Just got an email from Google. In order to stay in the free tier, I had to upgrade this server from an f1-micro to an e2-micro. I just finished that task.
This is a review of using the Google Cloud Free Tier for hosting a little used web site on a single linux server. If you have read my previous post, you know that his server is hosted on an f1-micro (1 vCPU, 0.6 GB memory) linux vm, which is the spec of the server Google will let you run for free. Since this website generates no revenue, this is the appropriate level for me. I really just hold on to this site for sentimental reasons.
I used to host this site on one of the web hosting providers at around $5 per month. Since I have moved to the Google Cloud Free Tier and my free trial has expired, I have been paying less than $0.10 per month to keep this site up and running. On a cost basis, this is a big win. The next step up in server size would cost about $15 per month, so I won’t be doing that unless my website actually were to generate that kind of revenue.
The tradeoff is on the performance side. The server is easily overwhelmed. If more that one person at a time were hitting this server, it probably wouldn’t work. To keep a place holder blog site alive, Google Cloud Free Tier is the best option available.
I have just moved this blog to a new Debian 10 Server on Google Cloud Platform. It is still their micro platform which should keep me in the free tier. I originally built this server to see if I could use the Google load balancer to simplify the server config and eliminate the managing the certificates on the server. This didn’t work as well as I hoped and would also end up costing money.
I have added this site to Cloudflare with a free account. This allowed(required) me to move the DNS service to Cloudflare DSN and remove the Google DNS that Google charges a few cents a month for. It also add the benefit of caching this site for users not close to my server. So now on the Google Cloud platform, I have the minimum footprint of a single free tier server and a public static IP address.
I did make the performance tuning tweaks to mpm_prefork.conf to keep the utilization of the server from spiking into the range where Google will recommend an upgrade. As long a no one actually visits this blog, I should be able to stay in the free tier.
I have moved the blog to a single server hosted on Google Cloud Platform. I followed the instructions provided by Chris Titus Tech. This should get me to almost zero for hosting costs. Especially since I am the only one to visit this blog.
I just recently moved this blog from a Web Hosting company to the Google Cloud Platform. As of this writing, this blog is hosted on a Debian 9 Linux server with the back end database on Google Cloud SQL. If you are interested in the how and why of this, keep reading.
I am paying what I think is a little too much to host this blog that sees virtually zero traffic. I put a lot of time into it 10 years ago and I don’t like the idea of it just going away. It is a sentimental thing I guess. The previous hosting is going to expire at the end of February, so now was a good time to make the move.
In my day job, I am currently learning about Google Cloud Platform where I learned I could get a Free trial with up to $300 of credit for one year. There are also items on the Cloud Platform that can allow me to host this Blog for close to, if not free unless this blog were to suddenly take off.
The server this is hosted on is a machine time of f1-micro which is at the Free Level. I just checked and I have a message in the console that says: “This instance is overutilized. Consider switching to the machine type: g1-small (1 vCPU, 1.7 GB memory)” I am not sure I want to do that, because this blog seems to be performing just fine. I will have to let it run to see what happens.
The database is hosted on Google Cloud SQL as a MySQL database. The database is running on a db-f1-micro, which is the smallest database that can be configured on Google Cloud. I did not configure backups, because the extra storage has a cost and I already have a Backup plugin that makes a backup of the WordPress installation and database to my Dropbox account. This will have a cost when the free trial is over, so I end up creating a new server with the database self contained and run it over utilized because of the use of this site.
Google Cloud allows me to host the DNS for my site for an extremely low cost. Moving the DNS over is very easy. I maintain the Domain on GoDaddy just to keep it simple. The certificate for this site is from Let’s Encrypt and using a program called CertBot to keep the certificate up to date.
Well, I guess it is time to reboot the blog again. I have been busy learning new skills, like the skills to set the blog up on the Google Cloud Platform. I am trying to do this at a much lower cost than my previous provider. I like that this is my own virtual server that I have full control over the software. If I decide to change things up, I can build a new machine and migrate the blog over. I am going to try to have multiple topic going on at once. Not in the same post, but there should be a thread of multiple topics in the upcoming posts.