Experiments in Alternative Hosting

I’ve pretty much always hosted my sites in a shared LAMP environment. My host, Vidahost, has been great and their cloud hosting is the next step up from traditional cPanel fare. It’s been very reliable and is packed with features. With the re-emergence of static sites, the range of ‘hosting providers’ has increased though.

Many are non-traditional. In fact a large number are off-shoots of the gobs of storage and other services you can now find in the cloud, or are at least built on them. I have already dabbled with Github Pages, which is one example.

With that in mind, I set about drawing up a list of places to try with my newly static site.


I wanted to put some stipulations on it, so I something that was fit for purpose. One thing that prompted the idea was the frankly ludicrous amounts of storage and bandwidth that seem to come with all fixed hosting accounts these days. So here’s the criteria I decided to look for:

  • Capable of hosting a static site (server-side languages a bonus, but unnecessary)
  • Must support custom domains
  • Low cost (loosely defined as free or PAYG, as it would be hard to beat my current host)
  • Speedy-ish (doesn’t have to be blazingly fast, but not dog slow either)
  • No ads
  • CDN a nice-to-have, but not essential
  • Ease of set-up and use preferred
  • FTP/SFTP/command line uploads preferred

These took out most traditional hosts and even the likes of Forge, which I liked the look of but which only supports custom domains on the paid tier (fair enough, but $10 for 10GB was overkill and too rich for this experiment). Netlify was out for similar reasons.


So this is what I picked out. This list is likely to change/be added to over time as I discover new services, but here’s the current thinking (in no particular order):

  • Amazon S3
  • Google Cloud Storage
  • NearlyFreeSpeech.Net
  • Neocities (looks like they now only offer custom domains on the paid Supporter package)
  • Surge
  • Rackspace Cloud Files

Should make for an interesting selection.