A ponderance on new hosting digs…

Well… I’m starting to ponder a change of hosting.

In theory, I could move most of my stuff to my recently configured Scaleway Stardust instance, as I’m using it to learn Caddy. Caddy has been extra easy, thus far, though I am not sure how I would handle the equivalent of Apache’s mod_rewrite rules, which I’ve been used to over time and appreciate the clean URLs.

But, there’s also a couple of other things floating around that I would like to flush away.

Namely, I have one .US domain, from back when I loved particularly did not mind registering them. It was the past, where WHOIS privacy was a paid thing that no-one who is a hobbyist could afford, and so any domain basically revealed your real, personal information.

Eventually, registrars started offering WHOIS cloaking, making it much harder for people to just casually throw a command at a terminal or wander off to a search engine to find out someone’s real world address, phone number and so on.

EXCEPT for .US domains. Those are not allowed the protection and privacy that the WHOIS cloaks were providing, so if one were determined enough to go searching, they can get too much information about someone with near zero effort!

I really don’t like that. At all.

So I largely stopped using that domain for major and even minor things. I’m working my way through email, seeing my way through changing anything that used the .US domain for login to use my .blue domain which kindly gives me that layer of privacy. Something that doesn’t casually say “Here’s Xial’s home address in its entirety, along with phone number. Have fun!”

Because I know someone’s going to think it: Be a person that’s part of a marginalized community. You value what modicum of a barrier betwixt you and the world that you can get. If it means adding a step or twelve between a casual WHOIS search and where I live, of course I’m going to do it.

That said, as I start all of this, I’m also considering whether I want to continue with my current webhost, who thinks that instead of properly emailing clients that they have a working relationship, the client should subscribe to their blog that they post these things in…

I’ve seen every damn status issue, as opposed to issues tailored specifically to my shared hosting server. It’s like being asked to clean out a tiny janitor closet, but when you open the door, there’s a 12,000 square foot warehouse on the other side. I don’t need all of that, and seeing everything instead of a custom stream starts to remove the inspiration of confidence that once was held.

Candidly, it makes me miss the days I was on Surpass Hosting. If I could afford them again, I’d go back, believe me. But here’s that hobbyist thing sticking its head up again — my websites are just my blog and little hobby-work I’ve done, and they don’t make me money.

Hell, even when I’ve monetized the occasional Amazon link, like when I told people that discounted Amazon Prime is a thing if you have EBT, and added proper disclosures that I may receive compensation to said links, I am lucky to even get anything. Whether it’s because it’s stripped off by some random bigger thing, or who knows? I just know I don’t make money off my sites. It’s just a hobby, and keeping hobby costs reasonable (especially in the face of my vanity domain habit) is a thing I have to try for.

So, I’m starting my search early, trying to find a host that is reasonably priced for a hobbyist, isn’t going to get it twisted over a drawn image gallery that includes a small amount of adult-oriented art, offers a reasonable amount of storage (~20 GB), absolutely will let me SSH in to work on things because that’s what I’m seriously used to, and lets me point my domains there for email purposes as well.

This will be a journey, but hopefully nowhere near as rough as the shit I went through with Bigfoot Hosting a bit back.

Let’s go. ?