I've decided that it's time to get my own domain where I can nonprofessionally communicate on the web. More or less, I would like to set up a blog on a similar level as Coding Horror, and would probably use something easy like Wordpress.
I've set up many a site with generic, cheap web hosts and been disappointed. I am willing to spend a little money but am still very budget-conscious about the features I buy into.
The option that I've most closely been looking at is VPS from a2hosting, for example. They offer "128 MB Dedicated RAM (256 MB Burstable), 10 GB Disk Space, and 100 GB Monthly Data Transfer", with SSH access, for about $9 a month. Being a UNIX-capable person, I believe that it's important to have root access to some (virtual) server that runs your site. Also, I think that doing this is wise because while all sorts of vanilla hosting services have claims of unlimited traffic, they don't guarantee that a certain amount of RAM will be allocated to your site, or that you will have your own php process. Since it'll be a blog, I don't expect to push many GBs. But in case I did have popular content, I don't want to be embarrassed by the server going down because of low processor allocation.
But I'm second guessing myself, so my concerns are as follows:
- Certainly a vanilla web host might set me up with Wordpress and "unlimited" traffic for about half that price. Is it really worth having SSH/root access, or are the 5-minute Wordpress setups okay? (in other words, are my trust issues unwarranted?)
- Am I looking at a good web host provider? Will they scale if I grow popular?
- Is the "dedicated" RAM (only 128mb, but it's something) a real point of value relative to vanilla web hosting?
- I would have to sign up for an extended contract to get a good rate. Do you think that 10gb storage/100gb traffic will be a lot smaller than it is now in three years?
Remember that I really don't have huge requirements, just want a good-looking site. Thanks.