I want to setup QGIS Server at a low cost for a small user community (mainly me).


  1. Some data is private so something like qgis cloud not an option (not enough money for paid option).

  2. Primarily only me using this for experimentation. Sometimes I would like to share with a few other interested parties who may be scattered around the world.

  3. Maybe one day I come up with something really interesting/useful and would like the option to scale up server capacity quite quickly in case it generates a lot of traffic.

  4. Not too worried about 100% uptime - but equally don't want something that is falling over all the time. Essentially I can cope with the odd outage if it means its cheap.

  5. Needs to be cheap.... ideally free.

  6. Needs to be relatively simple to implement OR with a good tutorial. I have dabbled with this sort of thing before but still get a bit confused with too much server jargon & command line stuff - keen to learn at least!

QGIS server looks ideal because most of my work is in QGIS desktop and I want something that is relatively quick and easy to publish to.

Things I am considering:

  1. Trying to setup QGIS Server on existing shared hostgator server... (but looking unlikely i can get sudo access).
  2. Converting an old laptop into a home server.
  3. Using Amazon EC2.
  4. Try to setup QGIS Server on a bitnami stack and then use their cloud (maybe free option will work here?)
  5. Finding a new low cost host option (could stretch to £10-20 a month at a push as a last resort)

Has anybody else faced a similar scenario? Can you suggest solutions that might work for me?

Many thanks in advance if so....


1 Answer 1


I like DigitalOcean as a host, it's really cheap, like, $5 per month. Super simple web-interface for starting machines, you can add SSH keys to make it secure, it's just right for testing VMs.

I have no affiliation with DigitalOcean.

I can give you $10 referral credits. (Disclaimer, I get something out of it if you continue to use it, see here.)

Once you have a server, you could follow this guide to get it set up.

Depending on what OS you use, you need to get files on the server, you could use github to version-control your files and a workflow there to get stuff up on the server, or you can just use WinSCP or a some other SFTP client.

Finally, when you have projects in QGIS Server, you can use OpenLayers to view them, but Leaflet is easier.

  • worked for me. not sure if I can still give you credit retrospectively as I signed up without going through your referral link in the first instance (thought I would have the opportunity to enter your code). If you know how to do this I will update!
    – washways
    Sep 29, 2014 at 19:32
  • Doesn't matter! Glad it worked out.
    – Alex Leith
    Sep 29, 2014 at 23:44

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