RT Cunningham

Inexpensive Web Hosting with Dropbox and a Third-Party Service

Although you can find inexpensive web hosting, it isn’t free. If you can’t afford to pay for web hosting, there are a number of free web hosting services you can use. Most come with one drawback or another, so I always recommending paying something.

An inexpensive way to host your website is to use Dropbox for storage. A third-party service reads your files from your Dropbox account and turns them into web pages at its hosted service.

Inexpensive Web Hosting Starts with Dropbox

I’ve had a Dropbox account for years and I’ve never paid anything for it. I have a free account and I don’t remember how much storage space I started with. Today, Dropbox offers free accounts starting with two gigabytes of storage space.

With Dropbox referrals, I now have more storage space than I’ve ever needed. That link to Dropbox, by the way, is a referral link. If you sign up with it, I get even more storage space. I already have more than five gigabytes.

Dropbox is well-supported. I’m using it with Linux Mint. It integrates well on Android and Windows. I don’t know about Chrome OS, macOS or IOS. I’ve never used any of those operating systems but I’m sure it’ll work just fine on them.

Inexpensive Web Hosting with UpDog

UpDog Lite accounts are free forever. The pro membership is $36 USD per year. UpDog operates from Washington, DC, USA.

UpDog offers an UpDog subdomain name but you can use a custom domain name by contacting the person in charge. I suppose a subdomain name would be fine while testing but I wouldn’t recommend it on a website you care about.

The Lite account would work great for purely static websites. The pro account is inexpensive web hosting that gives you contact forms and a lot more flexibility.

Inexpensive Web Hosting with Blot

Blot is a blogging platform. It doesn’t offer a free account and it doesn’t offer subdomain names. It’s inexpensive web hosting at $20 USD per year. Blot operates from the state of Washington, USA.

Blot works in much the same way as UpDog but adds its own template system. UpDog also works with Google Drive. I haven’t searched for any other services like either of them.

My Web Hosting

I host my website at DigitalOcean. They recently upgraded their hardware and I moved from a $10 account to a $5 account, losing a mere five gigabytes of storage space (25 instead of 30) in the process. Using the “df -h” command from the command line, I can see I still have 23 gigabytes available. At the rate I’m going, I may never use what’s available to me.

I make more than $5 a month with display advertising, so it’s not inexpensive web hosting for me – it’s essentially free. If I ever decide to remove advertising altogether, I will probably go with a service like Blot or UpDog. I could live with paying under $50 a year while continuing to use my domain name.

If you’re just starting with your own website, it takes time to build up enough web traffic to make it pay off. I get by with less than 700 articles published and between 100 and 200 “real” visitors every day. Imagine what I could do with 10 times those numbers.


February 3, 2018
Web Development

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