I need to hire a hosting server expert

Howdy!

Looking to hire a expert to build the following setup and configuration:

  1. Debian 10 on a Linode server.
  2. LEMP Stack
  3. Virtualmin
  4. My current Virtualmin it setup to create an alias of each new Virtual Server that I use for testing. Example: An alias for domain.com would be superdorx.com.domain.com where I can use for development environment before going live.

This will be for mostly WordPress websites. I need the absolute best performance setup based on your expertise. Caching, security, etc.

Message me to get started ASAP.

Thanks!
Dan

There’s a few guys around that can help you, but when it comes to Wordpress, get used to disappointment. It has become so bloated that there’s really no such thing as fast with it anymore.

If speed is of the essence for you, avoid Wordpress like the plague.

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Thanks Adam and I am aware of this bloat with WP. I keep my sites with very few plugins for that reason. But I also know that I can get better performance with the right server setup and is fine tuned and setup for performance. I am no expert in the field. Just the knowledge I have acquired over time. I hope that someone is up to the task and can offer me what I am looking for with there expert advise.

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That actually has far more to do with your PHP than your server setup. Most people don’t realize that the default memory settings on Wordpress are ridiculously low.

I’ve set all of mine to a minimum of 256mb of PHP memory across the board and increased timeout and upload limits to match.

That will do more for you than anything anybody is going to do to a server. Even with that though, it’s NOT going to be fast. At all. Not compared to others like Jooma and the like.

Edit to add: I’m talking about not so much how a Wordpress website runs but rather how slow it is when you’re working in Wordpress.

For instance, here’s a Wordpress powered Ecommerce site I’m working on for a friend on my personal server: https://morleysmuscle.com/

It runs pretty well all things considered. But working on it in Wordpress even with all the increases in memory is sometimes painstakingly slow. That’s with a dedicated T140 server at its disposal.

@superdorx Hi Dan, Long time not seen you around. How are you?

I somehow agree with @Gomez_Adams. wp is defo not any more fast as it used to be… however good coded theme and almost zero plugins, ssd and proper setup can make it some how fine. But wp is not what it was 7 years ago. For example I hate editor they use nova days but thats my personal preference and the fact to get back classic editor - I have to install some plugin is just stupid in my opinion. I will move my blog this year away from it since I wrote my self bash script which will build website from markdown files in folder into static site with search form etc which is blazing fast but main reason is no login no hacks no databases nada and for hosting? nothing just apache or nginx, drop files in and its done. You know me :wink:

For development I would suggest some old or older laptop in your house with 4gigs ram and perhaps some duo code, 100gb of ssd and do virtualmin install without dns locally (on debian). This way you can test everything like on real virtualmin server before deploy somewhere live and no aliases nor real domain names need it. GPL version for this would be perfect. Or even just install lemp onto your laptop (I assume that you run linux if not you can use some older machine) and do the dev work there… Thats few minutes of work. Of course you will need to edit your host file on whatever machine you work from…

I can help you to setup virtualmin properly somewhere on debian of course but I work with real domains - never used aliases, I mean never had to. normally when I do so called live dev work I have one domain and use subdomains (subservers) for each dev work. I mean this is up to you. once again gpl would work for dev server just fine. It would be safe from damage as it would be server for development only. Or you looking for redo your server for your hosting?

You know my number :slight_smile: however I am no longer using WhatsApp. Feel free to ping me if you would not find anyone.


Buy me coffee Phone or TXT Email me

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@superdorx,

I’d be happy to offer my assistance in getting you setup optimal for your needs. While I do agree with some of the statements shared already regarding WP, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to accomplish a well oiled setup.

Drop me a PM if you’d like to discuss further.

Best Regards,
Peter Knowles | TPN Solutions

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I am aware of the WP min requirements and I also have increased these settings for my websites. I’m definitely not looking to move away from WP as it is my bread and butter. I just need a faster server if possible. I currently have the following setup and have heard that Nginx is faster for WP? Maybe I just need to tune what I have now?

Current Setup:

  • LAMP
  • Ubuntu 16.04.2
  • Virtualmin

Been using this setup for years and Virtualmin does all updates automatically. Looking to invest into a better system setup to improve performance and security or improve my existing setup. Should I start fresh with LEMP on Debian 10 or just work on what I have now? I know there are good server caching options that have had great results for others. What is the best setup? Is this a matter of opinion or are we going on hard facts?

I want a detailed plan of action that can be executed by one of you wonderful experts.

:slight_smile:

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Well, for certain you need to upgrade Ubuntu 16.04. That is end of life and effectively dies in a few months. (April I think is when support discontinues.)

I’m running Ubuntu 20.04 and have no issues. I don’t have any experience with Debian so I’m not sure if it’s any better or different at all. I would think any performance gain from one Linux distro to the other would be minimal at best.

If I were in your shoes, I would start fresh. I would back up your virtual servers, then wipe the drive with a low level format (I use Disc Tools for that, which is a free download) then I’d install my OS (Ubuntu, Debian, whatever you decide to go with) and then install Virtualmin via the automated script.

