I could use github pages or something similar, but I’ve found the overhead of needing a dev environment to make any change puts me off getting things done. I’ve been using wordpress.com for this blog and am pretty happy, especially having a mobile app. I’ve also heard using wordpress makes it easier to outsource content/design if you have enough success to make that worthwhile.
I don’t fancy maintenance, security patching and backup, so the marketing site is currently on wordpress.com where I’ve paid for the “personal” plan at £3/month to remove ads and the £0.92/month for mapping a domain. Affordable for contactor running a shot-in-the-dark startup side-project that may never make a penny. Note that you only get their built in analytics, you can’t add google analytics, and you can’t install plugins on that plan.
- To get google analytics you need “premium” at £7/month
- To be able to add plugins you need “business” at £20/month
This is on top of the £1.15/month for domain registration and £10/month for a VPS (virtual private server) to run my demo site from, both from the excellent bytemark hosting company, who’ve been fab on support from day one.
Just for completeness: the demo site connects to sql azure instances are easily within the $40/month included with my MSDN Professional subscription that I use for contracting. Handy.
I’ve been listening to lots of startup podcasts (email me if you want the list), and have discovered the mighty Justin Jackson and his excellent Marketing for Developers content - I recommend you buy it if you’re a developer thinking of selling a product / service. I’m now working through trying to apply the lessons in the book to my own product. I got to the analytics bit and hit a wall. Wordpress.com (the wordpress hosting site, not the software itself) force you to upgrade to the business plan at £20.83/month. Given I don’t know how long this is going to take me I’m not keen to start ramping up costs to that extent with no obvious route to a return on the investment.
I’ve looked at the three recommended in Justin’s book (plus more added more recently), and the starting prices are:
- Siteground: Startup plan (like it!) £2.75/month - looks like this might be a winner then! Oh wait, that’s a sign-up discount, it’s actually £6.95/month. Hrumph.
- Krystal: Personal £18/month
- WPEngine: Personal $29/month - about £22/month.
- Pagely: VPS-1 $499/month - about £380/month - ouch! I don’t think I’m their target market. I wonder if they repriced, perhaps Justin should drop this one from the book.
And that’s where I’m at right now. Maybe I’ll just shove a docker wordpress image on the VPS, it’s already a docker host. I need to figure out hosting multiple sites on one IP for the demos anyway. But then again, I don’t want to be a wordpress sys-admin. Or maybe I’ll rethink the static site thing.