About a year ago I moved my WordPress powered blog from GoDaddy’s shared hosting to an AWS machine. The performance of my WordPress install on Godaddy was getting from bad to worse, something I that got really obvious when I configured a Pingdom account to alert me every time the site was unreachable. Around that time I was also getting interested in learning how AWS works and so it seemed like moving the blog on AWS seemed like a good idea. A year in, I am moving my blog again, just letting WordPress host the entire thing for me this time. I figured I’d share the reasons why:
- Managing the traffic peaks: I ran my blog on an AWS t1.micro instance which worked pretty well on a regular day. However every once in a while if my traffic spiked (say if a post reached Hacker News or Reddit), the site would go down. I could configure AWS auto scaling but that also meant spending more money. I ultimately ended up putting a free instance of CloudFlare in front of the blog and that seemed to work well, but still left me feeling uneasy.
- Cost: Running the blog on GoDaddy cost me around $70 a year. My AWS bill used to be around $17 a month which is around $200 a year, a definite jump from what I was spending on GoDaddy but I put it down to cost of learning. The Wordpress account with custom domain costs $99 a year, so I don’t mind the savings, especially considering I hadn’t really been doing too much server management for the last 6 months.
- Trusting backups: I had setup a WordPress backup to Dropbox plugin to make sure if I accidentally wiped the database or something, I’d always have the data to go back to, but I never verified the backup after the initial couple of weeks. Over time I got a lot less confident if that plugin was actually working, and kept putting off verifying the backup (trying to bring up a new wordpress instance with just that data). Moving to a hosted WP instance eliminates that doubt.
All in all, the AWS experiment was fun and educational, but it made me started blogging less since I was always worried that I’d have to monitor the site each time I added a post. Moving to WP hosting feels like a good decision though I do think I broke some Google URLs during the migrations, mostly because my blog moved from a subfolder (arpitonline.com/blog/*** to just arpitonline.com/***). I am fine with that, I hated the blog subfolder anyway. If you do subscribe to my feed, you might have to update your RSS readers to the new feed link.