We all like to be in control of what's ours, especially if it's going to be public. We like to have control of our pictures, money, important documents, but even these things can be held, or even hosted, somewhere else. Even though there are companies that offer an option to hold on to your belongings, it might be a good idea to consider keeping it to yourself.
The same thing goes for web hosting. Why should you pay someone to hold your files when you can do it yourself? You can be in control of what is happening with the files, you can decide who are able to see them and so on.
I've listed some reasons for why you might want to host your own website, instead of having someone else doing it for you.
1. It's FREE!
Yes, the beautiful word that everyone likes.You don't even have pay a penny for your website to be hosted from your own computer. (If you don't think of the electricity bills, internet bills, the computer... and so on).
Is it true? Totally free, no need to pay???!!
Yep, all you need to do is to setup a server on your computer, start it and tell all your friends to go to 244.32.154.44:80.
Wait, what..? all these numbers..!
A domain name (example Zarlach.com) isn't a part of web hosting. When hosting a website, no matter if it is on your computer or at a hosting company, the website will have its own IP address.
This is where Domain Names come in, even though it might be free to host you website, you still want to name your website, instead of having some weird numbers that you have to remember. A domain is usually $10-15 a year and is highly recommended.
2. Web programming!
If you are planning to learn how to program in PHP and maybe use a database as well, local hosting is a nice option. To use PHP you need a website to be hosted, or else it will just show up as plain text (usually a bad idea).
If what you're going to do is learn PHP without having the main goal to make a complete website, you can host the website locally. No need for domain names, all you need to remember is 127.0.0.1 or simply "localhost".
3. Easier management
When using a web host, anyone in that company can view your files. I'm not saying that they are, but it is a possibility.
So, why is it an easier management to have the files on your own computer? First of all, you can backup way easier than if you were to download every single file from the server, then send them to another place.
This means, whenever you are to edit a file, you will save it directly on your computer, so there's no need to upload it to the internet. It saves you a lot of time and upload bandwidth.
What is more exciting than spending hours trying to setup a web server from your computer? Solve all the mysterious problems that magically appears, spend hours reading forums on the internet where others are having the same problems. Downloading files, editing files and deleting files, just to get the server up and going.
It's not really that hard to set up a server, but for some it might be a challenge. This is, however, not bad at all. Those who have the problems tend to learn how stuff works better than those who just have to "plug&play".
When setting up a web server, you are learning and getting experience that is most likely to be useful later in life, especially if you're going to work with servers, or perhaps help a friend.