A few things precipitated the move from Amazon Web Services to Google Cloud Platform.
I don’t really like Amazon that much, and whilst supporting or using big businesses generally comes with its own variety of issues, I do prefer Google to Amazon.
My web hosting went downhill rather dramatically. I could have possibly worked with them to solve the issues, but none of it should have happened in the first place. Requesting to be moved internally would have fixed my issue, but old vulnerable servers were still being used for paying customers. Their position on SSL was ‘good luck or pay up’ and after the PHP portion kept getting hacked I decided let’s sort out the services remaining on traditional web hosting and go fully cloud.
The biggest immediate motivator was the 1 year free portion of AWS running out, and whilst you only get charged for what you use, the formerly free bit was more expensive than the afore-mentioned hosting. If you do want to stick with AWS after the trial period, their Lightsail packages are eminently affordable and quite tempting, but I did want to move away from Amazon rather than onto one of their cheaper services.
Google Cloud does not offer free Plesk services like I was using on Amazon and I kind of wanted to get used to how it works now – relying more on instances and less on management consoles. So I thought I’d give Google Deployments and Bitnami images a go. Google Deployments didn’t have SSL by default and seemed to require config changes to set that up, so I gave up in favour of Bitnami eventually setting on what I thought would be the easiest to maintain – stock WordPress on Bitnami. Doubly important because I was going to set up my partner’s website on a separate instance this time, but don’t want to multiply the work.
More importantly of course, Google’s Cloud Platform free tier instance is free forever.
All previous email addresses now go to one single account, and the one thing I’ve kept around from Amazon is I’m using Amazon SES (Simple Email Service) for just sending. It isn’t free, but costs 1¢ per 100 emails a month. And I don’t send a 100 emails a month. I’ve seen other alternatives, so I can switch at my convenience. And really web and mail was all I used the hosting for.
So I’m now on a free server once more.