Hosting options

I find that I am growing weary of maintaining my own servers at home, but I’m still way too independent to turn control of my domains over to a “web hosting” service. So, I am starting to look at some of the “virtual server” hosting options. These are services that you pay something like $20-40 a month and you get a “virtual” server (it runs linux, so you can run mysql, mud/mush, procmail, spamassassin, apache, php, gallery, and all the fun stuff you would run at home without having a space-heater in your spare room 24×7. It’s not a “real” server in the sense of dedicated hardware, it’s really a virtual machine running on a larger, beefier machine and capped to a small slice of cpu and memory.

So, question one, does anyone have experience with these type of “virtual server” hosting arrangements? I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on the experience of shopping for one, using one, and whether you have had to call for support and how the service was.

Also, for the folks who have domains hosted on a friend’s server (mine or some other friend) would you consider paying your friend something like $20 a year to maintain the web/mail/whatever for your domain? This would be in addition to the $8-10 or whatever you pay for the domain itself. (By comparison, basic “domain hosting” which includes certain amount of disk space, certain amount of bandwidth, bunch of email accounts, probably runs in the $4-6/month range, so that would be $50-70 per year. These often include php/cgi and some mysql databases, but would not include shell access/tf/screen, procmail, mailing list hosting, mud/mush or other one-offs.)

I’m thinking it would be great if I could get 5-8 or so friends to contribute $20 per year, possibly a bit more for multiple domains, mailing lists, databases, forums or other “power” features, that would probably be ideal. At first I would probably keep the servers I have here at home running in tandem (and as a backup) but eventually the goal would be to have everything virtual, or if we find enough friends, maybe two different virtual servers at different sites…


0 thoughts on “Hosting options

  1. rogue_pixel


    I’m spending $40 a month.. and have been for 7+ years… for webhosting. Yes I know i could go to someplace cheap like ‘godaddy’ but i haven’t wanted to plague my sites with crap.

    for what you are asking.. would you be able to host domain names? with mail? and front page extensions? (I’m a lazy bug) Heck… i don’t even do much with my stuff anymore, but… $50-60 a year? I’d consider it.

    1. nekodojo

      Re: question…

      Actually was the one I was looking at, but there seem to be all kinds of good services out there. Check out the link that da_zhuang posted in the comment below this one (Dreamhost). Dreamhost looks like it’s even better than for typical web hosting. It looks like for $10/mo you get web hosting, email accounts, most CGIs, even databases, forums, mailing lists and even what I would call “custom” stuff like procmail, phpBB forum, gallery, wiki, etc. (looks like they do have frontpage too).

      The “dedicated server” and “virtual server” type options which look to be in the $40 range are more for the do-it-yourselfer like me… I want to be able to download and compile any program imaginable and run it. But if you don’t quite need that, you might want to look for something in the $10 range.

  2. clayrobeson

    I’m pretty sure Dreamhost does virtual server hosting stuff. I’ve not used it, but they’ve been really good to me with my webhosting account, and they’re pyramid scam style referral system is Da Hawsome! ;)

    And even their regular webhosting stuff it pretty sweet. I’ve never had a webhost give me shell access to my account before. :)

    1. nekodojo

      Thanks for the link. It looks like they may soon have what I want, but it’s not available right now. However their “normal” (non-dedicated) stuff looks hawesome!

    2. nekodojo

      Well, I did it, I just signed up for Dreamhost. I gave your email as the referral (and I clicked through the link you gave). Hopefully it should show up in your referrals bucket, though if I gave them a different email than they already have for you, they may be confused for a bit. Let me know if it doesn’t show.

  3. merlinofchaos

    I’d be in. I want my servers to have more bandwidth than I have at home, and I don’t mind paying a little bit to be on a virtual machine. Tho my stuff is going to be a bit CPU hoggy, since I’m actually doing professional development work these days.

    1. nekodojo

      I found a virtual-server type host that’s a bit cheaper than the one I was looking at first… this one is “” and the virtual machines start at like $15 per month.

      The downside for development is that bandwidth is metered (as in a certain amount of GB may be transferred per month) so you would get fast transfers but you wouldn’t want to keep things streaming all day or you would hit the b/w cap.

      I have actually thought about renting a couple virtual machines in different places, so they could be set up to back each other up for basic dns, email and www.

      More info as I have it!

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