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  1. #1

    Moving from HostGator reseller to... ?

    Hi,

    I'm currently managing a HostGator reseller aluminum account, and I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that server resource issues are a problem. I would really appreciate some help in determining good alternatives.

    The challenge is that the current plan is shared, and my expertise is limited, so I'm not sure how to determine the resource requirements. There are about 200 wordpress sites on the current plan, and they aren't server optimized -- most don't have caching, use wp cron, and have resource-intensive plugins. And frankly, it's not really worthwhile to spend much time managing these sites. Current bandwidth usage is about 100 GB, disk usage 12 GB. Ability to grow/scale up is desired.

    I've spent a lot of time on WHT over the last few days, researching various offers, but it's time to concede that I could use some help. Cloud or Cloud VPS plans are interesting, and I've checked out a number of them -- StyleX Networks, Veerotech, Digital Ocean, ServGrid, Stable Host, etc. I'm inclined to go with a plan that includes cPanel, as that's what I'm used to, though I'm not certain that I really need it. The cost of cPanel varies quite a bit -- it appears to be $30 per month at Stable Host, so that's out. Other than that, just looking for Wordpress compatibility/ ease of use, it doesn't really need to be a reseller account.

    The pay per usage/hour model is interesting, but I don't want to spend much time creating/deleting instances (or "droplets," etc), or otherwise managing things.

    Evidently, the reseller account has been using more than 25% of resources at HG, so what kind of plan is called for? Cost is really the key consideration -- it's $25/ month currently.

    Thanks so much for sharing your expertise.

  2. #2
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    If you require more memory (RAM) and CPU resources, you should consider a Semi Dedicated Plan. I believe most of the host(s) provide them. I'm not sure about the cost.

  3. #3
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    Well, 200 WP sites is a great deal of potential resources, especially not optimized. If you are a reseller and can't afford to pay for the resources you need that is indeed problematic. Consider whether selling your services by "Optimizing" your clients sites for them at a cost, or telling them to pay more to host unoptimized sites. You say that you are consuming 25% of resources but you need to understand there all many kinds of resources. With that many sites you can be hitting upper levels of what they consider fair for database, disk, processes, etc. Each of those has many areas that you might be hitting the wall.

    While I do know that HG has previously allowed a great deal, in this case you are only paying 12.5 cents per blog per month. I would respectfully suggest that you reconsider your model here.

    I only say this because the jump from Shared Hosting has its challenges too. First you need to realize that you are moving up to more power and more power will now be required to run your own webserver, mailserver, firewall, etc. The power you need will be increased. And with un-optimized sites, that you don't think are worth optimizing, you are now going to be wearing an administrator hat that unless you have the time will not be well handled (no judgement here just saying that it is more to do!).

    You might just consider splitting everything in half and placing each half on a good shared reseller plan and continue on as you have. Otherwise you really are in for a difference. Maybe you just need to have less on a shared plan rather than jump.

    On the other hand you are here asking questions and are doing research, so maybe it is time for you to step up your game.

    Can you get more details as to usage and what limits you are hitting with HG? If you do move, it is good to have a bit of a better picture of your resource needs. This way when you move you can get a good fit.

    Others will just say oh you need a VPS, blah, blah... All are not equal. Finding a fit requires good measurements on your part.
    Last edited by gPowerHost; 10-05-2013 at 05:19 PM. Reason: clarification

  4. #4
    Hi gPowerHost,

    Thanks so much for the reply.

    Re: "Can you get more details as to usage and what limits you are hitting with HG? If you do move, it is good to have a bit of a better picture of your resource needs. This way when you move you can get a good fit."

    You've really captured the challenge: how to determine the resource needs? I'm not really sure how to quantify the current usage, or what limits are being hit. That 25% figure comes from HostGator, and you're right, it's not specific. HG simply writes, "multiple scripts inside were causing high loading issues on the server."

    Sure, this may well be a case of putting too many WP sites on a single plan... but how can I tell what any given plan is capable of? Reseller plans are so often described as, X bandwidth, Y disk space, unlimited domains, unlimited, unlimited...; and then other plans like cloud vps are described according to hardware specs.

