Why can't I host my own Spaces?
Over time we’ve had many customers express interest in downloading their Matterport Space so they can self-host it or upload it to their site for hosting as opposed to embedding. It's been a hot topic for quite some time and, although one can download their Space to the 3D Showcase app on their iPad, that's just not quite the same and doesn't meet some customer requirements.
Before you get excited and think this post is to announce the wait is over, I should say up front, this post is to better explain why it might make more sense to have Matterport host your space for the following reasons.
For starters, Matterport uses Amazon Web Services as our host for your Spaces. This is very important for a number of reasons, but mainly performance. Amazon prides themselves on their processing and delivery speeds. Many businesses use AWS for this reason. However, unlike GoDaddy, AWS doesn’t provide the customer support one may require if anything should go wrong. Which is why very few individuals use AWS.
While some web hosts are great for US based content, what happens when someone from Australia wants to look at your Space. Another service Matterport uses is Fastly. Not a company many people have heard of, but what they do is very important to servers delivering global content. Meaning, unless a server located in Australia has a copy of your Space, the user experience will be very slow and painful since the content has to get halfway around the world. Fastly supports a global network of servers to maximize streaming efficiency and enhance the end user experience no matter where your visitors may be around the world.
Matterport is committed to continually updating and upgrading 3D Showcase to provide the end user with the best experience possible. Before you say that sounds like a bunch of marketing nonsense, let me give you an example. You may have noticed we made an update recently to both Workshop and 3D Showcase. Now in 3D Showcase your visitors can zoom in to get a closer look at various objects in the scene. Had anyone been self-hosting their Spaces, they would not have been a part of that upgrade and their visitors would not have that functionality. I personally feel it’s very important the end user’s experience is as consistent as possible regardless of whose Space they may be looking at. Without updates to 3D Showcase, self-hosted Space visitors would have an outdated experience.
Finally, what happens when your visitors start updating their browsers to the latest version? A self-hosted version of 3D Showcase would be outdated and require new bug fixes or potentially a complete update itself. Keep in mind a Matterport Space is not like the ubiquitous and self contained video file. A lot of effort is put into maintaining the integrity of 3D Showcase so that it works with as many systems as possible.
I completely understand the concern some may have and why they may want to self-host their Spaces. However, I just wanted to point out that proper self-hosting is not be as simple as one may think. It’s also certainly not as inexpensive when you start adding up the costs of a high performing host, the web engineer required to maintain the high performing host and reliability, as well as a caching service such as Fastly to provide proper performance world wide.
What do you think? Would the benefits of self-hosting your Space outweigh these potential pitfalls and how would you combat these pitfalls if you had to?