How to Host a WordPress Website on a VPS
WordPress is a free and open-source content management system that allows you to easily set up and manage a blog or website. It’s extremely popular and has a lot of features that make it a perfect platform for digital nomads, travel bloggers, and other content creators who want to be able to update their blogs frequently and cheaply.
However, if you’re looking to host a website on a VPS (virtual private server), you need to be aware of a few key differences between using WordPress on a normal web server and using it on a VPS. Fortunately, we’ve laid out the basics for you below so you can get up and running in no time.
Key Differences Between WordPress Regularly Stored On a Web Server And WordPress Hosted On a VPS
Even though it’s the same software, you need to be careful when using WordPress on a VPS as it’s significantly different from using it regularly stored on a web server. The main difference is speed because WordPress is not designed to run efficiently off of a VPS, but rather, it’s typically implemented with a MySQL database.
Also, keep in mind that if you’re looking for a free plan with WordPress, you’ll need to consider the benefits and drawbacks of using a free blog hosting service like Blogger.com or Type.com rather than buying your own domain and installing WordPress yourself.
What Is A VPS?
The short answer is a virtual private server. When you host your WordPress site on a VPS, you’re essentially renting a dedicated server from a web host like Bluehost or Siteground. The web host handles all the technicalities of the server while you focus on building your site.
Why would you want to do this? A VPS gives you the ability to run multiple sites (also known as sites or blogs) off of one physical server. You don’t want to run multiple websites on a web server because their limited resources (CPU, memory, storage) can only handle so much traffic and functionality. If you own more than one website or blog, using a VPS is the perfect way to save money and resources while gaining the functionality you need to make your sites work harder.
Why Should You Use A VPS For WordPress Hosting?
There are numerous benefits to using a VPS for WordPress hosting. Here are just a few:
- You Get What You Need. When you install WordPress to a web server, you usually end up with a default theme that the host provides and some functionality in the form of comments, RSS feeds, and other niceties. This can be a real bonus for beginners who are just getting started as it takes away some of the pain of installation and theme selection. But with a VPS, you get 100% of the functionality you need without any additional frills.
- You Have More Control. With a VPS, you have the ability to install and configure additional packages (such as a media library or a bug tracking system) to give your site that extra layer of functionality. You also have the ability to install plugins which allow you to add extra functionality to your site. If you’re the type of person who likes to tinker, you have more control over the inner workings of your site with a VPS than you do with a standard web server.
- Scalability. One of the biggest plusses to using a VPS for WordPress is the scalability. A dedicated server is restricted by a lot of factors that come with the cost of owning one – mainly the power of the hosting company and the distance between you and the customer support. A VPS gives you the flexibility to easily scale up or down depending on your needs. If you have a sudden spike in traffic or want to invite more people to your site than the average web host can handle, rent a VPS from a company that has a reputation for excellent customer service.
- Security And Reliability. Since you’re running multiple sites and storing a lot of valuable information on a single server, you want to make sure that it’s secure. A reputable web host will give you the option to encrypt your site’s data which provides an extra layer of security. Additionally, they’ll back up your data extensively which provides you with peace of mind.
- Affordability. Since you’re renting the server, the cost of hosting is considerably cheaper than purchasing your own domain name and installing WordPress yourself. Plus, you have the option of paying as you go or on a monthly basis. If you have a restricted budget, this is a perfect option as you won’t be stuck paying for a very expensive host without expecting much in the way of performance.
- Performance. Many sites that are made with WordPress display incredibly high performance because of how well the software is designed to work with databases. If you’re looking for an amazing experience from your site, go with WordPress and a VPS rather than a standalone web server.
How Do I Host My WordPress Blog On A VPS?
The first step is to decide what operating system (OS) you’ll use to run your VPS – most hosts offer both Windows and Linux options, so you have the choice between using Windows servers or the more popular and powerful Linux servers. Next, you’ll need to decide how many websites or blogs you want to host on the VPS. A good place to start is with one site because it’s easier to manage. Once you’re launched, you can easily add another site or blog to the mix.
There are several ways to install WordPress to a VPS. If you’re comfortable using a command-line interface (CLI), you can use the built-in web server of your VPS to install WordPress. Or, if you’re more of the technical type, you can use a tool like cPanel to install WordPress via a graphical user interface (GUI).
Regardless of how you choose to install WordPress to your server, the next step is to create a username and password for the WordPress admin account. This is the account that will have complete access to your WordPress install. For security purposes, it is advised by WordPress to use a unique and strong password. You can use software like LastPass to save and remember these credentials. Once you’ve logged in, you can click the Dashboard icon to access the front end of your WordPress site. From here, you can click on Settings to make further changes to the appearance and functionality of your site.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what a VPS is and why you would want to use one for WordPress hosting, let’s examine some of the key points to keep in mind before you make a decision.