If you want your WordPress website to be fast, this is the service for you. With this service, we will build a new WordPress environment for you on Digital Ocean (at a location of your choice and price per month of your choice) using the LATEST and GREATEST tools, speed boosts, caching services, compilation engines and more to ensure your site loads in the fastest speeds possible for a single server configuration.
See how fast Mercury WordPress is in action
This video shows a Woocommerce site I set up which is running on a fresh Mercury installation on a $5pcm Digital Ocean server. It’s VERY fast. If you go for the $10 or $20pcm plan, it’ll be even faster.
How to choose between WP Engine and Digital Ocean
Mercury is a new setup built by the top engineering firm 10up and commissioned by WP Engine so you can get it directly from them if you wish.
Digital Ocean prices start at $5pcm for the entire VPS (sites limited by memory – probably 10 – 20 depending on size/visitors) whereas WP Engine prices start at $29pcm for a single WordPress website.
Advantages of WP Engine
- Managed hosting – you’re paying extra for their support but they you will handle updates for you as well as backups
- No up-front installation cost
Disadvantages of WP Engine
- It’s pricey if you want to add an additional site ($29pcm for single site, $99pcm for 10 installs)
- Your bandwidth is limited to 25,000 views per month on the basic plan
Get a WP Engine plan here and ask them for the Mercury installation (i.e. you don’t need to buy the service on the page, *they* will set it up for you). If you want to find out more about the origins of Mercury, check out this WP Engine article.
Advantages of Digital Ocean
- Far cheaper monthly price
- You have your own VPS – that means you have your own CPUs and performance will be stable
- You can run as many sites as memory allows on your server (e.g. with the $20pcm plan you could have 100 sites on your server)
- You have no monthly page view limit
- You get more storage space for your money – particularly important for affiliate stores with lots of images
Disadvantages of Digital Ocean
- You have to run your own backups (install Updraft Plus and configure off-site backups – it’s really easy)
- You have to manage your own plugin and theme updates (you can these up to be automated anyway)
Sign up for a Digital Ocean plan here ($10 discount through this affiliate link) and buy the service on this page to get us to set it up (or use the free DIY option below).
Free DIY Option with Digital Ocean
You can also DIY this WordPress installation if you like or get us to do the installation for a fresh site or you can handle the migration yourself.
What’s included in the Mercury Installation
Ok – so, if you’ve chosen to go for Digital Ocean and the installation/migration service on this page then read on to find out all the amazing benefits your site is going to have.
Digital Ocean chosen for hosting your WordPress site
Chosen because they use RAID SSD – that’s lots of super-fast solid state disks. SSDs can be up to 100 times faster than HDD depending on how much seeking is done against the disks. With a WordPress website and 100s of files per page scattered across the disks, that’s a large speed boost for your WordPress site.
Note that Digital Ocean are not providing support for software installed on their servers – if you’re looking for having someone on hand to support you with a setup like this, you should really consider using WP Engine instead. They provide Managed WordPress Hosting which obviously costs a bit more, but they’re the ones you commissioned this setup so if you go with them, you’ll get the full bleeding edge performance PLUS support when you need it. Find out more about pricing plans for WP Engine here.
If, on the other hand, you DO decide to go with Digital Ocean and this Mercury installation service then you can see their more affordable monthly plans here.
If you wish to go with a different host – the only real requirement is that you get them to install Ubuntu 14.04 or above.
Nginx chosen for your web server
Apache is the most common web server used by web hosts around the world. The reason for that is because it’s incredibly stable and has a ton of modules to make it work with anything. This reduces support costs for hosts but it really sucks when it comes to supporting more than a dozen simultaneous users on your WordPress site. Apache eats RAM.
Nginx on the other hand, has been built as an event-based-web-service and as such it hardly uses any RAM at all. It’s also super-fast at serving up files and images. Nginx doesn’t actually process your PHP files (PHP is what WordPress is written in) but Nginx CAN pass through files to other processes in order to generate the HTML your users will see.
