Best Host for Multisite?

What is the best & fastest host for using wp multisite? Is there any official recommendation/favorite? I've checked into wpengine, zippykid, etc... any other/better suggestions?

  • Arun Basil Lal

    Hello warpedmind,

    It depends on how big a site its gonna be, plus your budget. Our users have always loved http://www.linode.com/ and I personally prefer Host Gator.

    I would recommend to start on a share hosting plan of Hostgator and build your site. Moving Hosts is not that big a deal, so when the site grows bigger, you can move to a costlier option.

    I have a wpengine account and they sure know what they are doing.

    Personally, I do not like Godaddy, DreamHost, Site5 or BlueHost, they have some technology that takes down your site for minor peaks in resource usage, I mean, in shared hosting.

    I have been using HostGator for the past 4 years, awesome team and support :slight_smile:

    I hope this helps. Let me know what you think!

  • Timothy Bowers

    If you are planning on a huge site using many plugins and themes then a VPS or dedicated server is a good consideration.

    Shared hosts will always restrict you on resources. Some are worse than others, some will even terminate your account without notice if you use a few to many resources. Those Unlimited type hosts are usually the worse for this.

    If you want to check out reviews of hosts and find suggestions then you will find WHT a useful resource:

    http://webhostingtalk.com

    They also have a number of offers going off in their forums. Some of the larger companies also have staff who occasionally hang out there. :slight_smile:

    Take care.

  • James Dunn

    Hey @WarpedMind.

    I'm running a ton of traffic on a "modified VPS" system - my previous host (Fasthosts) was great, but just didn't have the capabilities that I needed sometimes. They limited the scripts that I could install and run. My current host has an excellent service and support and seems to handle the traffic that my clients throw at it.

    It's a very unique VPS style hosting that allocates server resources where needed and uses unused server resources from other subscribers to keep the websites delivered. In December, during a marketing campaign that one of my clients sent out, he sent over 7,000 unique visitors to the website in a 20 minute period. His ONE website took up 98% of server resources from all the other websites on the server because they weren't using the resources at that time.

    Plus, it has a Dedicated Server Guard system - a proprietary program that keeps the crackers at bay. I've not had a single time that crackers have gotten through to any of my websites. When they attack, server resources are allocated to "blackholing" the unscrupulous visitors, so we sometimes see a slight slowdown when attacks occur, but once they're fought off, service returns to normal. I - and my clients - are willing to accept the occasional slow down for the security we receive.

    Email me (james at jamesddunn dot com) if you want to know more and I can give you the hosting contact info.

    JDD

  • webcrafter

    From personal experience having a multi-site blog up that becomes very busy resources on a shared server will quickly be used up. As pointed out above, if we are looking at 1,000 hits as opposed to uniques as everytime a page or picture is loaded that is considered a hit so if you have let us say a photo gallery that shows 10 photos per page you would get 11+ hits every time a person loads the page. That is a small example, it even includes the graphics used to make the webpage so if you have your psd sliced into 10 different slices then there is another 10 hits for that single page, as you see the number of hits per visitor can jump quite drastically from the actual traffic flow that is really being experienced.

    As for share hosting and resources, almost all of them out there now are offering ridiculous unlimited bandwidth, storage etc but do not prominently post the fine print about system resources used being above a certain percentage divided by active users, or what their ratio of users per shared server policy is at any given time causing a blockage/shutdown of service be it temporarily or permanently if repeated excess happens.

    While starting out on an inexpensive shared host is probably okay be prepared for the time when you need to move to a VPS/Dedicated server which usually range in cost from $75 up depending on things like actual memory available, hard drive/storage space available, provided bandwidth and whether the server is managed( they take care of keeping the updates and all installed for things like cPanel and the like) or unmanaged (you are in charge of everything except for system reboots)

    An active mult-site version of WP will quickly begin to use up above the available resources on a shared account so be prepared for that day to arrive.

  • dscostu

    Ok, still setting up my multisites, so little to no traffic but now I want to switch hosting from my godaddy...it seems that no one that is doing this stuff likes them. I am just wondering if I switch to, let's say, Gator, will Gator help me with the switch or do I need to do it myself. If Gator will do the switch over for me will they charge me? Just figured I would ask here, seems like you guys have it figured out.

  • Dean Kaus

    For my personal professional business sites I use http://www.activeservers.com I've personally know them probably since the start of the internet. Mom and pop shop that eat, sleep and live their business. The only downtime I had was when I put a period where it didn't belong. They may be a little more than most but it's been well worth it to me. Check them out. Also @aecnu I believe does hosting as well.

    Anyway good luck!

  • sidcam

    When you're in development or have a new/small site that doesn't have a lot of traffic, I'd recommend "shared hosting" but only because it's cheap.

    Problem with shared hosting is that you get what you pay for. Most people buy shared plans solely on price, so hosts are forced to cut every corner they can to compete. It's not uncommon for them to overload their servers, run on outdated servers, provide awful support, etc.

    They also promise "unlimited" resource which of course is too good to be true. I've had sites turned off for taking too much resources even though they were on "unlimited" plan.

