Why hosting a website yourself sucks

Voog team

Wait, some of you aren't really there yet. The beautiful, thoughtfully crafted websites made by web agencies are most likely not built on web services. Instead, they are running on custom-installed pieces of software called CMSs (content management systems) in the servers of some local hosting companies.

It's time for a change. Drop software. Let your agency build your website on Voog, Squarespace, or some other web service.

It sucks to be the owner of such a website (unless you're a web developer), because:

  • Tech becomes your responsibility.
  • Customization of any engine becomes a future cost.
  • Any CMS is feature- not user-centric.

Let's look at these reasons in more detail.

Tech becomes your responsibility

Home Alone movie character Kevin McCallister gasping in dread
Any custom-hosted website needs to be set up on the server first. That's the simple part. The agency takes care of everything — till the end of the web project. After that, there's no one left in the room to take care of the website day and night. No one is responsible. No one really cares but you.

The hosting company manages everything "under" the website engine — hardware, underlying software, and connection. Web agency can help you with everything above — design, content, marketing.

The people developing the engine should be helping you out with the middle part. But it doesn't work that way. They can't help you to execute. Their updates and bug fixes reach you only if and when you ask a web agency to do it manually.

If something happens, the process to get it right is slow and costly. Being responsible for something you have no expertise in isn't worth the risk. You could just switch to a web service instead. But if you feel this is not really your thing, make sure to take a look at the list of best hosting companies.

Customization of a web engine becomes a future cost

Developers love customizing software. Changing a piece of code to make it fit with some random idea you had. Programming. It's like practicing a language you understand. And he gets a reward — you are happy to see your idea implemented along with other changes.

Enter everyday. Two months later you accidentally hear that the particular version of the open-source CMS set up for you is easily exploitable by hackers. They could just deface your website and replace its front page with some steamy porn.

Turns out that the developer from your web agency is on a long vacation. Some other developer is allocated for you a week later. It takes him 2 days to upgrade the CMS behind your website. It should have taken only 30 minutes. But the piece of code written specifically for you didn't work with the new CMS version. The other guy wasted time rewriting it.

homeless man holding sign that says "advice - 50 cents, good advice 2 dollars"

And then you get the bill. It's generous. You only pay a couple of hundred of Euros. And it even didn't take a whole month to get it done!

It sucks. Instead you could've just used a web service and never have had to bother. There's no waiting, no extra payment, no need to point out the exploits yourself. It wouldn't have been your responsibility.

Every CMS is feature- not user-centric

One way of creating an application is to build everything around what the user wants to achieve. It's an ascetic path. The key is to keep it simple. To drop any excess step, any unnecessary decision point, or any long tail tool. It's about predicting the workflow. It's about constant improvement. Voog was born this way.

Another approach is how the CMSs are made. It's about building everything around features. And there's any feature or plug in you can imagine. Not to mention the unimaginable. All this fun comes with a payoff. No one curates this load. Your experience is bloated with options, decision points, and excess tools.

comical image of a man with huge head and tiny hands screaming
The drawback is huge. Simple tasks take time and effort because the interface is too crowded. Every new user needs to be trained as the workflow isn't intuitive. Behavior differs per plugin. The only optimized thing is the developer experience.

Combined with everything else that sucks about owning custom-hosted websites, you should think twice before investing in them.
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