Oh wow this feels fresh and new!
I moved my website to a different server! It’s nothing I haven’t done before aka trying out different shared hosting plans. Except this time I have my own (VPS – Virtual Private Server) server. Having your own server is nothing new. You could always rent space at a data center but that’s always been expensive! Besides I’ve never needed that amount of resources since my sites are low traffic.
But nowadays VPS service providers are more common and affordable. I think it’s also because it’s a virtual server and not an actual machine that makes it more accessible. Even then we are talking about actually managing a machine that runs linux which you have to configure as a web server and everything that goes along with it such as security patches, firewalls, stacks, etc. So no it’s that easy. Unless you do what I did which is use a control panel that helps you manage the server. It’s called ServerPilot.io (referral link)
Let’s take a step back and see why I did it.
Usually a shared host is ok for most people. It’s essentially a managed server you are sharing with hundreds of other sites. These providers bank on you not really using the resources so they cram as many websites onto each server. Thus in the end making things a bit slower or unreliable. Because what happens to the other sites might affect you as well.
What prompted me to change hosting providers was when Google announced that it would give preferential treatment to sites who used SSL in other words sites that provide a secure communication (that little green lock in your address bar). The cool thing is that with Let’s Encrypt you can now have a free SSL certificate that auto-renews. So why not have one in if it’s free!
Unfortunately the host I was using at the time “A Small Orange” did not allow me to use a free certificate from .
After doing some research and coming across Tania Rascia’s article on her Front End Development Setup where she mentions her webhost I decided to use the same. NearlyFreeSpeech is webhost that is ver low cost, you have to do some work and they allowed the free Let’s Encrypt SSL I was wanting.
I set it all up after going through their documentation and some terminal use! Ok cool and I started to write some stuff. It was ok since it was low cost but boy was it laggy. As someone who likes speed that really bothered me. Then there was the hassle of having to deal with their really tight security measures which made making changes to the wordpress side of things a bit tedious aka slow. In the end I decided something more responsive would be better. That’s where DigitalOcean (referral link) came in. I could have a VPS for: $5 a month that provided me with a dedicated amount of RAM, CPU, SSD, and Bandwidth. Yes something snappy!
Now I could have just used Cloudflare as a CDN (Content Delivery Network – they serve your webpage from the closest area that it’s requested from for speed purposes). But that wouldn’t have eliminated the slowness and tediousness of the backend admin panels.
So now I have a new home and it’s great time to look into optimizing performance for WordPresss and my static site. The speed difference is night and day already but why not learn how to optimize things anyways!
Oh and yes I also have the SSL certificate I wanted. 🙂