Low Cost Cloud Hosting For Startup
I’m been mulling to conduct this research for quite some time back but have shelved this due to recent activities. Recently there is some opportunities and also I think very soon I need to come to a point to select which how and which platform to move my business forward in term of IT infrastructure.
I have this research in mind as curious, like many others, which cloud platforms are more practical to startups, professionals, writers, bloggers, real estate agents, insurance agents (PMEs) and small store owners. As this group of users form a significant base in any societies and economic. For startup, the first 0 – 365 days , cost and resources are rather sensitivities and important. Thus many will try to figure-out which technologies or mode of deliveries are more effectiveness and agile. Cost and resources also sensitivities to self employed PMEs, writers , bloggers and store owners. For this group, monthly maintenance cost required to be as low as possible. Many of them also lack of in depth technical knowledges, which make sense as these are not their core expertise.
After some researches, I have identified a few potential and reputable providers;
- Microsoft Azure, https://azure.microsoft.com/
- Amazon Web Services Free Tirer (AWS), https://aws.amazon.com/free/
- Google Cloud Platform (GCP), https://cloud.google.com/free/
- Chocolate – by Freehostia, https://www.freehostia.com/free-cloud-hosting/
What I’ll do is that I will duplicate an existing WordPress hosted website site, https://limkent.wordpress.com/. This website I setup during February 2017 for my book publications and blogging on food and travel. Thus I think this is a good site to use to compare as there only few pages and the traffic not very high. The site is using the free hosted Plan from WordPress.com. However, thee is restrictions to customise your site although there are more thousands theme to choose from.
I decided to start with Azure, Azure give 30 days free trial with $200 free credit to spend during the trail. You pay using the credit on whatever you use during the trail period. I didn’t get a custom domain name, I just wanted it exactly same as the existing site hosted in WordPress.com. I faced issue trying to sign-up, struck on the step when required to verify identification through credit card. I have to get the Microsoft Support help, who response very soon. After she understand my issue, she ask me not to use Edge browser, use Google Chrome browser instead. I almost burst out laughing, however, it really worked and I can complete my sign-up after I switch to Google Chrome browser. Microsoft Azure have a lot of tutorial videos which are really helpful to train us to navigate around. I can start the web apps services within minutes, installation of WordPress with 1-click-install , import the backup files from the WordPress.com and this site is about 60% done within an hour. I used about another 6 hours to complete the site with new features such as added plugins, an e-store and a theme which I can’t get in WordPress.com, unless sign-up the Business Plan which cost US$ 24.52 a month.
However, the cost using Azure also not cheap, from Thursday, 15 June 2017 to today, Sunday 18 June 2017, 4 days, my $200 credit left with $188.52. Meaning just 4 days , spend about $11.48 or estimate $86.10 a month. Let monitor for the rest and I will share exactly whether we can use Microsoft Azure for 365 days. I estimate for a startup or small business that has a web services, a mobile app service and a storage, will high chance spend thousands a month with such charging. I manage to find out that the Microsoft have 2 schemes that can help startup. Microsoft Bizspark, https://bizspark.microsoft.com/, a program design to help startup that come with Azure credits. I have applied for the program and currently required five days thus unable to share any details yet. The Visual Studio Dev Essential Program, https://www.visualstudio.com/dev-essentials/, this program provide a 1 time credit of $200 and monthly credit of $25. My thought on this program is useful to help startup to get their mobile apps or workflow app services and backend services running.