Finally, all sites migrated to DigitalOcean successfully! They were suffocated in HostGator and BlueHost servers. Shocking, is it?
Well, that’s the news, but who cares?
What obviously interests you is the reason behind. What triggers you more to take action should be the benefits ahead. What pays off is the information that helps you make better decisions.
What I’ll discuss in this post:
- Why I decided to switch to DigitalOcean from HostGator and BlueHost hostings?
- Why I choose DigitalOcean to host my WordPress sites?
- How I did the migration myself!
Switching from HostGator to DigitalOcean
After the news, there arises an immediate question: shared hosts like HostGator, BlueHost been over?
Well, shouldn’t be that rude! They are doing their business good. They make it possible even for non-techie folks to reach out the world for some money they can afford. They have good servers and excellent support team. I used HostGator for several years and owe a huge bucket of thanks. Then, what drove me to look for other options now?
Dare to adventure managing servers
Managed hosting experience strengthen my limbs. Now I dare to install and configure operating systems, web server software and databases. Probably, this new acquired courage opened up the gate to defy the unmanaged servers now.
Frequent downtime due to resource hunger
Hosting all blogs in single account is always at risk. The scenario gets worsen when you can’t manage that server. I’m been victim of spam attacks (as the support team said) repeatedly and each time all of my blogs were down. After that, what remains is to wait for the support team to respond your ticket. HostGator support used to be the best but in later days, you know how it degraded.
WordPress is already ponderous on servers and to make the scene more interesting, there are numerous essential and efficient plugins. It may appear ridiculous but many hosts advise not to use SEO and Analytical plugins as they consume heavy resources. But, as a blogger, we know how important they are, don’t we?
Porn sites sharing same IP address
My shared account was hosted in Texas servers and someone can host porn site with same IP address as mine. It’s not illegal to run such sites as per the state law.
But, what’s the consequence to your site standing by side of such fame?
Check which other sites are hosted on your IP address :-http://www.yougetsignal.com/tools/web-sites-on-web-server/
Flexibility and Scalability
Once you learn the newer technologies and the added benefits you could reap off, but you also learned that it’s not for you because someone else manages the server, what’s the solution?
Nginx, FastCGI, server level caching, auto backup to remote server with many other features and optimization, I learned I can do it but not with shared hosting of HostGator!
Shared hosting are good enough till you don’t know anything about hosting and managing servers. They can be a good starting point but for how long?
Why I settled on DigitalOcean?
After doing some research, my quest for a reliable host rested on DigitalOcean. Unbelievably I’d found something that would wipe off my woes. Bet, you’ll be tempted immediately to learn the benefits:
Hard to believe, but hosting your blogs with DigitalOcean is most economical. I paid $120/year for a Baby account in HostGator that failed to hold my three blogs – PS Exam, ICT Trends and Bivori.
You can start with $5/month (That’ll make $60/year) for your blog. If you need to add more blogs or find current resource is becoming insufficient, you can always pay a little more. $10/month will give you 1 Core Processor, 1GB RAM, 30 GB SSD disk and 2 TB transfer bandwidth. Similarly, we have options to increase to $20, $40, $80, $160, $320, $480, $640 per month.
One more point to note is that DigitalOcean charges you in per hour basis. If you host only for 10 days in any month, you’ll pay only for those 10 days!
In my case, because I already had 3 blogs to migrate, I started with $10/month plan. Now, all those 3 blogs enjoy the robust servers but the uses is still below what I’d expected. I hope the spare resource will be sufficient for future growth of these sites.
The beauty of unmanaged VPS – full control. I no longer need to wait for ticket response. I can destroy everything whenever I wish! LOL!
As you have full-control, you’ve got full responsibilities too! You can’t swear to anybody if anything happened!
But relax! We have huge number of tutorials, solid documentation and active community for any beginner to gear up!
I knew almost nothing about Linux. Installing and configuring Nginx was the story never heard. Thanks to the DigitalOcean tutorials that guided me step by step to bring up a live WordPress blog. I bet you can start your blog with those tutorials and gradually learn to optimize different aspects in due course.
Now, I’m free from accepting whatever your host offers. I can pick the best software. I can cut off all those overheads that does little or nothing to run my blogs.
Almost all of the shared hosts provide LAMP platform (Linux, Apache, MySql and PHP). They always have generic kind of configurations so that it is suitable for any customer, any purpose. But in case of DigitalOcean Droplet (that what DO says for it’s instance of VPS) I have flexibility to choose Linux (choose among it’s various flavors), Nginx (no more Apache. Nginx is light, fast and efficient than Apache), MariaDB (much better than MySql) and PHP (with Fast CGI). I can configure the server so that it is better optimized for WordPress.
Plus, I can ignore the software that do not play important role to run my blogs. Currently I’ve installed Ubuntu, Web Server, Database Server, PHP and PHPMyAdmin – that’s all, nothing else! I may install two more software to handle email accounts if I feel necessary in future.
Dedicated IP Address
DigitalOcean assigned a dedicated IP Address for my droplet. There’ll be a new IP Address for each droplet you deploy.
With your own IP Address, you are free from bad-neighbourhood. Free from worries if anyone else is hosting porn sites, spamming, farming or illegal sites.
Convinced? Do you agree that I’m smart enough to choose DigitalOcean over HostGator for my blogs?
How I migrated my WordPress blog to Digital Ocean?
Step 1: Obviously, the first step was to create an account in DigitalOcean. While Googling, I’d learned there was $10 gift for new accounts in DO (DigitalOcean). So, I obtained a referral link from one of my Facebook contact and registered through that link. I had $10 already in my account!
You can use my referral link:(You’ll get $10 and me as well!)
Step 2: Create suitable Droplet
In my case, I selected $10/mo droplet with Singapore region and LEMP on Ubuntu 14.04
Step 3: Initial Server setup
Step 4: Install PHPMyAdmin in newly created droplet
Step 5: Import backup database
Step 6: Import WordPress folder
Thanks to HostGator as it supports SSH connection to pull backup folder server-to-server
That’s pretty easy, isn’t it? However, it is very common to get struck anywhere during installation and configuration especially when you are unaware of Linux commands and the output of command is different than what’s explained in step-by-step tutorials. Don’t worry, you can create and destroy droplets as many times as you please and also you can save the snapshot of your droplet after every successful step.
Hope, you find this post helpful and eager to switch from your shared hosting to DigitalOcean anytime soon!