Lightsail vs Vultr: VPS Reviews

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through our comparison of Amazon Lightsail vs. Vultr. We’ve been using these two cloud web services for months. We love both of them. These are high end quality cloud service providers in the market for WordPress web developers. Is Vultr better than Lightsail? What are the best VPS providers? Let’s read on to find our comparison.

Vultr vs Lightsail

In this review, we focus on the starter packages, which include: prices, features, performance, and infrastructure.

Amazon Lightsail

Lightsail is an easy-to-use cloud platform that offers you everything needed to build an application or website, plus a cost-effective, monthly plan. Whether you’re new to the cloud or looking to get on the cloud quickly with AWS infrastructure you trust, we’ve got you covered. Lightsail is ideal for simpler workloads, quick deployments, and getting started on AWS. It’s designed to help you start small, and then scale as you grow.

Quickly create a website that shines. Create and customize your blog, e-commerce, or personal website with Lightsail’s pre-configured applications like WordPress, Magento, Plesk, and Joomla.

  • 1 GB Memory
  • 1 Core Processor
  • 40 GB SSD Disk
  • 2 TB Transfer*
  • $5USD/mo
  • Click-to-launch OS & applications

Vultr:

Vultr compute features 100% local SSD and high performance Intel CPUs.

  • 25 GB SSD
  • 1 CPU
  • 1024 MB
  • 1 TB
  • $5/mo $0.007/hr
  • Spin up a new instance with your preferred operating system or pre-installed application in just seconds.

With $5 per month, Amazon Lightsail offers better specifications for its cloud service. You can get more bandwidth and more storage for the same price that Vultr offers.

Infrastructure locations

For Vultr, we chose Atlanta for our hosting. Currently, Vultr has more than 16 locations worldwide. Oregon is our location when using Lightsail, which has many regions across the continents. Both providers offer cloud server location you prefer.

Managing Lightsail

We use SpinupWP to setup multiple WordPress sites on each instance.

Lightsail Alarms: We love this feature as we can add two alarms per metric, and choose to be notified by email, SMS text message, or both.

Pros & Cons

  • Lightsail is generous with its storage. However, if you want to create snapshot, you’ll have to pay for the snapshot storage. Vultr is better here.
  • The control panels of both Vultr and Lightsail don’t give you much information about the usage. You may need a third-party service to visualize or extract detailed information.
  • With proper configurations, you’ll be certain that these small VPSs can handle high amount, spike traffic.
  • On Lightsail, you CANNOT create more than 3 DNS zones. This means that Lightsail limits you to host more than 3 sites (different domain names).
  • Vultr supports DNSSEC

SpinupWP as a VPS Control Panel

Setting up a new WordPress site or blog on a VPS like Vultr or Amazon Lightsail can be time consuming. If you planning to run a number of blogs on a single VPS, there is a better way to do that. We’ve just started rolling out a few websites and blogs running Vultr. To make things easier, we also deployed SpinupWP.

What’s SpinupWP? It’s a control panel to easily host WordPress websites on a cloud provider of your preference.

Here’s a note as we’re taking on this combination of the best of Vultr’s VPS (simple, fast, and scalable SSD cloud hosting provider) and SpinupWP, an app aimed at developers, that makes it so much easier to host WordPress sites yourself. It’s a simple control panel for Vultr.

SpinupWP makes it easy to spin up an optimized, multiple WordPress website on your VPS in a few minutes.

How to get started with SpinupWP

First thing first, you register a new account at SpinupWP. After that, you sign up for a Virtual Private Server at a cloud provider. There are many VPS providers (in our case, we’ve got both Lightsail and Vultr). Lastly, you connect your Virtual Private Server to SpinupWP.

Spinning up a new Lightsail instance (the second one after Vultr)

With SpinupWP and your VPS up and running, you can start running optimized WordPress websites on your own VPS. What we love and the most at this stage is that Spinup WP is here to take care of all the software patches, security and other things. Overall, it saves so much of your time.

Essential SpinupWP features

  • Automatic VPS security updates
  • Access and login disabled for the Root user
  • Free SSL certificates (with Let’s Encrypt)
  • Firewall which limits access to NGINX and SSH
  • Optimal settings for Nginx security
  • Each site is isolated through its own user. Therefore, if one site gets compromised, other sites on the server are safe.
  • SFTP/SSH access for each site.
  • Two-factor authentication for platform logins.

Usability

  • Interface Usability: Great
  • WordPress Installer One-Click
  • Domain Management: Application Level
  • Server Management: So so
  • Application Management: So so
  • Team Manager: Yes
  • Application Monitoring: Absent
  • Server Monitoring: Absent
  • Server Transfers: No
  • Project Manager: No
  • Development Environments: Live

Why we love SpinupWP?

