Turning Everyday Writing Into Headline Content
Free Hosting for Freelancers
The first step in establishing yourself as a serious freelancer is setting up a website. But that can be expensive: $10 for a domain name isn’t too bad, but the $50 annual cost of (crappy, slow, shared) hosting can be restrictive.
Since 2012, I’ve offered free hosting on my GoDaddy VPS, based in their Netherlands data centre.
A VPS is the half-way stage between shared hosting (which is horribly slow and sucks) and dedicated hosting (which is phenomenally cool but horribly expensive) – it’s a shared server, but with fewer people on it. It’s fast, easy and reliable, has no limits on domain names, costs about $50 a month and runs its own mail server and databases and all that stuff.
I have gigs of space on the server, of which I only use a tiny part for my projects. So here’s the offer: if you want your own site, you can host it in the space I’m not using, at no charge.
How It Works
You buy your own domain name and pay for it each year at renewal. You can usually find an offer to get the first year’s registration for $1 on Namecheap or GoDaddy. I don’t care where you register: it makes no difference to the site setup on my end.
You won’t have cPanel access. I can set up WordPress or one of a whole TON of other freebie apps like Coppermine, BuddyPress, phpBB or whatever and give you the admin password (which you can then change).
You get domain emails, such as firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or whatever you need. Inboxes are limited to 25Mb by default (negotiable).
You get 500Mb of space for your site by default (negotiable). Please don’t host huge images or video (though you can embed the latter).
I will check in occasionally (as a visitor) to make sure you’re not running a child slavery ring, promoting the sale of automatic weapons to lemmings or anything else illegal.
YOU are responsible for your content and site maintenance (though I handle the back end and can often help with tech stuff)
Any root access or FTP stuff has to go through me, though you shouldn’t need it with WP and most apps.
You’re responsible for your own backups.
If you get me banned from my provider I’ll be very upset and will name and berate you publicly, loudly and for a long time, and maybe even pursue you legally.
You are NOT tied in to me in any way by using this offer (apart from the obvious practicalities). You can switch to another host at any time if you want to, drop your blog, sell your domain or whatever you want.
You must supply an active contact email address. If you become uncontactable at any time, I will shut your site down without a second thought.