Move to WordPress, and Why

wordpress on desk

I moved this site to official WordPress hosting ( about one year ago. I was using WordPress as my blog system since 2005 by moving away from Movable Type. My first site was setup on a LAMP server, then move to Media Temple Grid hosting, and then move to Linode VPS. After few problem and incident I decide move my site to managed WP with a paid plan.

Some times I receive message of asking comparing VPS hosted WordPress and, which is not an easy question to answer. I list reason why I move to and what I lost.

Why I move to

Security and Updates

Site security is important. And it was the main reason I move to a managed solution. I don’t mean how good the security in, but generally speaking they do security better than most VPS owner.

I work for a major IT company, and have client in Top 500 list. I know there will be risk of put my web server direct to internet. So when I deploy WordPress on my Linode VM, I put my Apache and database in an internal network behind a Haproxy.

Example of Haproxy with Let’s Encrypt

The software and proxy run on different VPS connect to private network with Firewalld on. I can only SSH to non-root account with ssh-key, not using password. And also have script for install Linux security update every 2 weeks.

Every thing looks great, but one day in 2017 I see my site was marked with security warning by Google. After check and file scan, several script has been found injected into WordPress plugin and program. The root cause was not found, the best guess was cause by security vulnerabilities in old WordPress version.

I have to complete rebuild those VM, and restore data from backup. But even update WordPress is not a difficult task, I did have experience of failed upgrade, and take me time to fix the problem. This is why I am looking for am managed service, and is the first option.

HTTPs and Let’s Encrypt ACME

I also using Haproxy for HTTPs offloading, and using Let’s Encrypt as my HTTPs certificate provider. But certificate provided by Let’s Encrypt have short expire date, so I setup auto renewal with ACME for update certificate every few weeks.

However, sometimes the auto renewal failed and causing Haproxy stop working. On the other hand helps me renew certificate without any problem.


I currently using Premium Plan from costs me 8.00 USD per month. Compare to VPS plan, cost me 5.00+20.00=25.00 USD per month, save my 204.00 USD each year.

I also using premium theme included in my plan, so I do not need to spend extra cost to buy theme, or safe time for develop by my self. And I don’t need to spend time to maintain those VMs.


There are some limitation of using Some of the limitation due to my 8.00 USD Premium Plan, and can be resolved by upgrade to more expensive plan. But other limitation can not work around easily.

Feature and Plugins

My Premium Plan don’t include plugin service. As a SaaS service, there is no more control other than WordPress dashboard panel, any extra feature not include in WordPress must require install a plugin. The cheapest plan with plugin support cost 25.00 USD per month.

Without plugin support some advance feature such as CDN, some show-box, google analytics are also limited.


DNS and Domain Name can providing one year free domain name for customer, but the best practice is register your domain name with major domain provider such as godaddy or I didn’t use free domain name provide by so I do not know how much I have to pay for next year, and I am not sure offer private Whois.

By default, require using their DNS, and DNS do support most of the DNS record type

But for user have large record list, or do not want to transfer DNS from or, you can create a A record to ingress IP addresses. I using following IP address provided by support:


They can be different from your site, ask support for conformation.

SANS in HTTPs Certificate

Certificate issued by under common name * My domain name list as one DNS record in SANs, with other user’s domain name. I can not have a http certificate with only my domain name in SANs list.

China Problem

I living in China, and sometimes blocked in China. Currently I using a workaround for this issue. This only cause problem for people visit my site from China.

Log and Visiter Metadata

On, I can only see visitor information from Jetpack. If you have plugin support, other traffic analytics service such as Google can be support. But unlike VPS, I can access raw log from Haproxy or Apache web server can and send to ELK on my data platform for archive or analysis.


The only problem for me now is raw access log and no plugin support. I use CDN solve the certificate and access problem. I don’t know is any SaaS provider will provide those access log, but before I see better stable WP managed service, I will stay in, and perhaps buy the Business Plan.