The duality of managing your own website server

By admin
The duality of managing your own website server


Six years ago
DATE

I got tired of running my blog on a shared hosting due to downtimes and I decided to move it to a

Digital Ocean
LOC

droplet. Back then a droplet was

5 dollars
MONEY

and

a couple of cents
MONEY

for each

Snapshot
PRODUCT

. For all those

six years
DATE

it ran smoothly and I had complete control of all the settings and no downtime.

But it was an Ubuntu 16 server and somehow would not update to

18
CARDINAL

and beyond. It became deprecated. I could of course just keep it, my website was running just fine. But I knew I could not keep it forever on

16
CARDINAL

without eventual security risks. After consulting

Digital Ocean
ORG

support, this time I created a new droplet using their

LAMP
ORG

setup. For clarity, I created a

1GB
QUANTITY

RAM droplet, just like the old one.

Once created I installed phpmyadmin to move my database and replicated my

WordPress
ORG

website. Once I made sure my website was set up right I switched over the domain and added Let’s Encrypt SSL. And then the headache started, the droplet would crash. Turns out the

MySQL
ORG

server was using

40%
PERCENT

memory. When I turned it off the droplet used

50%
PERCENT

memory with nothing running on it but

Digital Ocean’s
ORG


LAMP
ORG

stack.

I created a support ticket which didn’t help at all. The support engineers don’t read and just kept parroting back if I restarted the server, did I run ‘top’ command to see? No matter how many times I repeated that I run a tiny blog and that even with the blog turned off the server memory was out of control. I lost count of how many screenshots I sent them. Then the last reply from them was to just upgrade to

2GB
QUANTITY

memory. Which I did because I was bone tired of trying to figure out why it was using all the memory.

Why

Digital Ocean
ORG

for a tiny

WordPress
ORG

blog?

Someone asked me on

Mastodon
PERSON

why I don’t just use shared hosting for a small weblog. Shared hosting has become very expensive and most if not almost all of them assume you run a weblog with

more than 5000
CARDINAL

visitors a month. And also downtimes, because more websites are on the server.

I fall in this niche category that I want a good and stable backend for my website. It’s my visiting card. I don’t blog a lot and when I do it doesn’t get

thousands
CARDINAL

of hits. I don’t really promote my blog posts except for a couple of social media shares. I also have an archive of blog posts going back to

2003
DATE

when I started blogging. Those are set on private but they are part of this website.

It’s also comforting to me that I can just SSH into my droplet and add a

PHP
ORG

extension or fine-tune

Apache
PRODUCT

or whatever. Instead of going through shared hosting support. And boy did I learn a lot about running a

LAMP
ORG

stack from the command line.

At

the end of the day
DATE

, I am paying

12 dollars
MONEY

for a droplet. It runs very fast and smoothly for now that I upgraded to

2GB
QUANTITY

memory. But the whole

Digital Ocean
LOC

support experience left me with a sour taste. So I’m keeping my eyes open for other hosting options in the same price range, one that includes server management.

A selection of screenshots


Screnshot of ‘htop
WORK_OF_ART

’ results. Screnshot of ‘htop’ results. Screnshot of ‘htop’ results.

Query Monitor
ORG

plugin confirming my

WordPress
ORG

site barely uses any resources.

Query Monitor
ORG

plugin confirming my

WordPress
ORG

site barely uses any resources.

Query Monitor
ORG

plugin confirming my

WordPress
ORG

site barely uses any resources. The funky mysql server doesn’t even show my database. The funky mysql server doesn’t even show my database. The funky mysql server doesn’t even show my database.

My screenshot folder is full of these. There is still something not right with the memory use. But I guess I’ll make do now with the

2GB
QUANTITY

memory and think of another solution later on.