Like many, I have a few domain names. One thecavedb.com is registered with Amazon Web Services and their Route53 product. I did this back in October 2017 as a bit of a 'toe-in-the-water' type of affair to see how it would work.

I did research of course, and found the following:-

Domain Registration: $12[1]
Hosted Zone: $0.50 per month

At first I didn't know what the 'hosted zone' part was, but it's essentially the cost of having the domains nameservers hosted by AWS. The pricing page says it all

what-is-a-hosted-zone-1-

Still, I factored that in and it came in (exchange rate in Oct 2017) at ~£15.43 for 12 months. This was only a little bit cheaper than 123-reg (which I've been using for years) so I figured for a new site and new registration I'd give it a go.

Fast forward a few months and a couple of AWS monthly invoices have come in and I see an extra charge on my invoice "DNS-Queries".

invoice-1-

Eh? I'm being charged for queries? Well, yes, it's all there in there pricing page under "Standard Queries" at $0.4 per million queries. With my few thousand queries, that equates to $0.01 for this month, so $0.51 for the month.

This went on for a few months, each time it niggled at me that I was paying for domain hosting each month, but hey, it's only a few pence right, so nothing changed

Separatly to all this, Troy Hunt has started blogging more and more about Cloudflare. His blog posts go back years talking about Cloudflare used mainly for caching and optimization of his HaveIBeenPwned service. It was when he really started tweaking every last millisecond out of them for his Pwned Passwords service that I actually looked into it for TheCaveDB.com. I was wondering what kind of performance and caching I could achieve to save bytes hitting my source server (hosted in Google's Cloud - an App Engine app)

Cloudflare offer a number of plans, which start with a free one!

cloudflare-pricing-1-

cloudflare-free-plan-1-

On signing up (no payment details sent!) I had to tell it what domain to route through Cloudflare. I told them and the wizard then imported most of the records for the domain, and told me to change the name servers to Cloudflare's ones. I took the plunge and did just that :)

Once done, I waited a few hours for the TTL's on the DNS records to expire (all the while Shift-F5 refreshing my browser, using different devices to test that things were still working) before removing the hosted zone at AWS. Woohoo! No more monthly hosting costs, caching of my site provided by Cloudflare, all for free!

It's been running like this for a week now and so far there are no issues. I appreciate that my little site is just that - a little site with few users. But it's my hobby project and I find doing things like this interests me


  1. https://d32ze2gidvkk54.cloudfront.net/Amazon_Route_53_Domain_Registration_Pricing_20140731.pdf ↩︎