Web Server Hardware Requirements for Every Budget

Web Server Hardware Requirements for Every Budget


If you host multiple websites, either for yourself or for clients, then you probably use a paid, shared or dedicated hosting service from a hosting company, such as Namecheap. You might even purchase a Virtual Server from <a href=”https://m.do.co/c/356ec627bca0”>Digital Ocean. But what if you want to buy your own hardware and run your own web hosting server? How much do you need to spend? Well, that depends on how much traffic you expect your websites to receive. High-traffic website servers require superior, more expensive, hardware than low-traffic servers. In this article, I will highlight the web server hardware requirements for every budget.

Cheapest Web Server

Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a low cost computer that isn’t specifically marketed as a web server. It is really a small computer circuit board for those who like to tinker with technology. However, it has so many use cases and a website server is one of them. I write about how to setup a web server on a Raspberry Pi in detail, in the article Running a Live Web Server on a Raspberry Pi from Home, if you would like to try for yourself.

Whilst a Raspberry Pi is not a particularly powerful device, you can pair it with a fast Solid State Drive and run the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQl, PHP) stack on Ubuntu Server or Raspberry Pi OS, and it runs well enough for a few low-traffic websites. But if you have more than a few hundred visitors to your websites in a month, or particularly media heavy websites, then you should consider upgrading.

Home or Small Business Web Server

Desktop PC

This option isn’t using dedicated server hardware, but any computer can be used as a server if you have the right software installed. Even a 5 year-old desktop PC will run better than a Raspberry Pi, so this is an upgrade. However, it is probably a good idea to go with a modern desktop computer, as these are more energy efficient than older models.

Desktop PC’s come in all shapes, sizes and prices – from £300 to £2000. An office computer will likely have slower processors, less memory and smaller hard drives or solid state drives. A gaming PC will likely have a processor that is faster and has more processing cores, faster memory and a powerful gaming graphics card. So what should you choose?

I don’t think you particularly require a gaming PC to run a server but you do want to ensure you have a decent CPU, a decent amount of fast memory and preferably a solid state drive (SSD).

Here are a few desktop PC’s at varying budgets that would be suitable.

Intel NUC / Mini-PC

If you think a desktop PC will suit your needs but you don’t want the physical bulk cluttering your house or office, then consider an Intel NUC or mini-PC. These are essentially desktop computers but in much smaller cases.

Some of the components may be soldered into place on the motherboard and this, coupled with the limited internal space, means they may be limited in upgradability. Although, the SSD and memory can be upgraded. In fact, more often than not, these little units come as barebones kits, which means you have to add the memory and drive yourself.

This power in a small package comes at a premium. An Intel NUC with the equivalent hardware as a bulkier desktop PC will likely cost at least double the price. However, I love these little PC’s for the power they offer in such a small package. They use less energy too. If your budget can handle that premium, then these are a great choice.

Small / Medium Sized Business Web Server

Dedicated Servers

Although any computer can be used as a server, we now leave the desktops behind and look at computers that are specifically designed to be servers.

A dedicated server usually comes with additional features, such as, RAID configuration for drives (which writes data to multiple drives simultaneously and allows for replacement of failed drives without incurring data loss or system reinstallation), a CPU (or multiple CPU’s) designed for server use with many cores and multithreading, Higher memory capacity with extra memory slots on the motherboard, so that you can install more RAM. All essential features of a server used for a business.

There is some overlap in cost between desktop, mini-PC’s and some lower-end servers, so you should really decide how important some of these features are to you and whether or not you are simply dabbling with the technology, or whether you intend to run a server 24/7 for years to come. Obviously, if you do intend to use your server to host many high-traffic websites, you will want to buy a machine designed for that task.

If your server is going to host many websites, you will likely want to add an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to protect your server from power outages. I write more on that in the article How to Protect your Web Server from a Power Outage.

Large Business Web Server

Rack-Mounted Servers

Large businesses will usually have multiple rack-mounted servers running in a dedicated space with extensive air-conditioning and disaster recovery options. e.g. backups – both onsite and offsite – server redundancies offsite or replacement hardware at hand.

