Server Requirements

Required*:

  • Hosting Plan must allow at a minimum 2 installations of WordPress**
  • PHP version 7
  • MySQL version 5.0.15 or greater; or any version of MariaDB
  • Apache mod_rewrite module
  • Apache mod_ssl module
  • Apache mod_http2 module.***

Not Required but Highly Recommended:

  • Apache mod_pagespeed module or equivalent ****

What Type of Server should you use?

Shared Server

We recently tested Timber-Boot on a shared server. As the results were not awful (2 seconds load on a mobile phone), we are going to test on the next tier shared hosting they provide, before releasing all the results.

A shared server can give an economical entry into hosting a website. Make sure your shared server meets the minimum requirements stated above. The low-end plans advertised at under $10 a month usually do not include HTTP2. Some shared hosting plans do include integrated plugins that will be a sufficient substitute for the functionality of mod_pagespeed.

Remember, shared hosting is not designed for sites with high traffic. So it is best to look for a host that also offers VPS and Dedicated hosting and offers free or reduced prices for migration of the site. As your traffic grows, the need for a server to handle the resources required also does.

VPS

The advantage of this type of server is that you are running a virtualized server with its own operating system. You can install everything up to and including mod_pagespeed.  You have more resources available that you do on the shared environment, but you are still restricted on how much you can use at any one given time.

Most hosting companies that offer a line of VPS servers and above usually offer levels of management with the server.  The tiers that are offered are:

  • Fully Managed
  • Managed
  • Unmanaged

The management services usually just include the server and its operating system. They do not provide support for WordPress, themes or plugins. If you are unfamiliar with Linux on a command line, then definitely stay away from the unmanaged products.

A VPS can handle more traffic than shared.  As for answering the question as to how much traffic, there is no set answer. There are too many variables involved.  But with the optimization built into Timber-Boot, if the host informs you that have been going over your allotted resources, it is time to get a server with more resources.

This is a good problem to have. To consume more resources should mean your traffic is increasing.  Like any business, at it grows, it needs to consume more resources.

Dedicated

A dedicated server is just that. All of the resources of the physical server are yours and are not shared. This type of server can handle high traffic loads.  If more resources are needed, they can be physically added to the server.

Like the VPS servers, dedicated servers are usually offered with levels of management:

  • Fully Managed
  • Managed
  • Unmanaged

The management services usually just include the server and its operating system. They do not provide support for WordPress, themes or plugins. If you are unfamiliar with Linux on a command line, then definitely stay away from the unmanaged products.

A dedicated server can handle more traffic than a VPS.  As for answering the question as to how much traffic, once again there is no set answer. There are too many variables involved.  But with the optimization built into Timber-Boot, if the host informs you that have been going over your allotted resources, it is time to get a server with more resources.

Scalable Cloud Infrastructure

These are services such as AWS (Amazon Web Services) or Google Cloud. These services can range from a small VM (virtual machine) to a load balancing between multiple servers.

This is an infrastructure and does require certain skills and knowledge to maintain.  You can get your services directly through the provider, to choose to go to a reseller who will manage the services for you.

The beauty of this infrastructure is addition resources and servers can be added on the “fly” when needed (major advertising campaign) and scaled back down when those resources are not needed.  You are paying for services as you use them.  The downside of this is it is difficult to budget.

 

*Included are the minimum requirements for WordPress

**It is required that you have both a Production and a Staging site.

***The asset compilation in Timber-Boot was optimized to be used with HTTP2.

****Apache works will with mod_pagespeed.  Other servers running NGNIX or LITESPEED can substitute a cache system and image optimization by using a server integration or a WordPress plugin.