    And when you find a good shared host realize that it's not uncommon for them to become awful over time.

    Knowing that, my #1 criteria is to look for a host with a "cPanel" account management interface. It's not that cPanel is great so much as it's the closest thing to a standard. That way when (not if) you decide to change hosts you don't have a learning curve trying to understand how to set up your next account. Also, cPanel makes it easy to migrate a site from one host to another (and I've seen proprietary interfaces that went out of their way to make it difficult to move).

    If I were buying shared hosting today, I'd probably at least look at HostGator.com. I've never used them but I've read a lot of recommendations. Notice I'm not recommending anyone I've ever used...

    If your site has any real level of traffic and/or it's making you money I'd suggest upgrading to a VPS hosting plan. Virtually all shared hosting companies also sell VPS plans, but I'd suggest avoiding them. When upgrading to a VPS (or dedicated server) my experience has been that the companies that don't play in the low end business will generally offer better products.

    I found my current VPS host (ServInt.net) by reading through reviews at webhostingtalk.com. I've used them for almost a year and I'm probably the happiest I've been with my hosting in 5-6 years (and I had a VPS prior to them). With that said, their entry level product is too light on memory to really run anything serious. Get a plan with at least 1GB of RAM.

    When you outgrow a VPS you have two choices- a dedicated server that only runs your site or cloud/on-demand services. I have no experience in this world but I've heard good things about Joyent.com (especially over Amazon).

    Hope this helps
    Sid

  • aecnu

    Greetings Everyone,

    It has been truly great reading through the posts here and realizing how people love to believe the propaganda and do not check out the facts.

    Though I admit that I am a competitor of Host Gator lets take the bull by the horns with some truth because I would never ever recommend them even if I was not in the hosting business.

    Why?

    First they are clearly liars that their hosting is unlimited, but people are fools and believe that garbage and when I called them on it - it turns out that oh yes the disk space and bandwidth are unlimited - but we count how many files you have!

    Conveniently withholding the truth is the same as lying.

    Well how many files is that? They would not tell me. Until recently this item remained unknown until @MTB1701 came in here in another post with some truth as shown in the screen shot below. This inodes garbage is not a normal cPanel feature but one that Host Gator employs so they can limit the accounts.

    OK lets forget about the used car salesman tactics and the fact that they lie in their promotional content.

    Google hostgator security breaches and one will quickly find that Host Gator has had some of the largest security breaches in history and of course in a pointing the finger game Host Gator and WHMCS got into it over who was responsible for the leak of 500,000 billing records.

    In addition, they allow several security holes by default to include allowing directory browsing, I will not disclose any more vulnerabilities because it would unfairly expose them to more toxic elements.

    Last but not least, the last I knew they only allowed 64MB for php memory_limit which is absolutely pathetic compared to our 512MB.

    Don't believe it? See for yourself using the zip file attached below just download it, extract it, upload it to the root of your hosting account, and then call it up in your browser using something like http://yourdomain.com/phpinfo.php

    And find memory_limit

    Isn't it simply amazing what people do not tell.

    Cheers, Joe

  • dscostu

    Hello @aecnu,

    Thanks for your information. I am interested in your php memory_limit of 512MB (your link sent me to a 404)due to my recent multiple fatal errors that I have been having due to godaddy's limit of 64MB. In fact, I called them about the limits and the guy who answered the call didn't really know what I was speaking about and had to ask another guy who advised me that I to create a new file (can not remember what the file was called ...something "ini" maybe) that would allow me to add code to bump it up to 64...upon looking at my FTP I noticed that the the file was already existing on my FTP and the limit was 64. I didn't know if I could have typed in 512 there or not...I wish they were more helpful there.

    Now, I looked at your site and it seems great. Are you a reseller of goddady domains? Some of your pages look like a white-label of the godaddy site...? Just wondering? If I were to transfer my godaddy shared server FTP to you guys would you be able to set me up on your minimal VPS and transfer over my multisite SSL cert from godaddy as well? I can not afford to pay for another SSL cert. again. I would also like to know if I have the ability to set up my wordpress install (and updates) within your site framework (like goddady does) or if I have to do the install on my computer and upload it to your site? I never did that before. Sorry for the simple questions, just shopping for a new service. I quess I am one of those guys who falls for the hype due to my limited time to do research and experience. I am new so, I need a service that helps the noobs...lol. Thanks for your insight in this thread. Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks again.

  • sidcam

    Sorry if I offended anyone. I tried to make clear my overall distain for shared hosting, however I'm also well aware that sometimes the price of a VPS just isn't in the budget for a small or new site.

    As I previously mentioned, I've never been a customer of HostGator. They're just the best reviewed (from what I've read and been told in other forums) that I haven't tried yet. Without going into details, I've been a past customer of GoDaddy, Aplus.net and Inmotion Hosting and my preference would be to use someone else.

    However nothing said about HostGator surprises me. The last shared host I used was just as "highly rated" and I experienced all the same problems.

    AECNU is correct when he says selling "unlimited" is lying. I tried to hit on that point in my post as well, but the problem is that they all do it.

