Disclaimer: Due to the nature of changing requirements for all sorts of apps, this page is subject to heavy change. While a lot of software requires not much more than a shared webhost, some do require a root server or VPS, and that will be reflected in this page. If you feel the information here is outdated, don’t be shy to drop me a note so I can update it.
While it may of course be possible to run your own physical server, 99% of the people will have neither the resources nor the knowledge to do this. So I’m focusing here on using companies providing webspace or servers for you to host your software on (with a little added section about hosting at home using a Raspberry Pi).
For a lot of software, a shared webhosting account will do, if you need something more advanced (like total superuser access to your server), the most affordable option is a VPS, a virtual private server.
It can be overwhelming looking for a server-provider, simply because there are that many out there. What always works well are recommendations from people you trust. I’m not a specialist when it comes to webspace-providers, but I will try to list here those which have gotten good reviews across the board.
If you want to read a bit more in-depth about what to look for in a webspace-provider, read this little article I wrote.
Digital Ocean – For a quickly set up and rather affordable VPS, check out Digital Ocean. They provide so-called Droplets, which are full VPS, with a myriad of possible packages to install with them. Even though the idea of holding reign over your very own server environment seems daunting, the documentation, avid community and great customer service help immensely. (Disclaimer: the link above contains a referral code which, if you click it and then become a customer, will give you 10USD and, once you’ve spent 25USD, will give me 25USD. This would aid me in paying for the droplet this site is hosted on. If you feel uncomfortable doing that, click this link to go to Digital Ocean without using the referral code)
Gandi.net – This “no bullshit” company provides simple webhosting but also VPS. They have servers in Europe and the US.
Uberspace – This German company is actually almost too good to be true. They feature a “pay as much as you want” pricing model and focus on total transparency when it comes to data they collect about their customers. They even let you test their service for free for 30 days. It doesn’t come with an graphical backend as advanced as CPanel, but their own interface is clean and intuitive.
Finally, you can set up a very cheap server in your own home using a Raspberry Pi. It’s a very small, very basic computer, which is also quite extensible. If you like to tinker, you probably own one already.
Most of the software that will run on a VPS will run on a Raspberry Pi as well. All you need is a bit of time, a rather permissive Internet Service Provider and the will to succeed. A good soul has put together a list of software that will run on a Raspberry Pi. Check it out!