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To support the #indieweb, we need better web hosting.

I'm finding it fascinating to hear about the ways people host their websites. We're living in a world where professional hosting has been eaten by "the cloud": virtualized servers arguably rule, supported by tools like Docker and platforms like Amazon Web Services.

Yet personal hosting has not kept pace. Here, hosts like Dreamhost, Nearly Free Speech and (sigh) GoDaddy maintain a much older style of technology stack: virtual hosts, configured using tools like cPanel, which typically support PHP and MySQL. Geekier site owners might choose to set their site up on GitHub or S3, but these only support static page assets. Generally speaking, if you want to set up an app based on Rails, node.js or even Python, with a Postgres or NoSQL backend, you're kind of screwed if you don't have much technical knowledge, or if you only want to pay the $5 a month you'll lay down at many shared hosts.

One of the things communities like the need to support their efforts is much better hosting. Projects like Johannes Ernst's Indie Box solve adjacent problems in innovative ways, but there's certainly a market for easy to use hosts which support a wider array of back-end technologies in a way that allows non-developers to get up and running quickly. Yes, centralized services are an important part of this solution space (if they're built in a way that is respectful to their users), but there's a self-hosted middle ground, too.