As I mentioned a week and a half ago, I’ve shifted this blog from being self-hosted to living on Google Cloud, because I didn’t want to spend time maintaining a web-serving infrastructure at home.
Obviously, there were many ways that I could have solved this problem. I decided on Google Cloud for a couple simple reasons. First, I work for them, but have very little experience as a customer (anti-disclaimer: I pay retail prices without a discount). Second, I already have an account and billing set up, even though all I’ve really been using it for is DNS hosting. And third, it looked about as simple as any of my options.
My one concern was cost. Almost nothing in Google Cloud (or Amazon, or Azure, or anyone else) is free. The full price list is available, which is nice, but it’s hard to figure out exactly what this was going to end up costing me. I’ve only been paying a few dollars per month for Google Cloud DNS hosting. I figured my price would go up, but there were too many unknowns to be able to figure it out from the price list alone. I was expecting Netflix-ish monthly prices (spoiler: yep), and knew that I wasn’t going to end up with a giant bill, but beyond that it was a bit of a mystery.
So, it’s been over a week since the last change now, and the daily billing numbers from Google Cloud are pretty steady. I’m going to give prices in US$ per week, just because I have a week’s worth of actual data. The bulk of the bill is for Cloud Load Balancing, which is costing me $4.20/week. Beyond that, the numbers are tiny. I splurged for Google’s CDN when setting this up; the last week has cost $0.19 in CDN bandwidth and $0.12 in CDN lookups. My Cloud Storage bill for the whole blog, including images, is a whopping $0.01 for the past week. A bit under $20/month in total.
These numbers will vary with load, of course. The Load Balancing bill is (unfortunately) just the minimum charge for having a load balancer at all. The Cloud Storage bill is proportional to the total size of your content. And the network numbers will obviously go up with traffic. Of which I have approximately none. Adding 10x as much traffic would probably cost me an extra $2/month.
So far, I’m reasonably happy. It took me an hour or so to set up,
including SSL (using an auto-generated SSL cert, presumably from Let’s
Encrypt), redirections from HTTP to HTTPS, redirections from
scottstuff.net, and a redirection from an
ancient RSS URL to the current version. Could I do this for less
money? Absolutely. Could I do this, on my own domain, with
auto-managed SSL certs, with custom redirect rules, via IPv4 and IPv6,
via a global CDN, with monitoring, for less effort and less money?
Probably, but not a whole lot less work or much less money.