How to Optimize Your WordPress Websites on Your Own Private Server?

With virtual private server (VPS) becoming more and more accessible to ordinary people, many have attempted to host their own sites on one or more VPSs. However, if your websites are mainly WordPress based, you’d better learn from the mistakes I had personally gone through during the past few weeks.

As a reseller hosting mainly our own sites, I have always tried to have a full control over the server where all our websites are hosted on. The idea of switching started when one of our websites selling ebooks cannot receive internal notice from Alipay Global after customers have successfully made the payment there. As a result, either the customer has to take the effort of writing us an email message or we have to personally login to our AliPay Global account to confirm the payment once we receive an email notification for the order.

We have requested our server’s data center to whitelist Alipay Global’s IPs, but for some reason that did not help at all.

Someone suggested that we should use a virtual private server which gives us a full control over all aspects of all sites. To test it, we quickly grabbed a 512MB VPS from Ramnode. Indeed, the problem concerning the passing of Alipay Global’s behind-the-scene payment completion notice was solved instantly without us having to do any IP whitelisting whatsoever – What does this mean? I don’t know. I will leave that to you 🙂

Then the idea of migrating most of our websites (if not all) to a VPS server came into shape. However, as most of our sites are using WordPress as the platform, a VPS server with only 512MB RAM space was quickly shown to be not practically at all, especially when we tried to install a server control panel such as ISPconfig onsite. With a server control panel as versatile and powerful as ISPconfig, running all services and hosting many sites on a single server quickly pushed the memory to its limit. When this happened, the server’s MySQL service got shut down. On a testing server equipped with 1GB RAM, we had to restart the MySQL service almost on daily basis once we had added to the server about 8 WordPress sites and a dozen of mini sites with static HTML contents.

In the process of tackling this RAM memory load problem with WordPress hosting, we found a much better server control panel called ServerPilot. Unlike most other server control panels such as cPanel, ISPconfig, DirectAdmin and many others, this one runs off the server completely. This takes away a heavy load from the server right away.

Moreover, ServerPilot takes care of the server setup with one click – yes, you have to use it to believe it. Normal people like you and I do not have the time to learn the ins and outs of how to set up and run a server. It takes cares of all that to ensure your freshly installed Ubuntu Server operating system is optimized to run your WordPress websites. I had tried running ISPconfig installation script on another Ubuntu server, the script did not run well – I ended up of having to install ISPconfig manually. After the successful installation of ISPconfig manually, only to find that I had to pay for a Softaculous premium license to install WordPress through their platform. With ServerPilot, quick WordPress installation is included. This feature alone will make you smile and save your effort.

The nice thing about ServerPilot is that you can enjoy most of their services without paying a penny. Normally with a free service like that, you do not expect a good service in the beginning at all. You have to figure out most of HowTos yourself. Not with ServerPilot, their website is loaded with mini tutorials and detailed information as to how everything works. And there is always a live person answering your email within a day.

According to my personal experience, if your website’s domain has already resolved to the VPS server’s IP, you can get it running WordPress in about 10 minutes! This includes one-click installation and setup of the server, adding the domain to the system and installing WordPress at the same time. Everything is handled altogether from one place!

Have you heard that php 7.1 will ease up your server memory and make your sites run faster? ServerPilot has it now – click here to learn more about using php 7.1. In fact, at the moment of this writing, I have a choice to set my WordPress site to fun any of these PHP versions: PHP 7.1, 7.0, 5.6, 5.5 and 5.4 – I can change it afterwards whenever I can.

Unlike ISPconfig where you have to set up a FTP account for each website, but if you run a multiple of websites for yourself, this is a pain. With ServerPilot’s free account, you can have a single and central FTP account to handle unlimited numbers of your own websites at one place! If you are a web hosting reseller, you can upgrade and use part of your client’s monthly payment to cover the cost of upgrading ServerPilot’s service. Quite simple and making sense – if you just want to run multiple sites on your server, then ServerPilot’s service is free for you.

If you are still struggling to get ISPconfig installed on your server by going through a lengthy process, only to find that you have to reconsider using an off-the-server control panel like ServerPilot to get your server professionally installed and secured with one mouse click.

Note: The following is a screenshot taken at my SP control panel showing the server performance after I have moved 20 WordPress websites to it and also 10 mini websites with static HTML contents – memory stays around 1/4 and CUP load has an average of only 2%:

I even did some load tests using app.loadimpact.com which sends more than 4000 requests within 5 minutes in each session. See these had little impact on the server performance:

If you have any question, please do not hesitate to ask by adding comment below. Thanks!

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