When I needed to host my first website in 2012, I was far from a web developer: I was an engineering student with a photography hobby. I wanted a website to show off my work, so I bought an inexpensive Wordpress theme and fumbled my way into installing it on Bluehost where I could get cheap hosting. The website itself was pretty bad. It was a side-scrolling website, which seemed like a good idea for me at the time. You can see a screenshot or two on my photo redesign page if you're curious.
Bluehost was generally received as the best option for installing a Wordpress site, and honestly, it probably still is. But half a decade has passed since my first website experiment, and a lot has changed. I'm a professional web developer now, and static sites in Wordpress and Drupal just aren't doing it for me anymore. I really dig node.js, and writing websites with libraries like Facebook's React. Maybe it's the engineering education, but I like making cool stuff, especially when the stuff can do things.
My hosting finally expired after a 3-year Bluehost deal, and I totally meant to have something else set up by then, but, well, you know how it is. So I payed for three more months (at a steeper rate than I anticipated) and figured I'd get it right this time around. I just finished up a development contract at Big Room Studios, and I have some free time before the next one, so this week I finally got around to picking a VPS, learning enough Nginx to get by, and sorting out how to migrate my six-or-so hosted sites. I've got 5/6 done so far, and so far, so good. The LEMP stack makes it pretty painless to get things up and running, and on a VPS I'll be able to install node and host projects I couldn't on managed hosting. At the very least, it'll be nice to use Ghost for my blog here on a server, instead of running a static converter every time I want to post something.
I'm set up on Digital Ocean with a droplet that costs $5/month. If you're interested in setting up an account, feel free to use my referral link to score $10 credit.