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  1. #1

    Exclamation Hosting decision; speed

    I have spent most of today trying to get a sense of available hosting options. Though much things are comparable, the one thing I am most conscious about is speed; difficult to compare for a noob!

    So, which shared hosting plan is good with regards to speed?

    I dont need much room on the server, or an awful lot of bandwidth; just high site speed

    My website has 40% Us visitors and about 30% EU visitors.

    Regards
    Oscar

  2. #2
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    Oscar,

    What are you looking in other terms of price, speed is surely one thing but cost and requirements are another
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  3. #3
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    It your looking for page speed then you probably want to look for a host not just using the standard apache/cPanel setup.

    There are a few hosts with Niginx and Litespeed around, you should see a performance increase using one of them.
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  4. #4
    You could check different host and see if they have a speed download file within their website and test the speed at least to their DC this way. Also try to stay away for unlimited host since more than likely they are overselling their servers.
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  5. #5
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    Is your site dependent on MySQL databases (using PHP, like Wordpress, or forum software, etc?) You can find significant differences in the speed of database queries between hosts, all related to how many sites they have on the server accessing MySQL.

    My last host had upgraded servers to LiteSpeed, but I actually saw a degradation in performance. I don't know if all my sites suddenly got that much busier, or if the host increased the number of accounts on each server because it was so much faster. I wasn't using any more bandwidth, and it was the MySQL performance that really impacted my sites.

    Try to find out what servers they are using, either by asking the host, or, if they won't tell you, following a customer link in their forums, and then to do a reverse IP search. You'll get an estimate of how many sites are on that server (reverse IP searches are not 100% accurate, but they give you an idea).

    There are some other factors, like where you are in relation to where the server is, but with your audience across the EU and the Americas, its probably not worthwhile to pursue that avenue. You can ping and tracert the server to see how fast it responds from where you are, but customers will have a different experience.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the great help!

    My website is non-profit, so Im not spending tons of money on it. I was hoping to spend something like 7-10 dollars per month.

    My website is a joomla site (yes I know this is not the most optimal cms considering speed..) so I use mysql indeed.


    Any idea on specific hosts that come recommended with regards to speed? I heard about godaddy (not so fast), everity, inmotion and hostgator?

    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    There are a lot of hosts that can provide good response time with Joomla; I don't think its any more resource intensive than a forum like SMF or a busy Wordpress site.

    Ask for references to one of their customers running a database driven site, and then ask the customers.

    At $10 a month you are still in the shared hosting arena, but you can find hosts that will work with you to ensure your site responds well.

  8. #8
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    First of all do not go for hosts who offer unlimited diskspace/bandwidth they will oversell more often and their servers might be overcrowded.

    Now for speed, I would suggest you to look for a host that offers LiteSpeed hosting instead of the normal Apache hosting. It is up to 9 times faster than Apache when serving static content and up to 50% faster when serving PHP requests. So your website should load faster.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by iTom View Post
    It your looking for page speed then you probably want to look for a host not just using the standard apache/cPanel setup.

    There are a few hosts with Niginx and Litespeed around, you should see a performance increase using one of them.
    Eh that is not necessarily true. I think the OP's efforts would be better directed toward finding a host that is not overselling (crowding their servers). I've seen many web hosts using litespeed as an excuse to crowd their servers (which in turn leads to poor performance).
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  10. #10
    i recommend stablehost.com paired w/ cloudflare.com
    that's what i use for my site.
    very good performance for little dollars.
    for the first one check the offer section for a coupon, cloudflare is free.

  11. #11
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    I've seen many web hosts using litespeed as an excuse to crowd their servers (which in turn leads to poor performance).
    This can go for any host with their servers being run on apache/litespeed/niginx. Litespeed and Niginx are known to be faster that basic apache so that would be a good thing to look for if the OP is looking for better speed based hosting.

    Of course that is not the only factor that has any influence on the speed. Network, number of accounts on a server, proper setup and optimizations can all be factors.

    I would suggest to check out a few hosts that grab your attention and see if they have a 30 day money back guarantee. That way you can test them out and if things do not perform up to your expectations, then you can get your money back and try elsewhere.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by xemino View Post
    i recommend stablehost.com paired w/ cloudflare.com
    that's what i use for my site.
    very good performance for little dollars.
    for the first one check the offer section for a coupon, cloudflare is free.
    Get a reliable host and put CloudFlare on top of that and you're done.

  13. #13
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    If you are looking for speed and high-performance, make sure you first take a look at the server hardware and software specifications of the hosting providers. You should then check with the hosting provider on how many accounts they place on a server to get an idea on how many accounts are competing for resources with your website.

