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Saving Money and Manning My Own Server. It’s Easier Than You Think.

I now manage a web server and I still don’t have a clue what’s going on.

Who wants cheap hosting? Most everyone does. That’s why we look at Dreamhost, Bluehost, or one of the thousands others that offer dirt cheap plans. The problem with these types of setups is that you’re on a shared server. That means you and probably 100 other sites are all sharing one machine. If any one of you causes problems, or use to many resources, everyone suffers.

DigitalOcean Hosting LogoIf you don’t want shared hosting, you can always host your site yourself and take things into your own hands. It’s a bit scary at first when you stop to think that you have to do everything yourself, but I found DigitalOcean which has great tutorials and I could get my own server for less than what I paid for with shared hosting.

Now, I’m comfortable with the web and I feel I’m decently tech savvy, but when it comes to managing a server, that’s not something that I thought I could do. However, my friends said they’d help me and so I jumped in. What I found what that DigitalOceans tutorials were extremely easy to follow and I had things up and running in no time. I moved over four different WordPress sites and they’ve all been running smoothly from day one.

Turns out that managing your own DigitalOcean server is not that hard. Yes, you have to install things like PHP and MySQL, however well written tutorials make that very easy. You also have to debug everything yourself, however their support forum and IRC are pretty helpful if you need it. Plus, once you have it up and running, you just let it be.

If you ever thought that you could do better than shared hosting, yet want to keep the hosting costs down, DigitalOcean is a great place to go. Even my friends that are in IT couldn’t believe how good of a deal it was.

I highly recommend getting off of shared hosting if you can. Some are better than others, but all have limitations. You may not notice them today, but as your site grows, chances are they will cause you agony. If you do want to stick with shared hosting, I’ve had good experiences with Tiger Technologies and A Small Orange.

I’m very happy running my own server and I’m glad I gave it a try. I was worried about what I didn’t know and now I’m happy I tried and learned something new. Plus I’m saving quite a bit in hosting costs and my sites are running better than ever.

3 Responses

  1. Bryan says:

    The price looks great. How does e-mail work on that? Do you have to also administer your own sendmail?

    • Thomas says:

      You do have to install and configure email. If you’re using WordPress, you can add the WP-Mail-SMTP plugin to send via Gmail and then not worry about setting up email. That’s what I did.

  2. DigitalOcean says:

    It’s great to see that you’ve made the transition from shared hosting to managing your very own VPS! We’re very pleased that our tutorials have been very helpful and are enjoying the savings as well! Awesome post and we are happy to have you as a customer! =]

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