My Hostgator account is due to expire in a few days. I have been a happy Hostgator customer for close to a year. I blog inconsistently and it makes little sense to keep up with the cost web hosting cost. Previously, I have tried some hackish solutions like Pelican with Github Pages. I couldn’t stick with them for lack of motivation to learn HTML/CSS or any other language to build my blog ground up. That takes me back to WordPress. And in a sense if I am spending time blogging I would rather meddle with as elephantish as WordPress than any other platform.
I had a some credit lying around in DigitalOcean. DigitalOcean has come out as super cheap and clean VPS solution. Users can either install their favorite distribution or use applications to install WordPress or Ghost or many other softwares. I was given choice of CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, and Arch Linux. Arch Linux is my preference for Linux on desktop. Debian is a mountain. Ubuntu is an island. Fedora isn’t suited for server. I was left with CentOS. 6.x version of CentOS is supported for 7 years. CentOS is a Red Hat clone. This is a great opportunity to learn the upstream OS. And it also means 7 years of hassle free usage.
DigitalOcean took around a minute to install the image. I actually did it a few times messing up and reinstalling everything. I am eventually set with nginx and WordPress. Moving from managed hosting to unmanaged hosting is not so great of an experience but I am loving the control I have over my installation. I am a little concerned about the whole security thing. File permissions are specially the scarier part of Linux for me. I am also new to nginx and CentOS. But overall it has been a good learning experience.