From Shared To Linode?


Currently i am hosted on a shared hosting package with a company in the UK they are very good but the expansion and independence is somewhat limited.

I have minimal experience with Linux but always wanted to give it a go and get into it more.

I currently have the following

1x Static HTML site

3x Wordpress sites

My question is what is linode like for this kind of setup, is linode a good choice?

Are their any good guides on getting up and running for people like me who don't have lots but enough knowledge to understand a guide?

Thanks all


9 Replies

Sure, lots of people use Linode to run multiple WordPress sites.

The easiest way to set up a server is to use a StackScript. There's even a StackScript for WordPress, but AFAIK it only installs one site by default. You'll need to add some "virtual hosts" to the "Apache web server" if you want to run multiple sites. (Google the words that I quoted. Read some of the top results. They'll probably tell you to create some directories and edit some configuration files in /etc/apache2.)

Just remember to use SSH/SFTP instead of FTP, use strong passwords and "SSH public keys", and update everything from time to time ("apt-get update && apt-get upgrade") and you'll be fine.

Personally, I went from shared to managed VPS, then onto Linode (I still have the managed account at another provider as I like them too). But I had a production e-commerce site running so I wasn't taking any chances. That's just speaking to my ability as a sysadmin, nothing to do with Linode, which is awesome.

If you're confident in your abilities to manage a server, or if you don't mind a little downtime while you sort out things as you break them, go for it. The guides here are fantastic, as are the forums. Based on my experience I'd recommend Ubuntu, as many of the guides seem geared toward that (just observation/opinion, not based on scientific process or method).

I suggest installing CSF/LFD as well, and keep Wordpress updated.

Hello All,

Thanks for the reply's i wouldn't say that iam confident as some people at sysadmin but i do want to learn and develop my skills.

I may get a 512mb node and see how things go from their, thanks for the recommendation on the Distro too.

Well I can give you my feedback as I was pretty much the same as you last year.

I moved from shared to linode and I have no system admin experience and while I love Linode I can't deny it's an uphill struggle. I'm an average Joe, a couple of wordpress sites and a small community is the most I run.

I'm lucky I have a friend in IT that helps me out with some of this stuff because sometimes I ask here and the suggestions don't always work. But if I didn't have a friend in IT, I'd be royally stuck especially setting up e-mail servers. I've locked myself out of my own sever had spikes CPU spikes and have no idea why and I constantly worry about security issues, jailing certain directories are still and issue I've had since day one which nobody here can help me.

Don't get me wrong, I have learned a lot! SSH, server settings, domain stuff - and that's been a lot of fun but if you are daunted by the fact that you won't have cpanel, but instead typing in codes to SSH then you may struggle. If you are struggling, let me know and we'll struggle though it together to work it out!

In my case, I'm also struggling in choosing what type of host would I get. I've red some thoughts about shared hosting at and there are factors which I like but still hesitant to go with. I'm still looking on different type of hosting though.

I believe considering switching to linode would be great but may require a lot of decision making, you may want to take some time to think of their pros and cons, well it really depends on your needs and what basically is convenient for you. :wink:

In shared hosting, you have a bunch of sites on the same machine, and they aren't separated by virtual machines like in a VPS. This makes it much easier to knock out a bunch of sites at once, or even compromise the security on those sites. You're also more limited in what you can do because they obviously can't give you full access to anything outside of your specific files, so you can't fine tune settings to your specific needs.

In a VPS setting like Linode, you still have a bunch of sites on one machine, but they are all on virtual machines, so this limits the possible attack. Some of the attacks associated with shared hosting are still possible, but most of them are reduced or eliminated. Another advantage is that each VM is dedicated to only one server, and the person who owns that particular VM has full access to all the configuration files on that VM, so you can fine tune for your needs.

The main thing you have to watch out for with VPS is the hardware specs of the physical machine, and also the kernel on the OS of the physical machine. The better the specs on the physical hardware, the better the VMs hosted on it. Having support for virtualization in the hardware also helps. Also, the host OS must support virtualization in it's kernel for best performance.

Linode seems to have great performance for their VMs.

So back in 2006 I was running with a company my Dad had used since the late 90s for his web hosting needs. In the late 90s the only way to get SOLID web hosting was to run your site off of a VPS plan. Shared hosting sucked because no one really knew what they were doing. If you want a laugh, check out their product page, especially the price: . Now that I look back, I believe this plan was actually 128MB up until late 2009.

