I have many domains: Should I get one droplet at $80/month or a couple at $20month?

January 20, 2015 1.7k views


I manage many domains in a Virtualmin environment. I am running an ecommerce site which is the main website and a few blogs and other ecommerce sites. I noticed that the main ecommerce site is starting to have memory problems and going a bit slow, so I though it was time to upgrade.

The thing is, I am in the $20/month data plan (2 CPU 2 GB) and upgrading to 4 CPUs and 8 GB is $80, which is a big step. I am interested in both more CPUs and RAM, but the $40 plan only increases in RAM not in CPUs.

My question is, is it really worth it to pay $80 or would be better to leave the main ecommerce site in its own droplet in the $20 plan)

2 Answers

If it were me, I'd spend half a day first squeezing all the juice out of what you've got, first.

Follow some of the optimization guides, check your kernel and everything else is up to date.
Block unwanted bots, spiders and user agents. Ensure caching is on. Make sure swap is enabled. Use Cloudflare as a free easy CDN to serve all your static assets. Use nginx instead of Apache if you can. Make use of fast-cgi cache. Use tools like mysqltuner, iftop and so on.

I run 2 phpbb forums, 2 Wordpress installs and audio serving site. All serve https too. According to Google, my sites are quicker than 80% of the internet, and the whole lot runs on one single 512MB $5 droplet. CPU runs at 20%, memory at 80%. The majority of requests to my site never even wake the web or mysql server up as the majority of assets and are served by Cloudflare. Most html pages that aren't yet cached by Cloudflare hit the fast-cgi cache; about 20% of requests ever actually make it through to the actual web and mysql servers.

Even dynamic pages can be cached - let's say you have a massive store with 10,000 items. 80% of the page remains the same, only the product description, photo and price change. So you cache the static 80% and edge-side include the products. Then suppose someone is logged in and browsing - so you serve the static cached pages with a bit of jquery to just populate a div with a simple request to keep track of the users basket contents.

OK, in my case, I spent nearly 2 full days tuning the hell out of it, but I was fairly new to server admin but I learnt a LOT from it :)

It's just a time vs money thing, really.

  • Hi Jonathan,

    Thanks for the info, looks like you have done your research :). I have done most of the recommendations: Cloudflare, ngingx, fast-cgi, varnish cache.

    In my case I dont have dynamic pages except the buy and checkout page.

    I will do my best to further optimize the dropplet :)

  • OK, fair enough! Looks like you've done everything/

    Sometimes you really DO have to upgrade! I thought I'd just chuck a few ideas out there just in case, though :)

Re using fast-cgi cache.

What are the requirements? If I have apache running with MPM-Prefork and Opcache for PHP, can I still use fast-cgi?

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