    Re: "Finding a fit requires good measurements on your part" -- that certainly makes sense. Any advice on taking the measurements?

  5. #5

    Re: Moving from HostGator reseller to... ?

    Hello Viewprof,

    First raise a ticket to the HG support team asking the details for the slowness. Ask them to explain the issue with the server logs like server load, mysql query cache, etc.

    Next ask them to give explanation on resources consumed by your reseller account. Eg resource consumed by individual account under you, bandwidth consumed in a month by individual account, limit of cpu process consumed by your reseller account.

    Update those here. May be I or other expets can give you a detailed idea on the resources consumed and cause of slowness.

    <<Removed>>
    Last edited by Mike V; 10-05-2013 at 07:05 PM.

  6. #6

    Re: Moving from HostGator reseller to... ?

    Based on the update, we can determine the plans or possible suggestions for your next big step.

  7. #7
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    200 wordpress sites is too much for reseller account, do you use them for wp-robot and grab ssl?
    if you mean your reseller account use 25% ram/cpu of server, i doubt any reseller can fit your need

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by viewprof View Post
    Hi,

    I'm currently managing a HostGator reseller aluminum account, and I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that server resource issues are a problem. I would really appreciate some help in determining good alternatives.

    The challenge is that the current plan is shared, and my expertise is limited, so I'm not sure how to determine the resource requirements. There are about 200 wordpress sites on the current plan, and they aren't server optimized -- most don't have caching, use wp cron, and have resource-intensive plugins. And frankly, it's not really worthwhile to spend much time managing these sites. Current bandwidth usage is about 100 GB, disk usage 12 GB. Ability to grow/scale up is desired.

    I've spent a lot of time on WHT over the last few days, researching various offers, but it's time to concede that I could use some help. Cloud or Cloud VPS plans are interesting, and I've checked out a number of them -- StyleX Networks, Veerotech, Digital Ocean, ServGrid, Stable Host, etc. I'm inclined to go with a plan that includes cPanel, as that's what I'm used to, though I'm not certain that I really need it. The cost of cPanel varies quite a bit -- it appears to be $30 per month at Stable Host, so that's out. Other than that, just looking for Wordpress compatibility/ ease of use, it doesn't really need to be a reseller account.

    The pay per usage/hour model is interesting, but I don't want to spend much time creating/deleting instances (or "droplets," etc), or otherwise managing things.

    Evidently, the reseller account has been using more than 25% of resources at HG, so what kind of plan is called for? Cost is really the key consideration -- it's $25/ month currently.

    Thanks so much for sharing your expertise.
    First off, welcome to WHT! I'd like to start by noting that as you are aware Hostgator is undergoing a rather extensive migration and in doing so have been left with a fair bit of trouble in the performance category. I think as another response has suggested it might be wise to contact Hostgator before throwing in the towel to see if there is something that they can or will do to get you back to where you were prior to their recent acquisition.

    If they can't then I would first suggest to consider simply switching to another reseller plan that had performance in mind. Just because one host's reseller plan doesn't do the trick, doesn't mean another hosts wont. A VPS however does have a lot of server side caching tools that can be used to speed up everything as a whole without individually managing each site. If you aren't interested in going through each and every site and ensuring its where it needs to be (via WP plugins, etc.) than perhaps a VPS is the right choice.

    I'd start by saying I assume you were looking at sablehost's dedicated cPanel pricing, as you can get a external license from buycpanel.com for $14/month -- so it wouldn't make sense they are charging more than double that. A dedicated license on the other hand I believe runs $35/month which makes a bit more sense.

    In terms of how many resources you will require, its tough to say for sure for a few reasons. First, because you're in a shared environment with a host who is going through some adjustments hardware side, you can't be sure what is really the issue. Even with SSH access, you wouldn't be able to see plainly how your sites are doing as your fellow "hostees" will be affecting you're performance. I think it would be wise to move to a reseller plan first with a reputable host who can then determine the appropriate package. If you'd prefer to jump right into a VPS (which would make the migration much easier) I would advise looking at a 2GB plan as that will allow ample room (presumably) for your sites to function and at the same time provide enough excess RAM to be able to cache and drastically speed up your sites as a whole.

