Developers April 5, 2020

Starting hosting of a static website?

Chris Bongers @DailyDevTips

Hi Guys,

I'm wondering what kind of hosting you are looking into for starting a business, not making revenue.

Currently, I'm hosting my static website on netlify, which is free so far.
But their steps jump so quickly, if I ever hit my numbers immediately it will cost me $45 a month. (this for me is hit in regards to the number of build minutes) I build daily since I write daily.

Then recently I've added forms, which are for my comments, and free up to 100 per month. This is all good and well, but also here once you hit the target it's $19 per month.

I find it cool to support tools like netlify, but the jump is a bit too much almost.

Very curious what you opinion, options are!

🤟

  1. 6

    Depending on where you are, cheapest cloud is Hetzner.com , its datacenters are in germany and helsinki. You can rent a vps with 2 gig of ram and 1 vcpu, 20 TB traffic for like 3 Euros. You will need to install your own software stack and cache with cloudflare.
    You can also use aws or digital ocean and rent the cheapest VPS to start out....

    You can also check out cloudflare worker sites. It costs you 5 $ a month but the sites are hosted on the cloudflare network so they will be always available and fast to load.

    1. 3

      yeah exactly, but you need a bit of configuration and tinkering to setup and nginx / SSL / etc
      I'm not sure I would recommend for starters.

      For a personal blog, I use github pages with Cloudflare. 100% free and ~unlimtied.

    2. 2

      Nice, heard really good stories about Hertzner, will check it out!

  2. 4

    Why not Firebase hosting?

    We are an happy user of Firebase for 3 years.

    1. 2

      Problem with firebase hosting is that you can only have 1 site per whole project.

      1. 1

        Unless I'm misunderstanding something, I think you can have multiple sites per project: https://support.google.com/firebase/answer/9095420?hl=en

        1. 1

          Wow, neat! It appears they upgraded their system since last time I checked. I'll try it that again soon 😊

    2. 1

      Tried it before, seems pretty cool yes, I think i used it about 3 years back, wasn't the fastest back then.

  3. 3

    I use Gitlab to host all my projects that have websites. I have 2 static websites and my Hugo blog being hosted on this platform for free. It’s about the way you set it up. Gitlab allows one website per Group, so I have 3 groups. I also use Formspree for my forms. And Gitlab allows a purchased SSL for your site and custom URLs.

    1. 2

      Awesome tip! how is Formspree working for you?

      1. 1

        Thanks. Formspree works great! I’ve been using it for a good 2 years. It prevents spamming and I like the way it sends emails and how it allows me respond to them. I can filter them out easily in my inbox.

  4. 3

    I just switched over to DreamHost a few months ago for shared hosting and so far it has been great. "Unlimited" sites, Wordpress support, SSH access, SSL via lets encrypt with one click, add Cloudflare by checking a box, and I can install Flask/Django apps. $6/mo for the 1st year w/coupon and $10/mo after that. The VPS is a little more, but not much. I like it because it stays out of my way and just let's me do my thing. No CPanel, but for me that has ended up being a good thing. Their UI is actually very useable.

  5. 3

    You might find it cheaper to move to zeit.co and/or use formspree.io for forms instead. I think I pay like $9 month for two sites with over 100k visitors a month.

    1. 1

      Great, will definitely look into this, zeit.co looks amazing!

  6. 2

    I used Godaddy, but, TBH, I didn't like it at all. Don't know why people like them so much. I had a lot of problems with them. And now I'm looking for new hosting.

    1. 2

      Me either. This hosting is just horrible. I don't know what the people are talking about. On the other hand, there is too hard to find a decent hosting for any of existing purposes. I know it, because I own my own online shop and I had a lot of problems with my previous hosting provider. I was forced to switch it and found a new one. One of my friends helped me with that. He had found this nice dedicated server from this https://gthost.com/blog/ company. Now I have no problems But I had before.

  7. 2

    Any modern hosting service can provide you with this service. It's better to look neither at the price, but at the quality of services, since the price doesn't always guarantee a good quality connection of the site with hosting. I had to try a lot of hosting services before I'd find good webhosting deals with a reasonable price. In addition, I was lucky to find https://host.discount/stores/crucial-hosting/ and I was able to use hosting services at a discount. This was more convenient than ever since I spent some of the money on other hosting services that turned out to be bad. At the moment, I've been using it for a year and have never had any problems with it, and the support service always responds to any of my questions.

    1. 1

      Hi David,
      Great addition, I do believe you are right where pricey stuff isn't directly the best!

  8. 2

    Hi Chris! I'm a bit bias here since I work for ZEIT, but I truly think that zeit.co is your best choice. Personal accounts are free, build speeds are insane, and the performance you'll get from our Edge regions around the world is incredible. Feel free to give it a shot and to reach out to me on Twitter (@timothyis_) if you have any questions!

    1. 1

      Thank you, i will try and do a benchmark between netlify and zeit

  9. 2

    Hi Chris, I built https://simplesilo.app for this exact usecase, still in early day but we can host any static site by simple folder upload. Let me know if you find this useful

    1. 1

      Nice! what makes this differ from a Netlify or Github pages?

      1. 1

        We are aiming for the easiest way to host a static website, in our case by simply uploading a folder with an index.html. No config necessary. We are way faster than Netlify and GitHub pages (under 30 seconds upload to deploy) and focus solely on hosting, so things like forms provided by Netlify is not something we deal with.This helps for more affordable pricing when hosting g many static sites unlike the steep jumps in pricing of Netlify.

