suggestions for cheap web hosting and how to transfer stuff?

I have a web hosting package that goes far, far, far beyond my needs, and the provider is jacking up the price beyond what I want to spend. Does anyone have any suggestions for cheap hosting and domain registration?

What I basically need is:
an e-mail address attached to my domain (, except with my full last name)
space for a bunch of files, some of which are parchment/quixe or Javascript stuff (including all of the first Shufflecomp games, though I don’t absolutely have to keep hosting them–obviously I’d like to)
It might be nice to keep hosting the archives for my old Moveable Type blog, but that’s not critical.

I’d also like to be able to transfer this stuff fairly cleanly from my old host, though I don’t know how simple or not that would be.

What are some cheap web hosts you’ve had good experiences with for low-traffic hosting?

If you don’t do anything crazy, I can set you up on plover for free. Join/log into ifMUD and ping me (dave).

What counts as cheap? runs $120/year and does what you want. I also see people talking about, which has cheaper options.

I use for most of my sites, which is $240/year but less rinkidink than the cheap services. I figure it’s worth it since my web presence is effectively part of my business.

None of these prices have gone up in years. Decades, really.

Amazon will give you a public IP address and virtual machine for free for 12 months, and some other stuff forever, for low-usage.

Just keep in mind that low end value boxes often are were pirates, hackers, and spammers go - so your next-door IP Address neighbors might not look so great. I hope this helps.

Thanks all!

Dave, I really appreciate that, and it’s something I’ll definitely consider in the future, but the thing I really want to do is keep my e-mail address/domain name and preferably not break links to things. So I’m not sure plover would be great for me right now.

zarf, that’s more than I would count as cheap. My website is decidedly not part of my business (part of the move will probably involve updating the thing that says that I work at a place that I left ten years ago) and it just seems to me that I’m paying for a lot of things that I’m not using. I don’t need unlimited bandwidth or storage really. So I’m trying to see if there’s something I can do for less than that.

allensocket, thanks for the suggestion! I’ve been thinking about Amazon but I honestly find their explanation of their services nigh-incomprehensible. If I sign up with them, would I be able to pretty much upload my files (except for the videos and maybe the Movable Type blog)? Would I be able to integrate my domain registration smoothly with them? I looked at lowendbox and they seemed to be talking about technical challenges that I doubt I’m equal to. I’m really pretty ignorant about the technical side here.

Again, thanks to all for your help and suggestions–I feel like I’m in over my head here, I’m basically trying to deal with something I set up in 2004 and have been dropping files onto using Fetch since then.

You are correct in your understanding. It’s a diesel truck for long-haul trips, a lot of learning overhead. But it’s extremely powerful and will allow you to do all of what you want for free (including videos and Movable Type blog). The cost is that the usability and easy of use is very low. However, there are some great HowTo guides out there on blogs and such if you feel inclined to dive into the deep end of the pool. It is free for 12 months with no strings (personal experience, on my 11th month; along with a few other pro-option systems, and decades of professional Co-location work). I’m not actually recommending it, but maybe you find a buddy and tag-team it or something… as surely it will do everything you need and be entirely free for 1 year. The forum of the topic is - but again, high end and deep.

It’s a matter if you are trying to trade time and DIY for cash in the pocket, etc. The easy hosting of pages isn’t what it used to be, spammers and such - tragedy of the commons. A buddy here might be the best answer, and maybe someone will offer an IF community-wide solution with a nice web upload/edit interface. Best wishes on this Mythological weekend.

I use Amazon AWS for my Seltani server. Free for the first year, but it’s averaged $17/month since then for very low usage. Shared hosting, as in my other suggestions, will be cheaper.

Bluehost has a $4/month plan. You’d have to see if it covers what you want.

You are still talking $48/year. I posted LowEndBox for a reason, there are far cheaper options at $8/year or $12/year: … /#comments There is almost no limit on what you can run on such a server with low utilization, it’s a matter of your hours and hours of labor. It isn’t restricted for obvious up-charge finance reasons, it’s the technical skills and patience that limit most people.

Like I said, DIY has thumb pains from hitting yourself with a hammer. But Bluehost doesn’t seem to have any better reviews than average, cite:,2817,2423454,00.asp - and painful experiences abound with hosting when people don’t have time to maintain a server or deal with a ultra-budget provider.

Bad deal, then.

Then Amazon’s honest, reputable, reliable, deal was not bad deal? Logic makes reason seem so simple! Was the posting topic and question “cheap web hosting”, or “high quality” hosting?

Are you actually suggesting sharing honesty and truth of experience is “bad deal”? 10’s of pages of extensive dialog on another website forum, equality of open ideals, dedicated to such open sharing and analysis? The truth is that, then, there is a steep step from casual webpages up to stable “multi-service” hosting - and insulting others and throwing around your establish reputation on the Internet isn’t truth, it’s just socially winning strategy favoring popularity and closed-circles. The truth is that it is a steep step from #3 to #7, and I find again and again broken links to IF stories from recent years past where people were not honest about the harsh community apathy and acting like it’s easy (keeping up appearances). I think we wish that a general hosting service that was easy was possible, but the tragedy of the commons is the realtiy - that spam and advertisers take every “easy entry” hosting site they can find as an opportunity to (exceed, show superior to, subjugate socially) exploit and pollute small-scale authors, publishers, and developers.

