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I want to manage Wordpress installations for some customers of mine. They need an a+ service but I am still struggling with setting up my hosting.

What I want:

  • Backups, if I make an mistake I want to have an backup to restore it.
  • Easy scalable, if I decide to get more customers, I want to be able to upgrade the hosting
  • Secure, one customer should not be able to acces anothers database.
  • Fast, speed is important these days.

What I am capable of: - Installing and updating Wordpress - Installing and updating Plugins - Testing - Wordpress Settings (setting up paths, permissions all that stuff)

I've been looking at VPS (VPS.NET is getting some good reviews). Or should I buy an dedicated server? I prefer something like VPS, starting cheap but easy upgradable if I get more customers.

Anyone has some advice? or how you guys do it?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted
  • Backups: Sounds like you need two types. 1. Versioning (eg use Git or SVN) and 2. Failsafe backup - some good plugins for this, or use a cron job to backup the WP files and database
  • Sounds like there's two needs here as well. 1. An environment to easily scale WP and 2. A host that you can easily scale with. Personally I use WordPress in multisite mode with domain mapping. This allows me to manage 200+ WP sites with ease. When a WP update comes out, I can update them all at once. Same with plugins. Some extra security precautions need to take place with this though. Secondly, I would suggest "cloud" hosting - something like Amazon S3.
  • For WP hosting, the site should never be configured to allow a user access to the DB. Restrict plugins, keep things updated, and review WP hardening techniques http://codex.wordpress.org/Hardening_WordPress You might even try a service like http://www.wordfence.com/
  • See above - cloud hosting. You pay by the CPU minute, so with small loads it doesn't cost much, and then your business should scale with the cost of hosting. Take some extra work to get setup, but worth it.
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If you're not a dynamo sysadmin, or if you're not interested in becoming a dynamo sysadmin (there's a LOT to know beyond just being able to install WP), I'd strongly recommend a managed host that specializes in WordPress. There are a bunch. For example, WP Engine.

If you're looking to set up and manage your own hosting environment but you don't have much experience with hosting, that's a different story, and much of the answer will have nothing to do with WordPress. You'll need to learn to administer Apache or Nginx, learn about security on your chosen platform, administering the firewall, installing modules and patches, administering your caching system, tuning MySQL, automating backups, administering mail services--the list goes on. It's not something you want to try and hack your way through, especially if your customers need top-notch service right away. None of which is to say you can't do it--just understand that it's a big task, and it's well beyond the scope of a single WPSX question :)

Edit: also see pagely for managed hosting.

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