HHVM with fallback to PHP-FPM chosen to process your PHP files
HHVM is the Hip Hop Virtual Machine, invented and built by Facebook to compile the PHP page most of their site is built upon. They then open-sourced this compiler to the general public and now it’s almost 100% compatible with WordPress. Because it’s not fully 100% compatible, this WordPress installation you’ll get also includes fallback to use PHP-FPM which is 3 – 10 times slower than HHVM but is 100% compatible. It automatically detects if there is an incompatibility. At this point in time, I know WooCommerce, Datafeedr, standard WordPress, bbPress etc are all fully compatible whilst I only know of Buddypress being incompatible due to a function it uses which is not yet implemented in HHVM.
Memcached and APC chosen as your key-value store
For single server installs, APC is a super-fast caching system and when you’re configuring W3 Total Cache then you should choose APC for your caching engine.
Memcached also works in conjunction with WordPress plugins like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache to store any objects, pages, widgets or data you decide to cache on a distributed server setup. It’s super-fast at storing and retrieving data based on a single key – the cache key – so this gives you more speed boost on your server – but ONLY if you’re running multiple servers. This install doesn’t include a multi-server but it does include Memcached ready for when/if you add additional servers to your configuration. (you won’t need to unless you’re hitting 100,000 visitors per day)
Possibly, Redis would be a better choice as it has more features but it’s far more complex to set up and the last thing you want is your caching engine breaking. When it comes to performance, Memcached still wins.
Percona DB chosen over MySQL
Yes, that’s right – this installation won’t be using MySQL. Don’t worry though, because PerconaDB is 100% compatible with MySQL and is a LOT faster.
Varnish added for the final performance polish
Varnish is also included – that’s an HTML caching engine – the fastest on the planet. It works in conjunction with the W3 Total Cache plugin so ensure you configure it (unless you’re paying us to configure this)
Which option should you choose?
If you want to have the fastest single server set up of WordPress that it’s possible to get, either do it yourself by setting up Digital Ocean and installing all the necessary items or pay us to do it for you.
This single server setup will be ready to handle thousands of simultaneous users and will handle any user-blitz you get from your social media campaigns.
Here’s a breakdown of the 2 options available (choose your option above next to the product image where it says ‘Service Required’)
- You will point your domain name at your new Digital Ocean server IP address
- We will set up all of the above elements on your new Digital Ocean server (or Ubuntu 14.04 server of your choice)
- We will install and configure W3 Total Cache for you to make best use of your new features
- You will then have a brand-new, clean, empty, highest-performance-possible installation of WordPress
What you need to do:
- Get a Digital Ocean droplet (the above runs great on their $5pcm servers!)
- Point a domain name at your new Digital Ocean droplet
- Buy the Install package and provide us with: a) the email you got sent by Digital Ocean, b) the domain name you pointed at your Digital Ocean droplet
Install + Migrate
- Everything from the Install + Migrate package + we will configure W3 Total Cache for you and run a performance review of your site
What you need to do:
- Get a Digital Ocean droplet (the above runs fine on their $5pcm servers!)
- Point a temporary subdomain name at your new Digital Ocean droplet (e.g. new.yourdomain.com)
- Buy the Install + Migrate package and provide us with: a) the email you got sent by Digital Ocean, b) the domain name you pointed at your Digital Ocean droplet, c) an admin account for your existing WordPress website (we don’t need access to your host, just your WordPress site)
We will set up your new server, your new site, migrate your content (everything) from your existing site and then set up and configure W3 Total Cache to make use of your new features – your new site will be fast WITHOUT this, but even faster once we have configured W3 Total Cache for you.
With the Install + Migrate package you will also get a performance review of your site, identifying any other performance improvements you can make (e.g. by configuring plugins, adding/removing plugins etc depending on your usage scenario)
Getting a Digital Ocean Droplet
Click here to get a Digital Ocean droplet (this is an affiliate link of mine, includes a $10 discount for you).
When choosing your Digital Ocean droplet, you can choose anything from $5pcm upwards – the more you spend, the faster your server will be and the more simultaneous users it will support.
When configuring your droplet, choose a location nearest to your customers – e.g. London, Amsterdam, New York or wherever you prefer.
You can accept all the other defaults but when it comes to choosing your operating system, you must choose Ubuntu 14.04 or higher. Once you have your droplet, buy the service above or follow the DIY instructions and you’ll be up and running in no time.