I’ve been on Dreamhost since 2006 and they’ve always been perfect for what I’ve needed. And they still are. I would recommend them to anyone looking to get a website launched.
However, I’ve had an itch to learn more about hosting a Linux server that I would setup and maintain on my own. Over the past few months I’ve set up several VPS at Digital Ocean. I’ve built up, configured, torn down, rebuilt, reconfigured many servers and think I’m finally getting comfortable enough to host some of my personal sites. So today, I’ve migrated two of my websites from Dreamhost. They all run on a single VPS and are set up as virtual hosts in Apache. Both sites are basic WordPress sites and were quite simple to set up. The biggest challenge is getting all of the DNS configuration correct. On the server, getting the system secured was a challenge. Fortunately there are a lot of good sources on Digital Ocean’s website for figuring all of this out. I will say that it is a bit frightening to look at the access log files on the server and see how many attempts to break into the server there are. It’s crazy and honestly, a bit frightening.
I have another idea for a project that will allow me to build an application that is a bit more involved on the database and backend data processing. All of this is intended to support what I do in my day job so it really isn’t all that interesting to most people. But it’s a fun journey and I’ve learned a lot already.
Update: All of my sites are now running on the new VPS and seems to be working really well. I installed Webmin for some simple stuff, it’s ok but can be a bit wonky when it comes to configuring virtual hosts on Apache.