Hosting blog for my web site

Today, I was binging around to figure out how to host blog for my website. I had couple of things in mind.

I already hosted the web site with static content on aws, and I will write about it shortly. It is a topic by itself. I had looked into hosting static pages on windows azure vs aws and finally used aws to do it. It has been working fine and I did a upgrade of the website content yesterday.

First thing on mind was if I could get ajax based blogging server which can simple use aws or azure as db/storage as backend. I could not find one. WordPress was the best and only choice that I saw through the research. WordPress needs php and mysql has prerequisite. Hence the option to host blog without a VM in the cloud was not a option. 

Options were a) use a cloud virtual machine or b) hosting provider

My metric was:

  1. Basics – good up time, security, decent performance
  2. Option to scale along the way – Not too much load at the beginning. Slowly it may increase. I should be able to move to higher cost package for increased traffic later.
  1. Less or no administration for the blogging software – since I am not a guru in installing/patching the software.
  1. Optimize cost – I need to host web services in future. So, if I can pay little more to buy more cpu/database power now – consider that. That way I do not incur another infra bill again.

(well, the metric was not as evident in the beginning. But implicitly I had these things in mind.)

AWS, azure, rackspace etc.

Only the micro instance (aws) could come if at all within the ROI. Consider equivalent things in azure for example extra-small instance. They cost .02 usd/hour. That translates to rougly USD 15 per mo. I have to buy another micro db instance for USD 15 per mo for the mysql.  That comes to USD 30 per mo. Entry level hosting with traditional hosting providers comes from USD 4-8 per mo. So the cost wise – it was not looking fine.

Regarding the cpu power also – I found it to be not interesting. Blogs below mentioned that micro instances do not give good burst time response. One of the blog mentions that if the bot is crawling the blog – response time for the users slows down. Cloud elasticity is not that elastic also. It throttles the instance at pick loads while for rest of the day if the cpu is idle I will get charged anyway! I found another blog mention of hosting high traffic site on bluehost budget hosting plan. I found another blog mention for the administration difficulties for newbies-to-web-hosting when going with aws based hosting.

With this, I ruled out known cloud providers to host a the wordpress blog since 1(perf), 3, and 4 in the metric above did not meet. Yes – with cloud I can scale infinitely but even for that – I had seen a mention like I said earlier – hosting a high traffic site with bluehost budget plan. For mysql – I looked only briefly for azure & google app engine. I did not pursue in detail. I had come across mention of rackspace also that it gave better burst perf since it uses different throttling algo. I did not go into detail though.

Next step was to pick the hosting providers. So I had godaddy, bluehost, and few others in mind. WordPress.org itself has recommended blue host. Godaddy hosted my domain name. I have heard of dreamhost. I read more issues-pages with godaddy on net than for bluehost. Bluehost also had complains but more positive pages for bluehost. I found a link with coupon to get the bluehost price down to 4 USD per mo for entry level plan.

So I decided to give it a shot, and go for hosting with bluehost. Last hurdle in this is that bluehost plan need to be purchased min for an year where as I could purchase for a month with godaddy. I have to make a call since I wanted to finish this today. I decided to stay with bluehost and purchased 3 year plan for 3.95×36 mo = usd 142 instead of paying 5.95x 12 mo = 71 for one year.

My first task to create blog.mydomain.com has successfully completed from the cpanel. But installing the wordpress has ran into error for which I have to open live support chat. The support chat did not go well. But I retried after deleting the blog directory using file manager and the installation go through. 

 Well, I am not a pro in web hosting, but this was my trail of getting a blog live. So, if you come across here – hope it helps you. Use your judgment.

 I will keep it updated along the way!

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