Anyway, I decided to try out some stuff on my own and ended up getting a Linode after a recommendation from some people from an IRC server I frequented. This was back when it was a Linode 128. Anyway for a while I installed Webmin which was just not cutting it. I'm a sucker for pretty interfaces and such. Long story short I ditched any interface (except phpMyAdmin, I still use that) and went all command line. If course breaking the server is part of the process. It was only my site which got very few views, so no harm in starting from scratch.

I feel like you're requesting two things: a place to host your sites, and a place to learn. Linode is great for both. The cost to spin up a new Linode and then cancel it is very small. For instance, my customers probably could have dealt with their websites being down for 30min at 2am, but I wanted to learn the proper way to do a migration. I wanted to move from a somewhat unpleasant file structure to a more manageable one. I ordered a new Linode, installed the OS, copied files between them using scp/rsync and got my file structure exactly how I wanted it. After I was sure the new Linode was perfect I shut down both, swapped IPs, and booted them up. Sites were down for less than 2 minutes. If I wanted to be perfect I could simply have changed the DNS and then deleted the old Linode later.

I guess the moral of the story is that you can just mess around and learn and break things, or you can get serious and go for reliability, or you can do both (in my case, experimenting with my file system structure on a second Linode).

That being said, I believe that a properly configured Linode will get much more performance and reliability than 99% of the shared hosting solutions out there. The freedom to run anything you want (beyond a website, such as an IRCd or Minecraft/SRCDS Server) make it that much more of an obvious choice.



My suggestion:

If you do not mind learning the ins and outs of basic Linux administration, then Linode is an AWESOME choice. If you would rather not learn basic administration, then for security reasons, you are better off with managed hosting.

Some things you need to be able to do if you admin your own system:

1) If you run a mail server, know how to set it up for secure connections (IE IMAPS or POPS) and authenticate SMTP so that you are never an open relay. This is critical with linode because (as they should) they have a low tolerance for spammers, so it is up to you to make sure a mail server is not an open relay.

2) You need to be able to understand the Apache configuration file and the php.ini file and feel comfortable knowing how to google elements of those files you have trouble understanding

3) You need to have a plan in place to make sure your software is kept up to date. Software installed by your chosen distribution is usually easy to keep maintained, but you need to be on the right mail lists to be alerted to security issues found in the web applications you run on your web serving stack. IE there was recently a reflective XSS attack found in wordpress (or a WP module, don't remember, I don't run WP) - as a system administrator it is your responsibility to apply patches to those issues when they are made available, and sooner if you have the programming skill to fix the issue yourself.

There are other issues to consider. What you probably should do is buy a book written for the distribution you choose. Read reviews first, some books are crap.

As far as choosing a distribution, I suggest choosing a distribution that focuses on reliable server installs and long term support rather than having the freshest software.

For example, I run Fedora and Ubuntu at home where I like the new stuff, but I run CentOS at Linode because it has a much longer support time and though versions may not always be freshest, the software has been tested well already with most bugs squashed.

Just my thoughts.

Apache isn't the only software available to a web server, it's just the most popular. Understanding the basics of the one you choose is important.

If you don't mind severely outdated software, CentOS is great, it does run quite well because of the testing they do, but at the same time, it's not good to take the "no upgrades to preserve stability" to an extreme. Keeping upgrades to a minimal is a good policy, but sometimes you need a newer version of a piece of software, e.g. for a new feature, or because the older version is no longer supported. For example, on a live CentOS 5.5 install, when doing security updates for the Drupal CMS, the site wouldn't work any more because they dropped support for the outdated version of PHP that CentOS had, so I needed to enable a 3rd party repository to update.

Keeping this in mind, most of the popular distributions, such as CentOS and Debian, will have third party software repositories (maintained by regular users) that you can use if you absolutely need a newer version of your software. For example, I needed to use a repository called "webtatic" in the CentOS 5.5 install in order to continue running Drupal, and I had to add a repository to my Linode's Debian installation in order to correctly setup my Linode's web server. Both Debian and CentOS keep updates to a minimal to keep their systems stable, but you can always add 3rd party repos to get a specific set of updates or to add functionality you need that you can't get from the official repos.


Please enter an answer

You can mention users to notify them: @username

You can use Markdown to format your question. For more examples see the Markdown Cheatsheet.

> I’m a blockquote.

I’m a blockquote.

[I'm a link] (

I'm a link

**I am bold** I am bold

*I am italicized* I am italicized

Community Code of Conduct