I am new to webhosting talk, so please bear with me if this is the umteenth post with the same age old question: How to choose the right hosting package?
Doing research into my current hosting problem has raised more questions that answers: How to know when to look for 100MB vs 10 MB uplink ports; How to compare apples to apples when reviewing hosting providers; Can a VPS work as well as a dedicated server; What are additional costs to consider when moving from a shared web platform to a dedicated server platform because it certainly isn't just the hardware.
To start with, this is our current solution:
Email hosted on a mail hosting provider (resellerclub)
Web hosted on shared Linux (Cartika)
DNS and Domain hosted on by a Name Provider (enom).
1) Bandwidth usage for the web site has grown to about 3Gb/day which seems to be high. This web site is a new site, so stats from the old site were irrelevent.
2) Web host and email host will not support a monthly mailing to our customers (current 20K but expected to grow).
3) Email hosting model is changing to a per mailbox with individual from fixed mailboxes and shared storage.
4) I get dumped on when emails are bouncing, user's can't access email, etc.... I have enough to do without this to worry about.
I have been asked to provide a report on options available. Management is NOT computer savvy, and insists that they want to be able to host everything on one 'server.' I have to filter this and explain the pros and cons to this attitude.
I need some advice on how to determine what type of solution I need. The current web platform seems OK, response is good, but we are peaked on bandwidth, and it will only increase when we start adding videos. The next step is to special purchase additional BW, or move to a VPS. I like the clustered approach by Cartika.
The marketing email, everyone says, should be handled by a service that deals with mass mail. This is a subscription based service, and costs more than most dedicated server service offerings, so the arguments for this are difficult to articulate. The idea that our marketing is at the mercy of a third party is a painful one.
Email is running alright, but the management interface is the pits, and resellerclub has moved to a per mailbox pricing structure, with a fixed mailbox size. The previous model allocated the same space, but combined it, so for 200 users you would get 20 gigs shared, so if some users were in excess of 1 gig mailboxes, there was no issue. I need to move away from this solution as soon as possible.
So all in all, I have been looking at different solutions, and need to move this one to the right platform that would have definite, predictable service and cost. Any recommendations?
As mentioned earlier, I had some questions:
How to determine when to switch from 10 to 100 or even 1000 MB uplink
Can a VPS server do the trick?
What is the impact of running mail, web, dns, database and the control panel from a single dedicated server?
Who is responsible for what when the server dies?
Mass mailing is a very difficult business to be in these days. The days of "free" mailings are done unfortunately. Spam being what it is, so many RBLs (especially those of large ISPs) relying on end user reporting, etc - even legit, double opt in, etc mailings can cause blacklisting issues with the major ISP's.. Mailings of this size carry significant costs these days (as you are noticing)..
The best advise I can give you is to ensure you can monetize properly off of your mailings to cover the costs (no different then direct mail marketing to subscribed users, etc - there is printing costs, paper costs, mailing costs, etc..) - when you compare email mailing, the costs are significantly less, but, as I said above, they are no longer free...
You really only have so many options. You can get your own mail server IP via something like a VPS, scrub your list diligently and deal with and manage various ISP relationships to maintain clean mailing to them - or - you can utilize 3rd party services which specialize in such things (ie constantcontact, etc) and deal with the associated price tag for your size of mailing..
Honestly, a VPS would work fine for you for this requirement if you do not generate spam reports. If you have been running this in our shared environment up until now and have not received abuse complaints regarding spam, then you are likely running a very good and a very clean list. So, a VPS would be a good option for you - which would address both your mailing requirements and your requirement for higher bandwidth allocation towards hosting applications...
So, is there a primer on 'Managing email marketing' that I can read? I need to know just how much work it is so I can attribute a cost associated to it, that way, when I say that your web host is $75 and your marketing is 150 vs your dedicated web host is 200, they know that it's 200 plus my time, which when included, puts the separated solution in a better cost ratio.
Maybe the approach is to try it on our own to start with, and have a emarketing company waiting in the wings. Has anyone had experience managing their own emarketing?
To answer some of the questions:
No, we haven't been managing our own emarketing campaigns. This has been outsource at a seemingly ridiculous rate. It was the understanding of management that the new web site could take care of this, and the web host limitation we ran into on a shared platform was not considered as the requirement was overlooked when we stated them.
We do diligently manage the mail list, constantly updating and verifying the contact details for bad data, so for the most part, those people on the list want to get our mail. At least we have that!
I'll keep poking around, and I really appreciate any advice I get.
On a positive note, I am very satisfied with Cartika. Service, support and accounting have all been very helpful when contacted. If you need worry free service, it is a good choice.
A basic vps hosting packages range from $18.00 - $30.00USD Per Month
Also, i would suggest that you look for a fully managed VPS hosting package.
A real fully managed VPS with guaranteed resources will not cost $15-$30/month..
Originally Posted by mvpwill
VPS will work fine for you. It is great to learn how to how to manage servers from root access. Belive me its a lot different then pressing buttons on a control panel.
this is what you will get for $15-$30/month
A real managed VPS carries costs - but, for an end user, its effectively the same as shared hosting, except they are isolated with their own dedicated resources (hopefully).. a VPS loses most of its usability to a typical shared hosting customer if they need to log into root at all...