I'm a developer and currently most of my web projects focus on stuff like php, mysql, postgres and various GIS technologies. My immediate need is to host a site for a moderately complex (from a technical standpoint) Google API based site. The traffic for the site would be very low as it's for mostly internal use by my clients. It will be serving up dynamic maps with multiple overlays and filters.
It's possible that in the future I will need to add mapserver (a cgi application) and php mapscript applications to the server but at this point I could skip if I had to.
My problem is this: what kind of web host should I be looking for. In the past I've just run my own dev servers internally and set up intranet servers for clients for internal applications but in this case we really need the external server (both for Google's API to work and for usability issues). I know my bandwidth requirements will be pretty low and my disk space should be around 500mb per project. There would be a fair bit of mysql activity for each page visit and having Geospatial columns in mysql or postgres would be a requirement. Do you think I can manage this on a shared host? It looks to me like if I went to VPS I would be spending $30+/month to support just apache, database server and php. ANy input would be appreciated - I'm sort of spoiled by having dedicated intranet servers in the past.
As Ben said, I think you'd be much safer with a secure but maybe low-end and not so powerful VPS to start with and then have the option to upgrade to a more powerful VPS as your needs and requirements increase in terms of capacity
Good luck with your search
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Thanks for the replies so far. I guess my major concern is that although my overall server resource usages will be miniscule I may have the occasional spike in cpu or ram usage that might cause a problem to automated flagging systems on some web hosts. The smallest VPS systems don't appear to have the RAM to run apache/php/mysql (although I seem to recall running them on a 64mb dedicated server back in the day).
imo if you run a business you will need stability something which you won't find fast on the low end VPS servers which are generally a lot oversold, which could give problems when you need that CPU spike.
so my advise would be a high-end VPS or Semi-Dedicated server. A good non oversold shared-host might do the trick, but guess its very much depending on how much resources you are going to use.
If you plan well your host should be able to facilitate you in your growing process, from a shared to semi-dedicated to dedicated environments.
Hope this helps.
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If you dont expect much traffic, you would most likely be just fine in a shared web hosting environment.
Dedicated and VPS both are more expensive.
Most shared plans these days average from $4-7 a month.