Guide to Operating and Maintaining Your Website for Free

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As we all know, it takes a lot of money and time to operate and maintain a website. If there are a large number of websites, the operation and maintenance costs of the website are very high. How can we maintain a website for a long time (more than ten years) at zero cost? Or maintaining a website with extremely low cost (under $50 per year) is actually not easy. Here are some of the experiences and methods I have summarized.

Let’s talk about the conclusion first, zero cost is impossible to achieve, and the lowest cost also requires the cost of a domain name, which is about $10 a year. If the domain name and host are not available in China, they can only be used abroad. The time cost can be calculated separately. For example, after a one-time update of the website, the content will not be updated for more than ten years, and the time cost will tend to zero.

1. Domain name

Do not use free domain names for domain names, you must use paid domain names purchased by yourself. Do not register at home, register abroad. Generally speaking, there are many choices of domain name service providers, and you can use whichever is cheaper. At present, the price of domain name registration services provided by Cloudflare is relatively low, and the price of domain name purchase and renewal is almost the lowest on the entire network. There are also many options for domain name resolution (DNS). If the website is frequently attacked by DDOS, Cloudflare is recommended for domain name resolution, and its firewall service can be easily used to block attacks. Different types of domain names have different prices. Generally speaking, it is cheaper and more practical to register and use COM domain names.

2. Host

The host can choose a free host, but it cannot be realized in China. The reason why it can’t be realized in China is that no service provider can provide this kind of service for a long time. Generally, small companies can’t last for ten years. In the past, all kinds of free hosts will be provided, and they will all close in a few years. The main reason is that The cost of reviewing content is too high, and small companies with massive content have no financial resources to conduct manual review. In foreign countries, AI artificial intelligence review can be implemented, so the review cost is low. At present, there are still some large network service providers that can provide free hosting or hosting services. , but many still have limitations.

Free hosting providers need to find service providers that can support the binding of custom domain names, so that once the service provider goes out of business, the content of the domain name can be seamlessly switched to other hosts without causing the domain name to become inaccessible.

3. Technical Architecture

The programming language of the website, it is recommended that the backend can use various common programming languages, whichever one you are familiar with, and generate a static HTML page for the entire site when publishing.

The reason for using the whole site of static HTML pages is that this kind of page has the lowest hosting cost, the least security loopholes, and can support large traffic access. There are many hosting providers to choose from. Even if you use paid hosting, the hosting cost is very high. Cheap.

4. Website Security

In terms of website security, because the website uses static HTML pages, there are basically no loopholes and backdoors on the website. Network attacks are generally aimed at the server. Generally speaking, you can use the free Cloudflare firewall, which can defend against DDOS for free and also supports Buy domain name services.

5. Low-cost host

There is no such thing as a free lunch, and even the cheapest website has a cost for hosting. Generally speaking, some hosting service providers can provide free, but there will be some restrictions, such as traffic restrictions, file number restrictions, capacity restrictions and so on. Free hosting services include Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Github, etc. The main paid ones are Digitalocean, Vultr, Linode, etc. The general price of cheap paid hosting is about $30-60 per year. If the website traffic is not large, you can put multiple websites on one host, which can reduce the overall cost. In the event of a problem with the free service, you can purchase a low-priced paid host and replace the DNS to seamlessly switch the website to the new host.

6. Advertising

If you have to use paid hosting, you can place advertisements on the website to support the hosting cost. Generally, for websites with some traffic, the advertising costs should be easier to afford the hosting costs. For websites with little traffic, it is recommended to use free hosting. .

In general, if you use free hosting, the minimum cost of maintaining a website is about $10 per year. If the website traffic is large, you can consider low-priced paid hosting. Generally, the price of cheap hosting is about $30-60 per year.

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