    IMHO if you can still find a small local companies with their own servers that only charges a few dollars more, you'll be better off. However you absolutely have to be prepared for them to go out of business because it's very difficult to compete against national providers with millions of customers when the customers only care about the bottom line. I've worked with several small shops over the years and all of them have eventually given up.

    No matter what it's a good idea to have a plan for migration so when you get tired of a host's games and/or they tell you they're shutting down in a week, you're not scrambling to learn how to do it. That's why I suggested always using cPanel so one less learning curve has been removed.

    I did email a couple of friends who still rely on shared hosting to get another recommendation and one suggested BlueHost.com. I looked them up and they are a cPanel environment. Again, haven't used them I'm just pass it along.

    Personally, I have two VPS accounts at ServInt.net. One is exclusively my business website and the other is for development. I've been really happy with them but realize I'm also paying over $100/mo for that happiness. With shared plans under $5/mo that's a big difference.

    Hope this helps.
    Sid

  • aecnu

    Greetings Everyone,

    @dscostu thank you for pointing out the 404 error - this was due apparently to the editor here stripping out parts of the URL which of course is embarrassing.

    It has since been repaired and here for your convenience: compared to our 512MB.

    This ticket itself is months old from many of the folks who originally started this thread.

    Here is a much more updated post and you can see all the people using my hosting which includes members as well as support staff:
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/choosing-hosting-company

    And here are some more:
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/support-advice
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/whos-your-favorite-wp-hosting-provider-and-why
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/having-serious-troubles-with-my-vps-memory

    Thank you all for your valuable input and for being WPMU Dev Community Members!

    Cheers, Joe

  • _981

    Personally I use Godaddy.com

    There are always multiple coupons for them from %20-32 off, just google "godaddy coupon codes"

    You could get a WHM/cPanel Unlimited VPS for $39.99/month with 1GB Ram and 1TB BW per month. Then use one of many 30% off coupons and pay $27.99 per month. If you don't use cpanel it's only $29.99 per month before discount (around $20.99 after 30% discount).

    Set the plan to disable auto renew so that each month you can use a coupon code for savings. Their VPS packages come with a free SSL Certificate as well $69.99 value.

  • dscostu

    @aecnu can you answer some of my questions below? It seems like you have a wonderful service. I just need to know if it is noob friendly where I won't need a degree to use it...lol...

    Now, I looked at your site and it seems great. Are you a reseller of goddady domains? Some of your pages look like a white-label of the godaddy site...? Just wondering? If I were to transfer my godaddy shared server FTP to you guys would you be able to set me up on your minimal VPS and transfer over my multisite SSL cert from godaddy as well? I can not afford to pay for another SSL cert. again. I would also like to know if I have the ability to set up my wordpress install (and updates) within your site framework (like goddady does) or if I have to do the install on my computer and upload it to your site? I never did that before. Sorry for the simple questions, just shopping for a new service. I quess I am one of those guys who falls for the hype due to my limited time to do research and experience. I am new so, I need a service that helps the noobs...lol. Thanks for your insight in this thread. Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks again.

  • Dean Kaus

    Everyone! I never like to badmouth anyone as everyone myself included can have a bad day or eve a weak. So to not badmouth anyone in particular.

    My true statement of personal experience. If GoDaddy offered to Pay ME to host on their sites, offered to have Danica Patrick let me drive her car and buy me dinner, even if I was not happily married! I would not use their service.

    It took me over a year and a lawyer to get my domain name and site transferred from their site.

    My site was down for more than 3 days (that's all I could personally confirm) and their answer was, I can only think (level 1 tech speaking) is there must be a problem with your coding. I explained that nothing had changed and I couldn't even ping the server. His response was I could talk to a level 2 tech but that I would have to pay for the additional support.

    So that's my personal experience with GoDaddy. Just sayin...

    Now one question may come to mind as to why I went with GoDaddy in the first place over Activeservers.com? Well it was not my decision and the company I was working for at the time had made that decision just to try to save $7 per month (price difference at the time)

  • aecnu

    Greetings dscostu and Dean Kaus,

    @Dean Kaus I certainly feel your pain and would not consider hosting with them if indeed I was at that end of the business and the fact that they have different servers foe the databases just makes it harder to work with as well.

    @dscostu questions answered below:

    I just need to know if it is noob friendly where I won't need a degree to use it

    Well all non- dedicated servers come with cPanel and the VPS's even come with WHM and are indeed reseller accounts if one desires to do so.

    Our version of cPanel indeed comes with the videos that show how to use cPanel, of course if you get hung up you certainly can enter a support ticket from within the cPanel and we will get right on it.

    Are you a reseller of goddady domains?

    Actually of the domains yes but with the outfit that Go Daddy is a reseller of which initials are WW but I cannot disclose due to non disclosure agreements I signed with them back during the end of the 90's - I think 1998 to be exact but not sure.

    I do not sell there hosting and do not order hosting from there - it is not the same or what my hosting is all about.

