My blog cost USD44 a year

By practicing frugal blogging, I reduced the time and money spent on managing my blog, allowing me to focus more on actual blogging.
My blog cost USD44 a year

In 2020, I started this blog and detailed my setup back then. Almost 4 years later, I wanted to provide an update on my setup.

Honestly, not much has changed, and this is precisely why I am writing this post. It is important to me the foundation of my blog remains the same. By foundation, I mean the relevant links to blog posts, RSS feed, etc.

My entire blog setup in one sentence: is powered by Ghost (theme: FineBits), hosted on PikaPods and CloudFlare is the domain registrar.

There you go... all DONE ✌️

🎀 Drop πŸ’₯

I highly recommend the Ghost blogging platform. Choosing Ghost as my platform 4 years ago was the right decision for me. Kudos πŸ‘ to my past self 🌈

Details matter....


Since June 2023, PikaPods has been my preferred host for my blog. Previously hosted on Digital Ocean (and why I left):

Goodbye Digital Ocean
Digital Ocean has served me incredibly well in the last 3 years but like all good things, it’s time to move on. Why I am moving? The MereCivilian blog runs on the Ghost blogging platform which I host with Digital Ocean. For more details, check this out. Three years

PikaPods is a unique hosting service focusing on being a host for open source applications. The most important part for me was PikaPods manages all app updates (usually less than a week of release) for Ghost, thus there is zero maintenance required from my perspective. For each application, they refer them as Pods, there is a monthly fee. For example, if you decide to host NextCloud with PikaPods, it will cost you USD3.30 a month.

My Ghost blog on PikaPods is costing me USD2.91 a month compared to almost USD7 a month for Digital Ocean. It is flexible, so when your needs require more resources, you can update accordingly.

Admin view of my Ghost blog on PikaPods
Resources I use on PikaPods

After almost a year of PikaPods, the following are the two issues I have discovered (none are deal breakers):

  • No automatic backup. PikaPods has backups, but these backups are intended for server wide failures. I am currently conducting manual backups via SFTP for my specific Ghost pod. Digital Ocean did this automatically.
  • A fully managed Ghost provider will also manage emails that your Ghost blog sends to its users. PikaPods is not a fully managed Ghost provider and as such, Mailgun is still required for this. Fortunately, it's not too complicated to set up.

Despite the above, I highly recommend PikaPods as a host for your Ghost blog. It is fantastic. I've experienced two instances where my Ghost Pod was restarted automatically, and in both cases, it was because of high memory usage. I assume this is because of the traffic on the website. In managing this, I increased my memory from 1GB to 2GB. This was such a straightforward upgrade.

Total cost of running this blog per year

  • CloudFlare for domain registrar: USD9 a year
  • PikaPods for hosting: USD35 a year
  • Mailgun: still within the free plan.

TOTAL: $44 a year in 2024 compared to USD82 a year in 2022

Pretty thrilled that the cost of hosting has decreased by almost 50% since I started.


A brief history of themes used on this site:

I am eagerly awaiting FineBits to support dark mode. Other than that, the theme is fantastic.

I humbly thank you for reading my blog πŸ™

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