I read several “Web Worker” blogs, tech blogs, productivity blogs, etc… Almost all of them have touted the virtues of using something like Google Enterprise, GMail, Basecamp, etc… instead of hosting your own site or your own mail or whatever it is. I agree, that if you lack the skillset to easily manage those things on your own, then you should go with someone else. However, I love having full control over my own mail server and web server. If I want to use a specific RBL to deal with spam or change a mail routing filter I can do it easily. If I want to build my web site using html for some pages, PHP for some, RoR for some, and Java for another part, I can. If I want to integrate in applications like Jira or Hudson to a site I host, it’s easy to whip up some proxy rules in Apache, tweak some css, and it’s done.
And while running things myself, on a single server, does mean that I occasionally have issues or outages, it also means that I pretty much always can identify the cause of the issue and fix it.
Ironically one of these blogs has been throwing a Google 502 error page about 1/2 the time. I assume it’s hosted on the Blogger platform, but I’m not certain. Some pages load up fine, other’s generate the 502 with the image below, and sometimes they load up fine if I hit reload a few times. I’m sure Google will fix it at some point, but until then the blog author is stuck with a 1/2 broken blog, and no idea what the cause is, and no ability to fix it.
It may be a little more work and a little higher cost, but the piece of mind of being able to customize things to any degree I want combined with being able to diagnose and fix issues myself is well worth it.