I do a bit of web design, but have only ever used shared hosting before.
A couple of months ago, a disabled friend of mine asked me to build an online shop for her, which I did as a favour. To keep costs to a minimum I put together a WordPress and WP e Commerce based site, which I put on my shared hosing account with all my other sites.
My friend has been doing quite a good job of promoting her shop on Facebook and Twitter, but the amount of traffic we're receiving has now reached a level where my hosting company (Maxelerator) is not happy with the CPU usage levels.
I don't know if this means anything outside the realms of Maxelerator, but the statistic say that on our busiest day we had 1548 processes, 4011.12s CPU time, 117898.27s execution time, 2.99 MB average memory, and most importantly 11.61% CPU usage, well above the 5.5% I'm allowed with my hosting package!
I can buy extra CPU usage from Maxelerator, but getting enough to cover that level of usage would cost around £21 extra a month, and that wouldn't allow for any additional growth in traffic.
My research leads my to believe we should probably be looking to move the site to a VPS, but having only ever used shared hosing before, I'm a bit worried about the level of complexity involved. I'm reasonably happy using various hosting companies' control panels, and things like phpMyAdmin, but I'm not really sure what I'd do with full root terminal access to CentOS without spending ages researching it, and potentially screwing everything up!
So can anyone recommend an easy to use VPS package, that would fulfil our needs for around £20 a month? Or should we expect to pay more for that sort of thing? The shop is based in the UK, and 90% of the traffic is from there, so I assume we'd be better off also using a UK based VPS, but I'm open to suggestions!
It would be nice to have the capability to be able to run a few more site in the future, as some other people I know have been interested in getting their own shops, but that wouldn't be too important in the short term, and I assume most basic VPS packages can be upgraded to bigger and better things.
Anyway, thanks for reading my post, and suggestions or advice would be gratefully received!
Since you are looking at a UK based solution, you might need to raise your budget a few more dollars.
I would recommend going with a fully managed VPS provider, because all of the complex things you think you will be doing are going to be gone since the provider does that for you.
All you are going to get is cPanel/WHM login details, which I am sure you know cPanel already from your earlier host. Also it seems that your friend knows what he is doing in marketing this website, so you will probably grow even more. So make sure the VPS provider you choose can scale you up as needed.
Can you please let us know your space and bandwidth requirements?
█ Managed & Unmanaged SSD VPS's by tmzVPS.com | FAST PURESSD & HDD Plans! █ Locations in USA & United Kingdom - Legal Adult Content Allowed! 24/7 Certified Support. █ cPanel/WHM Included | Premium Softaculous | Data Migration Included with Managed Support. █ INSTANT SETUP | Paypal, Skrill, 2checkout, BitCoin & all Major Credit Cards Accepted! Skype: tmzvps.chat
I currently have 9 sites on my shared hosting account which use a total of just under 1GB of disk space. My control panel doesn't tell me how much each domain is using, but I wouldn't have thought the shop would be using any more than half of that at the moment. There's about 600 products on the shop so far, but that number does keep growing!
March has been our busiest month yet and so far we've had about 2.9GB of traffic. Our busiest day had 0.33GB of traffic, mostly from a Facebook ad, so if that became more regular, I guess we could be looking at around 10GB a month.
With regard to control panels, the 2 companies I'm most familiar with (Maxelerator and Namsco) both use their own propriety control panels, but whilst looking into VPSs, I've looked at Plesk and cPanel and I'm sure I could get to grips with either of those.
If there's a control panel based way of getting everything running on the VPS (creating the web space, setting up the DNS, creating mySQL databases etc.), I'm sure I could set it all up myself, especially if it's going to be a lot cheaper than going the fully managed route!
Some of the cheaper package I've see seem to come without any control panel though, and getting a server running through SSH is probably a bit beyond me at the moment as my command line skills are not strong!
With that sort of traffic, you are still well within the capabilities of shared hosting. Sign up with a more expensive shared host that will let you use a larger chunk of the server resources. I would think spending £10/mo is more than enough for your hosting needs.
Tuxlite.com Complete LAMP and LNMP script for Debian and Ubuntu.
I can Recommend www.valuevps.co.uk , they have wide range of products from Shared to Dedicated and their vps plans are usually Semi-Managed (They will install OS/Control Panel Patches and software). You can use Direct Admin as control Panel and it's very easy and also cheap.
I had a good experience with them (you can find my reviews about them).
you can also have a chat with them and usually David (General Manager) can arrange a very good offer for you.(depends on your requirements)
You can get a UK VPS for that kind of budget (and lower)... DirectAdmin can decrease the running costs dramatically compared to cPanel especially if you have the option of a one-time license for £45.00. Check out the offers section.
* www.valuevps.co.uk - Quality VPS's at affordable prices, UK and USA * Full and part cabinets - Dedicated Servers - Colocation - cPanel Hosting - Windows VPS - DirectAdmin Hosting - Reseller Accounts
Do you definetly need a UK location because that will raise the price a significant amound for the specs you could get hosted in say the US.
I would also reccomend going managed if you dont have experience with SSH as it can all be a bit much if your not familiar with it. At least with managed you would probably get cPanel which you will probably be familiar with on your shared hosting account.
I'm not sure about cpu usage calculation your host use but it seems they are strict on usage limit to enforce upgrade.
I recommend a VPS with at least 1GB dedicated RAM if performance is important.
However that will be above your budget £20/month. Cpanel license is already £10/month.
You can get away with a reseller hosting account. Just make sure you check with potential host about cpu usage.
PremiumReseller.com Hyper-V SSD VPS USA London Singapore
Reseller Hosting Cpanel PURE SSD CloudLinux Softaculous
Windows Reseller Asp.NET 4.5 MSSQL 2012 SmarterMail Enterprise
I recommend BurstNET, they have been great for me,
I would also recommend their VPS#2 package looking at your requirements,
In a UK location this would cost around £20 with cPanel/WHM,
Or in a US location this would cost around $23 (~£15) with cPanel/WHM,
Their website says they include Basic Management which seems to cover OS/Control Panel installation and OS/Control Panel updates,
Please check this first though.
Thanks for all of your replies guys! I've been looking at all of your suggestions!
@Scientist - In an ideal world, it would have been much easier to have used shared hosting will a lot more CPU usage, but whilst most companies are happy to advertise their unlimited bandwidth and disk space, none of them seem to say very much about how much CPU usage you get! I suppose it would be difficult to compare different companies' offering if their not all using the same processors though!
@ukscservers - 90% of the traffic we're getting is from the UK, so I had assumed that we'd be better off using a server here too, but if using a US company is only going to add a few milliseconds, and save a lot of money, we'd probably go with that!
@PremiumHost - I'm not really sure if performance is important, but we do need to be able to handle the traffic load when a Facebook add is running! At the moment around 800 - 1000 page views a day pushes us above our CPU allowance. The site is built with WordPress, WP e Commerce and a fancy Storefrontthemes.com theme. This may not be ideal for the amount of products on the site, and the amount of traffic we've been getting, but I don't really want to build it all again from scratch!
From what I've seen so far, I think I'm leaning towards Future Hosting, who say they can do a managed VPS with 1GB of RAM with cPanel, Business Continuance Protection (not sure if I need that, but it sounds nice!) and Rvskins/Fantastico (which again, I'm not sure I need, but sounds interesting!) for $45.87 (about £28.70) a month.
That is a bit more than I was initially hoping to spend, but I've got some other (hopefully) high traffic WordPress projects I'd like to try out, so it may be worth spending a bit more to get something that could handle a few sites.