Not everyone lives in a situation where they can run servers or have hardware running 24 hours, 7 days a week. Sometimes we take for granted and forget about how lucky we are to live in an area with gigabit speed internet for example. Or, perhaps your ISP blocks certain ports you need to get an application running.
For those who love the idea of self hosting but don't have the means to start a homelab, you can still harness the abilities and run the applications you love.
PikaPods is an all in one solution to use open source applications with a push of a button. From the same company that brought you Borgbase, PikaPods is aimed at a slightly less technically advanced crowd. So let's take a look and see just how easy this really is to get your favorite applications online.
PikaPods lets you choose from their list of open source applications (which is always growing) and deploy it with a click of a button. It really is that simple. It takes all the guess work out for you and allows you to be super lazy for a small fee.
PikaPods Price Model
The cost you pay depends completely on the application you choose to run. From as little as $1 a month upward. This is based on the amount of CPU, Memory and Disk space required for your application. You provision it yourself so you can set the cost you pay each month. What's even better? Open source developers can apply to get a commission from their application if it is added to PikaPods.
Open source developers have the option to enter into a revenue sharing agreement to received 10-15% of revenues their app generates. If you are interested in using PikaPods as hosting option for your project, please get in touch with PikaPods!
This really makes it an easier decision when spending money with a 3rd party company. Giving back to the developers is a great way to help keep open source applications sustainable and moving forward.
Hosting Uptime Kuma on Pikapods
I chose to setup an instance of Uptime Kuma to monitor the uptime of Noted.lol. Having this hosted 3rd party is in my opinion a must. It will cost approximately $1.40 per month to run the pod with the provided provisioned specs. However, the folks over at PikaPods were nice enough to give me some credit. In return I will share my unbiased opinion of the services they provide.
Adding a Custom Domain
PikaPods has an option to use your own custom domain too. Just toggle the option and setup a CNAME in your DNS dashboard. I use Cloudflare so this was a breeze. Just make sure if you are using Cloudflare, not to proxy the record. PikaPods gives you the CNAME record you can just paste into your dashboard.
From here I can launch the pod and setup the Uptime Kuma application just like it's being hosted on my own server. Just click the button to launch the application from the PikaPods dashboard.
If you dont want to use a custom domain name, PikaPods will assign a random generated sub domain from their system for your application. You can use this domain to access your application any time, anywhere.
You can try out PikaPods and get a free $5 credit. There's no affiliate link to click or anything like that. Just head over to pikapods.com, sign up and you will get the $5 credit on your account automatically.
Final Notes and Thoughts
My honest and humble opinion on this service is it is fantastic. PikaPods does a great job at holding your hand through the setup process of your application with small info blocks that tell you what to do. I was blown away at how easy this was to setup, provision and roll out to a public facing application. It took all of 5 minutes to get it all going, and most of that was waiting for PikaPods to assign a SSL certificate to my custom domain.
It really made me rethink how I view 3rd party application hosting solutions, and we know there are no shortage of those. Competitors like Heroku, Digital Ocean and Netlify to name a few. At some point, I would love to do a comparison on them.
While I am a true homelab trooper, using PikaPods for services like Uptime Kuma to monitor websites is a brilliant solution. And who's to say some day I may not be in the position to run all of the hardware I have? And if I am in that position, I will most certainly be looking at PikaPods.