Aren't we all envious of users of #Whatsapp, #Signal, #Telegram or #Threema? The choice of service is easy for them. There is none! Happy users!
Instead we use #Jabber or #XMPP, because we love self-hosting, don't we? Well, it is important to have the option to self-host, but in most cases it is not the best option to actually do it. So we need to select a server, based on our priorities.
I suggest to look out for:
- More than one admin?
A single admin might be in holidays, when you need them most. Or they outburns and closes the service on short notice. Beware of the lorry factor.
- Sound financial base?
If you pay for the service, you have a higher chance, that the service is here to stay. A service based on donations might work as good as a commercial one.
- Good uptime history?Here is some limited informtion about it.
Also, the longer a service exists, the longer it will survive, because of the Lindy effect.
- Good #LTS grade?
Use only A grade servers from the IM Observatory.
- Acceptable data privacy statement?
IANAL, but you know, #GDPR and so on...
- High XMPP compliance?
This XMPP Compliance Tester lists many servers.
- Cool domain name? and other details like how much server space you have for sharing cat content, how long messages are archived, whether an
.onion domain is available, or transports (gateways) to #IRC or other networks are provided.
Useful lists of servers can also be found on Freie Messenger and JabberEs.