The good thing about DigitalOcean is that you are billed by the minute so you can spin up an instance, test things out and then destroy it and you’ll only be billed for the amount of time it was running.
How to Create a DigitalOcean VPS
Step 1: Click on the Droplets menu link and then click on Create Droplet as seen in the image below.
Step 2: Select One-click apps and then WordPress 4.9.1 on 16.04 as seen in the image below.
Step 3: Scroll down to the Choose a size section and select the lowest instance (1 GB RAM, 25 GB SSD and 1TB transfer for $5 per month).
Step 4: Scroll down to Finalize and create, enter a hostname for the WordPress VPS and then click Create.
You will be redirected to a screen with a list of Droplets (VPS instances) and you should see a progress bar of the new VPS being created.
Once the VPS is created you will be sent an email with the IP address and password of the VPS.
Step 5: Open up a Terminal window and then connect to the host via SSH.
Enter the password provided in the email. Once confirmed you will be asked to assign a new password to the root user. Enter the new root password twice, once the password is set your new WordPress VPS instance is now ready to use.
Step 6: Connect to the new WordPress site by typing the IP into a browser.
That’s it. Run through the WordPress installation as you would normally, and now you have a WordPress site hosted on a VPS for only $5 per month. The basic instance should run faster than any shared host and it’s definitely more secure.
For ease, I wrote this tutorial using password based security. I would highly recommend using key-based security by generating a SSH key and copying the public key into the security settings of your DigitalOcean account. Now when you create the Droplet you can specify the SSH key. This will prevent the password being sent by email and WordPress will automatically be enabled after the instance is created.
As you’ve seen from this short tutorial, you don’t need to be running WordPress on insecure shared hosting environments when you can run it on a fast and secure private server. If you haven’t tried DigitalOcean, I would encourage you to take it for a spin. Sign up, give this tutorial a try, and then watch your WordPress site run at speeds you never thought possible.