    Many host will try to avoid your questions by saying that they do not have a fixed amount of accounts to be placed on a server but try to get a rough figure from them and you may be surprised that most host place hundreds (above 500 normally) to thousands of accounts on their server.
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  14. #14
    I am using Godaddy and satisfied with its speed provide to me. However I also want to compare speed of two host.

  15. #15
    hmmm... I think you should try to optimize your website. Have you tried to measure speed of the website you think is currently fast enough? Most of the speed issues can be get ridden off by using small light weight website.

  16. #16
    Thanks for all the help, again. My website is as optimized as it is possible..

    I was hoping some webhosters are well known for high speed, but apparently this is not the case? I heard some good things about inmotion?

    As I have quite a few visitors from europe, a webhosting on the east coast (as offered in the business plan of inmotion) might be good for speeds to europe?

  17. #17
    I think if you need perfect speed, it would cost you a bit more, does not matter if your site don't eat much bandwidth.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by FernGullyGraphics View Post
    Eh that is not necessarily true. I think the OP's efforts would be better directed toward finding a host that is not overselling (crowding their servers). I've seen many web hosts using litespeed as an excuse to crowd their servers (which in turn leads to poor performance).
    I think that's quite biased and very untrue, any host can oversell...

    Further more there is nothing to suggest a "litespeed" or "nginx" host would do it more than others.
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  19. #19
    I read a bit about litespeed; and read that is is faster. Does anyone actually have experienced this? Is it really better?

  20. #20
    PS

    I consider moving to inmotion after having read quite some positive messages about their service. Plus, they have a server in Washington, which helps to boost speeds to the UK and Europe.

    Any last comments on this? They dont offer litespeed..

  21. #21
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    I consider moving to inmotion after having read quite some positive messages about their service.
    Where did you read these reviews? If they were not on these forums then I would be cautious. They are another one of these "unlimited" hosts that often pay to get listed on "top Ten Hosting Review Sites".

    This is one the best resources for finding the quality service on any host and I wouldn't trust most of the other resources out there.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin K View Post
    This can go for any host with their servers being run on apache/litespeed/niginx. Litespeed and Niginx are known to be faster that basic apache so that would be a good thing to look for if the OP is looking for better speed based hosting.
    I think you misunderstood what I was saying. There is a growing misconception that lite-speed by itself = faster load-times for the customer, when this is not true at all.

    Are there companies who use litespeed instead of apache who have faster web hosting services than some companies who use apache? Yes.

    Are there companies who use Apache, who have faster web hosting services than some companies who offer Litespeed? Yes.

    Like you said, there is a lot more to it than what web server the provider is using. Which is the point I was trying to make.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by iTom View Post
    any host can oversell...
    I agree, I never said otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by iTom View Post
    Further more there is nothing to suggest a "litespeed" or "nginx" host would do it more than others.
    I never said they would, was just making the point that you cant base a decision on whether a host is going to be faster or slower, merely by which web server they are using.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by FernGullyGraphics View Post
    I agree, I never said otherwise.



    I never said they would, was just making the point that you cant base a decision on whether a host is going to be faster or slower, merely by which web server they are using.
    Actually you can, or almost can...

    If you have two providers one using Niginx and the other using Apache, neither are overselling. It's almost certain that Niginx will be faster.

    Sure there are other things like network, location etc.. however as a rule of thumb it's fairly accurate.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by iTom View Post
    Actually you can, or almost can...

    If you have two providers one using Niginx and the other using Apache, neither are overselling. It's almost certain that Niginx will be faster.

    Sure there are other things like network, location etc.. however as a rule of thumb it's fairly accurate.
    Yes, but that is where the waters get a little muddy. Because that statement is based on the assumption that both providers are running the exact same machine, with the same amount of users on it.

    Lately I have been taking the approach that for the most part, the Apache Vs Litespeed Vs Niginx argument is pretty much irrelevant in a shared web hosting environment. Unless, you favor one web server over the other for configuration/compatibility reasons, then which web server the provider is using, should really not matter (at least not to a customer)

    Now if you have a particular resource heavy application that you are looking to run in a dedicated environment (where you know you will be the only user on that machine), well then that is a different story. Otherwise you are better off focusing on other aspects of the company (such as how long they have been in business, customer reviews, reputation, responsiveness..ect)

    Otherwise its pretty much like telling someone, if you want to go with a faster car, go with BMW lol
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  26. #26
    Before going to much out-of-topic...

    Are there independent tests available which can help me decide on hosting? So far it seems everyone has commercial views on hosting companies and very few people give actual independent advice.


    How am I ever going to find out which hosting firm fits what I need: few server space, few bandwidth, but fast speed and reliable??

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozzz2 View Post
    Before going to much out-of-topic...

