I had a friend tell me about NearlyFreeSpeech.net. Much like Amazon’s cloud computing services, you only pay for what you use.  Unlike Amazon, there’s no complicated infrastructure or proprietary protocols to get familiar with.  I doubt it has the reliability and scalability of Amazon either.

The pricing is pretty crazy: a penny a day for a website, $1/GB for your first GB of transfer, etc.  There’s a calculator to give you an idea of what you’d pay.

For a certain type of user, who my ‘web presence in two hours’ method just won’t work for, and who can use time in lieu of money, this seems like a great solution. I’m thinking, for example, of non-profits that are just trying to get a web presence and who don’t want to use one of the blog sites for reasons of design control.  If all you have is a static site, this can be very affordable:

“Static sites don’t have any baseline charges at all; you pay only for the storage and bandwidth you use, making them incredibly affordable if you’re on a limited budget and you’re working with a prebuilt website like those produced by many of the most popular web design programs.”

I don’t have any idea what kind of support or uptime they offer, but I love the idea of hosting that might start at $3/month, but can scale up easily and transparently.  They’ve been around since 2002, so they must be doing something right.

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