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  1. #1

    Advice for a host for moderately active Joomla/phpbb site

    Hello, I'm new here and thrilled to have found this forum.

    I am the webmaster of a website running Joomla 1.5 for the "front page" with phpbb3 for the forums. This is the sort of traffic we get daily, from awstats:

    Day Number of visits Pages Hits Bandwidth
    01 Jan 2011 3290 81529 238151 4.98 GB
    02 Jan 2011 3216 47121 210949 5.28 GB
    03 Jan 2011 3511 67407 363622 7.18 GB
    04 Jan 2011 3643 80151 424485 7.05 GB
    05 Jan 2011 4246 77929 422136 6.87 GB
    06 Jan 2011 4290 72833 383136 5.93 GB
    07 Jan 2011 4008 81990 471001 6.56 GB

    Most of the traffic is on the forums, that can have up to 100 people online at a time, half of them very actively posting.

    We started out a few years ago with a site on siteground, and as we grew we kept finding the account suspended for abusing the cpu, so we tried moving to a VPS, which I found very difficult to manage at the time because I needed to maintain mysql myself, and had no idea how to tweak it properly. We kept ending up maxing out the database connections and needing to reboot the server, like every five minutes, and quickly chalked that up to a nightmare and moved on.

    We ended up at medialayer, on their shared application hosting program. Medialayer has been excellent, always keeping the site running relatively fast with little downtime. Their service has been excellent as well.

    However, we're now far exceeding the bandwidth of our plan, and the result is that we're paying about $140 a month for the site. We're only halfway through January and we've already used 100GB of bandwidth. Our plan calls for 90, but the overages don't cost any extra than expanding the plan, but basically we're using about 200GB of bandwidth a month.

    In addition, we have about 10GB of storage, and I've taken to storing a lot of images on amazon s3 to save cost, but even with that, $140 a month is pushing the limits of our budget.

    In fact, we'd really be more comfortable paying around $100 or less for the site, and $140 a month is putting a lot of stress on the site owner, who can't really afford it.

    So, what I'm wondering is if anyone has any advice for me on what to do next. I'm not adverse to staying with medialayer because they've been fantastic, but I'm not sure what their prices are for VPS (if they have it) and I'm not sure we could afford it anyway. Is there a better option?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    With those stats you are going to need a higher end vps or small dedicated server. You might want to look into something like a hybrid server from Wiredtree or KnownHost. Both of those companies offer manged hybrids and have good reputations around these forums.
    Kevin Kopp - MonsterMegs Business Class Hosting Services
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Jude Terror,

    Welcome to WHT!

    You should start looking into a high end VPS. Most VPS's come with at least 500-600 GB of bandwidth so you should be OK there. You can also ask your new host to see if they can optimize your website in any way to use less resources.

    What type of control panel do you require?

    - Daniel
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by TmzHosting View Post
    Jude Terror,

    Welcome to WHT!

    You should start looking into a high end VPS. Most VPS's come with at least 500-600 GB of bandwidth so you should be OK there. You can also ask your new host to see if they can optimize your website in any way to use less resources.

    What type of control panel do you require?

    - Daniel
    Haven't really thought about that. I'm familiar with DirectAdmin and cpanel, and don't really have a preference. The current site uses DirectAdmin, so I suppose that would be easiest.

    My main concerns are speed on the forum and cost.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Chennai, India
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    rather going for high-end vps - go for good decent config of dedicated server with managed support services. give search at wht offers.
    HostASP.NET offers Affordable, Reliable ASP.NET Web hosting India / USA | Linux plans, Hyper-V Virtual dedicated servers (VPS)

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    USA
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    I have to agree with others. If you are pushing that much bandwidth, going with a small dedicated will be your best bet.
    That will allow the site to continue to grow without more added cost.

    With that many visitors, the site should also be selling advertising to cover their costs. Many sites with that kind of traffic, and ads, are making a profit on the advertising, over the cost of the hosting.

    There are free and low cost scripts out there to run banner ads and buttons.

    There are a lot of options for advertising revenue, if they need to bring in more income from the site.

    Best wishes,
    Tim L
    Superior Host LLC - Quality Web Hosting since 1998
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  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jude Terror View Post
    Haven't really thought about that. I'm familiar with DirectAdmin and cpanel, and don't really have a preference. The current site uses DirectAdmin, so I suppose that would be easiest.

    My main concerns are speed on the forum and cost.
    I would recommend cPanel, its EXTREMELY easy to use! As I said a high end VPS would do. A dedicated box will cost you a bit more.

    - Daniel
    Managed & Unmanaged VPS's [OpenVZ & KVM] by tmzVPS.com | FAST - SSD Accelerated VPS Plans!
    █ Locations in California, Florida & London. Legal Adult Content Allowed.
    cPanel/WHM | Premium Network | Premium Softaculous and MORE Included! | Website Migrations Included!
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by superiorhost View Post
    I have to agree with others. If you are pushing that much bandwidth, going with a small dedicated will be your best bet.
    That will allow the site to continue to grow without more added cost.

