Really 51 cents a month* (asterisk! asterisk!). Well, almost. How?
1. Make sure you are not running google.com, facebook.com or something similar. Won’t also work for anti-governmental newspapers, especially if they are in Chinese. If you are ok with your site being unavailable for hours. I mean really, who gives a @#$ if this page is down for a day? No one, even me. So why should I pay for hosting of this page more than I pay for Netflix (yep I did not drop the membership), more than I pay for Amazon Prime (two-day delivery, first dose for free)?
2. Get an old unused Atom netbook.
When I was looking through hosted solutions, cheapest solution were Intel Atom based server. And then I was like, hey I have one!
I’ve got EEE901, it is a 12Gig SSD (more like external cheapo flash actually) and Atom N270. But it consumes only like 20 watts per hour! So electricity will be couple of cents a day (they are not included in 51 cents above, so yes, I cheated a bit). But from the other side – I run the netbook 24/7 anyway, it is a DLNA server that streams russian cartoons to my Blue-Ray for my kid, so it is on anyway!
3. Get an internet provider. Your residential Comcast will do most probably, but business will do better, but it is not frugal. I’ve got FIOS 25/25 for around 45$ a month (with a hefty connection fee though, hate two year commitments after AT&T). Not included in price above, you do have an internet connection if you are reading this!
4. Register a domain name (can be free if you don’t really care about having third level).
5. Set it up, connect, install something. Do something. Connect your netbook to internet after all!
6. The most interesting part – register an AWS account. If you have an Amazon account, you have an AWS account as well. Just login with it and pretend you’ve read the terms and conditions. Subscribe to Route53, and register your hosted zone with Route53.
Route53 will charge you 50 cents a month for 1 hosted zone, then couple of cents per million queries. No idea how much, never got to million. So it will be 51 cents! Hurray!
Not so fast – if you live in Washington or any other state Amazon collects tax (or finally Amazon get pressed hard enough to collect tax everywhere) you’ll get sales tax added. So my bill is 56 cents a month.
7. Now you shall have realized that most probably your provider doesn’t give you static IP. So you need some dynamic dns app! Here your humble servant comes to play Linux version and Windows GUI version. Running these guys for once per 5 minutes shall be more than enough.
Enjoy your sub-one-dollar per month website!
P.S. Yes I do work for Amazon AWS, no this is not part of my job 🙂