Summary: hosting WordPress on Openshift can be a great option for folk with a little tech confidence if you are looking for an cheap option but you don’t want to cut corners on site performance.
Choosing wordpress hosting is pretty important: options to consider include customer support from the hosting company, quality of infrastructure, administrative ease of use and pricing. Many people taking on their first site simply don’t want to take on the decision-making required for choosing a host and go with the loudest advertiser without understanding their options.
That’s fair enough. And some loud advertisers aren’t necessarily poor service providers. And most site operators are are best advised to offload choosing hosts to their consulting agency or developer.
I’m constantly assessing options for wordpress hosting because the industry is fascinating. It looks like big changes are headed our way that could save a lot of money for consumers and make site-providers lives easy. It’s early days. But in the course of my exploration I discovered an option that could be great for small site operators who aren’t scared of learning new things.
Basically, its possible to use openshift to get free hosting for wordpress sites.
This probably isn’t what Openshift is aiming to provide. Site owners with relatively simple sites and low resource needs aren’t in Openshifts target market. But the Openshift’s offerings can be used for this purpose.
Openshift is Red Hat’s offering in the Platform As A Service market. It’s targeted towards business who have the skill at hand to build and deploy applications on Red Hat’s infrastructure and it provides a convenience layer on top of that infrastructure for developers.
One of the cool things about openshift is that they give a small (but very useful) amount of resources for free as an introduction to their services. These resources are not time limited (like amazons free tier which is limited to a year).
The process is simple: select either the free or bronze plan, log in and click on the ‘create an application’ button. Select the wordpress option. The application will be created for you. Credentials for wp-admin and for SSH will be given to you from the panel.
Thats it. You now have a wordpress instance running that you have complete control over.
At this you have a running wordpress instance with a funny domain name generated by Openshift. Openshift even give you instructions for how to connect your desired domain name to your site. However by now you might have noticed that this kind of hosting of very different from traditional hosting. You don’t have anything like a cpanel and you might have to think about managing things called “gears” and “cartridges”. In reality, if all you want is a running wordpress site then you don’t have to worry about this (Unless you want to dive into the deep and complex world of PaaS and Openshift’s version of PaaS).
The first thing that I noticed was the front-end of the site is fast. The frontpage using the 2015 theme reloads in around 2s. The admin takes longer, at about 5s to 7s as measured by chromedev. But my personal perception is that the admin loads rapidly.
Free wordpress hosting on Openshift using the free and bronze tiers could be great for you if you don’t need technical support on the platform, you are confident enough to navigate the (very easy to use) panel and if you want SSH access to the deployment.