So, you wanna host a website, eh? Well, it’s really not that difficult. It just sounds that way from a non-technical prospective. No worries, I’ll try to explain it. I’ll explain my method and perhaps offer up a “easier” route.
My method consists of 3 separate, independent hosts.
- Domain Host
- DNS Host
- Web Host
My current and preferred domain host is Google Domains. They charge a cheap, yearly cost for the domain with no funny business. They also offer DNS and Web Hosting but I opted out of those as they feel kinda limited in capability.
Any domain host will do on this point, just as long as they allow you to change the name servers to point to your DNS Host.
I use Cloudflare. They offer free dns hosting with a CDN (Cloud Distribution Network). The point in the CDN is to save bandwidth on your hosting account, offer up the site more quickly, and accommodate more traffic to boot. Those can make a difference in surviving traffic from a frontpage news article and put you on the first page of the search engines. That’s a good thing. :)
In the past, I have used FreeDNS and Amazon’s Route 53. Both have their limitations - Amazon charges 50 cents per domain plus other charges, details on their site. FreeDNS, as the name implies, is free and relatively simple to use. Neither of them offer a CDN on their own, however, Amazon does have a separate product for that as well.
There are many to choose from. I currently use Github Pages. They are primarily used for developers to host projects and whatnot but they have also proven to be a decent web host. They allow up to 1GB as a soft limit, 2GB hard limit per repository. It’s not intended for large numbers of binary files (images, videos, executables), you can use a separate host if needed for that (imgur, flickr, youtube). All for free.
It is not a place to host dynamic sites like WordPress or any php driven site but it’s great for static sites that can be generated on your own computer.
Now, you don’t have to use Github. You can opt for a paid shared host (not very ideal) or your own web server spun up on Digital Ocean or Amazon AWS as a Cloud Service or OVH for Dedicated Servers. Plus many other service options out there.
The reason for this is so I can have as much control over my stuff as I can without depending on any one entity to manage it all. For some, the simpler it is, the better. While Google can handle all three tasks, I find their dns options to be a little lacking and basic while Cloudflare offers so much more including DDOS protection. Google’s Website Hosting options are also rather basic and perhaps a little outdated so having the option to just upload whatever code I want to Github, works for me.