Question

How to decide on the most appropriate hosting solution for my freelancing needs

I have spent the better part of a week tumbling down the rabbit hole that is modern Wordpress hosting solutions. I am in the process of setting up a freelance web business, starting off with basic Wordpress website development and management and have made it to the point of having to decide on using a managed Wordpress host (SiteGround) or go the VPS route for hosting client websites.

Going the VPS route and using DO seems like the all-round best solution, but I have read enough opinion pieces on server and Wordpress maintenance to scare me right on back to a managed hosting solution.

I am by no means an experienced sysadmin (but am willing to learn). What I am unsure of in point form is:

  • What exactly is involved with ongoing server/cms maintenance. Security, Firewall, Backups, Software updates (Server and CMS)
  • What tools, if any, can help with ongoing maintenance? e.g. ServerPilot? CloudFlare? Cloudways?
  • The best solution for client emails (G Suite?)
  • If using DO, which setup is most appropriate i.e. Droplet per website or several sites per (larger) Droplet?
  • Not specifically related to my initial questions, but how do other freelancers handle client billing from a hosting perspective?

So finally, for someone trying to do what I am doing, with my level of experience, what is the most appropriate hosting solution?

Thank you in advance for any insight on this :)

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Hi, What exactly is involved with ongoing server/cms maintenance. Security, Firewall, Backups, Software updates (Server and CMS) What tools, if any, can help with ongoing maintenance? e.g. ServerPilot? CloudFlare? Cloudways?

It depends the level of security you want to implement, you can for the first time as begineer protect your server with cloudflare against waff, ddos,brutforce attacks or all other attacks, so you let cloudflare manage your security, once you gather some experience in sysadministration you can do all the security implementations yourself in the same server all for free.

The best solution for client emails (G Suite?) If using DO, which setup is most appropriate i.e. Droplet per website or several sites per (larger) Droplet?

All you need to do is to configure your domain name dns to point on your DO droplet, then setup your GSuit by confirming your ownership of the domain name then add a few MX Records in DNS section to point on the google mail servers.

I advice you to start with a small droplet and make it as a webserver using apache or nginx then master all the sysadmin stufs, once you can handle and troubleshoot all the common errors, bugs, problems then try virtual hosts , in the same time you can enlarge you droplet memory, storage so your droplet will be able to handle more than website in separated folders.

Not specifically related to my initial questions, but how do other freelancers handle client billing from a hosting perspective?

You can bill server administration maintenance, bill security optimization, server reporitng , backups strategies, High availability servers using load balanacers

I hope I was so clear and my good english, wishing you good luck in your business, keep it up 👍