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Jekyll’s cost
2016-03-17 19:00
2016-03-17 15:00
Just how cheap is it to host a static Jekyll site? Costs start at $0.
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$1.58 cost chart for February 2016
A recent monthly estimate for a few small websites hosted on AWS. This goes up and down a bit depending on use (especially because I also use S3 for backing up files).

Chatting with Michael Lee about my [previous post on what Jekyll is and why I use it]({% post_url 2016-03-16-consider-jekyll %}), I realized more should be said about how affordable static sites can be. From my own experience, here are some cost estimates for hosting a small site (in US dollars):

  • GitLab Pages: completely free, allow Jekyll plugins, SSL on custom domains, and auto-deploy with Gitlab-CI.
  • GitHub Pages: completely free (fewer Jekyll Ruby plugins allowed than a normal Jekyll deployment, but enables automatic deploying).
  • Amazon S3: starting at $0.03 to a few dollars per month for higher traffic (rate depends on usage). 1
  • S3 with Route53 for DNS routing: starting at $0.53 to a few dollars per month.
  • S3, Route53 and CloudFront: starting at $0.70 to a few dollars per month. My own site costs around $1.50 per month with this setup in early 2016.
  • Shared hosting: estimated ~$5-20 per month (often a bare minimum for a dynamic site).
  • VPS or “cloud” hosting: variable, can be as low as $5 per month (and there is really no upper limit, as with everything virtualized or “cloudy”). One might want to look into an option like this for a dynamic site.

Without advocating for any other particular services (since I haven’t used enough of them myself to report accurately), there are a variety of other deployment options, since Jekyll does not have specific requirements for serving. As always, it depends on your need. But if your needs are minimal, static sites are very cheap to run.

{% assign image = page.image[0] %} {% include block/image.html class="image screenshot" %}

I chose S3 with Route53 and CloudFront for its acceptable cost, high reliability, and flexibility in deployment (like setting up secure TLS with a fast CloudFront CDN).


  1. Check out Amazon’s cost calculator for a detailed breakdown of how much AWS offerings cost. In general, ignore the “free usage tier” – it does not cover much and it runs out after only a year. If you’re self-hosting or doing business, plan past the short term.