Thursday, May 12, 2016

Migration to

Hurray, finally added a template for Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus). This LTS (Long Term Support) release includes PHP7. LTS means that a company called Canonical will provide security and product upgrades for 5 years.

I plan on migrating the Community Color sites to this new service. My site has been on its current server for about eight years. One should upgrade servers about every five years or so; So, this upgrade is long past due.

I will be using the VPS SSD account. The account is actually hosted on an array stack of SSD memory rather than a traditional hard disk.

I already moved my email accounts to the new service and am extremely pleased with the performance of the server.

I don't send a lot of email; So, I purchased a single node account for my mail server. The cost of a single node is $5/month or $60 per year.

Webhosts often put email same server as the email. This means that people who attack your email accounts can attack your website and people who attack your web site can get their fingers into your email.

Putting the email on its own server also frees up resources on the web server for delivery web pages.
Email tends to be disk intensive; so it is an ideal application for an SSD cloud account. I am using To get an account do the following:

  • Copy the number 69032. This code gives you a $10 discount on the service and gives me a $10 discount.
  • Go to and select a single node for $5 month.
  • Select the data center which is closest to you. At this point in time, I would select Ubuntu operating system and the Ubuntu 16.04 template (which was just released.)
  • will ask for billing information. Paste the number 69032 into the coupon box. This gives you $10, which offsets the cost for the first months.
  • I installed the following packages for my web server: Postfix (a mail transfer agent), Dovecot (email server). Setting up an email server is a pain in the tush. The default settings of these programs often work, but it is best to read the online manuals to fine tune the configuration.
  • I like to read email online; So, I installed Apache2 (a web server), PHP7 and SquirrelMail. (Most of the tutorials have you install MySQL, but you don't need it.
  • As only a few people use my email server. I decided to use a self-signed SSL Certificate. If multiple users use the server, you might one to get one from a certificate authority.
  • The hardest part of the installation was setting up the DNS. This is different for different domain registrars.
Setting up an email server is a real pain in the tush. But I highly recommend putting email on a separate account from the main server.

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