    If I were to transfer my godaddy shared server FTP to you guys would you be able to set me up on your minimal VPS and transfer over my multisite SSL cert from godaddy as well?

    This is a great question and I do not know if the account from Go Daddy can be directly imported but of course FTP can help to some degree of course or perhaps a backup file would be even better - especially if it is tgz file extension.

    Do you know by any chance if there is a formal name for the GD hosting control panel (not relative to FTP or MySQL)?

    Speaking of the MySQL files this will be of great importance for the successful transfer of a site, there should be an export of some sort available.

    your minimal VPS and transfer over my multisite SSL cert from godaddy as well?

    Since we do not have root access to the Go Daddy hosting server we would need to have the certificate re-keyed - actually you would have it re-keyed by creating a new key with a CSR generated on the new VPS server. Of course I can help with this and installing the newly re-issued certificate as needed if needed.

    With root access I could actually grab the cert itself including the keys etc. and there would not need to be a re-key and re-issue of the certificate, however, these are indeed free from Go daddy the last I knew.

    I would also like to know if I have the ability to set up my wordpress install (and updates) within your site framework (like goddady does) or if I have to do the install on my computer and upload it to your site?

    Softaculous! Of course I install MultiSite by hand for free as well. really good at it I must admit ;-D ... lol

    Thank you for the opportunity and great questions.

    Cheers, Joe

  • Dean Kaus

    just another thought for @dscostu If you used the godaddy theme or their designer (I forgot what they called it) to set up your site you probably cannot transfer the entire site.
    When I was having my problems transferring the site over there was not a way to export and then import to the new site. I had to go in and copy all of the content manually and then start the new design from scratch. This was mostly because against my advise, the company had used GoDaddys web design tools to design the initial content.

    Good Luck!

  • David H

    As someone who runs a reseller business I find some of the comments above about shared hosting quite harsh. You can not tar everyone with the same brush. I am sorry but I feel I need to try to balance this out.

    There are some really terrible hosts out there for sure, but there are good ones as well. I have quite a small customer base that is growing by recommendations. I offer dedi and vps services but by far the most custom comes from share hosting sales.

    I pride myself on delivering very personalised customer support, kind of like it is here in fact.

    I do offer unlimited hosting options, its my biggest seller. And yes I do understand there is no such thing as an unlimited drive. BUT.. my business does not count files, we display a very clear 'fair usage policy'. In a nutshell as long as the files that are uploaded are referenced by the site in some way then that is fine. We do not allow file storage, which I think is fair enough.

    Given that my prime hosting business base is photographers my shared servers chew up quite a chunk of space. In fact as a point of reference I have just checked and my top usage customer is on 246567.06 MB with at least another dozen over 10000MB

    To date no site has been pulled down because of that. Custom php.ini files can be uploaded to increase memory limit. I am an approved host for two photogallery software scripts. I have featured in UK photo press and sponsor/host a main UK charity site.

    Not bad for a cruddy old shared hosting host eh!

  • Dean Kaus

    @David H What photogallery scripts do you use? I know that sometime ago there was a discussion to find a photo gallery that would allow voting etc... I ended up in the hospital and lost track of that thread and never did find out if anyone had a solution for that.

    Sorry to get off topic.

    Now Back on Topic.

    I actually signed up with Bluehost Shared mostly because I got a really good special if I paid a year in advance. Ended up being $3.95 per month! At first it was great and then the speed gradually decreased. I actually called and wasn't exactly happy with their answer. Which was that their servers are up, running speed test were up to requirements. Then after I let them know that I would rate them a Zero because they really didn't give me anything to go on as to why the pages were running so slow. They ran a couple of other tests and discovered that my Internet Service Provider was where the bottle neck was. I called my ISP and discovered that I wasn't getting to speed that I was paying for. For whatever reason I was downgraded to the slowest service automatically. They took care of it and I'm happy with Blue host again.

  • David H

    @Dean Kaus
    Really glad you got that sorted. I have no issue with Blue Host, not heard any differently before.
    I do have some concerns over some other mainstream large hosts and have witnessed grief from customer trying to transfer out. Name no names though!

    From other discussions I have seen a number of speed issue complaints fired at hosting providers when in fact the problem is sitting 10 feet away from the complainant in their own wireless router!

    Those galleries BTW are:
    http://www.pixaria.com/
    http://www.picturespro.com/i/photo_cart/

    but I do not think they carry voting options though.

  • dscostu

    Thanks to both @Dean Kaus and @aecnu

    I really appreciate you working with an obvious beginner (me). Thanks.

    Dean Kaus, I didn't use their themes..thank god...thanks for the info though...glad I didn't.

    aecnu, I think you have me sold. When I decide to make the switch, I will be your 'favorite' customer...lol I am not afraid to ask beginner type questions...but rest assured that I do learn quickly. I will most likely call you on the phone or contact you via your site when I am ready to begin....

    See, I don't even know how to inform Godaddy that we are going to break-up...Danica is going to be so upset. It also helps to know that you are a PA state member...east coast PA myself... Money spent in the state stays in the state right!!

