All Aboard The Just Get A VPS Train



I have been noticing a very disturbing trend as of late. Where people on forums, Reddit, etc are asking for recommendations on shared Web Hosting and getting many replies like “just get a vps” or “just go to Digital Ocean”. 99% of the people asking for recommendations for a shared host do not have the knowledge and systems administration skills to setup, manage, and secure there own server.

This Is Horrible Advice!

Sure you can head over to DO and have a droplet spun up running WordPress in a few minutes. Here are some questions, if you answer no to more than 1 than really stick with shared hosting.

Do you know how to secure and harden the stack?


Do you know what a stack is?


Do you know the intricacies of tuning Mysql and the http server?


Do you know which ports should be open and which should not?


Can you quickly and efficiently diagnose and track the cause of frequent Mysql crashes?


Can you quickly track and diagnose the cause of a slow and or crashed http server?


Your websites have went down, the logs are showing all types of odd errors and directories are being set to read only randomly. Do you have any idea what is going on?


These a tiny fraction of issues that can and will popup in the management of your own server, I could go on to write hundreds maybe even thousands of these questions. Most can be figured out quickly by a decent sys admin but will send the inexperienced running for Google where they may or may not get a good answer. that or they will endup paying a sytems admin large amounts of money to figure it out for them.


For Those Recommending VPS To Any And All

Take a minute and read between the lines. Does this person really seem like they need or would be capable of managing their own server? If they are coming from shared hosting and asking about shared hosting than why would you recommend a VPS? Here are a few scenarios that I see.


  1. Person asking for a new shared host because of performance or stability issues.


Moving to a VPS 9 times out of 10 will not help since the owners inexperience will eventually if not immediately cause stability and performance issues. Diagnosing the issue and determining if it is the site itself or the hosting environment that is causing the issues would be the smart course of action. If it is the environment than find a new shared host that does not have performance issues …. simple.


2. Person asking for a new host because of resource use issues.


Moving to a VPS is a patch not a fix. A bad theme, plugin, code can cripple a dedicated server with small traffic. Once fixed it runs perfectly on shared hosting. In most cases a move to a VPS is not warranted and fixing the issue or implementing caching will usually allow the person to stay on shared hosting.


It is quite rare that a person asking for a recommendation on shared hosting would need a VPS. Pointing them in that direction is not cool and can cause them huge issues. I have seen businesses close down due to exactly this, do you really want to be responsible for that.


Do yourself a favor and stay off the VPS train unless you are absolutely sure that you need a ride!



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