I currently have 10 domains running on one simple shared hosting account with HostGator.
These sites are all running WordPress.
Here are my stats...
20 gigs of space used
32 gigs of bandwidth used per month
I'd like my site to just load faster on front and back end.
What type of virtual machine do you think would really speed things up? How much in cores/ram/speed would you recommend?
Really appreciate the advice! Thanks!
What problems are you facing now aside from "slow"?
You most likely don't need a VPS, just a better hosting environment. I'd recommend doing some searching around and contacting a few companies & asking questions. Perhaps share some of your sites with them so they can take a look.
Wordpress - can you give a list of plugins you're using, avg traffic/visitors/users etc as well as what themes are being used?
Simple solution would be to change hosts, we all know how awful HostGators service has gone recently. A host who offers LiteSpeed would definitely be beneficial to you.
Be warned that the majority of hosts use CloudLinux now limiting the resources you can use per account, I wouldn't cram all websites onto one account if I were you, you'd be better off purchasing a reseller and setting up each site on their own separate account.
What is your budget? For anybody who is running a lot of sites I'll recommend going for a VPS instead of shared hosting as you will eventually run into issues with shared hosting if you haven't already. VPS offers you a greater level of freedom and reliability. Always go for a managed VPS if you aren't a system admin.
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Agree that if you want your site to load faster a VPS is the way to go. I've tried several reputable shared hosts and none of them were fast (or reliable) enough for me. A VPS can be expensive unless you manage it yourself though. I've made a tutorial about setting up and managing a VPS at www.mckerracher.net/vps if that helps.
Having speed issues in a shared hosting is common and I think, thinking about going into a VPS server would be very helpful for you. Before making the move I think you need to make sure if you made all the changes possible because if you haven't checked over everything you might end up seeing the same type of issue on the VPS.
Maybe I should just find a faster shared service? Maybe one with Litespeed? Have any recommendations? Thanks!
Litespeed is going to be irrelevant if you are talking about sticking to shared web hosting. That will only be a factor if you migrate into a VPS.
With that being said, I think your first step should be towards looking at optimizing your website. 1.7MB is a fairly big and depending on how many objects/scripts you have on the page, this could also play a huge factor. End of the day, until you optimize your website you really wont know what environment your website belongs in as you are simply going to be wasteful as it relates to server resources.