    In terms of what you should be looking for in a VPS company, first I think cPanel is a must. Not only does it make cpanel to cpanel migrations a cinch, but really, what is the alternative? cpanel is the industry standard for a reason, and if you're trying to manage 100+ sites, realistically you aren't going to want to make your life more difficult (play with fire as it were). Additionally, I think management is a good idea, at least in the short term. If you are new to a VPS and have to migrate 100+ sites, management from a quality provider will certainly make life easier. The caching when optimized properly also has a significant benefits over when its simply installed.

    In summary, either A) move to a quality reseller account with a quality provider who can then work with you to determine a "final resting place," or B) move into a 2GB managed VPS with a quality provider and see some immediate and what I would assume to be very drastic performance increases.

    Best of luck!
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  9. #9
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    OK so make a note to yourself to ask your future host if they are willing to share details about specific users or domains that might be impacting service and if they are willing to share what services are impacted. So you can respond. If you knew now you could do something. Ageed. Maybe try asking again pretty please can you tell me which domains are using so much resources and what resources so you can act.

    Otherwise,
    Assuming you just have cPanel and then all the domains are addons, start with your logs (hopefully they have them enabled!):
    Bandwidth Log - It will show usage by domain and by service (http, pop, etc.). It stands to reason that sites using high bandwidth are ones to look at.
    If you have a logging program like LogaHolic, Webalizer, Analog Stats, or AWStats they will all show you usage and you can compare. But with 200 sites that is a good deal of clicking. So get a spreadsheet and take notes. Build a profile of usage by client. This will help you when you move to spread your usage (big users) among your separate accounts (into Pods).

    With so many accounts, breaking things into pods of users is a good idea. If one Pod (shared hosting account, etc.) has an issue, at least only the customers in that pod are affected. And you have less accounts to review.

    Another quick thing to try is to check your error log. Are there a few accounts that generate a lot of errors. Look to those to see if they might be hogs.

    Check Your Raw Access Logs (hopefully they give you those!): As your logs are all rotated at the same time, it stands to reason that those with the largest logs (Disk Usage) are the biggest hogs.

    What to do with the hogs. OK you need to look at the sites--what are they doing? Go to a site checker like Pingdom (just an example there are many, but pick one tool) and run a test on those sites. How well do they score? We optimize all our customers to score in the top 95%. Low scoring sites take resources. Optimize them, at least. (charge them for the service!)

    As it is WordPress, look to learn which plugins are not good. Use a tool to evaluate a few of your sites and start to recommend to clients which are not good. If clients use more resources charge them more. That is only fair.

    Look to see that you are using browser caching. Adding a bit of code to .htaccess can cut massive amounts of usage. Once you get the browser caching code you like you can roll it out to your sites.

    Also understand the kinds of traffic. I would wager good money odds that you are getting a great deal of small scale attacks on wp-login.php called "Brute Force Attacks" or sometimes mislabled DDoS (sometimes they are real DDoS). This is pretty much standard fare. With 200 WP sites the impact of that alone could be phenomenal. Either implement an .htaccess method against such attacks or find a host that has a server-wide solution (WP geared hosting companies). Beware of the standard plugins that Limit Login Attempts, as they actually can (and are) being used by the attackers to cause increased resource usage! One solution is to have those under attack (attacks typically roll and last a few days in waves) implement code to block access to all wp-login.php access except from your clients IP address.