    Ok, I am going to make the switch in the next couple months before I roll out my site to the world wide webs...It is going to be nice to actually have a hoster that can actually answer questions without using a supplied manual...lol.

    Thanks guys!!

  • wp.network

    This thread has seen a lot of input, but its been quite a while and WPMS has come a long way!

    I've been on the hunt for amazing hosting for, well... over 8 (eight!) years now, and I ran the usual gamut of big name 'unlimited' bargain hosts - even including godaddy (only at the very, very beginning) - and have learned sooo much along the way that I'd like to try and boil down here...

    The super short version: for me, its SiteGround.com

    This is why:

    1) Whatever the 'price floor' is, even a few bucks more can buy a much better value. This is as true for hosting as just about anything else.

    2) Its worth your time (& money) to search out a good list of 'tough questions to ask a web host' and then to actually ask them in a pre-sales email.

    3) You can learn loads by a) researching your most successful model/competitor's hosting providers and b) using webpagetest.org crazy often... you'll get a picture of who generally performs well and then you can start asking your questions and shopping prices, etc. (make good notes)

    4) If you are in the market for VPS/Dedicated/Cluster/Cloud... hosting coming from the shared hosting world, you should know that not all hosts work with all web technologies, but many hosts have abilities that aren't highlighted on their sales pages! It took me waaay too long to realize that I needed to be asking well researched and clear questions about what I wanted from a potential host. That was really a turning point for me :slight_smile:

    5) There's alot of techglam marketing speak around some very technical, very cool issues going on out there (can I get a 'Cloud' anyone)... in general, I recommend discovering new hosts through your own trusted social network as well as vendors, customers and competitors who have effective and fast websites: generally this yields a well qualified pool to sort through for what you need in particular.

    6) Read the fine print, and if you have any questions or qualms, clarify the point before payment if at all possible. Really. This is also just an effectively polite way to briefly explain your intentions and make sure everyone is comfortable. Its all about finding a stable relationship with a stellar host. Be upfront. :slight_smile:

    7) Respect yourself and have confidence when you don't even know the "correct" questions to ask - but have the wisdom to ask your (badly worded) questions of your chosen host while always, always, always respecting your support folks as well; they make it all continue to happen!

    Ok, all that said, in the past two years I've tried running Multisite with at least 20 different hosts, probably a few more.

    The short story - imho - is most were not viable for all the simple reason that I was looking for crazy amounts of value, and was testing various lowcost providers that looked promising. Refer to #1 above :slight_smile:

    So, then - last year - I went all the way to the other end: Premium Managed WordPress Hosting. I went with Pagely because they 1) just seem quietly competent; 2) choose to offer their managed service by partnering with FireHost to manage the hardware, which I think is super smart; and 3) don't charge based on "visitors" like many of their 'competitors' do - they charge based on resources and this offers better value for the crafty.

    I never did try Synthesis... I'm a fan of CopyBlogger & StudioPress generally, and was intrigued by the Synthesis WP platform despite its Ultra-Premium pricing as it seemed to be heading in a direction that I loved as a marketing wonk... However, when I reached out to them, a gentleman named Jerod Morris declined my business based on my lack of WordPress experience and their (at that time) policy which only allowed for migrations of existing Multisite networks owned by users with an undefined amount of experience other than enough to have a running Multisite (but not enough experience to have chosen Synthesis from the get go?). This really surprised me, so I reached out again, and Mr. Morris' boss (who at the time was some kinda VP, apologies for not recalling exactly) was very much nicer about it all, but had basically the same thing to say. Go figure; I walked away. I mentioned names in this comment only to make it very clear that I was communicating with responsible decision makers in this situation. I did get an invite to the New Rainmaker platform awhile back though... its very interesting, but I'll be passing on that for now :wink:

    Pagely made things work. I left before getting in too deep though. They were pretty awesome about Multisite, but the real gorilla of an issue was the price jump once you needed to move towards an 'enterprise' set of services (ie. two entry VPS accounts for separate web and database were more than a 5x price step from their already costly entry point Multisite hosting plan... and that was waaay to steep for me).

    Then I gave a few of the other well known Managed WP hosts a try, despite my objections about 'visitor' based pricing for hosting. Basically, they all perform very well, but still weren't able to provide the value package that I was seeking.

    Oh, I'd also throw out a good mention for affordable unmanaged VPS service from a good company: EcoVPS.com (this is a sub-brand of EuroVPS.com - a managed services provider who, btw, is up on nginx + varnish).

    Currently, while I maintain a bunch of fairly cheap accounts with various hosts who I've come to trust over the years, I have finally found Multisite success at reasonable prices with fabulous support at SiteGround.com (its a triple threat, for sure :slight_smile:

    I think that it'd be fabulous to see SiteGround get alot of win-win Multisite business from the WPMUDev community. Over the last several months they've taken great care of me. If you can use a server control panel for simple tasks (cpanel/etc) then I feel SiteGround reliably delivers more than 80% of the 'premium managed WP solution' value and does so - even for Multisite - at a fabulous, customer-enabling set of price points.

