Nowadays, there is little reason not to use a VPS (virtual private server) for hosting your application. Prices have fallen considerably, to the point where they are as affordable as shared hosting.
It is true that a VPS requires a little more effort to set up than shared hosting. However, companies like DigitalOcean have gone to great effort to produce a huge collection of tutorials so that even someone with zero devops experience can set up a webserver on a VPS and deploy their application.
A few reasons that we suggest that you not use shared hosting:
git. In contrast, shared hosting providers often only support FTP for transferring files from development to production. This means that whenever you want to update your live site, you need to either try to figure out which files have changed, or delete your entire live codebase and reupload everything! By deploying with git, you can use a simple
pushcommand to automatically update your live codebase.
DigitalOcean is a popular VPS hosting service that offers a flat monthly rate. They call their virtual machines "Droplets", which are priced based on memory, processing power, disk storage, and bandwidth. Each Droplet is essentially a dedicated IP address and computer that you have root access to, and on which you can install whatever operating system and software you like.
Their cheapest option is a USD $4/mo server, which provides 512MB memory, 10GB storage, and 500GB bandwidth per month. This is more than enough to run a typical UserFrosting application - as a matter of fact, we host all of the documentation and the demo site for UserFrosting on a slightly larger $6/month Droplet (1GB memory, 25GB storage, 1TB monthly bandwidth).
They also provide a convenient web-based control panel, which lets you perform some basic administrative tasks and monitor your Droplet's resource usage:
DigitalOcean offers a number of discounts and promotions. If you are a student, you can get $100 in free credit (good towards first 60 days) when you register for the GitHub student pack (requires a
.edu email address).
If you don't have a
.edu address, DigitalOcean often offers $100 free credit towards your first 30 days by using our referral link. This is also a great way to support UserFrosting - if you use this link, we'll also get $25 in credit for our own hosting once you've spent $25.