  • Connect your Vultr API with SpinupWP in just a second.
  • Without much hassle for DIY configuration, we can launch a new site in a few minutes. This saves us a lot of time to launch sites fast. Install the latest stable versions of Nginx, PHP, MySQL/MariaDB, and Redis from the standard apt-get repos with no pain (but gain).
  • Performance: it’s very fast. It’s what we’re embracing these day for better site speed (see the screen shot above as tested on Gtmetrix). Set up with Redis object caching for improved database requests.
  • SpinupWP has all the key features most WordPress developers need. For instance, having Let’s Encrypt certificate and Nginx installed is a just a few clicks (without typing any command).
  • Automatic Security Updates: You’re going to get free Let’s Encrypt HTTPS (automatic renewal) with ease. Another example is that the app disables some critical PHP functions by default.
  • SpinupWP works with Vultr, DigitalOcean, Linode, AWS, and any other provider

Previously, we looked into using EasyEngine to install WordPress Nginx Setup & Management. However, we ended up setting up Nginx with HTTP/2 Support using this mini guide. As it’s trying to live up to its tagline, SpinupWP is “your own flawless WordPress server, spun up in minutes.”

SpinupWP is a Modern Cloud-Based Server Control Panel. It’s here to help you implement best practices for every server you spin up. Designed for WordPress. SpinupWP is a company of Delicious Brains Inc., a small company of expert WordPress developers, the brains behind the popular WP Migrate DB Pro and WP Offload Media plugins, WordPress core contributors.

There are something that should have been ever better. The documentation section is not much to offer yet. For example, when you want to see how the service works well with any VPS provider or not, it’s not easy to get more details.

There are similar services in this category that you may have heard of like GridPane, ServerPilot, Laravel Forge, Cloudways, and RunCloud.

SpinupWP Packages

Currently, Spinup WP offers the plans listed below. If you sign-up through this review, you get $50 in Spinup WP credit for free.

Vultr’s smallest plan starts at $2.5 per month (512MB memory), which is probably the cheapest plan for a VPS. To use Vultr with SpinupWP, you need at least 1GB. Use our referral link to get $50 to start testing your VPS host with SpinupWP.

A WordPress site we manage (hosted on Lightsail) get great results on Google Console’s Core Web Vitals

How to Speed up and Optimize Your WordPress Sites for Lightning Speed

Here’s a mini guide and how-to to help you optimize your WordPress blogs and sites to load fast and serve high traffic. How? We’re basing this on our years of experiments and work to help our clients’ sites.

First thing first, choosing the best WordPress is everything for today and tomorrow. After all, it’s your website infrastructure. You make it or break it. There are two key things to consider. Like it or not, Google keeps up with its optimization requirements for web masters and developers. The latest out of the giant search engine’s pipeline is Core Web Vitals. Everything in this is all about site speed and performance. Just deeper and detailed.

What to measure in the Google’s Core Web Vitals:

  • Poor URLs
  • URLs need improvement
  • Good URLs

How to achieve the Good URLs for Google? This is one of the toughest questions. However, there are some fixes and tricks we should use to improve the WordPress site load speed.

Aside from this, speed analys tool like GTmetrix provides comprehensive information to help you boost your site speed. For example, Page Load Details (time, size, number of requests) is an essential factor to consider when you want to improve WordPress site performance.

How to Choose the Best WordPress Web Host?

Hosting WordPress on a VPS: Recommended

WordPress is software with performance, security, and ease of use. The basic WordPress software is simple and powerful. Hosting a high traffic WordPress requires some great setup and configurations ahead.

As we discussed since the beginning of this post, for VPS we highly recommend either Amazon Lightsail or Vultr. These are more than great enough for hosting personal blogs, small and medium business websites, or even affiliated websites. Although it’s not easy setup a new, clean WordPress site for most beginners, there are also simplified ways to do with just some clicks.

VPS Server Settings: Best WordPress Configurations

At the time of writing, we suggest that you should consider this setups for your periodical traffic spike WordPress sites:

  • MariaDB over MySQL (more on this later)
  • Nginx, PHP-FPM (not just the best, but perfect for most WordPress sites)
  • Nginx FastCGI caching
  • HTTPS (is the best free Let’s Encrypt certificate)

Conclusion

Overall, SpinupWP is quick and easy to setup. Our cloud servers (Vultr and Lightsail) are blazing fast, and the user interface is a delight to work with. Ideally, it’s one of the subscription-based control panels for experienced WordPress developers and professionals.

Want to see how it works on a small WordPress site? Take a look at this https://smallsweethome.com/

Also good to read: WordPress SEO resources

Good to Read

WordPress: Best Practices on AWS: Reference Architecture for Scalable WordPress-Powered Websites (PDF)

Leave a Reply