The Self Hosted Difference
A better alternative to SaaS solutions
A better alternative to SaaS solutions
Why should you trust me with your business?
I have the benefit of being the sole-designer, developer, and support structure for all of the applications I create. This equates to a custom-tailored experience and direct one-on-one support from the source. I don't like gimmicks and I appreciate value as much as you do! This page serves as an honest, insider brief about why you should seriously consider my applications over a software as a service (SaaS). It's also a good read for freelancers and small-business owners.
Software as a service (or SaaS) is a way of delivering applications over the Internet—as a service. Instead of installing and maintaining software, you simply access it via the Internet [...] SaaS applications run on a SaaS provider’s servers. The provider manages access to the application, including security, availability, and performance.
Sourced from Salesforce
Give yourself some credit. If you are a serious business-minded individual, you can do this. If you've ever used Wordpress then you can install and use my applications. You pay once and get the code forever! Support is included for 6-months on qualifying CodeCanyon purchases and 1 year on premium applications. Oh, and by the way, when you send an email, it's coming directly to me!
Software as a service (SaaS) is by definition: software you are licensed to use that some company serves up for you either online or locally using some licensing mechanism. The word service denotes something provided "over time." This equates to recurring payments and no right of ownership - more on that later.
Since someone is hosting the software and provides it to a large population of users just like you, there is always a limit on the amount of resources offered to you. if you want more, you got to pay up - every month. Up time and resource packages are regulated by the company you're paying.
A part of the SaaS model involves supporting the software being provided. Unfortunately, support is limited to the functionality of the application, what is beneficial to the large-scale development process, and the vision of the providing entity a.k.a them, not you. This also leads to integration and data control issues.
Speaking into support, you should also consider that customization is not usually possible in most SaaS applications. So, if it doesn't do what you need, you either have to find another solution, or buy into another service for that aspect of your business. This equates to more recurring payments and multiple systems on someone else's domain.
Who owns your data? I hope you read that long EULA! Regardless of whether you did or not, your company's data is sitting on someone else's servers, and should you need access to it for integration into other systems, most SaaS solutions respond with "I'm sorry this is not possible and doesn't meet the terms of service", leaving you stuck and frustrated.
The bottom line is that you could end up investing thousands of dollars for an impermanent solution that is at the mercy of the market. At the end of the day you will walk away without the data and kick yourself for not doing what the big names do, and do it yourself. Think it costs a lot? Think again.
There are two main dimensions to coding, scripting, and programming a website or web application.
The type of code that is executed or interpreted by browsers and generally viewable by any visitor to a site. I try to minimize the application of visitor-viewable code to a minimum and rely on it mainly for interface wiring and asynchronous actions such as front and back end communication and synchronization.
Common Client Side Terms and Tools:
Code that is executed or interpreted by a web server such as Apache or Nginx and which is not generally viewable or accessible by any visitor or general public. These are the "wizards" behind the curtain so to speak. Things happen, but visitors don't get to see it in action and that's good for security.
Common Server Side Scripting Terms and Tools:
By the way...it's all free and open source! That means no license fees or support fees to maintain or implement your vision!
Web-hosting and a custom web application can save you thousands while promoting flexibility and control of your operational process.
Hosting is really more about personal taste now days. Most hosts are very competitive and offer outstanding deals. Digital Ocean, Linode, Media Temple, GoDaddy, Bluehost, and HostGator, just to name a few, are all good options depending on your level of experience and your desired intent.
Shared, VPS, or Dedicated? It really comes down to your budget. A good shared plan can go a long way for a long time if you are just starting up so don't feel pressured to jump in over your head in the beginning.
With that said, the cheapest shared hosting plan could set you back only $60 USD a year (domain name included).
A decent in house server could cost as little as $300 USD.
All of my applications, and the majority of other PHP-powered apps, run on Linux. That's not to say it can't be done using a Windows powered server, but for one, the cost is increased about $500 for the license alone. Besides, Linux is free and is the primary OS used by hosting platforms in the world. It's extremely secure and highly configurable. Trust me, you're going to love it - think Apple macOS, but free, and much more powerful!
All of my applications can be used in a small-business environment using a LAMP-stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) server served over a local area network. It sounds more complicated than it actually is. Basically, it's a computer you share on your network that stays on and everyone in your network can access. it's like your own private hosted solution, but your data is all in house on a machine you have complete control of.
The benefit of having it in house is that you pay a one-time up-front cost for the machine, getting the network setup (unless you're tech savvy), and any future hardware upgrades if you need to expand. The key thing to remember, is that you are in control and you don't pay recurring fees to accomplish the same task!
The better question is: What can't you do?
Today's web applications have substantial business impact on the way companies and consumers do business such as:
I love the open source community and a lot of the applications out there, but when it comes down to it there are too many singularities open source solutions can't meet. Do yourself a favor and get it made from the ground up!