    Disclaimer: I have an interest in WPMUDev members hosting tons of networks at SiteGround!

    Here's my angle: The more of us running WPMUDev Multisite Plugins at SiteGround the more familiar/qualified/optimized they will become at hosting WordPress Multisite in general, and WPMUDev enabled WPMS as well (think the Domain Mapping & ProSites plugins, amirite?). Its a collaborative empowerment sorta model...

    Hands down, SiteGround for WordPress Multisite is the best hosting for the best price that I've ever found and I am happy to recommend them.

    My annual plan came with an intro $30 Wildcard SSL offer & I absolutely love the Varnish caching for static and dynamic resources along with other integrated caching systems (which are user optional)... they even offer Mutlisite compatible site staging and backups with a super slick interface! Its an incredible value and I hope to be there for years.

    Best of luck to you all in find what fits your needs and thanks for updating this thread with your best finds!

    Kind Regards & Aloha,
    Max

      • Jamie

        Hi,

        Any reason why you're not such a big fan anymore? I am launching a WordPress Network soon and decided to go with SiteGround until we get big enough to invest into a more serious hosting option. I have been trying to work out how many sites we could possibly service with the Go Geek plan? 1,10, 20 maybe 30 sites? Do you have some insight into this performance/capacity question? Would really appreciate an experience based view.

        • wp.network

          Hey Jamie - assuming that you're not running any really ridiculous code then the server resources from a SG GoGeek plan would be plenty for running a small network of 30+ sites... however, the issue is (unless some things have changed w/ SG) that you'll need to create a symlink to root directory for every subdomain address for things to work well w/ https - this is pretty simple, and can be made into a little plugin to happen upon new site creation. Basically, I found SG's custom system configurations to be a real pain esp. when I had to twist arms even to get an explanation of what was happening and what I might do about it... that said, I have a past client who loves running WPMS at SG.

          For just starting out, I'll reiterate my recommendation for AECNU's https://wpmu-hosting.com as I know Joe has recently done a lot of work to upgrade his systems over there (enterprise SSD drives, LetsEncrypt integration, even CF RailGun setups...) and for $30/m for a small VPS its a pretty great deal. Other than that, I'd also recommend LiquidWeb for decent hardware/network and really great support. Personally, I'm working on a new setup at WiredTree... hope all that is helpful =)

          Kind Regards, Max

    • Tracy Renee

      SiteGround gives less for more money than where i am now at cloudways.com and im looking to possibly move from there because to upgrade from 4g ram / 60gb storage for 70/mo is to the next plan 8g ram / 80gb at 130/mo. maybe i'll just do a 3rd server specifically for this one multisite installation which is the hog that's making it hard to use where i am. in any event, i'm hosting about 25 sites at cloudways for 140/mo now. their support is really REALLY good and 24/7 with fast answering times. I'm kinda getting afraid to change now lol.

  • Shira

    Thank you all, unfortunately, it's too late now :slight_frown:
    I already purchase the hosting in Host Gatore.
    It was almost 24 hours ago, so far, still didn't start working on my project as the domain not well installed etc. (they said it will take 24-48 hours), crap.
    I was hoping to start yesterday my new project :slight_frown:
    Hope I won't encounter any more issues with them.
    Thanks all :slight_smile:

    • maxwebgear

      Shira,

      I would get away from them and count the investment as a loss. Just my two cents. I used them for certain projects from 2006 until they were acquired by EIG and things went downhill. We experienced over 8 hours downtime at points with a dedicated server (I can't imagine VPS or Shared).

      EIG acquired a lot of hosting companies and places the acquisitions in their server farm in Utah. I imagine hundreds of little hamsters keeping their servers up. :slight_smile:

      It doesn't matter what you paid. It's a foundation on sand in my opinion.

      Good luck,

      Ken

  • maxwebgear

    Just a quick note:

    I recommend staying away from GoDaddy's managed servers as well. If you manage your own server, it may be different with them... I have a year long study that will make your proverbial toes curl...

    GoDaddy is great for domain management, SSL's and other supplementary needs.

    We love Rackspace. They are expensive, but they get the job done and maintain uptime.

  • digitald

    2 More Cents...

    We have been using WPEngine for our live environment for some time and are now ready to move. We have a multisite with buddypress and we are experiencing 502 errors, and slow performance on their 99$ plan, which is the entry level plan for Multisite.

    Some of the bigger managed WP hosts are just resellers...Pagely uses Amazon, WP Engine uses Linode.com..What our developers are finding is that WPEngine's “Proprietary Cache” system seem to be the culprit in our woes. It is this very caching system (supposed to be uber fast), along with the worry free security, that are used to lure in customers along with the managed hosting..

    WP Engine’s Cache system, has had broken HTML output for over a year now and we are now looking at linode, DO (Digital Ocean), Trafficplanet.

    Linode, as mentioned, is resold by wpengine but their pricing gets magnified by the fact that they want $100 cpanel..well, and "Managed Services." That doesn't include ANY malware, or intrusion detection, so you are are you own for protection.

