In the past month I thought quite a lot about hosting.
Shared hosting or a server, virtual or dedicated, root or managed? How about the ominous Cloud?
The answer is both simple and annoying: It depends!
How many sites do you want to host and how many visitors do you expect? Are you familiar with server administration and what about emails and other stuff?
1) Shared Hosting
If you have only one site with just a dozen visitors per day, like a private site ot for a small business or club, this is most likely the best solution for you. Kirby’s requirements are so low, it runs on almost any space. Most providers have one domain included and give you email hosting as well. Make sure you get good support though! Cheep providers let that slide.
2) Virtual and Dedicated Server
If you expect a view 100 visitors a day, you propably need to think about your own server. Virtual means, it behaves like a own server, but actually there are running multiple virtual server on a real, physical server in the farm. If the real server has 16 Cores and 32 GB of RAM, it can be divided into 8 virtual servers with 2 cores and 4 GB RAM each.
Some of them run an own email server - others are web server only. Pay close attention if there is a web panel like plesk to administer your server or if thats your responsibility. It’s a common mistake to bite off more than you can chew…
3) Root vs. Managed
Root access is really really great if you know, what you are doing. But if you’re reading this you probably don’t know. And in that case it’s really really bad. Managed services include updates, firewall, backup, anti-span and much more. This affects the price tag, but if you aren’t a server admin, you need this for a professional website! Don’t let hope and greed cloud your judgement.
4) The Cloud
Basically Cloud Server are VPS (virtual private server) running on a server cluster. That means, the Cloud is just a (scalable) virtual server. (yeah, yeah, I know, theres more to it, but in this context it’s good enough).
The biggest provider is Amazon (EC2), the hippest and cheapest is maybe DigitalOcean. Most of them aren’t manageged. (There are exceptions like the Managed Root Cloud by hostnet.de) And there are services like serverpilot, that kind of manage your Cloud and divide it into smaller virtual Hosts.
Soooooo, what Server do you need?
Again: If you are reading this your expertise is most likely not that high.
- For a single small kirby site - shared hosting is the best solution for you
- For multiple kirby sites (hosting small sites for your clients) look into special reseller virtual server, or maybe serverpilot?
- If there’s no included mailserver (e.g. with serverpilot) consider an externel mailserver. This way you can keep your VPS for kirby as clean as possible. Since kirby doesn’t need a lot of php extensions or mysql you can deactivate these services, which saves a lot of RAM an is much more efficient and less likely to break.
That’s it for now. I’m not a guru either, but I wanted to share my knowlege. Please feel free to correct me, add something or ask, if anything is unclear.