Previous to now, I have hosted this blog on my own webserver using a subdomain name provided by my university. Once I left, I could no longer keep a computer at the college and my domain would expire eventually, so I was left needing to find a new home for my blog. Now that I had a steady income, I was willing to pay for hosting and domain registration, but since this is mainly just a hobby for me and my storage and bandwidth needs are not high, I was still looking for pretty bare-bones hosting plan.
I started looking at reviews for hosts and asking my friends about where they host their websites. Some suggestions were a bit non-traditional, such as those hosting on Google App Engine or using GitHub Pages and while I could save some money by using them for hosting and just getting a domain, I wanted to have the flexibility to expand should I want to host apps that I have written. Other suggestions I got included DreamHost, which is Lifehacker's most popular host and also where my brother hosts his web site, HostGator, and A Small Orange.
After looking over all of their plans, I decided to go with A Small Orange for a variety of reasons.
- They had all of the technologies that I might want to use.
- They provided SSH access by request.
- Their user reviews were phenominal.
- They provided, up front, exactly what you were paying for with each plan.
- Many other hosts decided that "enough" was a sufficient exlpanation of the amount of bandwidth that they provided.
- They presented a very professional and well-designed brand.
Since this blog is not traffic heavy, I went ahead and got their smallest plan, which includes 250MB of space and 5GB of bandwith per month. It was really quite easy to get an account set up with them. I also used them to register the domain since they were running a deal whereby I got it for free.
Of course, now I had to come up with a domain name. I had not thought about it before. Certainly my name was taken. I could try some type of clever tech sounding name, but inspiration was abesnt me that day. Out of desperation, I tried to get johncleaver.com. Somehow, the domain was not registered. I was amazed, epecially considering there is a somewhat famous book series whose main character bears my name.
So my blog is now hosted at GHOST_URL/ by A Small Orange. Hopefully I will have more time to post things now that I am not a student. I might even get around to messing with the template. I will get to reviewing A Small Orange in a later post.