If you are planning on making a website, the first decision you need to make is how to host your website. Do you use a VPS? Do you use a full metal server? Do you learn NGINX and Apache and do it yourself? What about scaling? What about storage? What about the cloud? There are lots of quetions to answer and I’ll try to answer them.

Also I made a very informative table of some current good web hosting solutions.

Basics

A web host allows your web application to be accessible to the world wide web. This typically involves a server being somewhere that will receive requests and send back the information to the client. How do you find such a server?

There are lots of companies that will sell you a server or a piece of a server to host your web page. There are a couple of different types.

Full computer solutions

Full computer solutions are servers that are blank slates in the sense that they are just computers running Linux or similar. For these you’ll need to configure the server software (NGINX or Apache). This is easy to do. These are full computer solutions, which can be nice if you want to take advantage of other computer programs or system tools (like CRON).

  • Physical Servers: These are physical computers that a company will sell you. The nice thing about these is that they are housed in the company’s building so you don’t have to worry about electricity and heat issues and you also get full access to a real computer.
  • Virtual private servers: These are the same as physical servers, except that the computer that you access is contained within a virtual environment. Usually this doesn’t matter, but can sometimes mean that you have to share resources with somebody.
  • Homegrown server: This is the same as above too, except that you have to buy it, put it in your house, forward the ports and pay for the electricity.

Per diem services

If you don’t want to setup any server stuff, and you want a more plug-and-play type server, there are per-diem services out there. These are like OpenShift and Amazon EC2 which allow you to pay (sometimes free) to access there server. All you need to do is “deploy” your code.

Hosting Solutions

Website Cost Pros Limitations Geography
Scaleway euros10/month Private server 4 core ARM processors, 50GB disk, 2GB memory Europe
Kimsufi $7/month Private server 1 core 1.8 Ghz processor, 500GB disk, 2GB memory Worldwide
Atlantic.net $5/month Virtual private server 1 cpu, 20GB Disk, 512MB memory, 2TB bandwidth United States
CloudAtCost $1/month Virtual private server 10GB Disk, 512MB memory, 500GB bandwidth Canada
Digital Ocean $5/month Virtual private server 20GB Disk, 512MB memory, 1TB bandwidth ($100 credit for new users) Worldwide
Google ~$5/month Virtual private server 1 shared core, 10GB disk, 600MB memory Worldwide
Ikoula euros9/month Virtual private server 0.5 core, 50GB disk, 512MB memory, unlimited bandwidth France
Koding Free Virtual private server 1 core, 3GB disk, 1GB memory United States
Linode $10/month Virtual private server 1 core, 24GB disk, 1GB memory, 2TB bandwidth Worldwide
Online.net euros6/month Virtual private server 1 core 1.6 Ghz, 500GB disk, 2GB memory, unmetered bandwidth France
Uberspace Pay what you want, at least 1 euro Virtual private server 10GB disk, 100GB bandwidth, shared hosting Germany
Vultr $5/month Virtual private server 1 core, 15GB disk, 768MB memory, 1TB bandwidth (Free trial) Worldwide
Ramnode $5/month Virtual private server 1 core, 10GB disk, 512MB memory, 1TB bandwidth United States
Python Anywhere $5/month Specifically tailored to Python 3,000 CPU-seconds/day 2GB disk, "Low" bandwidth United States and UK
OpenShift Free 3 gears (3 applications, or 1 application scaled up), lots of "cartridges" 1CPU, 1GB Disk, 512MB memory, 16 connections per gear, No data transfer limits United States and Europe
Amazon EC2 Free for one year Similar to Openshift for deploying 1GB memory, 750 hours usage, free expires after 12 months, 15 GB bandwidth Worldwide
Homegrown onetime $30 (Raspberry Pi) - $600 (nice dedicated computer) Full access, simplicity, plenty of storage/memory/processor speed Home bandwidth limitations (typically low upload speeds) Your home
WebFaction $8.50/month Rock-solid, good tech support + deployment tools, Quad-core 3.4Ghz, 100GB disk Shared hosts, 600GB bandwidth, 512MB application memory Worldwide
Heroku Free Similar to Openshift for deploying 512MB memory, shared hosting, 1 worker Europe and United States
Pivotal Web Services $2.70/month Deployment with cf push 1 app with 128MB memory United States