Like the list. On this one:
“Vultr is my go-to solution for cheap hosting. As of this writing, the cheapest plan they offer is $2.50 a month. Although their cheapest plan defintely won’t be able to fuel your next high-powered computing project, it is a great solution when you need to host small scale tasks such as cron jobs.”
I’ll throw in Prgmr. Their plans start at $5 a month, they’re no BS, good service, transparent about problems, and (extra motivation) host this site for free.
I use both, and have good things to say about both of them:
prgmr is great when you need something different than your standard VPS, as they will work with you, and get whatever it is you want; like I wanted a bunch of extra storage space(ZFS), doing that on Vultr gets cost prohibitive quickly, but on prgmr it’s not bad at all.
For pre-packaged things that vultr offers, vultr is pretty great, for a great price.
Could you give me some of your favorite examples?
vutlr provides a DNS service(with API), Firewall service, private networks(with multiple interfaces per VM OK), etc.
These are all things that come for free with a single VPS, no extra magic or asking needed. They also offer snapshots and backups(for a fee).
Their DNS service API is great for doing LE * (wildcard) certs, and the other things are good to use as well.
To be clear, I’m not suggesting you rely solely on their backups or FW services as your only FW and backup(s), as defence in depth is a thing. But they are nice to add/have.
Also, @avitex has a good point about vultr offering multiple locations.
Plus, for things you really care about, it’s not a bad plan to use 2 different providers, and host across both of them, so if one goes down for some reason, your stuff doesn’t also go down(which is what I do).
Sounds like some nice value-adds. I’m with you on using multiple providers for redundancy. The neat thing is that all these cheap providers make high[er] availability cheaper than ever.
The major difference of the two for me is Prgmr’s only hosting location is in CA, US from what I can find. Vultr provides hosting globally
I’ll also add, for anyone trying to decide what to use in the endless sea of VPS providers, I recommend doing research on LowEndTalk.
@zie and @avitex (esp avitex… location) got good points about where they might not be a fit for potential customers. I like sites like you mention when looking for deals. What’s missing is something key to my recommendations: can you trust and rely on the people involved in the company?
Only a handful of companies where I can even attempt to establish that. Plenty of people here know one founder. We’ve read their articles seeing their transparency. These things help establish good character. That’s increasingly uncommon in tech companies. So, I just give our host a mention in these conversations so long as they keep earning it. It increases the odds readers will vote with their wallet towards more ethical suppliers.
Yeah good point, trust is probably the biggest factor. The best I could find is to Google something like “buyvm site:lowendtalk.com” but I won’t pretend it’s foolproof, and doesn’t really compare to a recommendation like the one you made
Great list, REFL.me is new to me and super cool. I can vouch for a number of these. I’m running Dokku in production hosting five containers on one machine with 2GB of RAM, something you wouldn’t be able to do with Kubernetes. If you’re willing to give up HA and load balancing, Dokku is a great choice.
I see Vultr recommended a lot and they do have a really low price point, but be aware the $2.50 plan does not include an IPv4 address. To get their lowest-end server with an IPv4 address, it’s actually $3.50. Once you get into the $5/mo plan, they line up exactly with DigitalOcean’s pricing on CPUs/RAM but disk and transfer might a bit different. It’s worth comparing if you really need that (for example) extra 1TB of transfer DO gives you for the same money. You probably don’t but your milage may vary.
I probably don’t need to mention it to Lobste.rs, but cron jobs can and do fail and they fail silently by default. If you really need that cron job to run, it’s worth setting up some kind of monitoring for it. Cron offers a ‘mailto’ option which is easy and good enough for hobby projects.
For cron jobs I’ve been using healthchecks.io lately to get a notification if a cron job fails. The free tier is very generous and you can also host it yourself. I think I’ve stumpled upon this tool in some other discussion here.
At the risk of turning this into a “everyone recommend your favorite VPS” thread, I’ve been giving lobste.rs sponsor prgmr a go recently. They’re surprisingly helpful and responsive on their IRC channel, and the pricing is on par with DO and others.
for load balancing, you can put the dokku servers behind a load balancer (we use ELB), and then write a simple python script to help pushing to all the instances.
I knew bookmarklets were a thing, but never really considered them.
I just replaced a browser extension with one.
Dotepub is a bookmarklet that generates epubs from webpages, which I use often to get away from the shiny computer screen and read blogs on my kindle.
It’s one of my favorite pieces of software.
I think bookmarklets are very underappreciated.
One of my favorite bookmarklets is one that scans the page for text that looks like a base64 encoded image and replaces it with an img tag.
I use this to view screenshots from build failures on CI platforms like travis which don’t support artifacts (only text logs).
He selects tools that “can be learned quickly.”
For me, the best tools are the ones you spend your life learning. Emacs is a good example.
Agreed! Getting into Nix was a bit of work when I started. I expected to learn a package format. Instead, I spent weeks learning a functional language, an ecosystem of provided functions, a lot of customs, etc. Learning Arch was a walk in the park in comparison.
However, learning Nix was one of these investments with a huge pay-off. I now manage my servers and some desktops fully declaratively, generate Docker images declaratively from Nix derivations, and have something akin to virtual environments for the whole operating system. I can pass a command to a colleague (with pinned Nixpkgs), allowing them to build a project with exactly the same transitive dependencies as I used.
Nice list, and maybe I’m overthinking most of my hobby projects but I always a really bad feeling about using “free” services for stuff like that if the projects exceeds the “proof of concept” stage.
Sure, it may be more work, but most things on the list can be duct-taped together with cron and a few lines of code in any language :P Or maybe I’m just not doing enough frontend and mobile work to appreciate stuff like myson or REFL.