I’ve been dragging my feet for a while now on this, but I’ve decided to “seize the day” as it looks like everyone on my RSS aggravater who has the a free Blogger blog is currently throwing a 502 “Bad gateway” error code.
So here’s a total breakdown of how much my blog cost me over the last 365 days. All expenses are included less the cost of my own labor. My host is Nearly Free Speech, who have a “pay as you go system”. Costs are deduced a penny at a time for exactly what services you need.
Domain name: $7.99/year
You don’t have to use Nearly Free Speech’s domain services, as third party DNS works too. Heck, you don’t even need a domain name, as long as you are fine with a name like http://your-really-cool-name-here.nfshost.com/.
RespectMyPrivacy.COM Service: $3.65/year
You really don’t need this if you don’t have a domain, or you don’t want to bother keeping your legit personal info off your domain registration. This is a penny per day expense, and can be invoked and canceled at any time.
If you want private registration, it’s worth it to only using the domain services here even if you host elsewhere. By far better terms than over at Go Daddy or any other place I’ve seen.
mySQL surcharge: $3.65/year
Most blog software and many applications require this. It’s only a penny a day for a process, and that one process can actually be spread over several blogs. While you get only one process, you can create an unlimited number of databases.
That’s for 3,337,476,262 bytes of data sent out to blog readers in a year. There’s also no limit to the number of sites that you can create. It’s actually pretty easy to create a new site just for messing around with.
Storage charge: $6.53/year
I’m currently using 40,665,088 bytes of storage. The cost reflects a four sample per day average and is billed daily (unless you use less than a penny’s worth – then they will just wait until you do use a penny’s worth and bill you) Honestly, most of this is log files. It used to be higher, but I’ve pressed the gizmo on the panel to rotate my logs weekly and compress them. I suppose I could also toss the really old ones to save a few bucks per year, but I’m not really pressed.
WordPress installation via Subversion: Free
Just a command on the command line and the latest stable version of blogging software is installed on my account. After editing one configuration file, I’m up and running.
Every active account gets free tech support via email. I can attest for the two support requests that I have initiated, both were read by a competent employee and I got a prompt. non-canned, non-copypasta, personal, useful reply. You are expected to know what you are doing, there’s very minimal hand-holding. There’s an excellent support forum too, just in case you have any questions not related to actual hosting.
Total: $25.13 for the last year of service. Eleven bucks and change of this is because I wish to have a really cool domain name and I want to have it managed by my host.
My old host was $4 per month or $48 per year (which is actually pretty cheap.) Domain names and privacy was extra. Their plan had a bazillion GB of bandwidth and storage, but as a use it or lose it type of scheme. The business model here is to oversell the service and crowd a large number of accounts on to one server. If everyone wanted to use their full allotment of bandwidth or storage, the server would run out of resources, (and everyone would likely be either “fired” as a customer or forced into a higher tier contract.) Since moving, my site seems to load a lot faster, but I don’t have any hard data to back that statement up.
Sure it’s not for everyone, and there are a few quirky shortcomings, but if you are comfortable running a site on a FreeBSD server, this is probably faster, better and cheaper than anything else out there. As for myself, besides being a cheap bastard, hosting my blog and a few side projects here has been a tremendous learning opportunity.