Self hosted vs managed hosting for side projects

This is something I have been thinking a lot lately. Whenever I start working on a new side project, the first thing I do (after coming up with an available domain name) is to setup the landing page for it.

I have used many tools like Carrd, UnicornPlatform, etc. I have been trying to get into the no-code movement, and am even a pro user in Makerpad. But, whenever I build something, I end up scraping it altogether and instead setup a simple wordpress installation and use that.

One recent example was the MarketingDigest newsletter I started last year. The easiest way would have been to start a substack newsletter and post there. And if needed, have a landing page.

But instead I ended up setting up a wordpress site, customizing my theme and creating custom post types to post every day’s emails. I spent a significant time setting it all up whereas a substack option would have been a 5 minute job.

My though process was: I am going to creating a lot of content and I want to be in control of that content. I want the option to control the SEO of the articles, organize them as I see fit. With a managed hosting site, you don’t get to do that.

But the other way to think about it, most side projects fail and if I spend a week to setup the entire site, only to send it to the graveyard after a month, is it even worth the effort? You need to be quick at building and quick to fail.

Even now I am working on a side project and I have created a landing page in Unicorn Platform. But the more I think about it, I think it makes sense to host it on a WordPress or even a Ghost blog.

What do you think? Do you like speed or control for your side projects?

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