The Cost of Hosting a Website

There are no affiliate links in this post and nobody paid me to write about this. Opinions expressed in this post are my own.

The Archive of our Own (AO3) is in the middle of its semi-annual donation drive again, and as is customary now, the antishippers are out in full force whining about a no-ads-ever, massive archive website like the AO3 needing money to stay online and how dare it asks money of people while hosting so much “problematic” content.

But this post isn’t about this.

This post is about a tangent I’ve seen to the above discourse, about how all free hosts are gone from the Web so the haters have no choice but be forced to post their fics on AO3 and suffer.

So this post is about the cost of hosting your own website to post your own content on the interwebs, whatever it may be.

“Free” Hosting

The notion that “free” (as in, no upfront cost, but ad-powered) hosting is gone from the Internet since Yahoo! (boo, hiss) closed Geocities in 2009 is simply not true. Sure, Angelfire and Tripod, the other of the other big 3 of free, ad-powered web hosting, has also stopped offering free hosting space (they also belong to the same company now, Lycos). But, following in the footsteps of the late Geocities, there’s Neocities. Heck, look up “free web hosting” in your search engine of choice and you’ll find plenty of companies vying for your attention by promising the best hosting a complete lack of money can… buy?

Now as to whether these hosts are worth the not-existent price tag… well, that’s a whole other question. Remember: if the price tag says “free”, the product the company is selling is you (and/or your data). And, just as importantly, the kind of content you produce may not be allowed on their servers…

The Cost of Web Hosting

If you, understandably, decide that you’d rather pay for hosting, for your own peace of mind and the ability to post whatever you want (as long as it’s legal and adheres to your host’s Terms of Service and/or Acceptable Use Policy), it doesn’t have to empty your wallet. Yes, it costs a pretty penny (latest budget) to host the AO3 and keep it running; however, the AO3 has over 7 million fanworks in over 40,000 fandoms and over 3 million registered users, with all the disk space, database sizes, database hits and concurrent user activities this implies. Your website will not reach these numbers.

But what does it cost?

I’ll take my own web space as an example because that’s the one set of data I reliably have access to, haha.


First of all, you need hosting, aka to pay a company to keep the files and databases (although databases are not always needed) on their server, which is simply a computer always connected to the internet and that will display your pages to anyone who requests them.

For various reasons, I am currently hosted on shared hosting provided by HawkHost. I’ve found them to be a helpful host with good customer service, their hosting is fast and reliable, and I like the modern tech their hosting provides me with, like free SSL and modern and up-to-date PHP versions. If that last part was alphabet soup, don’t worry about it, it’s not necessary to know what that means right now.

But anyway, my annual (I pay once a year) bill for hosting comes up to US$33.52/year, so roughly US$2.80 per month. That might be more or less expensive depending on where you live, I realize, and I’m sorry.


Once your files are hosted, you need a domain name, because to reach your website(s), people need to have something they can type into their web browser’s address bar. The price of domain names vary wildly, depending on the Top-Level Domain (TLD, aka the part after the dot, like .com, .net, or .org). Common TLDs like .com or .net are relatively cheap. Fancy ones like .pizza, .blog, .store or .wiki are much more expensive. .sucks is particularly expensive. Some domain names also come with restrictions: for example, to own a .ca name, you have to be a Canadian citizen, and, as PillowFort found out the hard way, you cannot use a .io domain name to host pornographic material.

My fancy domain name, a .zone, is roughly US$44.50/year. I also pay $12/year for privacy protection (basically if someone does a whois on my domain name it doesn’t display my actual real name and address). Privacy protection is included in the price of certain TLD, like for .ca domains. On the other hand, a .ca domain, like I used to use, is US$16.00/year. Going with the generic domain TLD (.com, .net, .org, .info) or a country TLD (.ca, .us) is much cheaper than anything else.

A company that allows you to buy a domain name is called a registrar. I personally use Rebel, although mostly because they bought the registrar I was dealing with before. Google also has a registrar servicefor now. I have heard good things about Namecheap and Gandi.

Note that it is recommended to NOT buying your domain name and your hosting from the same company. The TL;DR version of the explanation is that in case you’re unsatisfied with the company’s services and want to move your website elsewhere, if your host doesn’t have control of your domain, they cannot hold it hostage.

So, How Much Is It?

