Sharing is caring. And we strongly believe in that! So, here we outline the best practices that we have learnt so far during our stint, especially with respect to reducing the operating cost.
Like most other start-ups, we worked in bootstrapped mode for a long time, and so were always under cash crunch! Here are some of the tricks that we have learnt that lets one minimize the expense on infrastructure.
Email Hosting – FREE
We started using hotmail and live but sometime back they stopped offering free email for businesses. We then shifted to Zoho and have had very good experience with them so far. They even have cool Android and iOS App that let’s you check and send mails etc on the go. Really cool. You get 10 users free and have to pay thereafter. But if you really need more users you can set up another similar domain name with them. What’s more, you even get 5 users free for each domain name towards referral. So, in all 30 mail ids to support upto 30 users. Note that 15 of them would be in second domain name so wont look professional for external use.
Free Webhosting with PHP and MYSQL Support – FREE
We were using paid hosting of GoDaddy initially, but it sucked! Later we migrated to AWS Free tier (more on that later). But later we found that one can use hostinger, 000webhost etc. for webhosting. They come for free and allow you to host both static as well as dynamic PHP websites.They even provide free MySQL support!
Free Domain Name Management Platform – FREE
If you are buying domain name from someone like crazydomains, most likely you wont get the Domain Management Tool for free. Do NOT pay for it. Get it for free by third party DNS tools. One of my favorites, that I used for long time is XName.
ECommerce Platform in case you are planning to create the next big Cart – FREE
This one is most amazing. I needed this and on searching found OpenCart to be best suited for my needs. Simple, easy to understand and with a bit of help from Google, easy to implement too. I was able to implement a fully functional ecom website with sliders etc with it. Really good, especially since it’s free.
Domain Name – NOT FREE, Sorry
This is one thing that you will need to pay, sorry. But the cost is minimal, esp if you register domain name for just 1 year. I will suggest to go for dot in domain names as they are specific to India (helps from SEO perspective I think) and also cheaper.
AWS Free Tier – FREE
AWS Free Tier, as the name suggests is available for free for a full period of 12 months. It offers a full suite of products needed to operate a prototype/testing stage website and even one where the usage does not exceed 10,000 pages daily. You get scalable server with enough computing capacity (EC2), storage space (S3), MySQL or other DB support (RDS / DynamoDB) etc. Needless to say, it offers the most flexibility, off the alternatives available for Free.
That’s it guys! That should cover most of your requirements to set up a fully functional dot com for prototyping/testing stage.
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