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Adam McGurk
Adam McGurk

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Best Hosting Choices For Personal Projects

Oftentimes we get caught up in the excitement of the what of what we're building when we're building a personal project, that we forget that we need to come up with the how for our personal projects as well. For the personal project that I'm currently working on - a PWA fitness app - I go over what my decision process and which hosting providers I was deciding between - Netlify, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud. First we'll go over a bit about the project.

I'm building a fitness PWA for a few reasons. The first reason I'm building this app is because I've longed for a really good fitness app that I can track my workouts with, get motivation and accountability from, and is easy to use and designed well. I really haven't found it yet. I've tried a few different ones, but none of them ever really did what I wanted them to, or they were too tied to their ads or their premium version that I was never able to unlock their true potential. So, I decided that I would build my own. Which leads us to the second reason why I decided to build it myself. Practice. I've been wanting to get a lot better at TypeScript, specifically in the clean code aspect of it, and I've been wanting to practice with IndexedDB and a couple other web technologies that I've never gotten the chance to use before. So, I'm building this app to run completely client side, in true PWA form, that it doesn't send anything to the server. Just pure HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript.

But in planning this, I thought I should make the hosting decision early. So let's dive into that, shall we?

Amazon Web Services

An incredibly robust platform, one that I've launched several successful work projects on. I could leverage their Elastic Beanstalk service or even just S3 because I'm really only going to be hosting static assets (HTML, CSS, JS). And while the platform gives me SO much more than I could ever use, it would be good practice to help me get more familiar with this behemoth in the cloud architecture world.

Google Cloud Platform

One of the more quiet players in the cloud discussion is Google Cloud...but they are one of the fastest growing as well. I could launch my PWA in their Storage solution (to be served as a website) or in their App Engine service if I wanted more granular control over how my app were to be rolled out and things like that. Google Cloud is my personal favorite cloud solution as well.

Netlify

Netlify has really positioned themselves as the JAMStack hosting provider. Giving absolutely free hooks into GitHub and free hosting with custom domain abilities, Netlify is really in a position to explode in the community for simple/personal projects.

Decision

I really think I'm going to go with Netlify. Maybe in the future I'm going to add an API and send some data up to a server and add logins for multiple accounts and that sort of thing to my fitness app, and so then I'd probably reach for the Google Cloud Suite to host my backend and database needs, but for now, a simple JAMStack provider that gives me free web hosting and domain name customization is really all I need.

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