    With that many visitors, the site should also be selling advertising to cover their costs. Many sites with that kind of traffic, and ads, are making a profit on the advertising, over the cost of the hosting.

    There are free and low cost scripts out there to run banner ads and buttons.

    There are a lot of options for advertising revenue, if they need to bring in more income from the site.

    Best wishes,
    Tim L
    Thanks for the fast responses everyone.

    Yeah we would love to capitalize on ad revenue more. We do have project wonderful ads and google ads, but they don't cover the regular site bills, much less the bandwidth overages. Any recommendations for other options?

  9. #9
    I've been looking at KnownHost, and the prices certainly seem reasonable, and appear to offer far more bandwidth and disk space than my current plan. However, I see that they use apache, while I currently use litespeed. Would I be looking at a major downgrade?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Shah Alam, Malaysia
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    240
    Hello,

    Apart from upgrading to a high end VPS (which is of course the next step you should take), you might want to think on monetising the site in such a way that it could cover the operational costs of things.

    With such traffic, you can start selling ad space on your site so other related & relevant sites can put up their banners on your site. They rent the space and you get income to pay for the operational cost of maintaining the site.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jude Terror View Post
    I've been looking at KnownHost, and the prices certainly seem reasonable, and appear to offer far more bandwidth and disk space than my current plan. However, I see that they use apache, while I currently use litespeed. Would I be looking at a major downgrade?
    You can always purchase a litespeed license separately and ask them to install it, or you can see if they offer them. A litespeed license should only cost you $14/m.
    Kevin Kopp - MonsterMegs Business Class Hosting Services
    Pure SSD Powered Shared, Reseller, and Enterprise Hosting Solutions
    US & NL Locations :: [US] PhoenixNAP | [NL] EvoSwitch Datacenters

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jude Terror View Post
    So, what I'm wondering is if anyone has any advice for me on what to do next. I'm not adverse to staying with medialayer because they've been fantastic, but I'm not sure what their prices are for VPS (if they have it) and I'm not sure we could afford it anyway. Is there a better option?
    Hello,

    Please contact our sales department with your requirements and we should be able to work out a custom package that fits your needs.

    As a general suggestion I don't believe it would be a good idea to move to a "high-end VPS" necessarily given you will likely have access to significantly less CPU/RAM than you currently do on our shared platform.

    Our bandwidth is priced in such a way that it accounts for the CPU usage involved when it is coming from a dynamic website. Ultimately, if you are pushing this much traffic from a dynamic website, you do need to have access to a fair amount of CPU for your site to run well.
    MediaLayer, LLC - www.medialayer.com Learn how we can make your website load faster, translating to better conversion rates for your business!
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by layer0 View Post
    Hello,

    Please contact our sales department with your requirements and we should be able to work out a custom package that fits your needs.

    As a general suggestion I don't believe it would be a good idea to move to a "high-end VPS" necessarily given you will likely have access to significantly less CPU/RAM than you currently do on our shared platform.

    Our bandwidth is priced in such a way that it accounts for the CPU usage involved when it is coming from a dynamic website. Ultimately, if you are pushing this much traffic from a dynamic website, you do need to have access to a fair amount of CPU for your site to run well.
    I have no complaints at all about medialayer, your service is absolutely top notch (as I mentioned in my OP) and worth the price so long as you can afford it. It's just that the site owner is having trouble keeping up with the cost of bandwidth. Now you're making me feel guilty haha.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jude Terror View Post
    I have no complaints at all about medialayer, your service is absolutely top notch (as I mentioned in my OP) and worth the price so long as you can afford it. It's just that the site owner is having trouble keeping up with the cost of bandwidth. Now you're making me feel guilty haha.
    It's not a problem at all, I understand and do appreciate your kind words

    Just wanted to make it clear that we do offer custom packages and are happy to work with our customers in situations like this.
    MediaLayer, LLC - www.medialayer.com Learn how we can make your website load faster, translating to better conversion rates for your business!
    The pioneers of optimized web hosting, featuring LiteSpeed Web Server & SSD Storage - Celebrating 10 Years in Business

  15. #15
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    May 2006
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    I love DirectAdmin.

    MediaLayer is pretty sweet, too. Gurpreet is a fantastic guy.
    simplywww: directadmin and cpanel hosting that will rock your socks

    Need some work done in a datacenter in the NYC area? NYC Remote Hands can do it.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin K View Post
    You can always purchase a litespeed license separately and ask them to install it, or you can see if they offer them. A litespeed license should only cost you $14/m.
    I agree Kevin, I am a big fan of litespeed, it works great.

    Some VPS providers will re-install LiteSpeed for you as part of the VPS setup also and you can buy direct from them (one less bill)

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