I like GitHub. I use it to host my public repositories and I like what it has done for both Git (making it the de facto version control system) and the open source movement (made it easy for people across the world to collaborate on open source projects for free). But as a lone developer who currently manages 41 (and counting) private repos. across two accounts, it would cost me $100 per month to host them on GitHub.
BitBucket, on the other hand, since it added support for Git, does everything that GitHub does, but charges according to number of users on each repo., and seeing as each repo gets 5 (or up to 8 if you refer people) users for free, I’d be throwing my money away if I didn’t use them.
At the time of writing my Dropbox account has 23 GBs of free storage, of which I’m using just under 80%. This is quite a bit more than the 2 GBs of free storage you start with, but if you know how, it’s quite possible to get this much (if not more) with relative ease.
Google Apps (Free)
Google Apps is a great way of having a Gmail account on your own domain name. Sure, it’s possible (via a series of email forwards, aliases, additional reply to settings, et al) to sort of do this with a regular Gmail account, but Google Apps is much more fluid, and provided you don’t set-up more than 10 mailboxes on your domain, it’s totally free. (I plan on writing a full review of Google Apps at some point in the future, so watch this space).
Basecamp (Budget package @ $20/month)
Since it’s recent rebuild, Basecamp has gone from strength to strength. I used to use Asana for my project management needs, which is free for up to 30 collaborative members, but Basecamp, which allows me unlimited collaborative members across ten active (and unlimited inactive) projects, just works better.
(Pro @ £28.89/month)
I think this is a very reasonable rate for what I get: 14 meg download speed, a static IP, unlimited downloads, and telephone line rental. I’m tempted to go for a fibre optic connection in my next flat, but I’m happy with this for now.
Hetzner (X2 Dedicated Server @ €29.00/month)
Up until around a year ago I was more than happy using JustHost. I had a 50% off discount code (50OFF), and paid two years in advance, meaning that hosting all my websites cost me less than £2 per month – but this was holding back my development. Since setting up my dedicated server (a local development server with the same set-up) I’ve learnt a lot about server management, Bash, Git, Apache, BIND, Samba, and so much more (even if I did get hacked in the process).
Backup script (Free)
Using a slightly modified version of a script created by Gina Trapani, both of my servers automatically create a backup, which is saved to my Dropbox account, at midnight every day. I mention this only as Chris pays $40 a month per site for for a backup solution called VaultPress.
In a similar vein to the backup script above, whereas Chris spends $15 a month to use Beanstalk to deploy his Git-based projects, on projects where I don’t have SSH access to the server, I use a simple Bash script written by René Moser.
Font Squirrel (Free)
If you’re looking for a custom font to use on a website you can’t go far wrong looking for it on Font Squirrel. Not only do they have over 800 (and counting) font families available, each of which is 100% free for commercial use, but they also provide all the tools you need to make them work. Move over Typekit, Font Squirrel got it covered.
Orange (Panther 26 @ £32.35/month)
Although not strictly needed for my job, my Android-powered mobile phone lets me keep connected on the move.
Unlike my previous post – which said that even though I was paid a fraction of his start-up costs, I still had all the same abilities as him – this post tells a slightly different story.
Like my previous post, I’ve listed various free alternatives to services that Chris pays for, but on a number of occasions, while the free alternative is OK, you get more for your money with Chris’s option.
For example, I’ve got 23 GBs of free storage on Dropbox, but it has cost me time and effort to amass that amount, which I did by testing beta editions of the software, linking my university account and around four years of referrals.
Also quite telling is what I don’t have on my list, such as the lack of CDN services – although It could be argued that none of my sites need it (I get nowhere near the levels of traffic that Chris gets) – or accounts/invoicing – I don’t have enough freelance clients to make this a necessity currently.
Anyway, all in all, just under £100 is leaving my account each month. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some more freelance clients in the near future, and this amount can go up as I pay for more services, but in the meantime, I think this is pretty reasonable.