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  • Is a virtual server enough to host my site?

    Hi,
    I'm moving my current UBB forum over to vBulletin in the next couple of months and am looking for a good, reliable host for it. I'm just not sure whether a virtual server will be good enough or whether I need to go for a semi-dedicated option.

    My current host (http://www.oneandone.co.uk/) is cheap with good bandwidth (40 gigs/month) but suffers from crippling cgi restrictions - only 12 scripts can be executed at any one time and when that is exceeded things are halted for several minutes

    The same will happen with vBulletin because they run PHP in cgi-mode as far as I know. Hence the need to change host.

    So I'm looking for a good host with 35+ gigs bandwidth a month, that is known to run vBulletin well and costs in the vicinity of $25-30 a month. It would need to be able to handle approximately 750,000 - 1,000,000 forum page impressions a month and that's my big question - can a virtual server handle that? I'm hoping vBulletin, as PHP/MySQL based software, will be less server intensive than UBB but I simply don't know so maybe someone here can advise me on that?

    I've looked at semi-dedicated/virtual private server options around the $65/month mark but simply can't afford it for a site which is only a hobby and brings in little or no income.

    After browsing through a few topics here, two virtual server options I've found with sufficient bandwidth at the right price are:

    http://www.realwebhost.net/
    http://www.dr2.net/

    Would people recommend one of these hosts?

    Any help anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Heya,


    On my site I've gotten about 1 million hits in a month. and I burned about 700 MB's in bandwidth, (Counting FTP Bandwidth for uploading files to server)


    But I have uploaded over 300 MB's in files so thats only 500 MB's Burned.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hits is very different to page impressions, with vB one page impression can generate many many hits.
      Karl Austin
      UK Web Hosting and Servers :: KDA Web Services Ltd.
      Specialists in Custom Solutions

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the replies - 1,000,000 hits is definitely different from 1,000,000 page impressions HostCom. One hit is recorded for every single item (html page, every image etc) loaded on the page.

        So unfortunately your situation doesn't compare to mine - I use a heck of a lot more than 700 megs a month!

        I'm curious whether I can expect vBulletin to substantially reduce my bandwidth usage or not.

        Another host that looks good and was recommended by somebody on here is http://www.hostforweb.com/

        Great looking features, good bandwidth and space, it's just a question of whether it's good enough to handle my site....

        Comment


        • #5
          When searching for a host, I would make sure they have been in business for a bit before going with them. Too many hosts now days are fly by night hosts and it gives valid and authentic hosts a bad name.

          I have not heard of the other two hosts you listed, but I have not heard anthing bad about RealWebHost, you may want to check more into them .

          Also note, cheaper is not always better, too many people see a deal and pop right up for it without thinking about what may or may not happen to their website.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks SaintDog, Real Web Host are probably the front runners right now but I will definitely be looking into them in more detail first.

            I've been with several hosts over the years and there is always, always one little problem that undermines their service - be it bandwidth, file limit restrictions, cgi-limits etc. Hopefully I'll be able to track down a good, reliable host this time but I'm not going to rush into it.

            And point taken about price vs quality, unfortunately my options are fairly limited as this is not a commercial site and I haven't gotten any advertising revenue in months so I finance it straight out of my own pocket - unless someone can point me in the direction of a good advertiser I can hook up with?

            Comment


            • #7
              Not a problem, I am glad I could be a bit of help . Before I started out as my own host, I was basically in the same position with finances -- I know what it is like to have to pay for it out of your own pocket and when your site grows, while it is good, it sure places a larger hole in your pocket.

              How much bandwidth are you pulling as it stands right now (per month)?

              Comment


              • #8
                # So I'm looking for a good host with 35+ gigs bandwidth a month, that is known to run vBulletin well and costs in the vicinity of $25-30 a month #

                I am afraid you will have to sacrifice something. It will be hard to get a decent provider for the above spec. A virtual account can handle your forum easily, depending on their hardware and how they setup users (obviously). If you want a high quality provider with the best bandwidth and hardware - pay for it! If you can not afford the charge, you may opt for a cheaper solution but please bear in mind that you may have to sacrifice some other quality services.

                Also remember that some new hosts or 'wannabee's', gambles and lower the price down to almost nothing in the hope that some of the users will not use all the allocated transfer/bandiwdth/hdd space. It usually ends up in disaster! Do some searches and have a look at their websites and forums. It is always a good idea to choose a solid provider who is most likely to be there... next year as well.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Coreace
                  # So I'm looking for a good host with 35+ gigs bandwidth a month, that is known to run vBulletin well and costs in the vicinity of $25-30 a month #

                  I am afraid you will have to sacrifice something. It will be hard to get a decent provider for the above spec. A virtual account can handle your forum easily, depending on their hardware and how they setup users (obviously). If you want a high quality provider with the best bandwidth and hardware - pay for it! If you can not afford the charge, you may opt for a cheaper solution but please bear in mind that you may have to sacrifice some other quality services.

