Clarification for a Beginner: Power of Digital Ocean vs Ease of DreamPress

Posted August 24, 2017 3.1k views


I am going to start a Wordpress blog that I eventually want to generate revenue through a few ads, affiliate marketing and a Shopify store. If anyone would like more details on what I’m doing so they can give me a better answer, let me know.

From what I am reading Digital Ocean seems like a much better and powerful tool, however I have zero experience in dealing with what I am reading about in the tutorials.

I would love to learn how to use Digital Ocean. My concern is how much time it would take as I run a business already. If I could learn how to create/manage a site through DO spending 2-3 hours a day I would do it and enjoy it a lot I think. But if it would be more of a full time job spending 6-8 hours a day I can’t commit that much time to it now.

In your honest opinion would it be better for me to start with a plug and play option like DreamPress until I generate enough revenue I can hire someone to use DigitalOcean for me?

Does that sound like a heads up plan for someone in my position? Or would it potentially create more issues down the line as the methods I end up using in DreamPress may need a massive overhaul in a switch to DO?


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2 answers

DO is a powerful solution (similar to AWS EC2 instances). With that said, you receive un-managed hosting – which means:

  • you install all the software yourself
  • you are responsible for updating your server to keep it secure
  • you are responsible for ensuring that it is configured correctly
  • if you run into an issue, you hit up the Q&A to receive community support (I don’t work for DO)

I’m a DevOps engineer, so Linux is my thing. For someone who just wants it working? I’d recommend leaving it to the pros, and fire up a droplet to play around with it in your spare time, while hosting your site at a managed provider.

Race car drivers hire mechanics and a pit crew. If this is a personal site that is for fun, I’d say by all means do it yourself – you’ll learn a lot. Because it’s a professional site, I say don’t go that route until you have a firm grasp on how to handle all aspects yourself, or you hire someone to do it for you.

Thank you for the reply.

I decided to go with Serverpilot. So it’s up and running already, which probably would not have been the case if I’d decided to do it on my own.

  • I was going to recommend ServerPilot, I use them myself. Their support is also fantastic and they are extremely helpful.

    I would also recommend using Zoho Mail for your emails and WP-SMTP to make sure any emails created by Wordpress are sent via your mailbox.

    Any questions let me know.

    • Thanks!

      What kind of emails would be created by Wordpress?

      Also, I am looking into adding some forum functionality for my website. I like Discourse. But again, as earlier, would like a plug and play option if possible. Their hosted option is way out of my price range at the moment though maybe eventually I will be able to make use of it.

      Is hosting their open source on the same droplet as wordpress an option? If so, is the upkeep fairly simple?

      Or do you have any other recommendations in regards to adding a forum to my wordpress site?


      • I wouldn’t think that Discourse would be too difficult to install and maintain at all, have a go at it and if you get stuck just check Google and YouTube.

        If you have a contact form on your website and someone fills it in and submits it, the email will actually be sent from the server (PHP uses its magic). This can cause issues because the email isn’t actually coming from a mailbox. Using WP-SMTP plugin you can input your email account details and all system emails that are generated are sent via your mail box. This can ensure that your emails go into peoples mailbox instead of SPAM etc.

        bbPress is also a forum/message board alternative that is extremely easy to install. BuddyPress is a kind of social network plugin that also integrates with bbPress. have some awesome themes that allow you to customise the design of BuddyPress/bbPress - BuddyPress example. - bbPress intergrated into BuddyPress and the theme.

        Best of luck!