WordPress and its Technicalities: Part 1

I almost forgot how complicated starting from scratch can be. Forgetting what plugins were installed, traded, and replaced. Services like FeedBurner going to the Google limbo, and the importance of SEO and having a Privacy Policy.

Ugh! Over the years I’ve setup various websites, mostly with WordPress because of its flexibility, choice of plugins, and the community support that’s so necessary these days. It being open source and readily available, easy to set up, and able to run on a multitude of different servers play into of course, but it’s really hard to beat the types of flexibility and support it has.

Self-host WordPress Setup

Setting up WordPress is fairly easy and well documented already. Have a WAMP/LAMP stack server running, download the file, unzip/untar the archive into your public_html directory, load it up in a browser, and follow the instructions from there.

What’s in a Server?

I like to use a VPS (Virtual Private Server) when self-hosting a WordPress site. It’s basically a segmented virtual machine, that runs on much more powerful server hardware. It differs from shared hosting in that you have root control and can run your preferred software on it. You can rent them monthly fairly cheap, and you can usually choose your operating system. Personally, I like CentOS. It works really well, and I’ve been working with Redhat products for a very, very long time. Sure, you can use Debian, Ubuntu, or even Windows, nothing’s stopping you. It’s all in your preferences.

Where do I find a VPS?

When I find myself in need of a new VPS, I usually head over to the WebHostingTalk VPS Hosting Offers section and find the deal that best suites my budget and specifications. Some will include a Control Panel, and some won’t. I personally get a bare CentOS installation and install Webmin and Virtualmin. It just works well for WordPress.

It’s all in the specs man…

So to lay out what would be my ideal specs to run WordPress on, here’s my short list:

  • 1GB RAM minimum – You can get away with less, but if your site gets busy, it’ll run out and essentially be DDOSed. Even better if you can get 512MB or more of swap as well.
  • 20+GB of drive space – I wouldn’t go with any less because of updates, upgrades, media files, and longevity. There’s nothing worse that running out of space!

End of this Part.

Ok, I could go on and on about this subject, but I’ve only got limited time today, so this will be at least 2 parts. In Part 2, I’ll cover some of the plugins I consider must-haves. Until then, happy blogging!

Maybe more later…