Previously I’ve discussed the basics of init containers and shown how to deploy WordPress locally. But if you’ve already got a domain handy and are ready to move your WordPress site to a staging or production environment please continue. I’ll use Digital Ocean but you could use any hosting provider you like so long as you can use them to deploy some VPS instances for yourself during the setup below. I’ve been using this method to host Chicago Gang History for over three years.
Guide assumes you are not using a "managed" K8s solution or cloud provider and want to create your own cloud using VPS instances you manage yourself.
When you are finished you will have a hardened WordPress site deployed to Kubernetes using Ansible capable of handling up to 80K users per month.
WordPress Migration from Pantheon to K8s. Saved client hundreds per month in hosting charges as website hit 80K visitors per month.
:: Kubernetes / K3s / Helm / Redis / MariaDB / Ansible / WordPress / Route 53 / Sendinblue
Ported second generation Chicago Gang History website from Pantheon to a multi-node K3s cluster on Digital Ocean, saving Zach over $400 a month in fees after an
unexpected price hike from his hosting provider.
When I discovered Pantheon in early 2017 I thought I’d found an a hidden gem. The honeymoon ended when Pantheon hiked costs 40% (while taking away Redis) after about six months on their platform. That was a bummer, but not a deal breaker.
Fast-forward three years and Pantheon struck again. Only this time intead of instead of another 40% increase they went for the whole cookie jar with a jaw-dropping 1185.71% increase to $450 per month with a 10-day lead on the bill.
With little time to react to Pantheon’s change I did the most reasonable thing I could think of: let the site go down while I learned to move it to Kubernetes.
- Get site back up-and-running with the least amount of effort
- Eliminate visitor-based pricing imposed by hosting company
- Use minimum possible resources to run WordPress at scale
- Restore Redis cache Pantheon used to offer with $25 hosting
The rest of this post describes how I moved the Chicago Gang History WordPress website off Pantheon and onto Kubernetes. If you follow this guide, you can retrace my footsteps to migrate from Pantheon to Kubernetes too. At the outset you’ll have a 3-node WordPress cluster on
Digital Ocean for $30 a month.
Last week Pantheon dealt the final blow to the website I drove from 100 visitors up to 80,000 per month. By the time I heard the death knell we had a 10-day advance notice the price of hosting was increasing 1025% to $450/month.
I quickly spun up a Plesk instance on
Digital Ocean and installed WordPress on a $10/month VPS but realized Plesk was too bloated for our needs and probably not going to cut the mustard in the scale department should traffic decide to climb.
After initially attempting to deploy Wordpress using the Helm chart by Bitnami via the App Marketplace in Rancher 2.5 I found the chart difficult to use, kept looking and eventually found a
an alternative chart on a self-hosted VCS.
Like the Bitnami chart the independent chart includes optional database set-up. Unlike the Bitnami chart, however, the self-hosted chart also includes a Redis object cache, OpenID Connect authentication. It also builds a hardened WordPress Pod using WP CLI from scratch with Ansible inside an
Init Container. And in this tutorial I’m going to show you how you install it on macOS with K3D.