    Are there independent tests available which can help me decide on hosting? So far it seems everyone has commercial views on hosting companies and very few people give actual independent advice.
    That's mostly do to the fact that most of the frequent posters on this forum are web hosting providers (which has its pros and cons).

    Quote Originally Posted by ozzz2 View Post
    How am I ever going to find out which hosting firm fits what I need: few server space, few bandwidth, but fast speed and reliable??
    I recommend just focusing on a couple points and coming up with a short list of providers that interest you...

    1.) Stay away from company that blatantly oversell (ex: claim to offer unlimited disk-space/bandwidth). Overselling usually leads to a crowded server, which leads to a slower load time for your website.

    2.) Look at how long the company has been in business. If they are brand new, I would be cautious about their ability to provide a sustainable service. However that does not mean you should shy away from new providers, just be very cautious and do your homework before signing up with them.

    Through my experience I have found that most companies who are within 2 years of being operational never make it to their 3rd year. With that being said, I think if you follow the above guidelines you should have a pretty good chance of finding a reliable/fast web host.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozzz2 View Post
    Before going to much out-of-topic...

    Are there independent tests available which can help me decide on hosting? So far it seems everyone has commercial views on hosting companies and very few people give actual independent advice.


    How am I ever going to find out which hosting firm fits what I need: few server space, few bandwidth, but fast speed and reliable??
    You can do tests on servers, by using some common tools like ping, tracert and some web-based tools like loadimpact.com. But you have to know the server.

    So the steps I would take are to first make a short-list of hosts recommended by others that meet your needs otherwise. If people recommend them, they should have a site there. You can then test the speed of their sites. PM the people and ask them about their sites (especially if one is running the same software you expect to run, etc.)

    As to independent advice ... that's tough. Hosts can't recommend themselves here, but can recommend people they know or have experience with professionally. It will be easier to see who NOT to go with once you have some names, and can Google the company name and see how many complaints they have, search to see if the complaints here are valid (some people are horrified that their host shut them down for only being "three weeks late!"), etc.

    The hosting business is very fluid, and a server that is fast today might become slow tomorrow as more accounts are sold on it. A company that is great today might lose their customer service superstar and become less stellar.

    But a Consumer's Report type of evaluation of hosting companies? I don't think it exists.

  29. #29
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    Hi,

    im in the UK and we use usa based servers, Nginx accellerated and you do notice the difference before nginx was implimented.

    however i have also heard that litespeed is good

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  30. #30
    If you have hosting in US, your speed for US visitors is great about 70-110ms.

    If visitor comes from Europe his ping will be around 200-230ms. This is up to three times slower..
    Best way is to find european hosting for EU visitors. I recommend location Germany / Frankfurt. Google it..

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by admiralhost View Post
    If you have hosting in US, your speed for US visitors is great about 70-110ms.

    If visitor comes from Europe his ping will be around 200-230ms. This is up to three times slower..
    Best way is to find european hosting for EU visitors. I recommend location Germany / Frankfurt. Google it..
    64 bytes from 67.23.161.2: icmp_req=38 ttl=199 time=134 ms
    64 bytes from 67.23.161.2: icmp_req=39 ttl=199 time=134 ms
    64 bytes from 67.23.161.2: icmp_req=40 ttl=199 time=134 ms
    64 bytes from 67.23.161.2: icmp_req=41 ttl=199 time=134 ms
    64 bytes from 67.23.161.2: icmp_req=42 ttl=199 time=134 ms
    64 bytes from 67.23.161.2: icmp_req=43 ttl=199 time=134 ms
    64 bytes from 67.23.161.2: icmp_req=44 ttl=199 time=134 ms
    64 bytes from 67.23.161.2: icmp_req=45 ttl=199 time=134 ms

    This is from a home broadband account in eastern Europe to Uberbandwidth's Atlanta, GA: 67.23.161.2.

  32. #32
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    Western Europe should be even better.

  33. #33
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    While 110ms looks like its a lot faster than 230ms, we are talking about thousandths of a second here, right? "A blink of an eye" happens in about 300ms, so if you blink do you miss the difference in speed?

    Website speed is more dependent on page loading times, and that can be impacted by how well the page is written, graphics, etc. The server can impact the relative loading speed of a site due to too many MySQL queries, CPU loading, memory issues, etc. I think OP is probably looking for some way to test the relative speed of servers and, without actually installing the same site on different servers to test, that's a hard thing to do. You can't rely on specs alone, because a single core Pentium server with a slow hard drive with one site on it could be faster than a new quad core with 900 sites.

    There are some sites that test load times using different numbers of concurrent users, etc. but you have to be able to know which server your site will end up on. Its a good test after you have installed your site.

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