As part of the unexpectedly routine Triennial web host move, I have moved this site from Stablehost at Arizona to Cloudways / Digital Ocean in Singapore on a trial basis for a few months just to see.
Had some rather weird intermittent hard to track down slow-down issues while this site was hosted on a Shared hosting plan with Stablehost. 7/8 times it would come moderately fast, however for 1/8 times the pages would load painfully slowly as if you are on a 56k Dial-up modem. A CTRL+F5 full refresh on the client side (as the page is crawling down) would cause any given web page to shoot down quickly. Spent half a day fossicking around with Firewalls, Cache settings, PHP settings, etc. to no avail.
Stablehost techs attempted to resolve it, but in the end, I ended up hitting into a brick wall. Originally suspected a misbehaving node within Stablehost’s shared hosting cluster but don’t know anymore, it could be anything in between New Zealand and Stablehost’s Arizona servers..
Went looking for another Shared hosting plan, but after looking around and testing sites of known customers of any given web host, It seems they all suffer from this slow down issue to some degree or another on their shared hosting plans, though probably not as extreme as what I was experiencing with my Stablehost account.
With this being on a VPS in Singapore, pages and images now shoot down even faster when accessing this page from New Zealand. Loading times from North America look to be the same, however.
Overall, experience wise, there is a lot more mucking around trying to set up a VPS, even if you’re using a semi-managed VPS solution from Cloudways. Cloudways have a lot of migration tools, but unsurprisingly, things broke on this site while transferring this site from Stablehost to Cloudways. Quite a bit of manual intervention was required. Also, Email is a pain to set up… you still need to use an outside service to manage your Email.
Stepping back a bit. there’s a lot more work involved with running a website these days. It didn’t used to be like this, and it was certainly comparatively very easy back in 90s to create a homepage. Kind of now wondering how long would I be able to maintain this homepage before things just get so incredibly complex (where I end up relenting and going to specialized, proprietary and centralized services)