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Alternatives to Self-Hosting a Website

- April 2, 2016

self-hosting alternatives My previous article may have sounded like doom and gloom for this website, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Alternatives to self-hosting a website exist and it all depends on what I want to do with my website. Self-hosting is great because it gives you a lot more control over what you can do with your website, or even what kind of website it is that you want to run. Unfortunately, self-hosting costs money and if you don’t have the money to spare (or have difficulty making payments for other reasons), there are other ways to do what you want to do.

Some Self-Hosting Alternatives

If you do a search with your favorite search engine, looking for “free web hosting”, I’m sure you’ll come up with more services than I care to list here. I’m familiar with Blogger (blogspot.com, which is owned by Google) and WordPress.com (which is owned by Automattic).

Because I’m using the WordPress software from WordPress.org (the self-hosted software version of WordPress.com), it would be incredibly easy for me to set things up at WordPress.com, and I could probably transfer everything in a single day. Moving it somewhere else would be somewhat difficult and in some places, impossible to do.

Anything beats shared hosting and I say that while I know a few people who are using shared hosting without any complaints.

I won’t Trade One Headache for Another

I pay $30 a month for a VPS. It’s a developer VPS and that simply means I had to everything except install the operating system. Shared hosting can be had for under $5 but if I switched to shared hosting, I would still have the same headache paying the bill every month. I have to withdraw money from one bank and deposit it in another and I have to do it in person. This isn’t America, obviously.

Going through that ordeal is an acceptable headache when I’m making more than I’m spending on hosting, but it isn’t when I’m not.




Other Alternatives to Self-Hosting

If I could find a free web hosting service that lets me have full control over my web space, that would be ideal. Unfortunately, I don’t think a service like that exists. Completely static websites can be hosted almost anywhere, including Google Drive and Dropbox. The downside is “static”, meaning no server-side scripting is allowed.

I’m sure I could find someone I know, who runs his own VPS, who would be willing to sacrifice some space for me. That’s something I won’t do and that’s because I’ve been in that position myself.

If I decide to close up shop on the server I’m using now, and if I wish to continue with a website, I’ll probably move over to WordPress.com. I have subdomains and I’d probably have to make them all separate websites, with separate domain names unless I use them as subdomains of WordPresss.com (mywebsite.wordpress.com). I don’t know how flexible they are and I don’t intend to find out unless I take that route.

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Byron Watts (2016)

How large is your site? I know a guy who hosts websites [me].

RT Cunningham (2016)

I know. If it comes to that, I'll ask. My site isn't large and that's because I keep pruning - only around 600 pages and posts.

Jack Darby (2016)

I'm wrestling with setting up my own website and I'm brand-new to the whole thing, but I do want to point out a couple of things:

Google is pulling the plug on running websites using Google Drive, if they haven't already.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) will allow one to run a micro instance website for free for one year. Once the year is up, or if one's site gets instantly successful and exceeds the micro instance "allowance", one then pays only for the resources the site uses as they're used.

As I said, I'm new to the whole website design / hosting thing, so I'm still wrestling with dynamic vs. static sites, but I'm leaning toward a static site, in part to keep the cost low using AWS, in part to avoid problems with reseller hosting and security / CMS platform updates.

I like your tech articles and have gotten insights from previous ones. Maybe there's an idea for an article or series of articles explaining the ins and outs of dynamic vs. static sites. It seems that all the noise revolves around dynamic, probably because one can't do it for free!

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