Yesterday I was looking-into different static website hosting options and what I discovered was pretty surprising. Just about every static hosting company that was recommended in articles online over the last few years has gone the way of the dodo bird. Here’s a quick look at a few attempts at static hosting that were popular for a moment in time and are no more:
Static Cloud has to be one of the coolest names for a static website hosting service, alas their site now shows the default Go Daddy landing page.
Last but not least is my personal favorite, Forge. An incredibly slick static hosting service made by a company called Riot which also made a couple other very cool products. Forge is actually still up and running but they shut the company down and aren’t supporting it any more so I’m not quite sure why anyone would want to host their site there. That being said, Forge has a beautiful user interface and one of the most streamlined systems I’ve seen for updating content without mucking around with ftp clients.
So why is it that most static hosting companies fail? I think there are two main reasons.
1. Companies like Hostgator and Dreamhost are incredibly inexpensive (with plans under $5/month) and offer a ton of features that support static sites, content management platforms like WordPress, Ruby, PHP, Python, you name it, they support it.
2. While there is a push towards creating fast-loading static sites I do think that ultimately web developers want the freedom to use server-side technologies if they want to without changing hosting providers.
There is one static hosting company that does seem to be doing pretty well – DivShot.
I know a few people who swear by DivShot but I think most people use it to host apps rather than a typical 1-5 page static website which is what these other services were going for. Also, unlike solutions like Forge that aimed at making it easy for anyone to host static sites DivShot is definitely for developers who aren’t scared to install node.js via the terminal and who know what CLI is.
Now it’s your turn. What do you think? What do most static hosting companies fail?