Hello, Astro - getting rid of my overkill web hosting plan

October 10, 2022 • 2 minute read

A recession is looming and last week my hosting provider sent out an e-mail warning they’ll be raising their prices in 2023. That got me thinking: do I really need to keep this web hosting plan I’ve been using since 2018? TL;DR: Not really.

When I started this little website I didn’t give it much thought and just used WordPress because I was fairly familiar with it. Getting it on the air was as simple as buying a VPS, deploying the site and choosing a free theme. As the years have gone by, I’ve been meaning to ditch my web hosting plan and that e-mail was the final push I needed to get rid of it. Why?

  • The e-mail accounts tied to my web hosting service are rarely used to send e-mails so I can just forward all mail to a free centralized account and cut those costs.

  • Managing a web hosting service and a WordPress installation come with their own complexities that I don’t really want to have to deal with, like updating its core and plugins regularly, keeping up to date with security issues, etc. I also only use like 5% of the features that they both provide so the effort and money spent maintaining them doesn’t really pay off.

  • I can count by my fingers the number of blog posts I write every year so why have a backend at all? Nowadays, with frameworks like Astro and tools like GitHub Pages or Netlify, I can simply have a static site that automatically gets generated and deployed every time I write a new blog post. Astro even has built-in support for Markdown and MDX content and easy integration with Tailwind CSS which is highly practical, so what more can I ask? Hell, I was already using caching mechanisms on WordPress so I might as well cut it off completely.

  • I’ve been meaning to try Astro since I first heard about it and this was the perfect opportunity to take it for a spin! I also wanted to have more control over the design without having to touch PHP so jackpot!

With all that out of the way, the stack I settled with was as simple as using Astro as a static-site generator, Tailwind CSS for styling and Netlify (w/ GitHub integration) for handling versioning and deployments. This is not supposed to be a technical post so I’m not going in depth into its development and deployment, but you can always find the source code on my personal GitHub page if you’re interested.

There’s still some things I want to do with it like content filtering and pagination but that will eventually come in the future, when it is actually needed. In the meantime, I should probably get back to making games…