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Shining Star Services

To Host or Not To Host
By Nannette Thacker - 08/20/1999


When we started our Christian Singles Online Matchmaking Dating Service, http://www.shiningstarsingles.com, we considered getting an ISDN or T1 line and using our own hardware. Here are some other things we looked into:

In House:

  • Must purchase hardware.
  • Responsible for repair of hardware.
  • Responsible for upgrading hardware as needed.
  • Must purchase software - SQL Server Database, Back Office products, Windows NT Server, IIS, ASP, Frontpage Extensions, Security, Email, List Server, et cetera.
  • Need trained DBA to ensure backup, maintenance and tuning of database.
  • Need trained Server Admin to ensure server is functioning.
  • Need trained Web Master to ensure all connections to web are active.
  • How to handle down time? 24x7 hour maintenance?
  • Is staff up-to-speed on all technologies?
I certainly was not a System Admin. I am a developer and understand the web design, programming, HTML, VBScript, JavaScript, Visual Interdev, SQL end of things. But not the hardware side. My husband handles the hardware side of things in our seven-computer home. So we thought about having him learn the Backoffice end of things. While we were looking into this angle, lo and behold we checked on the cost of an ISDN line, the software, the hardware, et cetera. Prohibitive. Forget it. Let's try another route. We found out that there were places on the Internet that actually were in the business of hosting other people's web sites. Great!

Here's what to look for with a good Service Provider account:

  • Provide hardware and hardware upgrades.
  • Provide software and software upgrades.
  • Provide trained personnel to maintain hardware and software.
  • Provide 24x7 maintenance and support.
  • Handle web security issues.
  • T3 line.
  • Redundant connections.
  • Staff works with this technology full-time -- up-to-speed on technologies.
  • Email
  • List server
  • Chat server


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