With my DreamHost account coming up for renewal in five days, I decided to cut my costs and try out using a Digital Ocean VPS. I tried this earlier in the year, but ran into some problems and decided to switch back. Now I’m giving it a shot again. We’ll see how this goes.
I’ve decided to go back to a shared hosting environment for now with my sites. I just don’t have the time to properly maintain a VPS server. Plus my Dreamhost account is paid up through November. In November I’ll re-evaluate my options.
I’m pleased to announce that my web site / blog now has a new home. I have consolidated my domains from and breakingbrickwalls.net to chris.gonyea.com. Additionally, this is now hosted on a Digital Ocean VPS.
I’ve been blogging now for about 12 years, with archives dating back 10 years. In the past, whenever I wanted to talk about a new subject, I generally just purchased a domain name and setup a new blog.
However this came with a number of downsides:
- Multiple WordPress instances are a pain to administer, especially when there is security and plugin updates.
- I felt like my thoughts were scattered across multiple platforms and not benefiting from being collected and promoted on a single site.
- I found I was far more likely to neglect my sites.
Additionally, since I purchased gonyea.com several years ago, I have been wanting to have chris.gonyea.com be my digital home. This seemed like a great opportunity to consolidate everything. breakingbrickwalls.net and chrisgonyea.com will eventually redirect here, with their archives imported.
Life in the fast lane
I have been less and less impressed with Dreamhost over the years. Their shared hosting seems to be so slow these days. I would wait seconds for WordPress pages to render. There is little control over the server and limitations to what I could do.
Running on a Digital Ocean VPS has been a revelation:
- It’s insanely fast out of the box. Even the WordPress admin pages render in milliseconds it seems.
- I have made the switch over to NGINX, which means even faster rendering and the ability to withstand the single digits of users hitting my site.
- I’ve been able to do snapshots of my server’s configuration so I can instantly revert to it if needed.
- I now have all server transactional email going through Dyn Email Delivery.
- I can now experiment with the server’s configuration and try new tools, expanding my knowledge of administering Linux servers.
So far, so good on this experiment.
A few updates since I last wrote a couple of months ago:
- Been extremely busy at work.
- Site is now running on Dreamhost again (but of course still using DynDNS Custom for DNS) after about a year and a half on my own server. This site should be much faster now and have fewer quirks. I have learned that maintaining an web server is a lot tougher than it looks. Time to leave the server and backend stuff to the experts. I will stick with what I know now, which is running WordPress and configuring my own DNS.
- Reloading my server so it can be a test instance of BIND for me.