Should I move my Blog to Google App Engine?
Over the years, I've written (and re-written) many blog engines with the intention of hosting my blog on my own code. I'm a programmer, that's what we do. We don't like the thought of other people writing our HTML!
If you've been following my blog over the last twelve months, you'll probably know what my language/framework of choice would be when writing a web app, based on my previous posts...
- ASP.NET MVC HandleError Attribute, Custom Error Pages and Logging Exceptions
- Using OpenID in your ASP.NET MVC Application/Blog
- Reducing Duplicate Content with ASP.NET MVC
As a .NET developer by trade, I'm experienced with C#, .NET, ASP.NET MVC etc. and it's always been the logical choice. There's nothing I like to write more than C#/.NET
So why are you hosted on Blogger?
An interesting question :) Unfortuantely the answer is not interesting. The answer is simply: Hosting. Windows hosting is a pain in the ass. I've had many bad Windows hosts that have dodgy control panels, poor performance or a lack of required features. Most of this is addressed with IIS 7 because we can now do most things via XML config files, but it still leaves one issue: Price. Prices seem to vary wildly, and it's such a pain to set up that I'm often put off signing up in case it turns out to be a lemon. This is the reason I have a fully working .NET MVC blog engine ready to roll in my Documents folder that's never made it to the big cloud in the sky.
What about Azure?
A few months ago I was really excited about Azure. It looked ideal for what I wanted, and looking at how EC2 is priced, I suspected it would be cheap if you're only getting a few hundred visitors per day. Then Microsoft announced the prices... To run a no-to-low traffic blog would cost more than getting a virtual server! On top of that, it seemed quite hacky to get MVC working, and it's still only in preview.
Enter, Google App Engine
While playing around in Google Wave, I downloaded the Google App Engine SDK and had a play. While Python isn't exactly my language of choice (I've never written it before!), it struck me as quite a good deal. Five million page views per month... for free! It's hosted on Google's infrastructure and scales well, and there's no way I'd hit those limits anytime soon.
So, now I'm having thoughts... Do I become a hacky Python programmer, putting aside all the .NET experience I have, for free hosting with Microsoft's biggest competitor?
If anyone has any experience with running blogs on Google App Engine, I'd be very interested in hearing from them. Should I run with it, or should I stop being tight-fisted and just pay for some Windows hosting?
To be continued!