For a long time I’ve done things the old way. I know how to work with a server, move files, set up Apache, etc. I’ve not been too current for sure.
I did move off shared hosting a while back to a VPS but then I’ve just basically treated it like the old shared hosting account, just without cpanel. I ssh in, set up my stuff, run my updates, etc. It’s Fedora, same as my desktop so pretty nice. The motivation was two fold. I save money using Digital Ocean over what I paid Blue Host. And I have more control so I can mess around with different things I want to try.
To be honest the saving money part did not turn out to be so significant. Resource constraints kept pressing me and adding resources pushed me much closer to what I paid before. It was great for learning. I learned some more tools for managing my system, I migrated to Hugo to relieve the pressure of running a bunch of Wordpress instances. But if I were to look at it purely from the money side, Blue Host was actually providing good value. I had a ton of Wordpress sites working really well. My droplet couldn’t handle it. Now if I had better skills maybe it could but I opted to go a different route.
That said, the more flexibilty and control is a hands down win so I’m sticking with what I have. Today I had fun moving my stuff to a new droplet. That was super easy. I made a snapshot, created a new droplet with the snapshot, moved my dns to point to the new one and then destroyed the old one. It just took a few minutes. Pretty cool.
From what I can tell the snapshots are not portable to other hosting providers. That’s too bad. I can move them around within Digital Ocean which is pretty sweet. I guess the solution to making my whole system more portable would probably be something like docker. I have started learning how to work with docker and podman so I guess that might be my next step.