I've been running a forum for a little while now. I've been using a free provider (forum motion) for some time, but I'm interested in getting my own domain, and perhaps installing phpBB or some software like it to run on the domain. I'm fairly familiar with php and mysql, but I'm unsure of what host to go with. My forum has 5,000 members and sometimes it'll go from 400 users online to roughly 800 users online. It can move a bit fast at times, since there's some good topics for people to discuss. I've been looking at some VPS, and I've been looking at shared hostings. Before I dish out the cash though, I'd like to just get some help/feedback about the best path to take. With that said, let's think low budget here XDD, sadly I'm not a walking piggey bank.
Alot depends on how much resources you are using. If you are using to many resources on a shared server they would as you to upgrade to a VPS. Alot depends on your budget currently. Have you set aside a set amount 'per' month for your forum? If you don't mind me asking what is your budget? That will help out alot for me and others on the forum to provide you with helpful feedback. Best of luck!
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Tell us a bit more about the forum, technically. If you want to keep your members and data you will also need to migrate the database to the new host. This will also require that the new forum is the same software as the old forum. And even if it is technically feasible, your current free host may not allow it.
The-Pixel & Collabora I'm not really too concerned about migrating data honestly because it won't be necessary. My members are pretty devoted, but I've received tons of feedback to know that the only information that's really important, is simply a lot of the information that I've put up. More or less, I'll be starting with a clean slate and that'll be okay, then I'll simply get all the members to move over to the new place.
I'm not sure exactly what additional information you're looking for me to specify. As far as resources are concerned, I see mysql tables/rows being a big thing here since there's always lots of posting going on. I'm not sure if this is a processor intensive task as well as a memory intensive task , but I do know that inserting rows and tables will be pretty frequent on a daily basis by a good 700 members. Budget wise, I have 20.00$ a month reserved strictly for the server/hosting only. If that's not enough I'll be looking into increasing the budget, although I'm interested in saving every penny/dollar possible. XDD
thank you for the quick reply by the way, I really appreciate it.
For $20 you won't find any reliable VPS (at least no managed one) so I suggest you focus on shared hosting. For more suggestions a link to your forum would be required, so if you do not want to post it here in public feel free to sent me a private message then I am going to have a look at your forum and I might be able to help you out.
I think you can go for a windows shared hosting and can place your forum(web site) in a dedicated application pool(quite good amount of memory). This will surely help to run the forum smoothly without any issues. Also if your forum uses more space you can add it to your pool..
If you can manange your own VPS a lot of bucks can be saved, if you dont need an controlpanel more bucks can be saved. But since you have peaks of 800 users on the board i would recommend atleast 512mb but preferable 1GB of ram.