The Future of this Blog

It might be a little hasty of me to try and figure out the future of this blog given that I restarted posting here only two days ago, but there are some things that I find restrictive about sites:

  • the inability to have a full \LaTeX implementation. The default \LaTeX only comes with the amsmath, amsfonts and amssymb installed and that is not likely to be enough in the long run. On the other hand, WP QuickLaTeX, for, provides fully featured \LaTeX, including support for TikZ and pgfplots, which I find extremely impressive.
    In addition, because of the multi-user (multi-tenancy) nature of WP blogs, no custom Javascript can be part of a blog. Among other things, this means that Mathjax for rendering math is not an option either;
  • for the same reason as above, that is, the lack of custom Javascript on blogs, it is not possible to use Google Analytics tracking on websites

So, over the next couple of days, I will be evaluating a couple of options to move this site back to self-hosted, including:

  • GoDaddy
  • FatCow
  • Bluehost
  • dedicated AWS instance

I am not a big fan of the hosting providers because I always feel confused by their hosting plans and the control panels that they offer to customers — it is like learning a whole new system just to be able to host a website with that hosting provider. The other thing that worries me about hosting services like GoDaddy is that their business practices are not always transparent — they tend to have hidden costs, auto-renewals built in, and also clauses that do not allow domain names to be easily applied to sites hosted elsewhere. This might be FUD, but removing it would need a substantial amount of investment in reading up and finding out all the pitfalls of hosting services like GoDaddy.

However, given that all I plan to do is to only host a WordPress blog, I feel that going the AWS route might be too costly. I also know that if I go the AWS route, then I will be tempted to move the entire site to Django or Flask, and that is not a time and effort investment I want to make right now. Even so, setting up and maintaining a wordpress blog on AWS takes some work, and is not costly. There is the option of reserving an instance for a year at $0.009 an hour, but that would be a t2.micro instance, and I am not sure that it would suit the purpose of serving up a website. There are some options if you want to get rid of a reserved instance mid-way through its tenure, and also there is the possibility of upgrading an instance if the load becomes too high, but both of those options require work.

So I think I will sleep on this decision for a few days. I am not going to be making a decision on this until one of GoDaddy or FatCow provides me with an email discount coupon anyway, which they do without fail every month.

This blog used to be previously called Large Deviations, and was self-hosted, although I also like Information Matrix and Random Measures as names for a blog that is largely focused on statistics and data science.


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