We had a few downtimes over the last couple of months because it’s not always easy to scrape the money together to pay for the server.
Some people offered me their servers to host the site for free and I’d like to share my thoughts about why I’m very reluctant to accept such an offer. There are several concerns that come with hosting the site on someone else’s hardware. Questions like: What happens when there’s a hardware failure or if I need a configuration changed quickly? Can I just assume that 24/7 admin service comes with the hardware offer?
What happens if the server owner decides that they don’t want to host the site anymore for one reason or another, maybe even without letting us know in advance to give us time to find a new server?
What if the server gets hacked (for example because a private person usually can’t afford the safety precautions in place at professional hosters) and visitors of the site get redirected to sites infected with malware or worse?
What happens when legal questions come up? Can I expect someone who offered us free hosting to deal with those in the same way a company can?
There’s also the question if I feel comfortable with knowing that someone has full access to all data related to milkboys, including the e-mails you send me and the IP-addresses of all visitors.
It’s not that I don’t trust the people offering to host milkboys, I really appreciate their generosity and I’m certain they have only the best intentions. But with a professional hosting company none of these questions will come up so you might understand why I would like to keep the site where it is as long as I can.
Especially since our current host was nothing but helpful and understanding with all legal and financial matters we had to deal with so far which, from my experience before, can’t be taken for granted. Many hosts just aren’t willing to have a site like this on their servers which makes finding cheaper options hard.