December 7, 2014

Migrating Hosts: A Brief History

I’ve had a few web host during my Internet years and in the early hours of this morning I’ve decided to change mine again.

For nearly three years (well, three years on the 8th of Jan 2015 to be precise) I’ve had my domains and shared hosting with Dreamhost - prior to that I paid for Byet Host with GoDaddy for domains and before I paid for hosting I was hooked up to Freewebs (2005-2008), Heliohost (2009) and Byet Host’s free hosting (2009-2011). I switched to Dreamhost during one of their amazing deals - I remember it being the first year half price ($60) and four free domain names (all due to GoDaddy supporting SOPA) - having heard about them from the Eclipse game engine forums. $60 for unlimited disk space, bandwidth, email and FTP accouts, MySQL databases; Yes please!

The past year has seen me hardly use my hosting account; definitely not $120 worth of it. And yes, while I am using the 4 free domains which bring the price down to $6 ($72.20pa) I believe I can get this price down further using Amazon Web Services. Dreamhost reports I’m using less than a GB of my unlimited bandwidth and hard drive space a month so even if I factor in a safety factor of 2 I calculate I can get hosting down to around $4 with AWS plus another $4 for domain registration ($12pa for my 4 .coms). That’s $8 dollars a month or $96 a year.

But what happens if this (or any website I host) gets insanely popular? Your AWS charges will just go up, overtaking your old $120 bill. Well yes, they would. But if I stay at Dreamhost the kind of visitor spike we’re talking about would cause immense latency and I’d probably end up forking out some money to deal with things anyway. Plus this new setup should see a major speed increase anyway because aside from using a static and databaseless website (thanks Jekyll) I’m taking full advantage of Amazon Cloudfront to magically beam my webiste to nodes across the world - and the closer the data is to you the faster a page loads.

Enough AWS advertising though. This week has seen me venture into the deep dark realms of programming and computer stuff after a long abscense. So expect some new awesome stuff here soon. Love you Dreamhost <3