After writing about why you should host and even how you can host your own web server, there were no doubt that I would follow up with a Why You Shouldn't - article. There are of course tons of reasons why you would want to host your own server for free, but free isn't always good and the "you get what you pay for" is absolutely a thing to consider.
What are you paying for?
You're paying someone else to store your files onto their servers. You pay them to host these files on a web server so that your website can be accessed by you and everyone else.
Why Pay for it?
I've listed up a few points of why you would want to pay for web hosting rather than do it yourself for free.
1. It costs money!
No, it's not a bad thing! Usually, when you pay for something, that something is usually better than the free.. "somethings". Most hosting companies offers an affordable price to host your website.
Support is extremely important, especially because you can blame someone else if something within the server goes wrong. If something isn't working, for instance a database, mysql connection, website connection etc... you can always blame the people hosting the website and make them fix it. This saves time and for most people; time equals money.
3. Power Saving
Save money by spending money! A famous quote from whoever said it first. Imagine having to have a computer running for years, not only using a lot of your bandwidth but also consumes power, a lot of power.
Stability is essential for your website. If your website is unstable, you will lose users who will most likely never come back.
Most web hosting companies today has tons of server computers that is being maintained all the time by Linux admins who is making sure that they stay online. These people are professional people who knows what to do whenever there's a problem. While you might be a professional as well, why would you spend your time fixing a problem instead of blaming someone else and continue to work on your website.
Stability is depending on your computer, bandwidth and software. Most companies are using a high speed internet access with computers with enough ram to have hundreds, maybe thousands, of people accessing your website at the same time.
All you need to do is to pay them and you will have your website up in a day or so. You don't have to spend ages setting up, configuring, downloading additional plugins an so on. Most web hosting companies provides a cPanel (Control Panel) that is ready to use where you can add/remove domain names, emails addresses, phpmyadmin, add domains, and so on.
Should you pay for web hosting?
Totally depends on what you're going to do. If you own a business that can't host your own, then yes. If you're a person with no server knowledge and just wants a website up and working, then yes.If you don't have any money, then no.
The answers are obvious. I paid for hosting because I didn't want to spend my bandwidth and RAM on a website, and I would like to have it online at all time, even if I have to turn off my computer.
Which web host should you go with? That would be up to you. I've only tried HostGator, which is working just fine, but I can't compare it to other hosting companies that I haven't tried.
If you have anything more to add, feel free to leave a comment!