Over the years I've accumulated a bunch of digital assets, and while most of those are things that I can keep using (effectively) forever, some of them keep costing me money whether I'm using them or not.
A big category for me (and maybe you if you're anything like me) are domains and web servers that run little services. They don't cost a ton on their own, but they add up, so today I went through my domains and servers and decided what stays and what goes.
birchtree.meobviously lives on, and it's the only domain on this list I fully expect to own for my whole life if I can.
quickbinlookup.comis low-key my most successful side hustle but I don't really talk about it. Google for "BIN lookup" and it's going to be one of the first results (if not the first one).
birchtree.blogis getting retired. Apparently it's used by my micro.blog account that I haven't used in years. This will expire in May 2024.
mattbirchler.comis sticking around, but I'm redirecting it (see servers section). Apparently I'm also using this for my Bluesky verification, so I guess I should keep it for that too...just in case.
abetterghost.comis getting retired. This was a site I made when I just began doing YouTube and thought a series of videos about self-hosting Ghost would be a good series, and a Ghost blog to send people to would be nice as well. Turns out that's not what I want to maintain, so the videos are now unlisted and the site is down as of today.
birchtree.xyzis getting retired. This was what I used for my newsletter email domain, but I don't do the newsletter anymore and don't plan on doing it anytime soon.
quickreviews.appsticks around as I still use this webpage every week, and a small, but growing number of other people do as well.
mattisntfeeling.socialis getting retired and was never used. I bought this before realizing that the below domain was better for my Mastodon server.
isfeeling.socialis my Mastodon server name, so it's sticking around.
All in all, that's:
- 5 domains sticking around, costing $112/year in renewal fees
- 4 domains going away, saving me $99 per year in renewal fees
Cutting my domain renewal costs nearly in half feels pretty great.
I run all my web servers on DigitalOcean, which I think has a great mix of pricing, performance, and UIs for managing things. This list will line up relatively well with the domains section above, but is a bit shorter.
- Birchtree will carry on, of course
- Quick BIN Lookup will also carry on
- Quick Reviews will as well
- My custom portfolio site is migrating to an OMG.LOL page (mattbirchler.com will redirect there soon) and the server will be killed as soon as I do the DNS updates
- A Better Ghost is gone
In terms of cost, we've gotta switch to monthly:
- Birchtree and the 2 "Quick" sites combined cost $27/month
- The two servers removed save me $20/month
- OMG.LOL costs about $1.66/month
Overall, that's $18.34 saved per month.
Overall Cost Benefits
Our final numbers are pretty amazing for just a few minute's work (this blog post took longer to do than making these changes) I'm saving myself $319 over the course of the year. That's not "change my life" money, but it's not nothing, and it's the same as cancelling like 3 streaming services, which ain't bad.
If you've got a bunch of domains or little servers that you've accumulated over the years, it might be a good idea to check on them and see which are still worth your investment.