Given the above costs I’ve mentioned, I believe you can have a web space to call your own for about US$50.00/year, all told, including hosting space, a domain name with a generic TLD, and free privacy protection (Namecheap and Gandi offer free privacy protection with each domain you register with them). I know it seems relatively cheap and reasonable to me, a legal adult able enough to hold a job in a developed country, and that not everyone can afford the cost of hosting a website, for all sorts of reasons. I also didn’t mean to imply that keeping the lights on at the AO3 should be cheap and easy, because it isn’t. But what I mostly wanted to demonstrate in this here post is that you don’t need to be a millionaire to have a little corner of the web that you can call your own.

Provided, of course, that you follow the law and your host’s Terms of Service and Applicable Use Policy, as the vast majority of paid hosting, even if you’re the one paying, cannot be used as a platform to threaten, harass, hack, doxx, spam, or DDoS others.

Twitter Detox v1.2.2

Dark Mode

Version 1.2.2 banishes the right sidebar again after Twitter changed their code and the sidebar reappeared for me. Enjoy!

Twitter Detox v1.2.1

Dark Mode

Version 1.2.1 corrects a bug in Waterfox Classic that prevented the right sidebar of Twitter’s latest layout from being hidden, contrary to what my user stylesheet intends to do.

Zone Update

Some final 2020 updates!


  • Updated all the site footers to display 2021 as the current copyright year, even the old ones I haven’t touched in years. My project to update all my shrines and sites is still ongoing and I hope this simple change will help motivate me!

Main Site

  • For accessbility/zooming reasons, I’ve changed the default HTML font size from 20px to 125%. People with low vision will now be able to embiggen the text much bigger. Because my eyes are getting older and even shittier, that’s why.
  • I updated the humans.txt file on the site. Humans.txt Initiative.
  • Updated the favicons for something more in line with the ones I use on the other sites of the collective.

Oh Ye Of Little Faith pt 2

Now with official announcement from Atlus West!!!


There Is No God in the Devil May Cry Series

Ok guys but can we talk about how in the Devil May Cry universe there is no God?

Sit down Reboot, we’ll talk about you later.

The first time I realized there is no God in the Devil May Cry series, I was playing DMC3. The Temen-Ni-Gru in DMC3 is the path to capital “H” Hell, but it’s a tower, and Hell is in the sky. Where you expect Heaven to be. When you ascend into Hell throught it, you get greeted by angels! Except oops, these angels are only angels at first glance, they’re actually demons under the bright feathers and they’re trying to kill you.

While Hell, devils and demons are omnipresent in the original DMC series, God, Heaven, and angels are basically nonexistent to the point where you can theorize that in the original DMC’verse there is no God at all. By this, I mean God as in the Jewish/Christian/Muslim One God, because while DMC is sorta vague about the setting, Dante is clearly meant to be an American boy living in the United States of America. Plus, the lion-headed goddess holding the hourglass where you fork over the blood of thy enemies for upgrades does exist, so it’s not like gods as a whole are not a thing at all.

Devil May Cry 1

It’s not clear yet that there is no God, as the game is limited and Capcom didn’t yet know what a smash hit this game would be, so the lore is a bit all over the place. However, when Mundus is interacting with Griffon, his three eyes (nice Trinity reference) are watching from the sky. Furthermore, Dante recognizes the three eyes, so he has seen them before, probably when his mother was killed. It could just be a logistic thing, though, because it would be hard to show a devil watching the events from below/through the earth.

Mundus’ statue is also out in the castle, above ground, in a room that looks like a chapel, or at least an important architectural space in the castle, where you’d expect a divinity’s statue to be. And Mundus’ statue does look like a stereotypical “one God”: tall, majestic, clad in robes, looking paternal and protective. It quickly turns out, of course, that this is only an illusion to capture humans’ minds.

Devil May Cry 2

Moving on from DMC2 because there isn’t a lot of lore but still acknowledging it because I love Lucia’s design and I will fight people over it. The one important antagonist of the game, Arius, is clearly worshipping a devil anyway.

Also worth mentionning that while Lucia’ devil form is wrapped in bright white feathers, she is clearly a black demon underneath. Plus, if Arius mass produces these demons he calls “secretaries” and intends to take over the world with them, making them look like angels at first glance makes sense, tactically, even if it will only work once.

Devil May Cry 3

I think tho the most damning (ha!) evidence is in Devil May Cry 3, where the story articulates around reaching Sparda’s sword sealing the/a gate to Hell. To that effect, Vergil summons(?) the Temen-Ni-Gru to reach Hell. It’s a gigantic fuck-off tower. It even has Leviathan, a giant baleen whale demon, orbiting it. Normally, you’d expect Hell, even reachable through a tower, to be deep underground, because usually, Hell is underground with the dead and Heaven is in the sky with God and the angels.

