Hey, I'm Jacob

I create things for the web.

August 12 2018

What type of web hosting do I need?

Hosting can be tough. The hardest part is figuring out exactly what you need. But when you do, you can achieve the maximum performance possible and keep your wallet full. I was able to take my monthly hosting bill from $10 a month down to around 51¢. This was done by knowing exactly what I needed to host my site. I will be discussing all the types of host I've used for my personal sites, how much I paid, and how I ended up using an S3 bucket for my personal site hosting.

Managed Hosting (Shared) $10

Managed Hosting is a pretty popular option. What's nice about this is you don't have to do any of the sys-admin work. In my case, I had a WordPress install running on InMotion Hosting. What was nice about this is that with a one-click install, had a WordPress instance all set and ready to go. Typically a managed host will give you ftp access to modify files. The issue is that is about as crazy as it gets. When hosting my site on InMotion, I wanted to use Let's Encrypt for a free SSL certificate but since I didn't have root access to the server I was unable to configure this. If you are looking for a more custom option you'll definitely want to look towards a VPS.

VPS $5

A VPS, virtual private server, is very much like a dedicated server, but it runs on a VM within the server. You are given an allocation of resources and a lot more control. After you pick the OS, you can put whatever you want on it. If you want to learn how to setup of a web server, and are willing to take the time, this can be a great option. I use Digital Ocean for VPS and I have a referral link if interested. What is great is they have one-click installs for WordPress so you can be up and running with very little initial system configuration.

AWS S3 static CloudFront Host 51¢

And other more free options...

AWS S3 paired with CloudFront or other static host isn't for every project. You can use a static host as long as you have no need for logic on the server-side. It doesn't mean that your website can't be "dynamic" though. You can utilize the JAM stack which allows for your site can be super fast and also cheap to host. I use AWS mainly to get familiar with the platform but another great option is GitHub Pages and it's free! The lesson I learned through building a new site but making it statically is that I don't need a full VPS. That doesn't mean that all sites should be static. There are things like contact forms that require a bit of creativity but are definitely possible.

Conclusion

Hopefully you found this post somewhat informative, I hope to post more of what I learn in the future.

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