I'm creating a simple site for my family and which is basically just static files (I don't want a CMS).

I've tried using heroku and google app engine but heroku wind down the server which yields a 30s delay on some requests and google app engine takes up to 500ms to serve a static page.

So my question is, are there any alternatives to heroku and google app engine for hosting content in the cloud.
It does not have to be free but I'd like to keep the costs to less than $10 per month.

I could always just rent a regular VPS or something similar but in my experience they can be much worse than app engine when it comes to serving files.

I've tested a local server running nginx vs app engine and it seems like app engine is performing rather well, it's approx 500ms behind the local server but since it uses a CDN it will probably be faster for subsequent requests.

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    What if you use Heroku's free tier, and point a monitoring service like Pingdom against it (which also has a free tier)? In that case, there's still activity on the Heroku dyno, and you want monitoring anyway. – cjc Mar 4 '12 at 16:27
  • That would work but isn't that against Heroku's TOS? But I guess adding cloudfront would not be too expensive and that would make heroku quite fast. – Nicklas A. Mar 4 '12 at 16:34

Well, one possibility is Amazon's static website hosting over S3 together with a CNAME mapping.

The S3 latency isn't super low either. If your site is popular (so that caches would be likely to not evict your content) then you could experiment with adding Amazon Cloudfront CDN (i.e. edge proxy caching).

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  • I've thought about it, though the added complexity of amazon doesn't seem worth it. The site will have very low traffic, it's mostly I who care about the latency anyway :) – Nicklas A. Mar 4 '12 at 16:21
  • Please, don't accept my answer so fast. :-) Perhaps someone else here has a better answer... – Jesper M Mar 4 '12 at 16:23
  • Heroku + cloudfront it is! – Nicklas A. Mar 6 '12 at 19:51

Sounds like you could use GitHub pages.

You could publish static files and if you change your mind later, there are a number of micro blog like frameworks like jekyll, octopress, etc.

On a related note, GitHub pages support domain mapping.

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If all you want to server is static pages, why not host the site over at wordpress.com? Just set it so that the first page will not be a blog post, and the create everything using pages only having comments globally disabled. Mapping a domain to such a site is $12 per year plus the domain's yearly registration cost.

I think a similar service is also available on blogspot too and maybe posterous and tumblr.

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  • I guess that'd work, but how fast is wordpress? – Nicklas A. Mar 4 '12 at 16:35
  • Open a test blog and check whether it suits you. You can erase it afterwards. – adamo Mar 4 '12 at 16:44
  • Wordpress is not an alternative, it's 300% slower than heroku for instance. – Nicklas A. Mar 4 '12 at 17:05
  • Test with blogspot then and the rest of the free blog hosting services. – adamo Mar 4 '12 at 19:00

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