I haven't turned it on with wifi for over a month and unsure which FW I'm running right now, but a few questions after looking at the guide:
I noticed a personal server is required in setup. Do I need that server running every time I use HB?
Also, what methods are used to keep HB from being patched out when I attempt to go online through eShop, Smash, or Splatoon?
You don't "need" a personal server. This method is called self hosting and its for people who have trouble with online sites. There is not a permanent hack. The kexploit that runs when you visit an online or self hosted site is only active for that session. As soon as you reset or reboot your Wii U you loose access to kernel.
As far as your concern about getting updated. Currently the latest firmware is able to be exploited through the browser.
Visit this site: loadiine.ovh
If you are concerned about future updates coming out and patching the vulnerability that is used during the exploit then you would want to turn on TubeHax DNS (look in the definitive guide).
After you have TubeHax enabled you will need to use a special program to access the eshop called NNU patcher.
If you are on a firmware lower than the current firmware (5.5.1) then in order to go online you will need to first run the kexploit and then use WUP Installer to spoof your firmware to 5.5.1. Then you would still need to use NNU patcher to access the eshop with TubeHax enabled.
If you have trouble with online sites like my Wii U does (probably more to do with how my home internet is set up) then you can look at my AIO and give self hosting a try. It's really not that hard to setup.
Not really, only if you want to self host the exploit, but it's not required. You can use a site such as http://loadiine.ovh/
to load up the exploit.
Each time you want to launch the Homebrew Launcher you will need to go to the site.
Just use Tubehax DNS: 107.211.140.065
You will still be able to play online, it'll just block updates and access to the eShop. You can however, still access the eShop by using NNU Patcher: https://gbatemp.net/threads/nnu-patcher-for-the-homebrew-launcher.424732/