    Will be looking at DO and others that have a secure environment, aren't restrictive on plugins and have a real performance background.

    D

    • sidcam

      I'm 3-4 years into using ServInt.net's lower level VPS plans and still have no complaints. Support has been solid and my only gripe was that their entry plan was light on RAM (which they doubled about a year ago so it's no longer that bad).

      With that said my Multisite project has been on perpetual hold so I can't really comment about how your caching will perform.

      They're a WHM/cPanel environment. As far as restrictions go, you'll have full root access and can customize PHP, etc. For example, I installed lighttpd (video) and had them install ClamAV (virus scanning). Couldn't do either on my previous VPS (which came from a shared hosting company).

      However I do suspect WHM/cPanel is a bit more complex to manage over a WP only environment. I'm also guessing it's a bit more expensive. I'm paying something like $50/mo/box (but they do have discounts for yearly payments and multiple plans).

      Saw someone else chimed in with RackSpace. Never used them personally but have heard good things from people who have.

      • maxwebgear

        I think some of this also depends on your preferred workflow & available resources, i.e. CPANEL vs. PLESK, full root, managed, etc etc.

        I personally prefer dedicated over VPS. VPS seemed problematic, especially with growth.

        We ran down the EIG road, GoDaddy (huge disaster), and looked at some others, but we decided to get real serious about hosting.

        Most hosting companies are pretty useless the deeper and more complex your multiuser config gets (especially if you add wildcard ssl's, etc). They won't hesitate to send you down rabbit trails, offer bad advice, and eat up your time. I've been there, done that, and got the t-shirt.

        The only thing that will hold most people up is the cost of Rackspace. It's a premium service at a premium price. Make no mistake. I didn't really want to bite that bullet and add overhead, but so far its been well worth it for us and our customers.

  • dapadoo

    I tried Rackspace over a year ago. It was ok with just multi-site. When I tried testing it with multi-databases on a rollback to previous backup up it broke up so bad it couldn't be fixed.

    I did a lot of testing with them. I was leasing one server for the main site and another for the database server. Then I added another server to see how it worked with load balancing. Major fail every time I rolled back to last backup. After two months of testing one of the techs slipped up and told me that there dedicated servers are VPS. I was never on a dedicated server.

    Rackspace is OK for smaller multi sites but never use them if you want to go big. Also remember you're never on a fully dedicated server using there service. They just add another partition and it could be from a different server.

    I'm in the process of seeking another hosting company right now. Each company I've check so far has there own quirks about them. I refuse to use any company under the control of E.I.G. They have 65 webhosting domains and the support at all of them are terrible. I keep a list handy as I'm doing my search.

    • Ivan

      Hey Dapadoo,

      Another two cents from me.

      I have been using DigitalOcean for a year and half and didn't have any problems with them so far.

      However I use them just for testing and 1-2 really small sites that barely get visited by 20 people a day.

      But my friend used to host there a single WordPress install with 13-15 000 daily visitors, on the plan with 2gb RAM. He used Apache and Varnish, and even the MySQl was on the same server. Haven't heard from him in a while, so don't know how is this going for him in the moment.

      The biggest downside is that you need to know the command line - it is bare bones VPS and you have to put everything by yourself.

    • maxwebgear

      Dapadoo,

      I had a long consult with Rackspace about this. I think are interesting points and I wanted to investigate before responding.

      The DB rollbacks sounds like it was process and not the server. I am not sure about your setup, but rolling back a previous version of the DB and public files is pretty basic and RS offers 30 days retention. It could be that you didn't backup your DB and couldn't reconcile the DB and public file versions? Again not sure but it doesn't seem server-related.

      Creating a versioning workflow will also help with these issues. We've been looking at cloning the live site, using mamp, etc, etc.

      In terms of RS dedicated servers being VPS. This is 100% false. Rackspace offers cloud and dedicated servers. We use dedicated servers and not partitions of a VPS. I went through several tiers to validate this response. There was probably some miscommunication with your experience.

      Agree 1,000,000,000 about EIG. Hostgator, Bluehost, etc have all fallen to the wayside. Since they moved their datacenters to Utah, things have been bad. I think the worse part is they moved their clients and didn't even send out a note. Seems a little underhanded to me.

      So in conclusion, we use Rackspace dedicated servers and they are true dedicated (not virtualization). Rolling back a DB + Public doesn't sound like a server issue, but possibly not being able to capture the DB + Public from the same revision history point. WPMU also has some nice backups.

      Sorry about your problems, but I've been in the game for some time and we manage a descent network. I have used everything from Omnis to GoDaddy in trials and live usage and they fail miserably (sometimes it takes a week, sometimes a year). I've seen everything from LAMP stack crashes that corrupted DB's to recommending poor plugins to fix non-existent issues. Rackspace is not cheap, but you won't find a better system from what I've seen.

      I know the magic answer most people want is the "too good to be true news" like eat a hamburger and not gain weight, but in hosting, like in life, the sober reality of "you get what you pay for" seems to be par for the course.

