Do you need a virtual or dedicated Server when simply coding? Would you be able to build a website from scratch from your on PC and take a Server only one day befor going live in Beta?

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    Look around and you should be able to rent some space (Linux or Windows) for more like $5/month than $100. No you won't have a dedicated (virtual) server to install whatever you like on, but for the great majority of purposes, it will do the job. Mar 14 '11 at 12:17
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    Cheers Carson. With the cheap "rent some space" option of a fiver a month you suggest, do you think I should worry about "privacy"? I mean, would I potentially risk sharing my coding with unwanted onlookers?
    – Dave
    Mar 14 '11 at 14:57
  • You are going to do that anyway, unless you host your own site. What's the difference between doing it doing development and when the site goes live? Just Google around for a reputable host. If you are still worried, minimize or obfuscate your code before uploading and lock down your databases (if you are truly paranoid, encrypt all data that you store in a database). Mar 30 '16 at 14:10
  • Personally, I always develop on localhost on my laptop anyway, for about 90% of the development process, before paying for a server. In my case, it's a bonus, in case I am somewhere with no internet access (yes, they exist ;-) Mar 30 '16 at 14:12


and yes...

Technically if you're very good you wouldn't need a development server — or any other remote environment. All your code would be perfectly platform independent.

Does this mean it's a good practice to follow? No! Go get a Slice or a Node and set yourself up with a small VPS. It's not $100 / month, and it will save you time developing.

  • Tks vm Josh. The Slice and Node links you posted are really useful and will look into that.
    – Dave
    Mar 14 '11 at 14:51

Depending on your target audience and a whole raft of other things have you considered cloud hosting? There are plenty out there that allow you to push from git and be live in less than a minute.

That said would I ever do this the day before going to beta? Hell No

Always be prepared and know your platform, but does that also mean you need to pay $100 a month for a server from day one? Of course not as well.

  • Sure, I am hearing you. Well it doesn't have to be exactly 24h before going Live; it could even be the last whole month of the 5 I've been coding...
    – Dave
    Mar 14 '11 at 15:13
  • Unless you need some specialized software, I'd definitely go for cloud hosting. That's its whole raison d'etre, and not only will it scale if your app turns out to the The Next Big Thing, but it's pretty cheap if you only use one or two servers (like during your beta period).
    – TMN
    Mar 14 '11 at 15:38

You definitely want to take a server more than a day before going live - last minute problems are not fun. However your use of a day as an example is unfortunate as now no-one is answering the other part of the question.

Do you need a server from day 1 of your project? Depends. You want to be developing on an environment as close to your server as possible, to ensure that all bugs/problem are ironed out.

Trivial example; on Linux filenames are case sensitive, on windows they are not. This also shows up in MySQL Tables. So on windows, both

require "Cats.class.php"
require "cats.class.php"

Will work. On Linux, that will error.

So, the question is, can you make your development environment as much like your live environment as possible? If yes, then you don't need a server from day 1. If there are major differences, a server may be wise.

But as another poster says, look at cheap VPS's - 100/month while developing may be overkill.

  • Come to think of it, 100/month for a just-launched-beta is overkill to, unless you have a guaranteed audience and you know it's going to be big :-)
    – James
    Mar 14 '11 at 10:40
  • Development might take between 4 to 6 months, so I agree on the teriminology you used "overkill". I'll look carefully into the "compatibility issue" you raised between the 2 "development" and "Live" environments. Cheers
    – Dave
    Mar 14 '11 at 15:09

Another option, besides getting a VPS, particularly if you are going to run your web site on a *nix platform, is to simply create a virtual machine and make a mundane "server" installation of your target platform, then deploy to it as if it was a remote server. It's not going to be perfect, and it will take a little more time setting up, but on the other hand the cost will be negligable, and you will get a very good feel for what is actually required on the server and how to set it up before going beta.

This isn't quite as much of an option if you are targetting Windows, because of the license cost, but even then it may be an option.

  • +1 for a virtual server. Amazon just announced that it would support uploading of customer VM images to their infrastructure, so theoretically you could develop on a VM then upload the whole (debugged) thing and have it hosted in the cloud.
    – TMN
    Mar 14 '11 at 15:33

Go for a lower end box,and test it all you want,then you will see you can get so much more for $100/mo.

  • Will probably go via this cheaper route, cheers.
    – Dave
    Mar 14 '11 at 15:14

Yes, you could, but I wouldn't do it. There are too many things that can go wrong on a website (particularly one that is hosted by a third party) that leaving server configuration until 1 day before launch is fairly careless. The third party could be unreliable, could have trouble configuring the site properly, you could have account/login trouble in addition to difficulty reaching customer support. Tons of things can go wrong at the last minute that giving yourself a paid month of unused support/service is a worthy investment just for the peace of mind of knowing that when you want to launch you can launch.

If missing the launch date by a day or 2 due to these problems doesn't mean anything to you, meaning you can recover and it's no big loss, then save yourself the money and deal with the problems as they come. Almost all of the problems you'll encounter will be fairly quick fix problems, and any respectable third party hosting provider will be fairly reliable in supporting you rapidly if necessary. Worst case scenario would be a miss of about 3 days (if everything went wrong). If you can handle that kind of gap and $100 is a big deal, then save the money.

  • Well, that's exactly what happened after the first month of paying 100$ a month! The Server Provider, which claims a 24/7 support, turned unreliable: in fact, as you say, I had exactly the problem of being unable to reach customer support for 2 days in a row! Hence, I started asking myself why I was paying so much when perhaps I didn't need to... I shall postpone running the website (under construction for at least another 4 months) on my own Server when I really need to, perhaps just a month-ish before going Live in Beta. Cheers
    – Dave
    Mar 14 '11 at 15:19
  • @Dave - I would question $100/month for such hosting anyway. There are many hosting providers out there that offer a lot of resources for very little cost (and have proven track records of customer service). If I pay $100/month and I can't get someone on the phone the first time I call, I change providers. Mar 14 '11 at 15:22

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