All this comes at a cost. Large businesses can afford to buy the best hardware and backup solutions but for the average person or business, these servers are overkill.

The I.T. companies I have worked for in the past, always used Dell PowerEdge servers. I was always impressed with their durability, so I can recommend those.


How much you spend on a website server really does depend on the traffic it will receive across all hosted websites. If you are only hosting one or two websites that get a few hundred visitors per month, then the Raspberry Pi will do an adequate job of serving those websites to visitors. However, when you receive a few thousand visitors per month, you really should upgrade to the next choices in the list.

Large businesses are going to require powerful web servers to handle the tens to hundreds of thousands of visitors they receive. The websites would grind to a halt if weaker hardware was used.

The broadband connection is also a factor when dealing with a large number of visitors. So, even if you had expensive hardware installed, a slow connection would seriously hamper the user experience on your websites. Purchasing a quality business broadband connection should alleviate any problems related to bandwidth.

In this article, I have dealt only with the web server hardware but I want to emphasise that you should also take into consideration the health of your server and invest in a UPS backup solution. I write more about UPS options in my article How to Protect your Web Server from a Power Outage.

Additionally, you should have a method of monitoring your web server traffic, so that you know whether you need to upgrade the hardware. Then you can choose one of the appropriate options highlighted in this article.

How to Protect your Web Server from a Power Outage

How to Protect your Web Server from a Power Outage


The most important aspect of operating your own web server is to ensure that it is always running. That means keeping the operating system up-to-date by installing the latest pacthes. But also, you have to seriously consider how to protect your web server from a power outage.

You may think that a power cut will only make your websites unavailable for a short period of time and you can live with the outage. However, power cuts can cause more havoc than you may think.

in this article, I willl highlight the issues that power cuts can cause to your web server. I will also provide preventative solutions, so that you can protect your precious websites and hardware.

Invest in an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS)

An uninterruptable power supply is essentially a large battery that is connected to your server. It automatically activates and directs power to your server in the event of a power cut. This means you do not get a sudden loss of power and the problems that are assocoated with this loss.

Depending on the length of time that there is a power outtage, you may have to shutdown the server. This is primarily what UPS’s are designed to do. They are not designed to keep your server running indefinitely. Anyone who has worked in I.T. understands that the biggest risk to hardware and data is a sudden shutdown of the system – either from a power surge or an accidental shutdown.

When your UPS activates, then you should take this opportunity to shutdown your server normally. Or at the very least, be aware of how much battery power you have available and shutdown if you are approaching the limit of remaining battery power.

It is normal for UPS’s to offer power surge protection too. This ensures that an overload of power doesn’t destroy installed hardware in your server. But you can always invest in separate surge protectors.

Here are some of the most suitable UPS’s depending on the power requirements of your hardware.

Hardware Redundancy

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, a power cut can damage hardware in your server. There are some ways you can minimise the downtime.

Firstly, you can install the operating system on RAID drives. This is essentially 2 or more drives that are exact duplicates. However, this isn’t simply a backup of one drive to the other. Both these drives would be written to simultaneously as part of normal disk operations. If one of these drives fail, you can swap the broken drive out and still have all your data intact on the functional drive. The new drive will have all the original data written to it upon insertion.

If you have a business grade server, this process is even easier. This is because expensive servers like these support hot-swapping of hard drives, meaning you do not have to power-off the server to insert the new drive. Additionally, use server grade hard drives for better protection.

Keep Your Server Operating System Updated

Why should you worry about keeping your system updated if we are talking about power cuts? The answer is straightforward. It is not uncommon for an operating system to configure updates upon restarting the system. If you haven’t been keeping on top of updates then it is highly likely that you will have an even longer downtime than you would have just from powering down your system and restarting when the power is restored. However, if you have been frequently installing updates and restarting your server at quieter times when you have little traffic, then you minimise disruption.

Have a Mobile Internet Backup

Although the primary aim of using a UPS is to give you time to shut down your server safely. What if you use a low-power server, e.g. a Raspberry Pi, and know your UPS has enough battery power to run your server for days. In all likelihood, you will have lost your broadband during the power cut. However, if you use a backup 4G/5G router (also connected to your UPS), then you can connect to mobile data as a temporary measure to ensure there is no downtime whatsoever on your server. Mobile transmitters are usually miles away and not connected to the same electricity grid at your location.

