Noticed anything different about the site? Maybe it’s a bit faster, maybe not In reality, I’ve decided to dump my old hosting provider after 3 years. Why? That’s because my “prepaid” hosting term ended in December, and, overall, I wasn’t fully satisfied with my hosting provider.
Now leave it to my brilliance to leave my managed solution for something that required more work! I picked up a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ (yes, I’m aware the 4 is available, but this one was cheaper), a fan case, and some web development knowledge to port my website over to a Raspberry Pi running out of my bedroom!
For those of you that don’t know, a Raspberry Pi is a small Single-Board Computer with desktop capabilities, it costs about $40, and is often used in MAME Arcades and custom handhelds. It’s very small, approximately the size of a credit card (with USB/Ethernet ports on top). For more info, check out the Official Raspberry Pi Website.
Advantages of the Pi
Faster (and more Reliable)
The old site was slow, it took an awkward amount of time to load, and a lot of it had to do with my web host. With my old host, there were also outages that would put the site down for hours at a time. There would often be at least 1 long outage every day…
With the Pi, it’s much faster (and that’s saying something), and if the site goes down for any reason, I can usually get it back pretty quickly by fixing it myself (unless the internet is down).
With my host, the introductory offer was $2 a month for 3 years (Total – $72.00). That’s very cheap for web hosting, but as mentioned earlier, my host wasn’t the best (or even good). For better hosting, I would have to pay at least double that.
With the Pi, it uses almost no electricity (as much as leaving your cell phone plugged in), and I calculated that leaving this bad boy on for one year 24/7 would only add about $5 to my power bill. Not counting internet (since I would have it whether I self-hosted or not), my total cost for running this site is now under 50 cents a month! And that comes with better performance!
I don’t just have access to a web directory any more, I have a tiny but mighty PC now in my arsenal. So now I can do things like host my own Pokemon Showdown server (check it).
Almost any script I can run on Linux I can run on the Pi, so also helps for some minimal passive income ($$$).
My site runs pretty well, and my Pi does everything I need (and want) it to do. I don’t think I’ll be needing to upsize any time soon. If traffic get’s too much, I can either try out a Pi Cluster or just get a small x86 PC like an Intel Compute Stick, or an NUC. Both run fairly cheap and are very power efficient. I could also go to the cloud with Azure or AWS.
But for now, I like it like it is…
It’s cool, it’s awesome, buy a Pi. I know you want to.