Non-techie looking for hosting

I used to blog using WordPress in the late 90’s and '00’s, so I was thrilled to learn about ClassicPress through a discussion on the IndieWeb slack! I really loved the original WP. Classic Press is a great idea, thank you for starting this!

My problem is that I don’t have a tech background, and I’m pretty lost on how to get started. I already have an account with SiteGround, but I did a search for that here and read how SiteGround can be problematic - they auto-update the site, etc. I’m looking for a new host. Has anyone found one that can install ClassicPress?

I tried getting an account at Digital Ocean but everything on the screen is Greek, I have no idea how to get started. I’m switching domain name hosts to porkbun.com, and I’ve written to them and am asking if their web hosting would work. Anyone have any other ideas? Thank you!

If you’re with SiteGround and already paid, there’s no reason to leave them. They are usually a decent hosting provider. You have to ask their support to disable automatic WordPress updates so they don’t update your ClassicPress to WordPress. We’ve discussed this in this thread.

DigitalOcean isn’t for beginners. That requires more technical knowledge. You’re looking for a hosting provider that uses a cPanel and offers either Installatron or Softaculous app installers. They make it easy to install ClassicPress without technical knowledge.

If you want to leave SiteGround, check out the hosting category for recommendations from other community members.

We host our own websites and clients’ websites, so I can’t personally recommend anyone specifically since I have no experience hosting ClassicPress with any other providers.

Hope that helps.

I use https://krystal.uk/ shared hosting reseller package - wide range of other options, UK based, good ticket based support, and reasonably priced. ClassicPress install available via Cpanel.

Hi @robf, thanks for the info! I’m the US, I’ve never thought about having my hosting be in the UK when I’m a US customer. I have no idea - is that a normal thing? An odd thing?

I use and recommend Lightningbase: Pricing - Lightning Base

They are based in the US and consistently come in the top category for every metric in the Review Signal league tables. Support is terrific and they will migrate your site for free. I have been with them for years.

The only downside is that if you are creating a new site, you will need to create a WP site first and then use the Switch to CP plugin. Not a big issue, though.

@hollie Probably simplest for you to stick with US based host, though Krystal do have servers in US (being UK based I prefer to use UK hosts myself, wasn’t aware of your location).

I suggested them because of personal good experience, and they offer cPanel with Installtron/Softaculous as outlined by @viktor earlier in this thread.

Suggestion from @timkaye sounds good - I’ve used Switch to CP plugin successfully to convert several of my own sites, it is normally very quick and straightforward

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Hollie, if you are with SiteGround, you should definitely stick with them. I have long experience with hosts. I have never used them but SiteGround has a good reputation and from everything I have been able to see of them over the years, the reputation is well deserved. Like Viktor said, DigitalOcean is NOT for beginners.

I agree that auto-updating of a site by an outsider can be problematic. But on the other hand a person has to really know what they’re doing in order to be able to safely skip updates. You describe yourself as not having a tech background. Perhaps it would be possible to talk with tech support at SiteGround to come up with a workable solution. Many hosts are untrustworthy. They take advantage of their customers. If you change hosts, your chances of getting a bad one are probably high.

You don’t mention what kind of site you are running. Is it a tiny blog with minimal traffic? Is it an e-commerce site with high security needs?

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Hi Patrick, yeah I’m going to stick with SiteGround for at least a few weeks and see if I can talk to tech support to ask that they don’t update my CP installations. Unfortunately though, in that other thread there to seem to be incidents of people asking SiteGround and then having those requests ignored later. What happens if I’ve got my blog all set up, and it IS updated against my wishes?

I’m running a very small personal blog, nothing fancy, unlikely to become anything commerce-related.

Well in that case it’s understandable that you would be able to be okay without auto-updating.
Bear in mind that part of the reason that hosts want to ensure that sites don’t get too far out of date is that sometimes a wordpress plugin can have code that later turns out to be a dangerous (unintentional) vulnerability that could (though it’s very rare) allow a bad actor to get control to the point of attacking other sites from the SiteGround server that your site is hosted on. Then SiteGround’s reputation gets damaged and this is a very big issue. So it’s best to have a plan that doesn’t put your host at undue risk. On the other hand, hosts are going to need to adapt to the times. The Wordpress development infrastructure has been cramming stuff down the throats of Wordpress users (that’s why classicpress exists) so we have good reason to be wary of new releases.