Have a Backup Plan

Now that you know the damage that a power outage can cause, it is a good idea to have a backup plan for your data. You could either backup your data to a cloud service or you could back it up locally. If you backup your data locally, then you usually want to do this at regular intervals and always consider an offsite storage solution. A power outage isn’t going to ruin a backup but what if there is a flood, fire or theft in your premises? You’ll lose the backup.


If you maintain your own server then I highly recommend installing an uninterruptable power supply. Particularly, if you have high-traffic websites and/or run many websites on the same server. The peace of mind you will get from utilising a UPS, and perhaps even the revenue stream protected by not having your websites down for a poeriod of time, makes this investment worthwhile.

If for example, you run websites with adverts or affiliate links, any downtime means that you are no longer getting paid from any of these sources. When you consider that lost revenue, then the cost of a UPS isn’t particularly prohibitive. Considering the cheapest options start at less than £100 or $130.

Additionally, if you follow the other backup measures outlined in this article, it could save you a time and money in the long run. Nobody knows when disaster may strike your web server, so it is a good idea to be prepared for the worst.

Best Website Design and Development Software for Manjaro

Best Website Design and Development Software for Manjaro


For many years, website designers have used Apple Macs and the Adobe Suite to create wireframes, site maps, and mock-ups of websites. Even those who use a Windows PC will likely still use the Adobe Suite. But what if there was a free software alternative? In this article, I will be highlighting the best website design and development software for Manjaro Linux.

You may be wondering why I have chosen Manjaro Linux, rather than Ubuntu Linux. The answer to that is very simple. It is my preferred Linux distribution. The main reason I love Manjaro Linux is that it is a rolling distribution. What does this mean? Unlike Ubuntu, which has full system upgrades every 6 months – or 2 years if you use the LTS version of Ubuntu – Manjaro does smaller upgrades more frequently. This matters to me, as more often than not when I have upgraded Ubuntu, it has caused a catastrophic error or affected system devices in a negative way. For example, the internet connection is lost.

Now that you know why I use Manjaro Linux, Let’s have a look at the best website design and development software for Manjaro.


Available from the official repository.

If you need an alternative to Adobe Photoshop then Krita is the application you want. For a free piece of software, it is surprisingly good. It has all the raster drawing tools you would expect and a vast selection of paintbrushes, so if you want to paint or draw you can do that. You can also touch up photos if painting isn’t your speciality.

GIMP is another popular paint program on Linux but I personally prefer Krita. it is more powerful and has a better laid out interface.


Available from the official repository.

This is the best free alternative to Adobe Illustrator that you’ll find on Manjaro. Unlike Krita which is a raster painting and drawing application, Inkscape is the tool you need for creating and editing vector graphics. If creating illustrations and logos is a big part of your workload then Inkscape is ideal for your needs.


Available from the official repository.

Scribus is a desktop publishing tool. So why include it in a web designers list, you may ask? I will usually design website wireframes in Scribus because all I need for that is some lines and text. You could do this in Inkscape or Krita but I find I work faster in Scribus.

WordPress Desktop Client

Available from the official repository.

If you work with WordPress websites on WordPress.com, rather than using self-hosted websites, then the WordPress Desktop Client may be of use to you. It isn’t a website design tool exactly. It is a cut-down interface that is mainly aimed at writers and bloggers who simply want to publish articles. But if that is what you or your client needs then you can access it in Manjaro.


Install via terminal: pacman -S darktable

If you take a lot of photos to use on websites then you probably need a way of organising your collection. Darktable is the best option to do this. However, it does more than simply organise your photos. You can manipulate raw image files, apply filters, embed metadata in photos and tag the images. I personally think it is the best app of its kind and it is free.

DaVinci Resolve

Available from the developer website – blackmagicdesign.com*

If you create videos for your website then look no further than DaVinci Resolve. It is a brilliant video editor and puts many of the paid solutions to shame. The only down point is you will need to download the source files from the developer website and build them via the terminal. However, when you register with the website and get your download, instructions will be provided.

