When I started this site a few months ago, I wrote about trying out DigitalOcean’s “One Click” WordPress install to get a droplet quickly set up with the required LEMP stack. I also noted some performance and security concerns long term, so I’ve been thinking about a different hosting provider.
I wanted somewhere that offers a decent amount of control, so that I can try out new things without running into limitations, but that was also cost effective, as this is only my personal site which doesn’t require much in the way of resources. I listen to a few podcasts about web development and heard about Cloudways on PHPUgly. It seemed like a good value managed server package, and I could choose to use a DigitalOcean droplet, so I knew the speed of the server would be what I’m used to.
Once you have a server set up, you can deploy as many apps / sites as you would like (resources permitting of course), so this also gives room to spin up sites to experiment with or try out ideas.
I was really impressed with the migration process. Despite the fact that WordPress is very portable and pretty straight forward to move to a new server, the migrator plugin that Cloudways provide made the process even easier and meant I had a version on a temporary domain very quickly. Then it was just a case of updating a few settings and the DNS and the site was switched over.
The move has addressed the performance issues I saw on the one click method (this site is now running better on a lower spec droplet) and also benefits from a managed server package that will keep on top of security updates and provides an easy interface to manage the server and sites.
Although not as cheap as rolling your own droplet, there are some other nice benefits such as Varnish being installed and ready to go and Cloudway’s own CDN and caching plugin available if you want to use them.
When I get around to updating this site with an optimized theme, I will also look at the git deployment options provided.