Better Hosting for Wordpress Multisite

Looking into getting a better host for Wordpress Multisite. I'm on HostGator right now, and their speed is inadequate for the last few months. I'm feeling like they're overselling their hardware like GoDaddy does. I want something fast for a budget.

I'm torn between cloud hosting at DigitalOcean and the geeky package at SiteGround. One is cloud hosting, and the other is still shared. What do you believe I should look into, as a person who doesn't know anything about server management (as far as command-line stuff goes).

Is there a better option that won't cost more than these services? $20/month is my limit at the moment, but if the speed and support is right, I could see increasing it.

I want a network that will present users with a great experience. I don't want them constantly thinking their sites are slow, obviously.

Thanks for your time community.

- Charlie

    Alexander

    Hi @Charlie Pryor,

    You could checkout some managed WordPress solutions like WPEngine or Page.ly

    Flywheel seems pretty cool, although I haven't tried it: http://getflywheel.com/

    Digital Ocean is great, I use them, and absolutely love it. But if you're not getting into the server management side of things, there could be quite a bit left to be desired, and you won't have the control and flexibility you may need.

    The best thing is to have your own dedicated resources with a VPS or cloud server, but this comes with a higher price tag.

    While you're small, you could try making the most of each site individually when it comes to speed. For example, try running YSlow on one of your sites: http://developer.yahoo.com/yslow/

    It will grade your speed, and you'll know which areas you can improve upon to speed up that site. Then you can make tweaks as needed.

    Using a cacheing plugin like WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache can make a big difference. Just don't have them enabled during development.

    Something else you should consider is using a CDN. Cloudfare is a great option for this: http://www.cloudflare.com/ It can even serve full cached pages if your hosting were to go down.

    So maybe start with something like SiteGround, and do everything else you can do speed wise. Then when you have the budget, upgrade to something more dedicated.

    Hope this helps!

    Charlie Pryor

    The key here was "MULTISITE", which WPEngine and Page.ly do not support. The price ceiling was also $20/month, in which every option you've sent me here is far over. WPengine is ridiculous and unreasonable in price. $30/month for a single site. No thanks.

    Flywheel was the same way. All high prices that don't offer what I want to do. I don't want a managed Wordpress solution because none of them allow multisite. Why would they? After all, it's more complicated for them to manage, and they'd dramatically hurt their system resources and their number of signups if they did it.

    Page.ly won't allow multisite unless you pay them $150/month. That isn't an option.

    So what options are there? I don't mind "server management" as long as they include cPanel. I can handle things with cPanel I feel. I just don't know this command-line stuff well.

    How long does it take to learn it? Is it difficult for a technically-driven mind to learn, having not experienced it before?

    - Charlie

    Alexander

    Hey @Charlie Pryor,

    $20 isn't going to get you very far if you want better hosting, unless you manage everything yourself. I'd argue that WPEngine, (or any managed plan) isn't unreasonable for the quality. I've dealt with enough shared hosts to know that a bit extra each month can go a long way. Didn't realize Page.ly came in at $149 for multisite. I knew WPEngine stopped supporting it on the entry level plan.

    By "server management" was more referring to low level command line stuff. If you want to give it a shot, DigitalOcean has some great tutorials like this: https://www.digitalocean.com/community/articles/how-to-install-wordpress-with-nginx-on-ubuntu-12-04 You could also try their new WordPress droplet that gives you WordPress preconfigured at first boot. Spending an hour or two playing with this stuff on a $5 droplet could help you get an idea of what you may need to learn and how long it might take.

    If you have any issues, it's most likely that you'll need to fix them on the command line though.

    Best regards,

    Charlie Pryor

    Yeah I'm terrible with this command-line stuff, and I'm worried that if any problems arise for customers in the future, I won't be able to fix it. I'll make a simple mistake that'll throw off some setting, and I won't know what it is, or even how to fix it if I did know. I end up, basically, giving up and destroying the droplet to try again.

    I've gotten into the habit of making snapshots though, which helps sometimes when I need to go back. The point here though, is that I'm not fit for this type of environment, unless I'm dealing with only my own stuff and that's it.

    Perhaps if all of my sites were single-site installations, but I'm trying to create a multisite network for my customers to make it easy to manage all of their sites, and to lower the costs they have (allowing them to be happier). I also like the idea of charging for more function to be unlocked, and for the increased support that comes with it.

    I'll give Digital Ocean another go I think... but I think I'm much more likely to just throw some money at a guy or gal that know how to properly set things up, rather than trying to do it myself. I wanted "that ideal environment" from it, with Nginx, Varnish, etc.

    I guess we'll see how it all turns out. I understand that to get something great that doesn't require knowledge... requires money.

    - Charlie