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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    3

    Advice Needed for Hosting a School Alumni Website...

    Hi there! This is my first official post to this forum which I found via another site.

    I graciously offered my services to help build my old high school's official alumni website.

    From a budget standpoint and from my previous experience, I'd opt to go with a shared hosting server such as Bluehost to start. But I'm just wondering what the stress will be like on the site if there's a lot of traffic (e.g. visits and database with all the graduated users and their profiles). Should a dedicated server be an option (school's been around for 25 years... over 100 grads in each year)?

    The site will use the following elements:
    • CMS (most likely Drupal)
    • Flash (for photo slideshows)
    • Video (possible, but will most likely be a few streaming flv's)
    • Forum
    • Simple payment system for sign-ups and donations (e.g. PayPal)


    Our budget isn't that large, but if this can be done effectively on a shared server without worry of any major downtimes and slowdowns, then I'll opt to do that. Otherwise, having a dedicated server may prove more beneficial in the long-run.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Clemson
    Posts
    172
    You might actually go for a VPS if you are looking for something in the middle of Shared/Dedicated. It would give you the advantages of being able to handle the stress of a larger amount of traffic/resources, and would keep your budget low, because VPS servers tend to run cheaper than dedicated servers.
    Brett Meadors

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Texas, where else?
    Posts
    1,571

    Cool

    I think you might be overestimating traffic demands over time with this style site. Sure you have 500 alumni but not all will participate regularly and those who do won't likely all be on at the same time (unlike a busy forum with say 500 visitors at once) and the "new" will wear off... so a good "higher-end" shared plan should handle it ...unless there is something unusual about your school (especially geared to techno-geeks who are on-line a lot or something) .
    New Idea Hosting NO Overselling-Business-Grade, Shared Only! New-In House Design Team.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    2,734
    To be honest I think you will be fine on a good shared hosting provider, if in a few years the traffic gets really heavy you might consider upgrading, but for that kind of site shared hosting will suffice in most circumstances

  5. #5
    I would go for shared hosting and as the site grows, you can upgrade to bigger hosting plan or to a VPS/dedicated server.
    Affordable Managed Hosting Solutions for Professional & Business since 2001
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  6. #6
    I would recommend http://www.alumniarchive.net/

    My high school used them.
    L. James Prevo - President/Owner
    Prevo Network, LLC - http://www.prevo.net
    Est. 1999 - Month to Month Billing!!

  7. #7
    Definitely shared. Even if they all got on at once, your server could most likely still handle it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    289
    I think a normal shared plan will be enough, 25 years old and 100 grads every year, that means 2500 grads total. But, let's say every user will visit the site once every week, and the visiting last 20 minutes averagely. So, the concurrent users is about 10.

    The above calculation is a little subjective, but true reflect something, and if the shared plan can't fit your need, you can upgrade to VPS easily.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    570
    yes, I agree, shared would do fine. And you can always upgrade later if necessary.
    Let's talk custom servers and reseller plans

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    3
    Thanks for the great advice everyone! It was really helpful. I think I'll go with shared hosting. Now it's just a matter of choosing which host!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Paradise
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    11,868
    What's your budget? do you know approximately how much space are you going to use?
    Shared Web Hosting - Reseller Hosting - Semi-Dedicated Servers - SolusVM/XEN VPS
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
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    3
    Quote Originally Posted by Jedito View Post
    What's your budget? do you know approximately how much space are you going to use?
    Very low... we're going on donations right now... lol. I know Bluehost is $6.95/month pre-paid for 2 years, but I'm just wondering if there's any shared hosting provider that'll be a better choice.

    Space I'm not too sure of at the moment, but I would think that it'll be at least 5GB to start off (I'm using one of the other site's I'm working on as an estimate... it's running Drupal w/ a bunch of modules and is already at 3GB)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Paradise
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    11,868
    Well, you'll need to take care of the Drupal modules, those may use a lot of Memory Per process and you may have problems with the PHP configuration of the servers, also, with the resources.

    If you're not very much concern with the uptime and speed, then, maybe bluehost may be a good alternative, so it may be dreamhost.
    Shared Web Hosting - Reseller Hosting - Semi-Dedicated Servers - SolusVM/XEN VPS
    LiteSpeed Powered - R1Soft Continuous Data Protection - 24/7 Chat/Email/Helpdesk Support
    Cpanel/WHM - Softaculous - R1soft Backup - Litespeed - Cloudlinux -Site Builder- SSH support - Account Migration
    DowntownHost LLC - In Business since 2001- West/Center/East USA - Netherlands - Singapore

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
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    1,449
    Quote Originally Posted by Psylocke View Post
    Very low... we're going on donations right now... lol. I know Bluehost is $6.95/month pre-paid for 2 years, but I'm just wondering if there's any shared hosting provider that'll be a better choice.

    Space I'm not too sure of at the moment, but I would think that it'll be at least 5GB to start off (I'm using one of the other site's I'm working on as an estimate... it's running Drupal w/ a bunch of modules and is already at 3GB)
    Every customer endures a different experience. For the most part, every legitimate business keeps customers happy. You'll just have to take a leap and feel it out. Best of luck.
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