I remain interested in the cost of hosting—surprise surprise. Since January I’ve been hosting my blog on a Digital Ocean droplet, with the exception of a 30-day jaunt over to Kinsta in March to explore container-based WordPress hosting. At a minimum of $80 per month Kinsta was a bit pricey for me, so I jumped back to Digital Ocean. And the cost of Digital Ocean is quite affordable by comparison, though the trade-off there is managing your droplet. Here is last month’s DO bill for my personal sites:
In fact, this bill actually includes two droplets, my bavatuesdays site and the venerable ds106.club that I keep around cause I love it:
The actual cost for bavatuesdays is a bit less, namely $29 when you subtract the $5.06 for the ds106.club droplet and snapshot. So the actual cost of the 4GB bavatuesdays server is $20 per month, with another $5 for the spaces file storage and $4 for weekly backups. At less than $30 a standard VPS with bare-metal backups and additional media/file storage, I think that’s pretty good. I could even jack up my server to 8 GB and still be well under the Kinsta price point.
That said, I am playing with Cloudflare presently to run DNS through, speed up the site with a global CDN, more intense caching, possible fail-over replication, etc. I’m paying about $25 – $30 per month on top of the $30 I pay Digital Ocean, which at $60 monthly gets me a lot closer to the Kinsta $80 per month.* I’m not sure how much the Cloudflare caching is helping (in fact I think it caches stuff for a bit too long), but the CDN seems to be serving GBs of files from their CDN cache, so maybe the site is a lot faster as a result. I’m still in trial-mode with Cloudflare, and one of my concerns are the long-term costs of the CDN, but I guess we’ll see in another few weeks.
All-in-all I am very happy with the Digital Ocean setup right now, and I appreciate how Cloudflare works, but given I have alternatives for managing DNS through Reclaim I am not sure it will be worth it in the long-run, but we’ll see. I think in the near future I would be interested in exploring a customized WordPress container for performance (like Kinsta) that I run that deals with some of the caching and compression issues on the server-side, but we’ll see.
In the short-term I am realizing what I do need sooner than later is a daily back-up solution beyond the weekly bare-metal restore I have through Digital Ocean. And I still have dreams of database and file replication and failover, despite it being absolutely 100% overkill for the bava. In fact, that might be the main reason why I want to do it, as all these experiments seem to demonstrate 🙂
*The thing I enjoyed about Kinsta is it was pretty fast, but the charge for bot traffic and the like could be a killer for an old site like mine.