My hobby fansite has outgrown it's shared server environment (due to an active forum) and I need to shop for a new host. I have done some reading here already but I wonder if I listed what exactly I need if others could make suggestions or recommendations for me to investigate further.
First, I'm a hobby site, not a profit site, so money is a big consideration.
Here's what I need and/or currently consume:
- I use about 2 gigs a day bandwidth, around 50 gigs a month. My site is 3 years old so it took that long to get that size and consumption rate. I know I will grow in future but I think 100 to 200 gigs allotment would be sufficient for the foreseeable future.
- I run 8 mysql databases, most are small to medium sized. The biggest is my forum, which houses 300,000 posts, 1800 members, gets about 500 daily posts, and up to 50 concurrent users at one time (this is the major reason I have to leave the shared environment...the concurrent users sucking up all the CPU resources...I do not have a problem with bandwidth or disk space).
- I'm currently using less than 1,000 MB disk space...again, it took 3 years to use that amount of space so something like 5,000 MB would last me a long time.
The biggest considerations for me:
- getting a host who can handle a forum with 50 concurrent users. VPS or semi-dedicated, I assume.
- price: I can't afford $99 a month for a dedicated server. Is there anything under $50 that would meet my needs?
- IMPORTANT: I need a host who will transfer my site for me. It is too big for me to do myself on dialup. I described my forum above, there is also an image gallery with 5000 images in it, and a fan fiction library with 500 stories in it. I need a host who will do the transfer for me. So far I've found two who will...lunarpages (but their $25 shared package may not have enough juice for me and their $99 dedicated is too expensive)...also hostgator will do the transfer...but again $75 is a little steep for me.
Anyone got any suggestions for me or know of other hosts who will do transfers?
What I would recommend is first, find the host that will do it. Have them create an account for you, but don't change the name servers right away. Have your new host log into your old host to obtain the data and put it on their servers... make sure they test everything on their server, and if its all working properly, then change the nameservers. That should eliminate any downtime for your site.
By the way, once you start passing 100GB of monthly transfer, you really should look into a VPS or dedicated server. Sites with that much transfer are really too big for shared hosting (IMHO).
Well, congrats to having such an active site! I agree about having outgrown the shared environment... I know there are managed VPS accounts around for $50/month, might be something for you. Can't say exactly where I saw that, unfortunately. But it was some reputable host.
thanks for the replies so far, I really appreciate the help. Again, the biggest considerations for me are price and transfers (I need a host who will do the transfer for me). So names of hosts who do transfers would be a great start as I've only found 2 on my own.
In my case, I don't need anything transferred regarding email...I don't use the email accounts on my site.
Another thing to mention: I don't want to be doing administrative stuff where I have to do server configurations and things like that if I move to a VPS or semi-dedicated. In other words, I want a managed package that functions pretty much like the shared packages do....just give me a cpanel and leave the rest to the host, type of thing.
50 users is fine for an uncrowded shared server....we must run at least 80 concurrent users across the various forums we host. But the major point for you would be planning for growth: there's no point going for shared hosting if you're growing, because you'll have to move to a VPS/dedi soonish anyway for the guaranteed performance you'll be needing to continue your popularity.
Contact host support and see how much they'll charge for a transfer - it sounds like quite a big job, so I don't think many would do it for free.
Also, have you tried Adsense on your site? You may find that by putting a little adsense strip at the top and bottom of the screen you're able to cover costs. Adsense is also content-specific, so it's not just random crap. (Most of the time :p)