A while back I wrote a post about the dilemma of moving away from shared hosting to VPS (unmanaged) hosting and dealing with domain-specific email addresses.
I’ve been migrating a number of web sites to a “droplet” with Digital Ocean.
There are many benefits to this:
- Complete control over the environment – pick your own Linux distro, db engine, web server engine, PHP version, etc.
- Cost – For $10 on Digital Ocean, you get more RAM, CPU and storage than for most VPS servers for $30 or more.
- Flexibility – at Digital Ocean, you can spin up new “droplets” in about a minute, using a snapshot of a current droplet if you need to scale, etc.
File this under “mostly for my own benefit”, since I often forget how I accomplished something when I need to go back and do it again.
As of March 15, 2013, PHP 5.3.x will only receive “critical fixes” and people are encouraged to upgrade to 5.4 or 5.5. And sometime in 2014, 5.3.x will not longer be supported at all. All of the Linux servers I’m working on now are running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, which currently provides PHP 5.3.10, so I decided to look into what it takes to update to 5.4.x on these boxes.
I’ve started looking moving the sites I’m hosting on a Hostgator reseller account to a Digital Ocean cloud VPS. I’ve already moved over my personal sites to a the base $5 VPS. The lone issue is what to do with the one client I have who uses their domain’s email thru Hostgator (as well as future clients). I set up all of my other clients (including myself) with Google Apps email for their domains prior to Google no longer offering a free version.
I’ve never set up or maintained mail servers before, so I’m not excited about the prospect of doing that now, as critical as email is for most businesses. I wish there were cloud hosting services that could spin up a small VPS just for email after entering a domain name and making a few DNS updates. Maybe there are and I just haven’t found them yet.
I could just maintain a Hostgator account that only handles email for multiple domains, but seems a bit klugy.