The Virtualmin script will automatically install everything else you need (LAMP, etc.) so no need to worry about doing that independently.

Then use the Add Server / Import Virtual Servers feature to restore your virtual servers.

Thanks for the heads up on Ubuntu. Wiping the drive isn’t an option because of the live websites. I’ll be starting on a new server setup. So far I’m not seeing any worthy advantage of pursuing this overhaul for performance gains. A little disappointing but not big deal. The only worthy reason so far is an OS upgrade which was not my intention originally. My understand is that performance falls mostly on WordPress and how this is setup and configured and not so much server related. If I am going to invest into hiring someone to do this job it needs to be worth while for what I hope to achieve. Not minor incremental improvements that have barely any impact on performance. Correct me if I’m wrong? This is my understand of the feedback I have received so far.

Improving your server is the best single way to get performance gains. Better processors, more memory, higher bus speeds. That’s what makes everything faster. You’re not going to simply install a new OS and VOILA! More speed.

Wordpress is just slow. It has been for the last 6 or 8 years and getting slower all the time because of it’s popularity. It’s how they sell things. Make Wordpress so bloated and dysfunctional that people will start buying plugins to make it run better.

The single best thing you can do to Wordpress is go through and increase everything in your PHP.INI files. Memory, upload timeout, upload numbers, upload size, etc. All of it. Then make sure you increase it in Wordpress as well to match.

That will do more for you than any OS change.

I totally understand and I do have the option of upgrading the processor and ram but don’t want to spend more money than I have to now. My current setup is 6 CPU Cores, 320 GB Storage, 16 GB RAM.

I understand that a new OS is not the solution. I’ve ready good things about server side caching such as Varnish, FastCGI, memcache(i have this already. no idea if it needs to be tweaked). Even that Nginx is better for WordPress(obviously wrong or its a matter of opinion). Again, not an expert which is why i am here. Very grateful for all the help and feedback. :slight_smile:

I have increased everything in the PHP setting already. My hope was to have a much better server setup than I have now and hiring an expert to do so. I have had offers already from other to install everything for me as I originally requested but now I don’t see the point other than an new OS upgrade. Not to say that isn’t a good idea that i need to explore. I am in a position now invest into this financially.

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@superdorx

I will write one but in Friday as I am working night shifts till Thursday. After night shift I need at least 24 hours off so my brain is refreshed. If that is okay with you.

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That’s pretty good.

Server caching in my humble opinion is no better than web caching. You can do that with a plugin or you can run your site through Cloudflare which does a much better job of it.

I think the whole Nginx vs Apache thing is exactly that: opinion based. People who use one or the other swear it’s the best but I’ve not seen any real difference between the two.

Well, based on what you’re telling us, you’re running some older versions of software but other than that you’re doing quite well.

I guess it’s really going to boil down to what your interpretation of fast is. You say you’ve increased your Wordpress php values, but to what level? Are you using newer templates that are more memory hungry? (Example: A friends site I’m building for him I switched to the OceanWP theme. I had to increase my php memory to 512mb to get it to work smoothly.)

Little things like that can help you out a good bit.

Step one for you though is definitely upgrading your OS. 16.04 is end of life and that needs to go soon before it becomes a liability.

I think before I did anything, I would track resource usage for a couple of weeks to determine where the bottlenecks are. It’s hard to fix a problem without knowing what the problem is.

Richard

Yeah, baselining is always the best starting point when it come to hardware & software.
Even if its just to baseline your current setup so that you can see what effect each upgrade has.

Try signing up to a trial monitoring service like Site24x7 (pretty much full LAMP monitoring for free for 30 days) and then letting it run for a week. It will give you a reasonable idea of actual system performance (DB, Apache, PHP, RAM HDD etc). This helps with tweaking and optimising things like memcached, MySQL, Apache & PHP.

From personal experience, I have found that:

The obvious hardware upgrade is HDD to SSD (if not already done).
Next is RAM (16-32Gb to enable expand use of Memcached, Opcache, Apache threads, increased DB buffers etc). Generally, a faster CPU on a LAMP setup provides limited loading-speed improvement. 90% of the time the speed of loading is limited by the HDD/RAM anyway. But you can see that from the monitoring reports.

For the actual LAMP stack, the biggest speed gains are gained from optimising the WP code.
Make sure that there are no long-running DB queries or joins without index’s (monitoring should help reveal this). Plugins are normally the biggest culprits, as they are often badly written or not coded with performance in mind.

Next, check that your PHP version is the highest supported by WP. For example, PHP 8.0 is roughly 18% faster than PHP 7.4 and 50% faster than PHP 7.0 That’s a nice easy speed gain, assuming your WP setup can use the latest PHP versions.

Next, see if MySQL database been fully optimised?
(Again, monitoring will help you understand the DB performance)

Apache/Nginx work pretty well out of the box, so unless you really know what you are doing, you aren’t going to gain much speed improvement there.

