01-23-2012, 02:49 PM
BlueOrchard BlueOrchard is offline
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I would like to know how to optimize my VPS so that it works to it's fullest. Thanks
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01-24-2012, 05:53 PM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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Hi BlueOrchard, let's see what I can tell you....

First off, always be sure to give as many details as you can. Pertinent details, that is. Because this is a conversation we started to have in PMs, I already have some of that info, which I'll quote and paste here:

- Hello man! Here's my site: http://minecraftmodding.net/
- Oh and I use the Wordpress CMS.
- Thanks for all your help man! You are really helping me out
- Also, do you think you can remove unnecessary things, as in things I don't need for the site to run?
- You recommended nginx. Do you think that would benefit me too?

WordPress should be checked for unnecessary or resource-hungry plugins. For example, the infamous/popular All-In-One SEO plugin is both useless and poorly coded. It causes sites to slow down, and it does little more than abuse RAM and CPU. Some of the code causes loops in processing, and it can cause sites to freeze and not 100% load in the browser. Remember that many plugins are built by random contributors online, and not necessarily experienced programmers/coders or web developers. There are a number of really bad plugins out there; most of them are for "security" or "SEO" but do more harm than good.

Additionally, WordPress really needs some plugins that streamline how it functions. For example, you can disable unnecessary tasks performed by WP (via a plugin), as well as enabled caching. There's also some plugins that do actually add security, such as blocking known-malicious queries/URLs (BBQ plugin), or limiting login attempts (Login Lockdown).

.htaccess could use some tweaks for security, including WordPress for single-user blogs.

The server needs a firewall, and it needs to block unnecessary ports.

The ports for various services can and should be changed. SSH, for example, should be moved off port 22. The root login should also be disabled. Some of these things are written into guides on this site ... some not (not yet, at least).
-- http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/web-...hange-ssh.html
-- http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/web-...sary-port.html
-- http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/web-...able-root.html
-- http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/web-...ange-smtp.html

You have to be savvy about it, though. You can't just blindly follow guides. The changes you make should be customized to your exact needs from the VPS. For example, if you're not using mail, you can turn off mail services entirely, and block out any incoming requests to those ports. Inversely, if you are using mail, you need to secure it, as well as enable services that ensure your mail is delivered to inboxes (SPF, DomainKeys/DKIM).

To make better use of RAM, you can disable unnecessary settings. For example, MySQL comes with InnoDB by default, but many apps (including WordPress) are using MyISAM -- aka "not InnoDB", to avoid confusing jargon.

nginx is definitely helpful for speeding up servers that have static content. And while WordPress us dynamic, the cached files are static. So it helps long-term, if reverse proxied to Apache. You want Apache for the .htaccess and 404. And with you using a cPanel server, there is a free nginxcp plugin available, which works decently. (I actually use Unixy Varnish, which is a paid plugin.)

In some ways, you've asked a loaded question.

Sometimes it's better to just hire an admin -- even if it's for a temporary basis (first few months of using a server). The admin can harden it, and teach you some of the basics of maintaining it. While hosting companies often provided managed services, they're reactive -- not proactive. You have to ask them to do certain tasks. But if you don't know what those tasks are, you're in a Catch-22 kind of pickle.


Also Note: While I can slowly help you learn the DIY method, we also offer low-cost admin services for Linux servers. I just wanted to mention it, as an alternative to what's bound to be a long and jargon-filled thread. A weeks-long Q&A novel here in the forum may be unnecessary. In addition to securing the server, optimizing services, and tweaking your apps (WordPress), you'd be taught some basic administration tasks. That may be more to your liking. Use a service for a few months, and then be self-reliant afterwards. (You can always come back here for questions, or to renew services.)

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