GoToSocial needs a domain name, and a server to run on, either a homeserver in your house, or a cloud server.
Server / VPS
The system requirements for GoToSocial are fairly minimal: for a single-user instance with about 100 followers/followees, it uses somewhere between 50 to 100MB of RAM. CPU usage is only intensive when handling media (encoding blurhashes, mostly) and/or doing a lot of federation requests at the same time.
These light requirements mean GtS runs pretty well on something like a Raspberry Pi (a €40 single-board computer). It's been tested on a Raspberry Pi Zero W as well (a €9 computer smaller than a credit card), but it's not quite able to run on that. It should run on a Raspberry Pi Zero W 2 (which costs €14!), but we haven't tested that yet.
If you have an old laptop or a dusty desktop lying around that you're not using anymore, it will probably be a perfect candidate for running GoToSocial.
If you decide to use a VPS instead, you can just spin yourself up something cheap with Linux running on it.
Hostwinds is a good option here: it's cheap and they throw in a static IP address for free.
Greenhost is also great: it has zero co2 emissions, but is a bit more costly.
For ports, you should leave
443 is used for https requests to GoToSocial, and
80 is used for LetsEncrypt certification verification.
If you can't leave
80 open on the machine, don't worry! You can configure these ports in GoToSocial, but you'll have to also configure port forwarding to properly forward traffic on
80 to whatever ports you choose.
To run a GoToSocial server, you also need a domain name, and it needs to be pointed towards your VPS or homeserver.
Namecheap is a good place to do this, but you can use any domain name registrar that lets you manage your own DNS.