My shared hosting plan expired a few weeks ago. I hosted with Powweb – one of those $3 shared LAMP server packages. Years ago, they were great. A phenomenal affiliate program and slightly under the radar. Meaning you were not on a server with 100 other sites. However, all that faded after they were bought by a larger company. Unfortunately, I had just renewed for the next 2 years.
While none of my sites have heavy traffic, I outgrew shared hosting technically years ago. I began requiring upgrades or package installations that a shared host can not provide. In addition, I no longer used many of services provided by shared hosting. For example, I use Google Apps for email, calendar, and documents. Google offers Google Apps free for under 10 accounts. In the end, all I use is the technology on the web server.
Enter Amazon EC2. As admitted in my other posts, I am no sysadmin. But Amazon makes it super simple to setup an instance with anything you need. It’s literally a few clicks within their AWS console. Furthermore, Amazon offers a “Free Website” plan for 1 year. It includes more than you’ll need hosting a single website.
So when my shared package expired, I moved this WordPress site to Amazon EC2. Again, I don’t receive a lot of traffic. So running on the micro instance provided by the “Free Website” plan was fine. Nonetheless, I found my site performed just as well, if not better, than the shared host.
So this WordPress site now runs on Amazon EC2. I’m in the cloud! I’d encourage anyone interested in improving their sysadmin skill set or who wants more control over their site to take advantage of Amazon’s “Free Website” plan.