Posted by: David Stewart | January 19, 2010

To self-host or not to self-host?

If you host your blog on, you can’t embed any objects.

I keep running into this in the various blogs I contribute to, and I sort of understand it. If any random hacker could create a free blog and then embed a script that takes down the whole site, then it would be a Very Bad Thing.

But yesterday I got a shockwave object that I wanted to post on my blog, and because it’s hosted on, the system will silently just delete the code. Here is a statement from the support forum:

“No, there is not a way to add shockwave objects on a blog. The only upgrade that would allow this is the VIP upgrade, which costs several hundred dollars per month and is designed for blogs getting millions of hits.”

So I’m left with very few options. My friend Dirk Hohndel suggests I bite the bullet and just host my blog on my own self-administered system.

· I could run whatever version of WordPress I want to and upgrade it on my schedule.

· My blog URL could be much simpler, in fact I could just use my domain.

· I could embed scripts and shockwaves and videos to my heart’s content.

In the roughly four years I have been writing a blog, I have had this option in front of me. But I have always been afraid of it. In fact, I allude to it in my second blog entry, back in March 2006. So let’s say I get a little PC at home, plug it into my fiber optic connection, load up a little open source operating system, load up WordPress and transfer my blog there. What’s wrong with this?

· I would be responsible for doing real system administration. If the blog goes down, it’s totally my fault and I really do have a life.

· This includes regularly applying security fixes to all of my software so someone wouldn’t break in.

· And still I could leave a security hole there just in the way I had set things up

· I would need to make sure backups are done, so if someone defaces my blog I can recover it.

· And there probably is no good solution to Denial of Service attacks.



  1. You could also host with godaddy where you don’t have to worry about the server, just the blog app itself. You could even run wordpress.

  2. Whatever you do. Don’t go to Godaddy. The worst shoddy hoster out there. I’ll be happy to recommend some better alternatives.
    Oh, and I have a bunch of servers here and there that you could host this on if you wanted – which would solve the sysadmin problem for you.
    And running it at home? Not such a great idea. I’ve done that for a while and it’s just headache after headache. That’s why I have both dedicated and virtual servers in a few data centers 🙂

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