If you want to avoid the complexity of installing DaVinci Resolve then you can use OpenShot. OpenShot lacks the many features of DaVinci but is fine for basic video editing. It is an easy installation from the Manjaro Software repositories.

VLC Media Player

Available from the official repository.

You’ll probably want to view videos you’ve made or edited. VLC Media Player is probably a name you’re familiar with. It is available for Manjaro.

Synfig Studio

Available from the official repository.

If you create 2D animation for your website then Synfig studio could be useful. It allows you to create vector 2D animation, has a clean interface, and runs fast in comparison to other animation applications.


Available as a Snap app.

You may need a screenshot tool to add page layouts to your design portfolio or to show clients what you’ve created. Shutter can fill this need. It has tons of features that allow you to manipulate your images or grab portions of the screen. However, you do need to install it via the Snap repository, so you’ll need to install Snap first.

If you do not want to use the Snap repository, there is another screenshot app you can use. It’s simply called Screenshot. It’s a basic app but it can take a screenshot or grab a window, which may be all you need.


Available from the official repository.

This is my favourite markdown editor for Manjaro. I actually use this to write all my blog posts in markdown. I then export the markdown to an HTML file. Then I simply copy and paste it into the WordPress editor. I could write these posts in HTML but this just makes the process slightly quicker and has a simple interface, aimed at writers, with few distractions. If you know you want to write basic HTML, then this is the tool to use. Stick to Visual Studio Code for more complex HTML.


Available from the official repository.

Vivaldi is a web browser built on open-source Chromium. It is my favourite web browser as it packs lots of features that you will not find in other browsers. Plus, it still has the web developer tools you find in Chromium. However, if you want to stick to a more familiar browser then Chromium and Firefox are both available in Manjaro too.

Visual Studio Code

Available from the official repository.

You probably already use Visual Studio Code if you write HTML mark-up and CSS on Windows. You might even use the plethora of plug-ins that allow you to write code in PHP, Python or C#. All that functionality can be yours in Manjaro as well. It is the best free code editor you can get. I personally think it is a far superior package to alternatives, such as Atom, Brackets and Sublime Text. Just ensure you search the official software store for ‘VSCode‘ as searching for its full name doesn’t display it. Or maybe that is just a glitch on my system.


Available from the official repository.

For those who make websites in Python – PyCharm is a Python IDE. You could also use Visual Studio Code but if you work exclusively with Python then this may be the better option.


Available from the official repository.

You will need an FTP client to upload website files to your web host. FileZilla does this job perfectly. I would be amazed if you were not already familiar with FileZilla. It has been the go-to FTP application for a long time.


Available from the official repository.

You might want to create virtual machines for various development test servers. You can do this with VirtualBox. You can install Ubuntu Server, Windows Server, or any other operating systems. This is very handy if you do not want to clutter your Manjaro installation with a server install.


Download from the official AMPPS website

If you want a local server environment similar to XAMPP, then AMPPS may be what you need. It is actually very similar to XAMPP but has many more features. It isn’t officially supported on Manjaro but I managed to get it working fine by following these installation instructions on the AMPPS website.

Apache Server

Available from the official repository.

If you would prefer not to use AMPPS or VirtualBox, then you can install the Apache Web Server directly on to your Manjaro installation. To install multiple websites, you would need to configure virtual hosts. I cover this – and how to configure Apache – in my tutorial Running a Live Web Server on a Raspberry Pi from Home.


Available from the official repository.

If you run your own live web server then you may need a method of connecting to it to perform maintenance tasks. Putty is an SSH client that allows you to do this.


This is the complete list of applications I use – or have used – on Manjaro Linux. I personally install an Apache test server directly on to Manjaro, rather than using AMPPS. Although, AMPPS is a great application if you are looking for this type of app.

I also use a Windows Server virtual machine for when I occasionally dabble with coding in C#. The point is that you can pick and choose what software you like as there is such a vast choice. Maybe you will even find alternatives in the Software Manager than what I’ve listed here. That’s the beauty of Manjaro – there are so many choices.