                  Also remember that some new hosts or 'wannabee's', gambles and lower the price down to almost nothing in the hope that some of the users will not use all the allocated transfer/bandiwdth/hdd space. It usually ends up in disaster! Do some searches and have a look at their websites and forums. It is always a good idea to choose a solid provider who is most likely to be there... next year as well.
                  Well, the story is true, Im sad to say. Think of HostOnce.. 5 bucks/month for unlimited everything? Really not possible. If you ran a website with let's say 20GIG, using almost all of the resources, it'd cost the owner mad money. What ussually happen's is, they disconnect you and say that you violated the agreement somehow, or say you went over the allocated amount, when you didn't. Some host's are crook's... So do what I did.. I looked for a host for about 4 weeks, found some "good" one's, with BAD reputations. eg: HostRocket, Hostonce, ect. So before you buy ANY host, look into it's reputation. Trust me, a few extra day's won't kill you, or your site. It'll actually help you. Just my 2 cent's worth.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Make sure you get a host with Zlib support installed with PHP. This is required for GZIP compressed output which decreases HTML page size by anywhere from 50 to 90%, therefore decreasing your bandwidth anywhere from 30-70% depending on how heavy on images your board design is, or how frequently attachments are uploaded to posts.

                    vBulletin 2.x is much less server-intensive than UBB but is still a hog at times. However, I'd say get your license anyway, because vB3 should be even better (and hopefully it will be released before the year is over )

                    As for hosting recommendations, I'm hosted at Insider Hosting. Excellent service, excellent support, excellent host. That's really all I have to say. You might have to get into the reseller accounts to get 30-40 gigs of bandwidth but they are easily well worth it even if the price is slightly higher than other hosts. To give you an example of their support, I inquired if pspell capability could be added, and it WAS added. I was the only person to ever have asked about it, but still they added it without hesitation. These guys are awesome.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fury
                      Make sure you get a host with Zlib support installed with PHP. This is required for GZIP compressed output which decreases HTML page size by anywhere from 50 to 90%, therefore decreasing your bandwidth anywhere from 30-70% depending on how heavy on images your board design is, or how frequently attachments are uploaded to posts.

                      vBulletin 2.x is much less server-intensive than UBB but is still a hog at times. However, I'd say get your license anyway, because vB3 should be even better (and hopefully it will be released before the year is over )

                      As for hosting recommendations, I'm hosted at Insider Hosting. Excellent service, excellent support, excellent host. That's really all I have to say. You might have to get into the reseller accounts to get 30-40 gigs of bandwidth but they are easily well worth it even if the price is slightly higher than other hosts. To give you an example of their support, I inquired if pspell capability could be added, and it WAS added. I was the only person to ever have asked about it, but still they added it without hesitation. These guys are awesome.
                      I'd choose ViperHost because not only is the service great, but the connection is strong, and your not sharing the machine with too many other's. Also, every question I've asked so far was answered within 5 minutes. THATS good.
                      - Developer Plan (1000MB/30GB/SSH) is now $160/year!
                      Would be able to handle it probally... But do the math and thats an average of $13.3/month There is no way that a host could afford that... plus any other services they offer with that price.

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                      Taken off of HostUltra.com I haven't used them or see any reputation, but check them out. That'd work well for your need's.
                      Last edited by bahawolf; Wed 2nd Apr '03, 6:21am.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks again guys, the advice is much appreciated.

                        I know it's a big ask to find a really good host on the cheap but I do intend to do plenty of digging first. I'm not very familiar with the whole reseller option though. Is that where you buy an account off somebody who owns a dedicated server with one of these hosts?

                        Is that a viable option? What are the benefits/risks?

                        I'm waiting for vB 3 before switching over so I'm keeping a close eye on developments with that. Hopefully it'll be out within the next 4 months! And I hope they nail the new vb3 style because I'm not the biggest fan of the current one.....fingers crossed!

                        And thanks for the tip about GZIP compression. The potential benefits sound great but is it not more server intensive compressing/uncompressing all the data like that? Or is the difference minimal?

                        Sorry for all the questions, I must sound like a right clueless twat

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bahawolf
                          I'd choose ViperHost because not only is the service great, but the connection is strong, and your not sharing the machine with too many other's. Also, every question I've asked so far was answered within 5 minutes. THATS good. Would be able to handle it probally... But do the math and thats an average of $13.3/month There is no way that a host could afford that... plus any other services they offer with that price.

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                          Taken off of HostUltra.com I haven't used them or see any reputation, but check them out. That'd work well for your need's.
                          Insider Hosting can do them in 2 minutes.

                          GZIP compression creates a slight overhead as the server compresses the data on the fly (kind of hard to have dynamic data compressed before it is accessed, eh? ). However, the difference in bandwidth more than makes up for it. In fact many hosts will tell you that you MUST have gzip compression on when possible, as it saves them as much bandwidth as it saves you. Additionally, it only sends compressed data to browsers that can uncompress it. e.g. most browsers made within the last few years.

                          I must sound like a right clueless twat
                          We all had to start somewhere.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fury
                            Insider Hosting can do them in 2 minutes.

                            GZIP compression creates a slight overhead as the server compresses the data on the fly (kind of hard to have dynamic data compressed before it is accessed, eh? ). However, the difference in bandwidth more than makes up for it. In fact many hosts will tell you that you MUST have gzip compression on when possible, as it saves them as much bandwidth as it saves you. Additionally, it only sends compressed data to browsers that can uncompress it. e.g. most browsers made within the last few years.

                            We all had to start somewhere.
                            I tend to stick with host's that tell me all the information I want to hear and seem safe enough. ViperHost told me all the information on the machine right in the beginning, and still helped me through everything with speed. I'll check out Insider Hosting in the mere future though.. Thanks for the tip.

                            EDIT: I'd buy vBulletin soon, as in within the next week. vB3 can be downloaded through the member's section, and RC3 is stable as it is, and good. Plus, who know's if the price will rise when vB3 does come out. It could happen, and it's alway's better to save money, then lose it. Oh, and vBulletin has a skin that matches UBB exactly if you like the look, and has MUCH more feature's than UBB. Glad to see your purchasing a copy.
                            Last edited by bahawolf; Wed 2nd Apr '03, 7:16am.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Insider Hosting did that too for me. They're pretty proud of their servers.

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