The best way to run PHP websites, and it’s free
ServerPilot will automatically install Nginx, Apache, PHP, and MySQL on a new, freshly installed/created, 64-bit Ubuntu 12.04 or Ubuntu 14.04. So if you’re using DigitalOcean, create your Droplet, and SSH to it. You should be able to harden SSH up a little, but make sure you don’t install any new packages yet.
Getting started with ServerPilot is crazy easy. All you need to be able to do is SSH into your server and run a command. I highly doubt anyone reading this doesn’t know how to do this. If you don’t, Google will tell you how.
1. Sign Up
Sign up for a free account with ServerPilot.
2. Connect A Server
3. Run The Install
Connect to your server via SSH. Remember, it must be a new server, preferably with no additional packages installed yet. To install Nginx, Apache, PHP, and MySQL, run the command below, from this gist:
This repository provides a sample Vagrant configuration for testing ServerPilot. Basically a server that you can use to test ServerPilot before using it on a new, paid VPS. The README is very detailed, definitely read it if you need help using Vagrant. There’s even an example on using composer to create a Laravel app.
From the README, The ServerPilot API is RESTful and allows you to manage ServerPilot resources using HTTP requests. All responses return JSON objects, including errors. As seems typical from ServerPilot, the documentation in the README is excellent.
The API will let you do things like list servers, connect new servers, or list all system users, among many others. An example that would list all servers can be seen in the gist below.
That request would return JSON similar to this:
You get a pretty cool monitoring dashboard for $10/month. I found the screenshot below in a post from Jake Peterson, it appears to be the ServerPilot monitoring dashboard.
There’s the free plan, obviously, and then two paid plans. One is $10/month and the other is $49/month. You can see what you get for your money on their pricing page.
If you’re a PHP developer and use a VPS provider like DigitalOcean or Linode, ServerPilot is probably worth checking out. Even if you don’t end up using, it’s pretty neat that something like this even exists.
I only have one feature I’d really like to see, the ability to select certain packages to be installed. If that were included in the $10/month plan, I’d definitely do it. As it stands currently, though, it’s definitely a time saver and very well executed.