It's surprisingly easy (and cheap) to run your own Mastodon server:

1: register a domain. I used Cloudflare to register

2: install mastodon - I used the one-click digital ocean app at ~$12 per month [1]

3: add DNS A record for droplet IP on your domain

4: ssh into the droplet and go through the guided setup

5: configure an SMTP server for emails - I used with an app-specific password [2]

6: enable Full SSL on Cloudflare [3]

7: administer mastodon [4]


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There are some delays of course, it takes a while for new DNS records to propagate and there will potentially be issues with Let's Encrypt validating the host cert once Cloudflare SSL is enabled. I'll find out in three months 😅

@simon I've been wondering if it would be possible to build a small instance using Cloudflare workers

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