breaks. Your own connection you need to garuantee its speeds and have measures in place if the connection goes down (as they do) to keep your sites online. Thats just a few of the issues before we even think of things like security etc. DIY hosting may work well for some fat lonely guy with a blog but to him uptime is not mission critical if his PSU blows no big loss waiting 2 days for a replacement. Not trying to totally deter you from hosting yourself but as you can see its not simple nor cheap unless you can accept what is normally considered unaccepatable periods of down time as a risk.
As far as producing the sites goes does that $4000 (£3000!!!!) include all the document scanning of the documents on that site? Seems alot of money otherwise I think you could likely find better prices there unless I'm really missing soemthing the sites dont seem very complex.
What I decided on after some research was that I would host the website myself.
The problem is that its undetermined how BIG a project will be, the example I was given was 100 gigs, but they can change size, and how frequent we get them. A domain hosting website with unlimited space and transfer still has limits on how MUCH you can transfer in a given amount of time. So if we have to upload 500-1TB of space in a day they won't do that.
I will probably buy a Server and run Linux or Windows Server on it and host the websites from there using MYSQL or ACCESS. From what I've read security wise they aren't that different depending on the safeguards the admin puts on it. (considering the website that guy made in linux with SQL my friend hacked it in a min, so Linux didn't help at all)
For storage I will just get a Dell Powervault Storage array and that will keep me in good shape for a long time.
RAID 1 on everything for redundancy. The reason I chose RAID 1 is for the mirroring aspect of it, so there's zero downtime. If I use another RAID with parity then if I want to add space I have to rebuild the array, which is a days worth of downtime.
With RAID 1 when a drive goes the other picks up it up immediately, then I can just replace the drive. Even possibly replace it with a bigger drive.
For bandwidth we'd probably just start off with a Comcast business class line. Nothing too serious, the sites won't hit heavy traffic, and when I'm done with the redesign the site with be only 1 page instead of 50 like it was. Using a pick and search IF functions for year, month, and day. Then hit submit and the proper PDF will pop up on the same page. Saving a ton of time in creation, and it can be used for other projects.
So before it was 4-9k to pay someone to make that horrible web site and host it.
Now it will be like 2k for server, 3-5 for storage array, HDDs are priced when needed but their like 150 a TB. And about 100 for comcast business class.
I was told we would do about 10-15 projects a year, so lets say it was 7k a project before for 12 projects. That's 84k a year spent.
Now we spend about 6k on equipment and 300 a month (comcast and 2 1TB HDDs for RAID 1) that's only $12600 an estimated $71400 savings a year.
Even if I'm off by 10-20k we are still saving a ton.
Before you scrap your current plans, first, understand your website isn't just a standard HTML website. It might be ugly as a donkey's ass, but there's more going on there than just serving up HTML pages. Has anyone who has given you a quote actually seen the existing code and database?
Can you maintain it? Do you understand how it works? Can you integrate new content? Can you repair simple failures? If you don't understand how the website works you probably don't want to try to deal with it yourself. Not understanding how the website works also puts you at the mercy of hackers.
Do you OWN the code? Was it custom designed for you? If you're paying $4,000/yr for them to just reuse the same code they wrote for you, yes, you are possibly getting ripped off. However, if you're paying $4,000 in LICENSING fees to use THEIR product, that's WAY different. (That .cgi extension is telling me it's probably not worth it, but the point is: do you actually have the right to pack up the websites and do whatever you want with them?)
You say you'll just use MySQL or ACCESS- that tells me you don't understand what you're getting into. What does the site currently use? If you plan on changing you're also looking at a massive data migration and potentially code re-work.
Do you understand the stresses the site puts on the server hardware? Again, it's not just storage and bandwidth.
Do you understand how to harden a webserver? Do you understand all the risks? Security should be your biggest concern. Security is a HUGE concern. Putting up a firewall isn't nearly enough. Especially if you don't understand how the applications running on it work. Server security is something you have to keep abreast of too. Is this something you're going to want to attend to on a daily basis? Do you have an intrusion battle plan? If you don't you are going to get pwned. Hardcore. Within days.
"You can have it quick.
You can have it cheap.
You can have it good.
they just want it quick and cheap. The sites we have aren't updated or maintained. They are running on a single ancient linux server. The web address for one site is literally an IP address. They are not protected at all, my friend hacked one just for fun one night to show me its vulnerable. The sites aren't 4k a year, their actually 9k per site. They set them up on our Linux server over a remote connection and that's it. Never to be touched again. They are all made with HTML, PHP, and SQL for the search query stuff.
And if there's a site they made that's different it won't matter because I'll just remake it anyways.
They just don't care. That's how the business is run, cut as many corners as possible to save the most amount of money. And if it starts biting us back in the long run we drop it. I don't agree with any of it, but that's the way it is. The web stuff isn't our source of income, its just a bonus.
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