      Good luck in your search.... and no, I don't own shares in Rackspace. :slight_smile: My goal is to give a little back to WPMU and help others not hit the same potholes I have over the last decade or so.

    • Miss B Hayving

      hey dapadoo - I'd be interested in taking a peek at your list of EIG hosts ... am on the hunt at the moment for awesome hosting .... sick, tired and totally fed up with the bollocks.
      I moved from hostgator a year ago - but still have a reseller account there with a few sites.... put in a security ticket over a week ago to help with a hacked site and still waiting for a reply.
      Currently am on Aussie hosting, but there are too many restrictions and they wont help at all with some things.

  • dapadoo

    @Miss B Hayving All of them are listed on the link below.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endurance_International_Group

    @maxwebgear The servers they had me on where not dedicated yet I was told they were. I still have copies of all the correspondence I have with them should I ever be accused of saying something false. Don't ask to see them unless you have a court order. The cost of the servers I they said I was on was over $300 a month per server. I didn't have them all for an entire month and paid daily rates. True dedicated or was I being ripped off?

    As I mentioned before, with multi site, multi-database and buddypress with 2 servers, database server and load balancer When I went to the backups were used the site broke. Not once but 5-6 times. They even had one tech work with me off and on for 5 days. He put almost 20 hours into before they admitted it couldn't be done because the servers aren't truly dedicated. That is when I found out the truth.

    I was so livid I because they wouldn't credit me. I lost $500 over a months time and two months of working on getting the site running

    I changed host, did the same set up and didn't have a bit of problems. soon afterwards I had a personal injury on my day job, lost all income and had to shut down that server. I thought about returning to that host but it was sold to E.I.G during my absence on the web and service suffered greatly.

    I just finished almost 60 hours of searching for a new host. I spoke with sales and support managers if I could. I signed up with one of the many I checked out. I won't launch a site not knowing that I can recover quickly should something happen. I won't say this new host is capable of what I want is needed until all testing is complete in 3-4 weeks. I won't disclose who they are at this time. I have an agreement if it can't run what I need it too I get 100% refund including any support cost.

    I'm doing it all the setup and testing my own and being very thorough. I wish I had learned to do command line and complete server management but never took the time. It would have added a lot more options to hosting and may have saved 30% of the cost.My online success requires a hosting company that is A++++++

    Enough about who to and not to host with. I have a site to get running.

  • maxwebgear

    Just a small contribution to the conversation - Rackspace is more expensive, but honestly what they save in heachaches when averaged on an hourly basis, future migration, etc, etc. makes it worth it if you can pull it off.

    We run dedicated services and have a dedicated team monitoring our servers, firewall, etc and they even help with house cleaning and tasks that aren't performed that often. I have experimented with EIG based companies and also with non-EIG-based and they both have issues.

    I have also noticed other managed services with other organizations offer bad advice.... real bad advice... okay... real real bad advice and they will have you spin your tires, especially if you have an issue with a plugin, cache engine, etc. because they don't understand the multisite world and let's face it... it does require a specific skill set.

    Rackspace has also released a real-interesting CDN option either late last year or early this year that appears at a glance to be real admin friendly.

    My experience with VPS has been mixed vs. dedicated. Personally I don't like the environment.

  • Sue

    Just wanted to tuck in a little thank you to each of you who have contributed to this conversation since 2012. I'm currently on a DreamHost's DreamPress (WordPress managed hosting) server that I have been generally happy with, and have been ready to switch to multisite, but it's not supported unless I switch to their VPS or dedicated servers. I've all but talked myself out of multisite, at least for today. Without the value of your collective feedback, I would have pulled the trigger on something I most likely would have come to regret based on the bumper-crop of feedback many of you have shared here.

    My thanks for giving me a buffer before jumping off a frustrating cliff.

    Will continue to follow both Rachel McCollin's multinetwork masterclass series until I have a much better handle than I do:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wordpress-multisite-masterclass-getting-started/

    and Daniel Pataki's recent/extensive reviews on hosting alternatives. For instance ...

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/managed-hosting-siteground-review/

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/managed-hosting-wp-engine-review/

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/managed-hosting-flywheel-review/

    Thanks again for what each of you have contributed here.

    Much gratitude,
    Sue.

  • Dean Kaus

    For those who had hosted with Joe Anderson who recently passed away, or if your not happy with your current hosting. I highly recommend Spectrohost.com Email support@spectrohost.com atten Andre and tell him Dean had sent you and he will put you high on the priority list as Joe's servers are shutting down I believe within the week.

    For those who knew Joe personally he really knew how to set up a server and keep his clients secure, up and running and always went above and beyond for his clients. I've discovered Andre has the same principles and while no one can replace Joe, Andre is about as close as I'll find.

    To top it all off after researching and actually trying several of the hosting companies listed above, since April 1st when I found out about Joe's passing not one of the companies could get my sites properly migrated. Andre took a lot more time to not only find the problem for the migration, he solved it, migrated ALL of my sites and then explained what I had done wrong and how to prevent making the same mistakes in the future.

    Again he's not Joe, but reminds me so much of Joe when I first started hosting with him so many years ago.

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