Welcome to part 2 of 8 of my series on Kick-Ass WordPress Optimization: Setting Up Your First Server. Here’s where we dive into the basics of setting up your very first server that you, regardless of your experience, can set up, manage, and turn into a lean mean blogging machine.
I’m going to assume that you’ve already done Part 1: Getting Started. If you haven’t… for shame! So, get back there and check your list and make sure you’re ready to rock!
We’ll cover the following topics in this segment:
- Why anyone can do this!
- Virtual Servers – WTF is a Virtual Server and Where Do I Get One?
- Creating Your Virtual Server
- Size and Speed Considerations
- Server Operating Systems – What I recommend.
- Accessing Your Server
- Important Linux Commands
- File Editing – The Basics
- Security Considerations – How to Lock-It-Down
IT and “computer people” have always tried to hold some kind of ridiculous mystery around them. This is a complete shenanigan and, quite frankly, they’re no smarter than you regardless of all the jargon they throw out there. Yes it may be geared around computers and technology, but I’m certain an accountant, banker, engineer, or otherwise can talk the same circles around them as they pretend to talk around the rest of us. This said, I’ve worked in IT for many years, but have also branched out as an engineer, and most recently: engineering sales.
I’ve met, well, just about every kind of person you can imagine and I’ve come to find my true talent and craft is being able to explain anything technical to anyone regardless of their education, background, or level of knowledge. I do it every day so I know that YOU are capable! So strap in, grab a beer, and let’s do this.
You’re probably looking at this line above going… WTF Mike? We’re page 2 and you’re talking about virtual servers? What the $(*#&! is that? Well, pop that beer you just got and let’s dive in. Well, if you want to be fascinated about the world of VR, join the virtual reality workshop!
You’ve heard about the cloud right? Well, a virtual server exists in the cloud, but for our purposes, you can think of a virtual server as simply a server that someone has conveniently set up for you with a processor, memory (aka RAM), and a hard drive. The great thing about the cloud is that it has a vast number of resources. These resources can be packaged and repackaged as “servers” to allocate specific resources to customers, tasks, etc. This repackaging is what you see as a virtual server.
As discussed earlier, Digital Ocean is my preferred (and this tutorial’s baseline) virtual server provider. One of the great reasons I love these guys is they refer to their servers as “Droplets”. Cute and catchy, but damned if they don’t make my life so much easier. You can create a brand new virtual server (aka “droplet”) in 55 seconds with a variety of cpu, memory, and storage options. This is just awesome-sauce and, trust me, a huge time saver! I’ve been through many a provider and you can’t beat the cost and performance here.
So that’s a Virtual Server in a nutshell. From here on out, we’ll be referring to our virtual server as a “droplet” as I’ll be referencing our Digital Ocean host frequently throughout.