Moving servers

This post is more along the lines of a “marker” for me to capture something I did today.

On 26th Dec 2022 I had moved this blog from A Small Orange to Cloudways. At that time I had only two quibbles with them – 1) the price: a droplet on Digital Ocean costs US$6, but the same droplet managed via Cloudways is double the price at US$12; and two, lack of IPv6. I signed up for the trial for which they give US$100 in credits, and it’s been 5 months and I am extremely pleased with them.

The price was still an issue though. What with rising costs of living, and this blog being a hobby than something I want to spend serious money on, and them bumping up prices to US$14 (and me realizing these price figures don’t include taxes coz I am still getting used to the idea of taxes 😀 so the actual figure is about US$16.8)… this was something I wasn’t very happy about.

I explored other options – especially this one from Gandi – and if anything they all made me realize how good I had it with Cloudways. Gandi, for instance, is cost effective but they offer no tools for actually migrating the blog over. You can use third party tools (which often cost) and then too Gandi itself doesn’t offer a staging URL so you can configure the blog while migrating. (Their help page talks about a test URL but I couldn’t find it and support wasn’t responsive enough to show me where it is; all I could get out of support is that I should setup a sub-domain or a new domain to install WordPress to on Gandi, then migrate my blog over to that).

With Cloudways migration was a breeze. So seamless and worry free! It was one of the best experiences I had. Support too has been terrific. They are just a chat box away, and usually quick to respond. Plus I get the benefit for a dedicated VPS/ VM in DigitalOcean but don’t have to worry about installing PHP and Varnish and Nginx and managing updates etc. – that time saving is what I am paying the difference for. Moreover Cloudways includes a caching plugin, malware protection, take care of rotating SSL certs, and so on.

That said, today I was looking at the prices again and noticed that when signing up I had gone with a Premium package. This corresponds to a Premium tier in DigitalOcean. A Standard DigitalOcean droplet is US$6 and its equivalent in Cloudways is US$11; while a Premium droplet is US$7 and its equivalent in Cloudways is US$14. Interesting. So the US$1 difference in DigitalOcean is actually translates to a US$3 difference with Cloudways – why? Am I getting something more out of Cloudways for this price difference? I don’t know and I couldn’t find anything in their KB articles.

Going with Premium droplets has performance benefits but I don’t think this blog has anywhere near the large number of requests Premium makese sense for. So I looked into downgrading to Standard, and that too is super easy with Cloudways. Turns out all you do is clone the server and select a Standard server to clone to. Just be mindful of the fact that the default option for everything (be it cloning or signing up for a new server) is the Premium option, so you have to intentionally select a Standard server.

And that’s it, this is the first post on the newly moved server. After cloning I changed the DNS and turned off the old server. I’ll delete it after posting this. Here’s a screenshot for posterity.