While doing all this, make use of tools like Google Lighthouse to measure real-world website performance. It may be that, unless your servers are overloaded, the difference is so small that it hardly makes it worth the effort.

regards
Sam Smith
designboys.co.za

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There are many important differences between Nginx and Apache, and this is not a question of opinion. Nginx is in first position when working with high traffic sites, and it’s processing model is proven to be superior.

PM me with a contact option (email, phone, Google Meet, etc), so I can explain in detail all the steps necessary (our company can do it for you or you can also do it yourself, you choose).

It’s important that the Wordpress site must be well configured and clean and I completely agree that, if not-well configured, Wordpress can easily be really slow. But a good Nginx FastCGI cache, along with a proper Redis cache for dynamic requests (ecommerce and admin, for example) can help a lot. Every optimization that we do we re-run multiple benchmarks to present the difference and gains.

In my company, I manage and optimize Wordpress sites to be able to receive dozens of millions of access per month.

I’m at your disposal.

Cordially,

Paulo Coghi

Dear @superdorx

This is my proposal for your new server - for hosting dedicated to cms wp = wordpress.

I would recommend to go with Debian OS - latest version. This os is more stable then your foundation in your house and is also base for Ubuntu.

You might ask why not go with Ubuntu and my answer would be - stay close to source as much as you can. Ubuntu modifies everything within its distro, being said - even how Apache and php works, while Debian give you native clean run - means you can always relay on Apache or php documentation directly from developers which means you would be able to update system without breaking your neck.

Debian as naked server system eat much less ram and CPU then Ubuntu. I understand your concerns about documentation but I can tell you that you can create your own documentation be it markdown files or some sort of wiki which you can use for your self or deploy widely on git (be it your own private git or windows own github - I would not share anything there, they can use it in its own business as closed source and make money on it -etc…)

I’ve been using Debian as OS for servers since early 2010 and on my devices like desktops and laptops since early 2011. I cannot complain about this OS on whatever side I could look. Besides your concerns about documentation - yeah on Debian when you search on google you have to be a bit more specific or just join proper IRC channels… like #apache or #debian and you can ask questions even there - chats are very calm there, slower then at #ubuntu and right to the point you did asked.


Okay here is what I can do for you

This is for gpl version but can be applied to pro version as well! (Please note - I do not work with domain aliases)

  • install & update naked system - Debian latest distro
  • install virtualmin & setup correct values for busy server with your specified hardware
  • you would be able to choose between swap partition or swap file - swap partition is calculated by default and cannot be changed easy, swap file acts as swap partition and can be changed within few commands which give you much more flexibility.
  • set up custom rolling backups of everything - sort of time machine to go back 7 days or more (if you would have enough disk space), this is for domains and virtualmin it self
  • server security hardening = I would deploy:
  • fail2ban (*optional) with custom regex configs
  • ssh disable username and password - ssh keys login only
  • no ftp - ssh instead
  • correct ssl chip set - leave out old chip sets
  • write .htaccess custom rules (*optional) - for example force your pma(phpmyadmin) and wp-admin to load via https if rest of the site is not, lock down your site to password or user name or ssl certificate verification (on ssl cert there is no need for user name or password but user provide cert installed on his own browser)
  • deploy custom error pages (*optional), in base of virtualmin for every single server - new or old - tailored towards your own business
  • deploy disk watcher (*optional) - it will notify you when you reach 85% or more HDD space via email or instant messages based on telegram - fully end to end encrypted (please note that you will have to have telegram on your mobile or pc or laptop devices for this function)
  • deploy ssh watcher (*optional) - it will notify you when anyone would log into your server via ssh via email or instant messages based on telegram - fully end to end encrypted (please note that you will have to have telegram on your mobile or pc or laptop devices for this function)
  • comprehensive documentation & issue reports - with git versioning, on my private git repository. You would be able to report issue and track it down with me or any other person within your team. You would be able to git clone… documentation for you and your team and track it down changes with me and others within your team. You would be able to keep this on your own with your own team or any other devops in future as git is standard thing for source code tracking
  • ssh session recordings - you would have records of my ssh sessions, what I’ve done each time working on your server. Those recordings are html based but also allow you to pause or stop play back and directly copy and paste commands what you would see on that recordings.
  • remote support - I am always here. please note: if I would not have root access via ssh, which I would normally don’t even want/ask with screen screen recording option I offered, you would have to use teamviewer and be up and online to connect to your machine and then within you presented on phone, we both access your server terminal.
  • git server - (*optional) - you will have your own git - something like github with web gui - impact on ram is about 3MB per 500 users.
  • comprehensive price. No hidden fees, nor palava of dollar per issues - you will pay as on this proposal and when / after job is finished. - You know me personally. - Get in touch regards the pay as this is public forum - however you would not be disappointed.

This should give you an overall what I would do for you… please ask any other devops here or - some other developers out here on forums for opinion. Perhaps they could come out with much more then my exhausted list here.

Thanks for your time and have good day!

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@superdorx also sorry for well late reply, management gave me so much night shifts that we did come to conclusion that I manage my night shifts on my own. Also I took c19 vaccine last Friday and felt like a crap for next 3 nights - this all prevented me to reply earlier.

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