Every so often, someone asks me how we manage our blog. It’s tempting to want to express yourself on the Internet. Blogging is a fun way to do that. If you want to create a sexually oriented blog, there are some issues to consider. There are two major providers of free blogs: blogger.com and wordpress.com. Both offer free, easy-to-setup blogging websites. WordPress.com prohibits sexual material and is very efficient at shutting blogs off without warning. Blogger does allow most sexual content. However, you will get a warning page in front of your site. Google owns Blogger and has threatened to shut down sexual sites in the past. They changed their minds and decided to allow them.
Our site is set up on a private Internet service provider (ISP). We pay for a shared server in the cloud. We got the necessary base software installed as part of the server. We had to set up and add other software we might need. The way we did it requires some knowledge of Linux administration and other technical skills. Given the size of our site, it was the only affordable way to go. More on our techy stuff at the end of this post.
There are many independent pay-to-play ISPs out there. Their services range in price from about five bucks a month up to, well, a lot. I’ve worked with two. Both offer good service at fair prices. For the record, I don’t get any money from either for suggesting their offerings.
The simplest to use and one of the cheapest is EasyWP on https://www.namecheap.com. I’ve been working with this company for many years. They are one of the world’s largest domain registrars and offer some nice additional services. One is EasyWP. EasyWP Turbo is only $68 for the first year and less than $100/year after that. The price includes unlimited bandwidth, free software installation, and 24/7 customer support. They have a cheaper tier, but it requires you to buy an SSL certificate (needed to do the “https:” instead of “http:”). It’s robust enough to handle a pretty busy blog. We used this service for a while.
The other ISP I’ve used is Hostgator.com. They are one of the largest web-hosting ISPs in the world. Their starter WordPress package is $5.95/month for the first three years (paid in advance). It goes way up after that. I’ve used them for vanilla blogs. I have no idea about whether or not they care about your content. They also offer very good tech support.
There are hundreds of other ISPs. I have used a couple I didn’t like. If you build a WordPress blog, there are excellent migration plugins available. Moving from one ISP to another is fairly simple and painless. It’s easy to move when the sale price period is over. Also, register your domain name even if you use Blogger or the free WordPress service. If you don’t, someone else might.
How our site works
This site lives in the AWS cloud. We are on an EC2 WordPress instance. Unlike Hostgator and Namecheap, we have full control of our virtual server. Our instance is 2 CPUs with 4GB ram and 80 GB solid state disk. We have installed database caching software and plugin (Redis) to support our site. We also run Matomo web statistics.
Our site is served via the AWS Cloudfront CDN (Content Delivery Network). This consists of more than 70 servers around the world that deliver our content to visitors. That’s free. This setup requires lots of reading and tinkering. There is some command line work installing and maintaining the non-WordPress software. It’s more expensive than Namechap or HostGator but a lot more powerful.
I don’t spend a ton of time managing our system. It took a while to set up. I just finished migrating to a different technical architecture on AWS. It wasn’t terribly hard to do, just lots of reading and finicky steps. We will save a few bucks a month with the new arrangement. Performance seems a little better too.