    Just some ideas...
    Last edited by gPowerHost; 10-05-2013 at 07:37 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gPowerHost View Post
    Also understand the kinds of traffic. I would wager good money odds that you are getting a great deal of small scale attacks on wp-login.php called "Brute Force Attacks" or sometimes mislabled DDoS (sometimes they are real DDoS). This is pretty much standard fare. With 200 WP sites the impact of that alone could be phenomenal. Either implement an .htaccess method against such attacks, find a host that has a server-wide solution (WP geared hosting companies). Beware of the standard plugins that Limit Login Attempts, as they actually can (and are) being used by the attackers to cause increased resource usage! One solution is to have those under attack (attacks typically roll and last a few days in waves) implement code to block access to all wp-login.php access except from your clients IP address.
    I agree, it is highly likely this is a large part of your resource consumption. Especially if you have default wordpress installations on all 200 of your sites.
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  11. #11
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    @viewprof, you are actually in a good position. 200 sites is a big pool of customers. Learn to leverage your client relationships and sell them more value. I'm certain that 200 WP sites can easily generate considerable income, if properly worked. If your model was $10 per year hosting (just a guess) now you are doing more work. Start to communicate the situation (usage, attacks, optimizing) to your clients and up-sell them! Don't do work on budget hosting accounts without passing on that cost to customers. Turn your rock in a hard place situation into a situation that generates enough income to afford to pay for better hosting. It is always hard to learn to break out of low earning situations. Been there (a very long time ago!).

  12. #12
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    Since my first post was removed, I'll give less details this time...

    I'd recommend one of the following:

    Multiple reseller accounts - some providers can do multiple reseller accounts spread over a few different servers. I think this would be a good fit and most would probably work a discount for you. I don't think $35 however, is going to cover it realistically.

    VPS - When looking for VPS's / VM's, I'd recommend staying away from OpenVZ - go with either Xen, KVM or Vmware. If their storage is based on a SAN, make sure it's a "real" SAN as well and make sure to ask about connections, controllers etc etc.
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  13. #13
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    I am sorry to say that I skimed throught alot of the responses, but I have been working my tail off for a few weeks as I have forked from working with a partner who was just to greedy, and starting my own solutions, with all the connections I have made over the years.

    First off, while the amount of wordpress builds are quite a bit, I think what is happening is the reduction of quality since Brent sold HG to EIG. I worked for HG the first half of 2012, and while there I had seen some shared accounts that just blew my mind. I mean some people literally had 150 wordpress installs on a hatchling, yet never had a TOS suspension like you are mentioning. Since they are with EIG it seems that they are migrating all their servers from Softlayer to a DC in Utah. HG as well as Bluehost I noticed the server loads shown in cpanel was just INSANE, but what do you expect when your packed in like Walmart on Black Friday. As far as you finding another hosting company that will work for you, with your requirements, well you are going to have to dig deep. It stinks though, TBH years ago, I never knew anything about HG except they oversold, and for some reason I just decided to hate them. Then IDK why but I didn't mind them so much out of the blue and then got hired there and I absolutely loved it. When I worked there, Adam had jsut been hired as CEO, and it really seemed great how there was alot of community feel there and thus allowed you ( or well me at least ) work how I wanted and take care of the customer as a human, not as client 94583 who helps my checks clear. <<snipped>>
    Last edited by anon-e-mouse; 10-06-2013 at 04:32 PM.

  14. #14
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    200 accounts on reseller hosting, looks like pretty big number.
    I highly recommend you to consider taking some XEN VPS or Dedicated Server box to handle this sites on proper way.

    Of course all depends on your budget. But, I'm not sure that any provider will let you to host 200 accounts for $25-30, it's not cost effective, neither quality effective for providers.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by oxilary View Post
    I am going to PM you though, I might have something to help you out.
    Offers via PM are not allowed here. If you can't post it, you can't PM it either.
    Having problems, or maybe questions about WHT? Head over to the help desk!

  16. #16
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    I think you sent us a ticket as well. cPanel is generally a paid add-on for VPS (approx $115). otherwise, a large reseller plan is always an option
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  17. #17
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    I wouldn't trust Hostgator or Dreamhost. Big company usually charge people more and yet their customer service suck! They charge me everything with no explaination. I used to be with them both with unlimited hosting but both force me to sign with more expensive plan, unlimited hosting is just gimmick. I'm sure your reseller hosting is the same, they're force you to sign with more expensive account.

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