Other Uses for Your Web Hosting Server
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Welcome to the third article in a three-part series on hosting your own web sites. Now that you have installed your very own server, you have opened a whole new realm of possibilities for yourself and your business. Servers are very powerful computers that are capable of far more than just hosting one or two websites for your company. Relatively speaking, your websites should barely even scratch the surface of the capabilities of a typical server.
Although it is perfectly fine to leave your server just for hosting your website, it is a bit of a waste to have all of those extra resources just sitting around all of the time. If you have a bit of a sense of adventure and some extra time, you can work on expanding the functionality of your server to maximize its utility.
One easy extension of a web server is to offer website hosting services to others. Unless you are willing to invest the time and money to develop yourself into a full-service website host, you should not focus on offering hosting to website developers or current website owners. Instead, you can offer your hosting services to business owners who are not as interested in maintaining their own website. If your company offers development services, you can develop the customerís website and then host it on your own server, either saving the cost of a third-party host or gaining the profit of the hosting fee.
Other than websites, servers have plenty of other possible functions that you might find useful for your business. You can host an Exchange server to help organize your business through e-mail, schedules, and numerous other features. Active Directory is a useful tool for managing users and logins across a network. Although it is not as feasible for a server hosted away from your businessís premises, it can be very useful for a local server.
Your server can also be used for external services. There is no end to the need for servers: BlackBerry servers, video game servers, databases, and simple file storage. It is just a matter of finding someone that would like to use the services that you offer. You can specialize and then try to find some customers, or you can simply customize your services once you have customers.
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