In answer to your question:

  • It’s possible to set a file in wordpress to force blocking of auto-update so if you talk to support I think you might tell them that this is what you want them to do.
  • If your backups are frequent enough then you would probably just be able to do a restore from the backup if things go bad after an auto-update. The key, of course, is that the backups should be frequent enough and that they should be valid (ie: that the restore is really going to work fully and perfectly).

Maybe you have already figured it out, but let me give my suggestion.
I use namecheap servers (I also have a domain with them)
and here, at least for now, I don’t have any problems with them

Update: SiteGround won’t stop the auto-updates of WordPress. They have an option where I can do it manually, but I have to keep track of when updates will occur and remember to toggle the “avoid this update” every single time. Unfortunately, this isn’t sustainable for me.

Is this still the case? I saw you deleted the other thread. I can check with SiteGround support. The last time I spoke with them, they said they can and do disable their automatic updater if requested.

Yeah, I deleted the other thread because I’m pretty exhausted with the chronic illness and I want to just be able to blog easily and not worry that it will all get upended if I’m not hyper-vigilant about checking that box every time there’s an update. And the Help Desk guy’s inability to understand ClassicPress and just keep referring to it as my ill-advised “outdated WordPress installation” was very discouraging, he made it sound like it was inevitable it would get an update.

I just lost confidence that this will work, and I want something stable that I don’t have to fear will be updated out from under me, so I pointed my domain back to my micro.blog. I still think ClassicPress is a very cool idea, but without the coding/techie knowledge to control my own installation on something like Digital Ocean, it isn’t something I can reasonably do. Maybe that’ll change in the future.

Also @viktor I’m not sure who you spoke with, obviously, but this is what they told me (I have it in my Help chat history):

We strongly discourage hosting outdated installations for extended periods of time, which is why the Autoupdate tool allows for a WP version update to be skipped, but does not allow for the installation to be completely excluded from the autoupdate system.

He made it clear that I have to go in and manually remove myself from each update. As my now-deleted post talked about, it’s unclear when this happens or whether they already even did it, as my SiteGround account said I was running a current version of WordPress. So in just the week I had the site up it looks like they screwed it up. This just isn’t sustainable.

Sorry to hear this. Lightningbase would move the site for you and you’d be good to go. But I understand if you don’t want to pursue that. Either way, good luck!

Oh thank you, @timkaye! I really appreciate that! I’ve got a list of ClassicPress resources going and I’ll add that option. I think for now, with my personal blog, I’m just going to hold steady where I am as I’m at the point of just not wanting to think about it for awhile.

But ClassicPress is really fun and I’m sure at some point in the future I’ll be revisiting! I already have one idea for a future writing project that CP would work great for.

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Hope you’re able to manage your illness even better over time!

Thanks for letting me know. I reached out to SiteGround’s Twitter support again with your issue (this is the only way I can contact them as a non-customer), this is what they said:

We’re sorry to hear about the situation with your client. Even tough disabling the WordPress auto-updates is strongly discouraged, as mentioned by the support operator, it is still possible under specific circumstances.

If due to the specific built of the WordPress site (custom scripts, plugins, or like in this case ClassPress) the auto-updates can cause issues. With the acknowledgement of the site owner that they are aware of the risks involved with having the auto-update tool OFF, the site owner can request that we take out their site from the auto-update tool.

Please advise your client to contact our support team again and insist that a senior technician review the case.

If you’re still staying with them, you can try contacting them again and asking for a senior tech to review your case.

I’m sorry this is not an easy process. Wish we had more control over it. Hopefully, it’ll get better as ClassicPress grows.

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I’m biased, but I suggest to you to look to PressHill. Managed VPS (it means, you don’t need to touch anything in the server), tailored for WordPress/ClassicPress. Tailored exactly for non-techies.