Installation guide and best practices for PHP, Apache/nginx, MySQL/MariaDB on a new OS install?


Is there a guide that walks you through all the prerequisite installation steps anywhere? For example, what the best config options are for MySQL, MySQL vs. MariaDB, if PHP 7.3 is the way to go, Apache vs. nginx in regards to performance, setting up SSL, etc.?
I just built 3 virtual servers on Digital Ocean, one runs my Xenforo forum, one runs an SMF forum, one runs a Wordpress / Woocommerce shop.

I used Ubuntu 18.04, nginx, PHP 7.2 and MariaDB 10.1. The Xenforo forum additionally used Elasticsearch for better searching. I'm also using certbot to register free letsencrypt SSL certificates.

nginx is working extremely well. I always used Apache in the past because I was familar with it but after switching to nginx it is just a better solution. Fast and low memory usage. I have the forum, Elasticsearch, and MariaDB all running nicely on a single 2GB RAM / 2 CPU virtual server.

I was able to add some complex redirection rules to preserve all the old SMF URLs into my new MySQL server. I was also able to significantly decrease page load times by some additional settings in nginx. Specifying appropriate cache times for static assets, enabling http2 support, both helped increase download speed.

So I'd recommend nginx for sure.
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