Of course, I will never win against your powerful 3-word dialog on the topic. I’ve made an ass of my self against an established icon. Good Friday Apple-eating indeed, Quixote! Like I said, DIY has thumb pains from hitting yourself with a hammer.

“…the opposite of love is not hate – it’s apathy. It’s not giving a damn. If somebody hates me, they must “feel” something … or they couldn’t possibly hate. Therefore, there’s some way in which I can get to them.” ― Leo Buscaglia

I took zarf to be saying that it would be a bad deal for me to spend hours and hours of my labor working on my hosting package in order to save $3 a month.

I tend to agree with him, especially since at my level of comprehension it would probably take me more hours and more frustration than it would be for someone who knew what they were doing.

One thing about bluehost is that what I see when I go there is not so much a $4/month plan as an $8/month plan with an introductory $3/month rate. In theory I can switch to an $8/month plan from my current host (1&1), but it takes eight clicks to get to the one-click-to-change-package button, and then it’s failing with a nonsensical message. I may have to call customer service in order to do this basic thing. Not that there’s anything anyone here can help me with about that, I’m just venting.

If all you need is to host static files (ie, html, css, js, downloads, but not php or other backend system), then GitHub Pages is a great option.

It doesn’t need to be open source. It allows you to bring your own domain name.

But it doesn’t help with your email needs. It might be worth thinking of those as separate problems to solve though.

For sake of extreme clarity: that’s not the point I’m making with zarf. It’s easy to agree in a pure logic. I’m offering dozens of pages of dialog and far more complicated realizations. Advertising, marketing, is the enemy of affordable cost-based hosting. Spammers, promoters, and hackers use every domain registry and website they can find to do scams, exploitation, and “burner phone” like throw-away scorched-earth tactic (tragedy of the commons). In a very simple view: $3/month savings. But the choice isn’t $3/month or $10/month. The choice is made against an unarticlate (hidden) thousands and thousands of automated software robots (bots) who are cracking Captcha singups and robocalling your phone number to sell to you every hour of every day. It’s the social triumph, the marketing skills, the social talent to separate strangers from cash - that’s dominating the difference between $2.5/month and $25/month.

For sake of extreme clarity.

For email (your own domain) I’ve found in the past couple years that the registrars are actually giving up on making high profits off of email and offer a lot of inexpensive good options. I use 4 different registrars, and 2 of them are very flexible on domain email forwarding and alias for free with the ~$12/year .com type prices. Google’s domain registration email options has worked well for me since I started with them at the new year start.

Yandex offers a free Yandex-branded mail server for your domain here:

If you need help setting up servers or moving between hosts, let me know, I can help out over email.With cheap hosting it’s sometimes best to keep some notes on setup and be prepared to move or change hosts. Dannii’s idea to determine what you want to keep private and what you can put on github or similar sites is one I would also encourage… as images/video can be a lot of the bandwidth (especially if you get unexpected popularity and usage) and it’s typically pretty easy to have those assets n secondary locations.

Follow-up on this, as my 12 month free trial just elapsed on Amazon AWS. I was trying to figure out why you were saying $17/month when I’ve seen much lower figures when I started in April 2016. I’ve purchased from over 20 hosting providers for non-shared (full VPC where you can do what you want with the Linux) in the $30/year + range over the past 10 years - and I only recently tried out Amazon AWS for the newer low pricing. In the past, I had passed them over for low-use sites like these.

I think the key here on “why isn’t it $17/month” is that only recently Amazon introduced a nano instance tier that’s half the price of the lowest tier before. It was only added in December 2015: … available/ - 512 MiB of memory and 1 CPU. The 12 month free trial is the most attractive aspect, as it isn’t a particularly user-friendly system and very industrial in how all the configuration works - so if you do not like it, best to cancel it (or stop your instances) within those 12 months. The first thing I suggest anyone to do is set billing alerts at $1 threshold - and it will send you email when you start incurring expenses (which for me, like clockwork, triggered at $1.08 when my 12 months trial ended). It’s something I would suggest in the context of: have time to learn, but little cash to spend - as there are probably even cheaper and easier options from some of the domain registrars out there (that could be creatively combined with larger assets on GitHub or something similar). Anyway, hope this clears up confusion on why it was being recommended beyond the LowEndBox forums.

EDIT: I would consider a “custom Blog software” probably in the same general footprint as running a few Interactive Fiction sites off of a server. I found this discussion useful as to how practical the AWS nano tier is for such purposes, in this case, WordPress: … a-t2-nano/ can host your domain. I’m not sure where your email goes though. We have a mail server installed, but I don’t think many people use it.

Yeah, that’s it. I set up a micro back in 2013 and I haven’t changed it.

If you’re thinking about an experimental web service or you want to try something, a free year is nice. If you’re thinking about hosting IF material, a year just isn’t very long – you have to plan in decades.

Thanks for the responses! I am still thinking about it–or procrastinating, if you will–and will keep all of your kind offers/advice in mind. (That’s not supposed to be perfunctory–it’s just that I’m not sure what I want to do right now, so I’m not sure what to say.)