The Best WordPress Hosting Setup for Small Business

As a developer juggling multiple side projects, finding the right hosting for my WordPress sites was a tricky situation. It had to be just right—affordable, but without sacrificing performance or security. After a bit of trial and error, I landed on a setup that feels right: a Digital Ocean droplet managed by Cloudways, with Cloudflare’s free tier stacked in front for good measure.

Before jumping in to my explanation, it’s best that I breakdown what I’m using this setup to host. Over the years, I’ve worked with many clients who run local small businesses and need their websites’ built and hosted. These website usually receive about a thousand visits per month, some less and some more. The one thing they all have in common is that they are based on WordPress.

One of these websites is for an Ontario virtual Speech Therapy service called SOY Clinic, just to give you an idea. Anyways, onto the explanation…

Cloudways + Digital Ocean: A Maintenance-Free Dream

Let me break down why this combo felt like striking gold:

  1. Managed Hosting: Cloud offers that sweet spot of managed hosting—taking the server management headaches off my plate without stripping away the control I sometimes need. Deploying on Digital Ocean’s infrastructure through Cloudways meant I could enjoy the benefits of a robust cloud provider and still have time to code (instead of configuring server settings). Cloudways makes everything so easy though – you don’t need to be a developer to use it. In fact, they have one-click installs for WordPress!
  2. Scalability on Demand: As someone who loves to experiment, I need the flexibility to scale my projects up or down without a hassle. Cloudways delivers here, allowing me to adjust resources with a few clicks.
  3. Intuitive, Yet Powerful: Cloudways isn’t just powerful under the hood; it’s also a breeze to use. The platform is designed with flexibility in mind, offering an intuitive interface that doesn’t skimp on advanced features while offering hosting on multiple providers (DigitalOcean being my favourite). It’s like having your cake and eating it too—efficiency without compromise.

Why Cloudflare’s Free Tier is Non-Negotiable

No one wants their site to be slow or vulnerable. Here’s why I brought Cloudflare into the mix:

  1. Bulletproofing Against DDoS: Given the importance of security, I sleep better knowing Cloudflare’s free tier shields my sites from DDoS attacks. It’s like having a bouncer for your website.
  2. Caching for Speed: Cloudflare isn’t just about defense; it’s also about performance. By caching my content on its vast network, it drastically reduces load times for my visitors worldwide. This not only improves user experience but also helps with SEO.
  3. More Bang for Zero Bucks: As a developer, I appreciate efficiency, including in how I spend my resources. Cloudflare’s free tier offers significant value without adding to my hosting costs, proving that sometimes, the best things in life (or at least in hosting) are free.

Wrapping Up

For anyone navigating the weird world of WordPress hosting, the Cloudways and Digital Ocean combo, is a setup worth considering. It strikes the right balance between performance, security, and cost—allowing you to focus more on development and less on server management.

From personal experience, this combination has effortlessly handled the demands of my projects, big and small, without breaking a sweat (or the bank). If you’re in search of a hosting solution that gets the developer’s seal of approval, this might just be it.

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