In an effort to consolidate and scale back my system administration duties, I'm trying Cloudron.

Cloudron is "A complete solution for managing apps & users on your own server"

For years I've managed my own apps and servers on various VPS hosting instances. It's not hard, but it is an occasional pain. Every server and app is different and requires maintance, updates, and attention.

I've been consolidating my internet "stuff" and Cloudron has so far helped a great deal with the effort. It offers one-click installs of many (50+) web apps, all on a single instance. It does this via a bunch of Docker trickery, but the experience so far has been surprisingly pleasant.

I've installed instances of Ghost, Matomo, Gitea, Monica, and Lychee so far. Each of these is automatically configured for me, including SSL, DNS, Backups, and updates. I just click "Install", tell it which subdomain I want it available on, and there it is.

Cloudron can be easily installed using a pre-configured DigitalOcean Droplet.

There's a cost here. To install more than 2 apps from the Cloudron "App Store" it costs $30/month. At first I thought that was a bit steep, but considering that most of the apps I'm using have paid hosted options, and Cloudron makes it almost as easy as those paid options, I'm thinking it's a fair price. Ghost alone would cost me $60/month for them to host my two Ghost sites for me. I'm capable of doing it myself, and have, but using Cloudron is much easier.

I also pay $20/month for the DigitalOcean droplet, putting my total at $60/month (including instance backups).

As an alternative, here are the monthly hosted pricing tiers for the apps I've installed so far.

  • Ghost, $60 ($30 per site, I have 2 so far)
  • Matomo, $21
  • Monica,  $9

I'm sure I'll install more as I go. Just look at this partial list of available apps.

At this point, I'm way ahead. Also, everything is on a server I control.