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An honest conversation about being a WordPress sysadmin

One of the most common things you’ll see as a web developer, especially in the WordPress space, is a variation of this statement:

Don’t pay $X/month on hosting when you could pay $5/month for a small server with Y and run WordPress yourself.

There’s also a serverless variation of this statement, which sounds like this:

Don’t pay a fortune for Lambda when you could get a server cheaper with Y or even EC2.

Now, sometimes you’re forced to think that way because of your clients or boss. They don’t feel that paying $30/month for hosting is worth it. Or they hear you can just pay $5/month for a server and want you to do that.

This is really a bad idea. And it’s something I’ve written about before. You should push back on that as much as you can.

That said, this isn’t the conversation I want to have today. The one I want to have is with people who genuinely believe that it’s better you become an amateur system administrator than to pay someone else to do it. The reality is the cost calculation around that is completely flawed and out of touch with reality.