Self hosting Vs. shared hosting Vs. using existing publishing platforms

So… I currently use Alwaysdata to host a blog, a RSS reader and some other little stuff.

The problem is I live in Asia, Alwaysdata servers are in Europe, so creating blog posts and uploading pictures on my blog are a bit of a hassle. Plus I’m using a shared hosting solution, which means I pay around 10 USD a month for this, but I think it’s a bit expensive for what I’m doing with it.

I’m now thinking about what I should do:

  • Self hosting using my own server
    • You own your data
    • You can configure the server to match exactly what you need (if I want PHP, Python, PostGreSQL or MySQL, Apache or NginX, etc.)
    • Geographically close to me (like, in my living room!) so fast access for me
    • A hassle to setup and maintain
    • I am not a sysadmin, my config might lead to security leaks
    • If my own Itnernet connection stops, I lose access to everything
  • Self hosting using a NAS
    • You own your data
    • Easy to configure and to maintain (it’s a NAS so the data is safer than on a homemade server)
    • No real tweaking allowed: you can use the proposed blogging platform for instance, not another one
  • Shared hosting
    • High availability
    • Customer support (seriously, at Alwaysdata they answered all my questions within 20 minutes so far, really impressive!)
    • Can be pricey especially if you need specific options (PHP and Python instances, different databases, etc.)
  • Using existing publishing platform (i.e. Wordpress.com)
    • Super easy to set up
    • Very high availability
    • Free
    • No control on your data
    • Limitations (amount of pictures you can post, etc.)
    • Absolutely no way to tweak anything, and cannot be used for anything other than publishing articles since this is not a server.
  • … something else?

I’ve stumbled upon the IndieHosters project this morning, which is something in between Shared hosting and existing publishing platform, which is cool but means I cannot use it to deploy the tools I would like to.

What do you people think? Any idea or recommendation? I was also looking at Gandi since they recently opened a branch in Taiwan, but their shared hosting is limited to one programming language. I would like to have the possibility to use both PHP (cause a lot of webapps use this) and Python (cause this is what I would like to use for my webapps).

And once again, it would be to host a few little projects, not a huge website with hundreds of thousands of users.

Thanks in advance!

I faced a similar set of challenges a while back. I run a bunch of wordpress sites, but also wanted to have the freedom and flexibility to run other stuff. I didn’t want to go the cloud route for fear of getting Slashdotted and then running out of money.

I went for a VPS with a2hosting and they are awesome. Great value for money, solid performance, and never had an issue with them.

Thanks for the feedback Jono. I checked and it’sroughly the same cost as Alwaysdata… I have to keep thinking on what I want to do next.

Also checkout the options on https://www.digitalocean.com/

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I note that, as @jonobacon suggests, you’ve missed out one option, which is to get a virtual machine (or “VPS”); a server with which you can do what you like, but it’s a machine provided to you by someone else. A2hosting, Bytemark, digital ocean, and the like provide this, and there will be someone nearer to you. This has the disadvantages of being a sysadmin (you have to administer it!), but also the advantages of shared hosting (high availability, etc) and without the prices (you pay for a server; after that you can do what you like with it).

I think Alwaysdata is a kind of VPS but I’m not entirely sure…

I’ll check the different options you propose, thanks for those Stuart!

This morning I activated my NAS’ web service and put a few HTML pages there with photos. Then, from another location I hit both these pages and the same pages on my Alwaysdata server, and on my NAS it’s 4-5 times faster. I also asked friends in Japan to do the same and the result was about the same, so I’m wondering if the NAS solution might not be a good one… (I don’t have a multi-billion-views-per-month blog or anything like that, so it could work…)

Digitial Ocean aint bad. Of course, I don’t see why more people don’t just bite down and go Amazon.

Thanks for the feedback.

Any opinion on OVH? They’re quite big in France, and their offer is pretty cheap (I see 1.99 €/month for a basic VPS)

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