Self Hosted WordPress is itself a scary phrase to a non-tech person and add Cloud Server on it. Here is a Very Easy Guide to under Self Hosted WordPress. This article is dedicated to a 67 years aged young doctor, who quite nicely has handled Adobe Dreamweaver for his quite old two websites but now is struggling with Self Hosted WordPress on a (which I typically say) C grade server. I am quite aware, he is not the first person, there are thousands (or millions) who has the exact problem of understanding the basic architecture of a Self Hosted WordPress on server plus I will explain why you must upgrade your self hosted WordPress to cost effective A grade Cloud server.
Self Hosted WordPress on Cloud Server for Dummies
You must understand that, a server we use is nothing but just a special kind of computer you are using. The basic difference is it is designed in a way so that it can run for 365 days, has hardware based security and some extra things. Ultimately it is just a computer like you have on your lap or desk or palm. Unfortunately, most uses Microsoft Windows operating system, which is nothing but a crap, prone to virus operating system. For servers we usually use Free operating system of Linux category. Those who are using a Linux PC like running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or using a Mac are actually very closer to the setup of a server. We do not use our laptop or desktop as a server as it will die soon if we run it for 24 hours, a human will be needed to look after it etc. This is the basic reason why we usually rent a server space. For developmental purpose, you can actually install WordPress on your own computer :
- Mac OS X users follow this guide : Install WordPress on Mac OS X With Command Line LAMP Configuration
- Ubuntu Linux Users follow this guide : Install WordPress on Ubuntu or Debian PC Guide
- Microsoft Windows users follow this guide : Two ways :
This method to test run Self Hosted WordPress on your computer is very very important to understand how the things works. This will save you from future huge cost for hiring developers (when practically there is no need), using the server’s bandwidth (plus burning Internet bandwidth) unnecessarily.
The thing that is definitely coming in your mind, “if my computer is just like a server then why a server is not like my computer”. Actually we can, we can use a server just like a remote desktop with mouse, keyboard etc. You can see this guide where we did for very advanced users.
Self Hosted WordPress on Cloud Server : Then Why I See That CPanel or Plesk Thing ?
As you have understood, basically a folder of a computer is exposed to the public, actually that is only accessible via browsers. We set up in a way, so that the domain name point towards that folder. Understand it : we as the owners (rather tenant as we rent a server) can access the whole computer ; i.e. the server as well as the publicly accessible folder where your beautiful WordPress is located.
cPanel like control panel is a web hosting panel, that is a software itself, that is installed on this computer. Basically this cPanel is highly profitable for both the web hosting providers and cPanel software developers (its a quite badly high priced software). This actually confuses the most (that is an indirect advantage gained by old generation web hosting companies – they keep the consumers in dark with this odd panel) as the ‘computer’ thing of server is not felt because of this cPanel. Additionally, cPanel itself is a software, which will run 24 hours – despite we you will not need it, it is a wastage of resources. It just gives a graphical user interface.
Self Hosted WordPress on Cloud Server : Make it Easy with a Cloud Server
Most Cloud Hosting bands like The Rackspace Cloud or HP actually charges in pay as you go model. They simply give a server. As that rented computer is geographically away from you (that is why it is a remote computer), we can not open it directly with a monitor, keyboard sitting beside it ! We use Internet to connect with it. As that connection has risks (hackers can intrude if we keep it unsecured) we use Secure Shell or SSH to connect with it with a black command line screen. Following this way, we have published guide how to install WordPress on a Server. In fact, your beloved cPanel is also installed in this way – check this guide. So, with a cloud server, you actually have various advantages – it is configurable by RAM as you need, you can test drive for few hours and just pay few cents, it is you who will decide whether cPanel will be installed or directly WordPress will be installed and more just for few dollars per month. On those shared cPanel server (those who charge $3 – $5 per month) actually runs over 700 customer account on one server on average – this is the revenue model. They are obviously prone to data loss, hacking and downtimes. And probably all of these $3 / month takes the money for a year before they are delivering the service. But, for Cloud Server, you are paying on the next month.
Self Hosted WordPress on Cloud Server : How WordPress Runs and How I can upload, download files, backup etc.
As we are putting (very raw word, but probably you will understand it easily) the files of WordPress on a publicly accessible folder – we call it a ‘web software’. WordPress actually stores the data not on that folder. On that folder the basic files, configuration files, your uploaded images etc. are kept. The data (like the words in this webpage, its url, number of comments etc.) resides on a software named MySQL. MySQL is difficult to manage as there is no graphical interface – you have to use that black screen. To make it easier, there is a software named PHPMyAdmin. We PHPMyAdmin, we can visually backup and restore the data if needed. For accessing that publicly visible folder where WordPress is, we use another software, that is to be installed on your computer – FTP or Secure FTP Software. Where we will need this FTP Software ? I am providing the answer, but think yourself logically.
We will use this FTP software to upload the Google’s webmaster tool’s verification file, we can use to upload a zip file so that you can download it.
So, for complete backup of WordPress, we will need the MySQL database backup though PHPMyAdmin (it is the basic, there are indirect ways) and all the files (actually only few files are needed, just for your easy understanding) on that public folder where your WordPress is. That is via that FTP software. So, basically after installation, we will rarely need that black screen command line tool (just for understanding the basic, actually it is needed for update of the computer softwares – that is the server’s softwares and many things).
Self Hosted WordPress Versus Old HTML, PHP, Dreamweaver created websites
For easy understanding, there is no database – that MySQL and PHPMyAdmin is not present. All files are on FTP. You can understand, how easy it is. Just use your FTP software, login and you will get all your files. In fact, they can be scrapped without any access to the server (for HTML only, PHP is serverside programming language, it can not be scrapped in that way). So there are definitely practical facts – WordPress is an Advance, Interactive software and gives a huge flexibility. Despite the fact that a plain HTML page will load faster, WordPress is actually a software and being a software it is considered to Google bots a bit differently – this why WordPress or any web software with some needed functions ranks far better than a plain HTML webpage – it itself pings several services, makes Google aware of a new web page.