Multiple WordPress Question

Posted March 17, 2017 1.9k views


I need some real newbie help here, I originally assumed this service was a web hosting and was shocked when I got an email telling me to setup a linux server, by myself.

Anyway, I have some initial questions:

  1. I currently use a shared host for 10 WP sites of mine and i’ve recently discovered that they are all locked at a 40MB WP Memory Limit each. Would this be better on DO? I don’t know how a linux server balances if I moved my 10 sites here. Basically, would there be any speed difference between this and a shared host?

  2. How hard would it be to setup my server and move my sites here? I’d only really need to access FTP and WP Admin after installation, I don’t really go into the cpanel much anyway, other than to setup emails.

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A VPS is a little more involved when compared to shared hosting. The main differences being that in comparison, you would be responsible for setup, maintenance, security, and overall management of the VPS and OS – as well as optimizing the stack to meet your needs (performance or otherwise).

A VPS will provide you with the freedom to scale, and set your own limits, so you would definitely be able to get around the memory limit.

Most shared hosting providers use cPanel combined with CloudLinux, which is where the limitations are coming from. CloudLinux allows the web hosting provider to limit by CPU, RAM, and Disk I/O, so when your account hits the ceiling of these limits, it’s either slowed down, or errors out.

That being said, you would most likely be better of on a VPS. Since you have 10 WordPress sites and the current limits are too restrictive, then I would recommend starting out with at least a 1GB Droplet since you need room for Apache or NGINX, MySQL or MariaDB, PHP, and your sites (all of which are using resources such as CPU, RAM, etc).

My recommendation, however, would be to go with a 2GB Droplet which should provide a little more room to breathe.

Setup isn’t really all that difficult and there are multiple guides here on DigitalOcean that can help with the setup – there’s also the community which I and others are quite active in, so if you run in to any issues, we can normally help get you squared away.

One thing I will make note of offhand is that unless configured otherwise, a VPS (Droplet) doesn’t provide a working mail server. That’d be something you’d have to configure on your own if you need e-mail functionality.

In most cases, I recommend offloading e-mail to Google G Suite or a similar provider as managing a mail server and keeping your IP’s / Domains off blacklists can be a pain.


How To Install Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP (LAMP) stack on Ubuntu 16.04

How To Install Linux, Nginx, MySQL, PHP (LEMP stack) in Ubuntu 16.04

The first tutorial is setting up a LAMP Stack – that’d be similar to what you’re running on now as it’s using Apache, MySQL, and PHP. The second tutorial is for NGINX, which is more performant and in my opinion, easier to work with and manage than Apache.

My recommendation would be to go with NGINX exclusively – I’m a bit biased as that’s the web server I work with the most, but I also recommend it simply because I find it to be more performant than Apache and it handles resources better whereas Apache be a resource hog at times.

by Brennen Bearnes
A "LAMP" stack is a group of open source software that is typically installed together to enable a server to host dynamic websites and web apps. This term is actually an acronym which represents the Linux operating system, with the Apache web server. The site data is...
  • Wow, a really in-depth answer, thanks a lot for this. I’ll be honest, I feel very ignorant now as I have no idea this kind of service existed. I’ve started to take a look into this already but it’s making my head spin tbh, i’m a HTML web developer and that’s my limit apparently.

    So if I get a 2GB droplet, I can break it into 10 WordPress sites and have 2GB between all of them? So if only one site is working and 9 were didn’t have anything going on, 2GB would be free to this one? (Excluding the minimum requirements of WP/ background processes etc).

    • @paul0cd61efb14fdded24b7f58

      No problem at all, happy to help :-).

      A 2GB Droplet should be enough for 10 low-traffic WordPress sites.

      What you’d do is setup a VirtualHost block (Apache) or Server Block (NGINX) for each site, which is how you’d go about separating each website by domain, data directory (i.e. where your WordPress files will go).

      When it comes to resources, my recommendation is based on 400MB going to WordPress installations (i.e. at least 40MB each), the fact that MySQL/MariaDB will use between 500-800MB, and Apache/NGINX using between 200-600MB. That puts you pretty close to the limit of the Droplet (in terms of RAM), though with a little tweaking/tuning, that should be doable.

      If you plan to have medium or higher levels of traffic, I would probably go with the 4GB so you have more room to breathe as well as tweak/tune for performance.

      My advice, take it slow – don’t rush, double-check what you’re doing, etc. I started doing this about 16-17 years ago (back when Apache was the web server to use and shared hosting was really the driving force). It’s easy to make mistakes, and I made plenty of them because I was always in a rush.

      When it comes to administering a server, don’t rush. The most mistakes will be made when you’re too quick to get something up and running.

      That said, I don’t really advertise it, though if you’ll check my profile, my e-mail is there. If you need someone to do the setup for you, I’m available and we can discuss things over e-mail and I can go in to a little more detail and you can tell me a little more about your sites and the issues you’re having.