I have a couple of different projects running for the moment - some PHP apps and a few WordPress instances, which all currently are kept at a web hosting company. The contract period time is about to end and I would lie if I wouldn't say that I really had considered making the switch onto a VPS server in the cloud with the prices getting really great. I am totally in love with the fact of being able to turn the performance up or down when demand increases, or goes away and thereby cut the costs.
With my background as a PHP developer, with only a little hint of Linux (ubuntu) knowledge, I am thoroughly concerned about the security if I should run my own VPS.
Sure, I am able to install and get things running with my current knowledge (and some help by Google), but is it realistic nowadays to expect that my server (LAMP, really) will stay secure by running out-of the box stuff and keeping it up-to date?
Maintaining your server is just one more thing to worry about, and if you're a developer, your focus should probably be on development. That said, it needs to make financial sense to go the managed route. If you're just working on toy projects (I've got a $20/month VPS that I use for my personal projects and homepage, and it's pretty hands-off) or if you're just getting off the ground, VPSes have the great advantage of being cheap and giving you lots of control of your environment. You can even mitigate some of the risk by keeping aggressive backups, since it's easy to redeploy a server quickly.
But, if you get to the point where it won't affect your profitability to do so, you probably should seriously consider getting someone else to take care of infrastructure for you either by buying managed hosting services or hiring someone to do it for you. It all depends on what you can afford to lose if you get rooted and how much time you can afford to invest in server management and recovery as opposed to coding.
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