Advices to improve hosting multiple websites/apps

June 19, 2016 1.4k views
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Hi and thanks for reading my post. I have been working in web marketing/dev for 5 years now and I am looking for advices regarding my hosting setup. I am very satisfied with Digital Ocean and most of my websites run OK. Here's what I currently have:

~30 email adresses (GoDaddy) (I'd like more but they are costly !)
~100 domains (GoDaddy pointing to DO)
~25 droplets
~50 websites (mainly Wordpress websites, a few HTML websites, 1-2 resource intensive apps)

I use the free version of Serverpilot to install new sites and iTheme's Sync Pro version to help me maintain WP websites. Some droplets have only 1 website, others have 3-4 (i group them by clients). Some are only visited 0-100/month, others have 10k hits per month. I also host a particular website that sometimes has daily spikes, it regularly goes down and my client complains.

Without the domain names, it costs a little over 3000$ CAD/year to run.

I used to have Wordpress Networks or multiple websites on the same server/droplet (no virtualization) but I stopped because it was very messy (server down, IP blacklists, etc...) if 1 website or plugin got hacked. I like serverpilot a lot, but I don't think it's worth upgrading because I'd have to pay for each server (otherwise I would upgrade !)

Here are my questions:

  1. What tools/techniques/tutorials can help me reduce costs?
  2. What tools/techniques/tutorials can help me better handle heavy traffic or share resources for faster websites?
  3. I currently do not use SSL certificates, is it worth the money/effort and are self-signed certicates any good for SEO ?
  4. Are there any good solutions for mail servers that won't end up in my recipient's junk/spam ?
  5. 3-4 Years ago, I tried cache plugins (W3TC and WP Super Cache) in WordPress and they caused loads of bugs and I generally hated them. Was I just bad or they improved ?
  6. Should I hire a pro to help me or it wouldn't be worth it yet ?
  7. Should I consider IPv6 & HTTP/2 ?
  8. What tools/techniques/tutorials do you use to set up test environments ?
  9. What tools/techniques/tutorials do you use for backups ? I bought backup buddy, i found it not so reliable as backups are sometimes unusable / corrupted / missing.

He are my 3 top priorities:

  1. faster websites
  2. less downtime
  3. cost reduction

Thanks a lot and if you have any idea/link/tutorials to share regarding one of more of my questions, please post them I will take the time to check them all !


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