Self-hosting (web services)

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Self-hosting in the context of website management and online publishing is used to describe the practice of running and maintaining a website using a private web server.[1] The concept of self hosting is mostly relevant in situations where a webmaster has a clear and immediate "hosted" alternative, however the term can be applied in other situations. A hosted solution is any service whereby an external provider is relied upon to provide a fully managed service, which might include adequate server space, on-demand support, and regular software updates.

There is often confusion as to what constitutes "self hosted" or "hosted". The key distinction lies in the amount of control a webmaster has over the web property. A good example of the self hosting vs. hosted dichotomy would be WordPress, a widely used, free and open-source content management system (CMS). A webmaster could choose to use either, which is a largely free service maintained by the company Automattic, or alternatively download the underlying WordPress software from The latter option would enable the webmaster to install the WordPress software manually on his or her own private web server, whether that server is leased from a web hosting[2] provider or set up in house. In summary, can serve as a hosted alternative, whereas could constitute as self hosting.

Some services like Shopify could also constitute as "hosted" services. Shopify is an example of a SaaS-based ecommerce platform, which offers customers a fully managed service, including proprietary website-building software, on-demand support, and server space/hosting. Since the Shopify software is proprietary and not open source, there is no "self hosting" alternative.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Self Hosting |". Archived from the original on 2017-05-15. Retrieved 2017-05-07.
  2. ^ "Best Web Hosting Services in 2018 -". 2018-02-06. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  3. ^ "Ecommerce Software – How do I install Shopify?". Shopify. Retrieved 2017-05-07.