Except nope, Hell is even beyond the tip of Temn-Ni-Gru, in the sky. Where you expect Heaven to be.

You do get greeted by angels when you first step foot there, but like the secretaries on DMC2, these are demons who only look like angels at first glance. Also they’re trying to kill you and those bright feathers are efficient shields, damn.

Of real angels, tho, no trace at all.

Devil May Cry 4

The cultists who worship Sparda in DMC4 are not quite the angels and the Saviour they claim to be. Their Saviour, although inspired by the object of their adoration, Sparda, has a definite angelic appearance. Gone are the bat and bug wings, the gnarly horns, the cloven feet: the Saviour is pure white, covered in white feathered wings, has slick, golden horns, deep blue gems over its body and sports regal golden halos. The Holy Knights of the Order of the Sword turn into Bianco Angelos (white angels) and Alto Angelos through their ascension ceremony. Even Credo becomes as an angel with his white body, golden feathered wings and his noble face surrounded by a gold halo.

But once again, this is all a ruse to appease humans and blind them to their being overtaken by devils. It’s not very surprising when you consider that demons that look like angels have been in… if you count Mundus looking like God in statue form, every single DMC game. The only godly presence in the games are all devil tricks. Smoke and mirrors.

Series Lore

Furthermore, at no point has God or any angel helped humanity when the human world was under attack by the demon world two milleniums [sic] ago. The side of Heaven is not even mentioned. Who saved humanity? A devil who “woke up to justice”. That’s the single trigger event for the whole series. God has yet to raise a single finger in the series, even if only to have his presence acknowledged.

Honestly though? I’m fine with there being no God in DMC universe.

Because if you try to integrate Heaven, angels, and God into the DMC series, as the reboot tried (and failed) to do, you end up with a Heavenly side that is at best cold, callous, and uncaring, and at worst, acting with malicious and evil intent on purpose.

DmC: Devil May Cry

In the reboot, Eva, Dante and Vergil’s biological mother, is an angel, and thus, Heaven actually does exist, and it is at war with Hell, with humans caught in the middle as a sort of “neutral territory” that both Heaven and Hell turn into a warzone.

In one of the official illustrations released for the game, a flock of angels, all female, surrounds the small child Dante standing powerless while holding his dead, bloody mother in his arms. The angels appear to be weeping, like in a traditional fine art painting. But are they truly grieving for Eva? For Dante?

I’m not gonna get into the weird gross Oedipian shit with all the illustrations implying Dante having sex with lots of women wearing wings, but all these official illustrations bring up a ton of uncomfortable questions for the “heavenly” side of the war.

Where were the grieving, weeping angels while Sparda was being captured? While Eva was being horribly murdered and her still beating heart being eaten? When Dante and Vergil were being sent off to an orphanage, then adopted separatedly? When Dante was raised in an abusive home and went homeless to escape it? When, during the game itself, Dante is trying his damnest to do the right thing and battle devils?

Nowhere to be seen, that’s where.

In the reboot, Ninja Theory tried to wedge Heaven back into the lore of the rebooted series. Unfortunately, their Heaven just comes off as a side of the conflict that has never given a shit, doesn’t give a shit, and will never give a shit. They pay some lip service to their supposed role of goodness by weeping for Eva the day she’s murdered, but only once she is well and truly dead and it is too late to help her. They then carry on the usual business of washing their hands of everything humanity ever does, and letting devils enslave humans for shits and giggles, because they absolutely do not give a single shit. Dante and Vergil are not even a blip on their radar. They are bastard non-entities. Even half-angel children are not worthy of Heaven’s help. Even Nephilims, the most feared beings of all according to the game’s mess of a lore, able to bring dow Heaven and Hell, are not worthy of the tiniest smidge of attention from Heaven.

I could go on and on about everything wrong with DmC’s world-building, but I’ll refrain to keep on topic. The rebooted game contains horrifying fridge-logic implication that aren’t unlike those of the Lovecraftian mythos: it’s not that there are no gods out there, it’s that, if they are not outright hostile to humans, they couldn’t give less of a fuck about humanity.

It makes the original series’ absence of Heaven look comforting by comparison.

Note: this meta post is an adaptation of a old Plurk thread of mine.