I’m a little confused about web hosting. I’ve had HostGator for about four years and I pay $9.99 a month for the “baby croc” package. It’s unlimited bandwidth, storage, and all that hype. I’ve never really had a website that had a whole lot of traffic demand (no more than 100 visitors per day), and everything seemed fine.
BUT…what is the tradeoff for the cheap price? HostGator sales reps act is if (well two of them just flat out told me) upgrading to a VPS plan is virtually a waste of time.
Granted, the website I run now at madeworthy.com with the graphene theme is not very demanding on any server, but what I’m wanting to know is this: What if I anticipate adding BuddyPress, an e-commerce store, and what if all of a sudden two or three or four thousand people a day start coming to the site? I’m dreaming big I know, but seriously, it’s an honest question.
Should a person just wait until he has outgrown his current hosting provider (or plan rather), or wait until visitors start experiencing problems or what?
I know Syahir uses VPS Solutions. So, for example: How much money does it cost to run a site like this one that has constant visitors throughout the day and many subscribers?
I’m just basically overall looking to try and plan ahead and keep on top of things, and I’m curious as to what serious hosting costs and what the best route to go is. I’ve never had any problems with HostGator, but for $9.99 a month with unlimited everything, I know there’s a tradeoff of speed and all kind of stuff that would be going on if things got serious.
Anyone with experience or suggestions feel free to give me any advice. I love advice, and I appreciate anyone who gives it.
If your host has been providing reliable service and has good reputation (these two usually come together), there is really no need to upgrade your hosting package before your site has outgrown it.
If you’re anticipating to add BuddyPress and an e-commerce store, at the very least you should consider upgrading only when these have been implemented. There is no point in paying extra every month now for a huge increase in traffic that has not yet occurred, and will likely not occur until you have at least implemented the additional components above to your site. Even then, you might not need to upgrade your hosting package.
Remember that with hosting packages, you’re effectively buying resources to serve your visitors. More resources will not be beneficial to you or your visitors if those resources are not being utilised, but they will still cost money. Given that upgrading hosting packages is relatively quick – you’ll probably need just hours instead of days or weeks – there’s really no real need to upgrade until your site’s load demands it.
Also, keep in mind that while VPS offer potentially much greater performance and security, it’s also much more difficult to setup, optimise, and maintain. You’ll have to be familiar with Linux (assuming Linux-based VPS) and command line interface and a lot of new and technical learning to really make use of all that a VPS has to offer. It has a much steeper learning curve than a shared hosting.
As for the costs, an entry-level VPS package from a reputable company starts from about $25/month. These have really limited amount of RAM though, which you’ll quickly find to be the most precious commodity for a VPS if you embark on that road.
As a side note, unlimited anything by a hosting service is really just marketing gimmick. Those should be the first descriptions to be ignored when shopping for web hosts, and raise some red flags even in some cases, especially for lesser-known hosts.
Syahir, thank you very much for taking the time to give your tried and tested advice. Some of the hosting providers offer CP Panel with their VPS packages, which would be neccessary for me to manage it, because I just hate Linux. I took a class on it that covered the basics, but I wasn’t one of the ones that loved it and preferred it over Windows.
With WordPress, I really do not see the need to pay for the ability to use all the extra programming components that they make available with a VPS, but speed is the main issue I would think. It just seems that the only way to get the extra RAM and the extra processing power is to upgrade to from shared to VPS.
I will take your advice and definately wait until the need arises before paying for something that I am not using. I haven’t seen any dirty tricks or schemes that some people complain of with HG (don’t want to advertise on here, lol) so I guess if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it for now 🙂
Thanks again. I’m going to quit worrying about it until the need arises.AdminQuote:Some of the hosting providers offer CP Panel with their VPS packages, which would be neccessary for me to manage it, because I just hate Linux.
With WordPress, I really do not see the need to pay for the ability to use all the extra programming components that they make available with a VPS …
Actually, the extra programming components come as standard for a VPS and you don’t have to pay for it. It’s the control panel that you have to pay for (about $5/month), though some hosts have already included this cost into the VPS price that they’re offering you.
The thing is, even with a control panel you really would want to familiarise yourself with Linux and command line interface to make full use of the VPS. Control panels are preconfigured by default with settings that should encompass as many use cases as possible, which means often times it’s not as good as it can be for your particular sites and needs.
A lot of performance optimisation tools and software are not installed and/or enabled by default too, like PHP opcode caching and mod_pagespeed. These too have their own default settings that might not be best for your sites, so even if you can ask the host to install it for you, you’ll still want to experiment with the settings so that you get the most out of the service you’re paying for.
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