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Lightning-fast WordPress on Nginx

Fastest WordPress Hosting (For Under $5/mo)

For over a decade, WordPress has continued to dominate the web hosting industry as small businesses and bloggers alike continue to seek out free and reliable CMS software that can easily be moved between web servers as needed, without being locked-in to any single platform or service.

But in the past few years especially, high-tech buzzwords like “containers” and “server clusters” and  “serverless” and “load-balancing” have been popularized, as enterprise-grade infrastructure chatter trickled down from corporate SCRUM meetings and into mainstream discussion forums like Reddit and Facebook.

Has web hosting really become this complicated? The answer is “no”.

“We are so accustomed to the comforts of “I cannot”, “I do not want to” and “it is too difficult” that we forget to realize when we stop doing things for ourselves and expect others to dance around us, we are not achieving greatness. We have made ourselves weak.”

― Pandora Poikilos

Fast WordPress hosting easier than ever before

What if I told you that none of these confusing and complex web hosting technologies — nor overpriced “premium” web hosting services — were necessary in order to achieve lightning-fast loading speed and incredible stability that can scale smoothly to millions of hits every month…

…and all you need is a cheap $5 (or less) “cloud” server? Yes, really!

You see, over the past decade, the web hosting industry has evolved drastically, although many website owners are unaware of these changes. Many of the “middlemen” that used to profit from splitting up dedicated servers and “colocations” into smaller pieces and reselling them by way of shared hosting plans or “VPS” upgrades simply don’t exist anymore, or are quickly changing their business model.

In their place we now have “cloud” networks, which is just a cute way of saying that virtualization software has improved (and hardware prices have decreased) to the point where users can simply manage their own VM servers now, without needing all those “middlemen” and “tech support” guys doing it for you anymore.

Combine this with the fact that more datacenters are being launched every single year in a greater array of cities, along with free services like Cloudflare and Let’s Encrypt, and the end result is more competition, increasingly cheaper prices, and easier server deployment and “stack” provisioning than ever before.

Does this sound exciting? Are you ready to achieve super speed for your WordPress websites for just a few dollars each month, and to say goodbye to Customer Support agents and janky control panels forever? Well get ready, because all it takes is a few simple lines of Linux shell commands!

A few easy SSH commands will change your life

ZOMG… shell commands!? ⊂(⊙д⊙)つ

Look, I know what you’re thinking as your mouse shakily reaches for the “back” button in your browser. “Oh no… get me outta here, all I wanted was a coupon code for cPanel hosting with 24/7 phone support!”

I completely understand. I was in the same boat for many years, hopping around various web hosting providers whenever my sites got too big, or I got tired of their dicey customer service, or the ever-changing prices and recommendations for “upgrades” left me feeling bitter and annoyed.

Never in a million years did I expect to learn the Linux shell. I studied Political Science, for heaven’s sake!

But I kept reading about how awesome Nginx was for WordPress speed, and none of the web hosts really offered a LEMP stack plan. A few easy tutorials later, I had setup my very own cloud server for WordPress… and I never looked back. The icing on the cake was that I realized if I ever really wanted to go back to a control panel type environment (or Apache servers), I could even set those up too, at a fraction of the cost, and with much better performance (cloud servers are yours alone, no more sharing with other customers!).

Now several years later, it saddens me that there are literally millions of people with these same exact feelings who continue using the same web hosting services and technologies as they did 10+ years ago.

But why? Let’s be honest, there are really only 2 reasons:

1. They are used to it (i.e. mental laziness)
2. They think it’s the cheapest approach (when it’s actually not)

For less than the price of many shared hosting plans, you could setup a WordPress cloud server using a free script like my own SlickStack project, using a single Bash command: wget -O ss && bash ss

That’s even shorter than your typical tweet!

Everyone wins when SMBs embrace cloud servers

Obviously, there are some people who will probably not setup a $5 cloud server for their WordPress website, even if it’s a killer solution. For example, large companies usually have a specific workflow or technology partners they must adhere to for legal or technical reasons. And the local coffee shop probably doesn’t really care to understand the evolution of web hosting, they just want their website to work!

But if you’re a web developer of any sort, and you haven’t “gone cloud” yet, I encourage you to try it.

Embracing cloud servers and open-source web stacks not only results in market-leading website performance that allows small businesses to readily compete against major websites like BuzzFeed or TripAdvisor, but it also means more SMBs doing business with each other.

I’m not talking about Amazon or Google here — I’m talking about the thousands of independent datacenters, application developers, niche hosting resellers, and individual web designers who make a living by embracing the free market of interchangeable web hosting “components” every single day.

And if you’re not quite ready to take the leap, come say hello at communities like LowendTalk that are ready and willing to help you out!

About the Author

Jesse Nickles

Jesse is the lead developer for the SlickStack project and also for HoverCraft, the accompanying free WordPress theme. He has been customizing WordPress for both personal websites and SEO clients for over 15+ years, with a focus on simplicity and longevity.


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