  10. 2

    I also use Netlify. If it becomes expensive for me I will setup a custom VPS for up to $5 and be done in like one hour. I actually describe how to do simple static hosting with NGINX in my upcoming book.

    1. 1

      Awesome subscribed to get email updates for your book, best of luck with that! ⚡️

      1. 1

        Thank you!

  11. 2

    Hey Chris, I built tiiny.host - it's my indie project. Could solve your issues

    1. 2

      Just looked at it! I like the concept!

      1. 1

        Thanks Alex!

    2. 2

      Hey nice, had a quick look... Are you planning to offer any Git integration?

      1. 1

        Thank you! Yeah there's a few things on the roadmap. Looking for feedback right now. Would any other features be useful to you?

        1. 1

          Perhaps the lambda functions like? or forms?
          but guess the git deployment would be most important.

          1. 1

            What kind of git integration would be useful? Auto-deployments when you push to master?

            1. 1

              Yes, that would be most useful, instead of manual deploying everything. 👏

  12. 2

    You can host it at Panamaserver.com contact sales while ordering and you can get a free no ads fully functional cpanel or Plesk hosting account.

  13. 2

    I'd go with a cheap VPS (The 5 Euro/month one is already more than enough) from either DigitalOcean or Kimsufi (https://www.kimsufi.com, the cheaper brand of OVH, one of the biggest web hosters). This will scale basically indefinitly if you just have a static site, and even if you hit limits you'd just need to throw something like CloudFlare in front of it (which is free and a few clicks).

    There's a lot of guides for this kind of setup out there as it's basically the "Hello World" of hosting: https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-secure-nginx-with-let-s-encrypt-on-ubuntu-18-04

    Then in-case of just "pushing to Netflify" and them doing the magic you can just use something like rsync/ftp/scp to sync your newly generated static files into the public directory of your webserver.

    1. 1

      Very nice tip, will look into re-building my old rsync script perhaps.

  14. 1

    GitHub Pages with GitHub Pro on Private Tepos is The Best Value unless You Need like 20 GBs.

    1. 1

      *Repos (Repositories)

  15. 1

    Check out ftghosting.net we have hosting starting at $1.50 a month no renewal length required. https://www.ftghosting.net/products/cpanel

    1. 1

      Can you address the specific requirements?

  16. 1

    I use Github pages to host my static websites. It uses Jekyll to compile liquid templates into static files and hosting is free. I've only used it to host personal blogs, so I would read their TOS to determine if your use case is acceptable.

  17. 1

    I have been with hostgator on a shared server for $8 with unlimited plan. The web postal and integrations are easy to use.

    I host 8 clients on my one business plan.

  18. 1

    I use Netlify for the static hosting, then anything dynamic just code it up in NodeJS running on a $5/month digital ocean VM. It takes so little time to write say a form handler or whatever that I don't mind writing a bit of code, and love the flexibility you get this way vs. no-code solutions where if it doesn't do what you want, your stuffed.

    1. 1

      Definitely true, just the fact to use up build hours was mainly concerning me.

  19. 1

    I'm a bit new to static sites, so I don't fully understand why you would want to build in the cloud. Why not just build on your computer and push static files to your hosting/CDN?

    I'm in the process of building my website with Gatsby and my plan is to build locally and push to Firebase hosting which allows for 1GB storage and 10GB/month transfer – I think it'll be a long time before I hit those limits, and above those limits pricing is 15 cents per GB which seems pretty inexpensive to me.

    Deploying is as simple as "gatsby build && firebase deploy" on the command line.

    1. 1

      Yep aware of that, get's a bit tricky if you want comments or forms on your static hosted website, you have to rebuild a lot.

      1. 1

        That's a good point, and I haven't had to cross that bridge yet. I'm not sure how I'm going to handle comments. I've was never a fan of comment services like Disqus.

        I'm tempted to roll my own comment system with Firebase Firestore as a backend. The idea would be to use client-side js to push comments to Firestore. Then on builds, pull those comments into the static site build. When a visitor visits a page, they get the static build comments, and then the page rehydrates and uses js to append newer comments that were not part of the build. But as I type that, I realize that may be more trouble than it's worth.

        Gatsby recommends these solutions, I may try them first: https://www.gatsbyjs.org/docs/adding-comments

  20. 1

    Hi Chris - I recently ran into this exact problem. As I added some functionality, my build times started to exceed 2 minutes (I had a static blog generated from React). Doing the math if you publish daily (2 min x 30) you end up burning only 60 min out of a 300 min allowance. Even if you need to patch a publish you should be fine. There might be some things you are doing in your build process you can optimize if it's significantly longer (my process had no optimizations).
    Anyways on to the useful information - I went slightly over my 300 build minutes on Netlify so I was pretty sure I would be charged $45. I can't find any published information about this, but actually they charged me $7 for a build pack extra addon. I also can't find how many minutes this was for but it was possibly an additional 150 or 300 minutes from vague memory. I am on the free plan. Cheers!

    1. 1

      Hey, good to hear I'm not the only one, seems fair to only been charged $7.
      Thanks for your insights, this really helps me a lot.

  21. 1

    Use S3 with cloudfront. S3 is practically free, cloudfront about $1 per target per month. Make sure to invalidate your cloudfront cache when you publish new content.

  22. 1

    if your site only contains the static files, then GitHub will be a good choice for you.

    you will find a tutorial for that on youtube easily.

  23. 1

    Any cheap VPS with nginx and Let's Encrypt will work.

    1. 1

      Hi @ariejan thanks, do you have any suggestions for cheap vps you would recommend?

      1. 1

        Digital ocean / linode