LiquidWeb Vs ServInt Vs DataPipe Vs Steadfast ? - Please help me to make a decision !
I am newbie to hosting as well as this forum (Entered the internet world just 1 year back with my website).
I need your help in making my decision about "Fully Managed Dedicated Server Hosting"
I have 4 websites that are of fairly high traffic (around 6 million page views per month - all the 4 sites combined). So I want to move them to a dedicated server. I can afford 300 - 450 $ per month.
Following is my short-list after around 15 days of research. (I have ruled out RACKSPACE because of too high cost)
1) LiquidWeb : Looked good in all aspects except the bandwidth. I didn't like the 1000 GB IN & 1000 GB OUT bandwidth concept. Moreover, the upgrade plans seem to be very limited in terms of bandwidth (considering the future growth of my sites). The extra bandwidth seems to be costing toomuch. Apart from this factor, I would have directly chosen LiquidWeb. I wish they had more flexible bandwidth plans.
2) ServInt : Looks good for upgrade plans. Will consider it if LiquidWeb is ruled out completely.
3) DataPipe : They haven't displayed their pricing at the website. So assuming little costlier. Nevertheless I have sent them a mail and yet to receive reply.
4) Steadfast : Don't know much details about their service. But I received the fastest reply for my 'sales' enquiry though not as detailed as expected. Extra bandwidth costs $1 per GB. This looks Ok.
My Other "mandatory" Requirements :
1) One of my websites is a forum with 80,000 members and typically 600 users online. We need to send daily mails to registered members apart from the automatic mails for topic subscriptions, memberships etc. So the SMTP server should support around 2,00,000 mails per day.
2) I am not a "technical" person though I can learn very fast. So I need the support people to be very patient & friendly. I donít know much about technical things like DNS, MX record changes, new database creation etc. So the hosting company should be doing it for me (in case of need) or assisting me to great detail. They should not be charging extra for these small things.
3) The hosting company should have good security measures in place and should respond fast in case of "hacking" and any other security issues. (My website already got hacked once on a shared server.)
My Questions :-
1) Please share your experiences with above hosts and enlighten me about any factors I might have missed. If you know any other "excellent" hosts, please do make your comments.
2) I am going for Dual Xeon Processors (2.8 GHz), RAID, 2 GB RAM. Is this configuration Ok or do I need more ? How many online users it can support ?
3) How many GB of bandwidth will be needed for 6 million page views ? (Approximation will be good enough)