Who To Host Your Static Site With?

I’ve been contemplating the use of transforming some of my blogging websites into static HTML websites. The reasoning behind the move is that I’m the only author of the sites I publish on, and I’m beginning to grow a little tired of constantly having to update the WordPress plugins that all of these sites use.

Now I have loved WordPress and the ease of what it has taken in being able to go from a complete website newbie to a somewhat competent newbie, but now I’ve become a little more conversant in HTML, CSS and JavaScript it’s too much for my needs.

So, over the last couple of days I’ve been looking at alternative ways of hosting a static site and have found the following alternatives:

  1. Dropbox – I sought this as an option due to the fact that I have a 100Gb paid account with them and that I had heard talk of people hosting their sites through the Public folder. While hosting static files (such as HTML, images, CSS & JS) is an option I found that you would still need to request the services of a server to write up a magic .htaccess file that would rewrite requests to the shared files in your Dropbox account. This would mean needing to continue to pay for Dropbox’s services PLUS the services of a server – not ideal. If I’m using a server to forward requests on to Dropbox, why not just store the files on the server! It seemed like a silly way of going about things.
  2. Google Drive – this was somewhat similar to Dropbox, but I was encouraged by how easy it was to make ANY folder in the Google Drive publicly accessible. Sadly though, just as we experienced with Dropbox, the public URL provided by Google Drive was not of a subdomain type that could easily be referenced by a domain’s CNAME. Once again it seemed the only alternative was to host on a server a .htaccess file that would redirect requests to the public Google Drive folder. Personally I found Google’s ease of creating a publicly accessible site easier than Dropbox.

(PS – there does appear to be a free (?) redirect service of custom domains to your Google Drive static folder, you can learn more about this by going to: GWeb.io)

  1. Amazon S3 – this was the best alternative out of the three as a bucket created within S3 could allow for CNAME’s to point to it. The only problem being the cost (as minimal as it is).

Lastly, I also checked out GitHub Pages as a free alternative and BitBucket. I liked BitBucket’s easier approach than GitHub Pages and will likely give that a try first.

Anyway, just sharing some of my experiences from what I’ve been able to find. I will endeavour to keep you all updated on what ended up being my final choice and reasons for it once I’ve moved.