Having problem with hosting and need recommendation

I am really having a problem getting my site going with my current hosting. It is a BuddyPress Multisite. I have my main site on blogsmu theme. I want people to be able to join my community and create a blog. I want there to be two levels of blogs – free and pro. The free blogs will be limited so the user can only create around six pages with my advertising on them. The paid blogs will have no advertising and the members can create one blog with pages and posts. I will not have BBpress or any other forum.

I currently have this on TMDhosting VPS with one node for which I am paying almost $30.00 a month. I have my main site set up and have created seven test member sites. My largest test site is six WP pages and has a page with one gallery with 4 images in it.

Here is my problem:

The galleries on the test sites display broken images. I asked TMDhosting why this was happening and they told me that I do not have a large enough package for my site. They said I need their VPS package with five nodes that costs $55.00 a month for my site, in its current state, to function. They said the WP gallery is using too much memory.

I told them in the future I hoped to have a least 1000 member blogs and this was their reply – “If you will need a package which will support 1000 blogs we may only offer a dedicated server for that, and this should be our highest dedicated server plan. Depending on the blogs access rate and database size even the highest dedicated servers package may be overloaded. However there is no way to predict that before it is set and the blogs installed on it.”

TMDhosting is saying that their highest dedicated server at $318 a month will not support what I want to do. I know there are people here who are hosting sites with a lot more than 1000 members, so how are they doing it and how much is it costing them?

Can someone please tell me exactly what kind of hosting I should be getting?

  • Moonworks
    • Code Wrangler

    Sounds like one of three things going on here (allegedly):

    1) They are trying to baffle you with science to get more money out of you.

    2) They have no idea what they are talking about

    3) The server is outdated, but they still want you to pay for it

    I use Hostgator and haven’t had a problem

  • Moonworks
    • Code Wrangler

    It must be the investigative journalist in me, but I thought I’d ask the question at TMD Hosting as a new customer looking for hosting.

    This is how the conversation went (with the support name edited out):

    20:18 Joe Jenkins: I’m looking for a host where I can have a WordPress multisite, which will have about 1000 members.

    20:22 Support Name: I am not able to tell you the solution that would handle such amount of users due to the fact it depends on the files size, data base size and the users online and since the project is still in development it is not possible to tell

    20:23 Support Name: It would be much more easier for you cause you will be able to start with the most affordable plan and later upgrade at any time you need

    20:24Joe Jenkins: right. I see your point, very difficult to know the size of each site

    20:24 Joe Jenkins: is it likely to be ok on a VPS?

    20:25 Support Name: I would even offer you our basic plan for your start and from there see where it will go

    The suggested this account:

    http://www.tmdhosting.com/wordpress-mu-hosting.html

  • Arun Basil Lal
    • New Recruit

    Sounds like a load of crap to me, and good job there Sherlock!

    (btw, on a totally un-related note, if you haven’t seen yet, try to watch the new Sherlock on BBC http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1475582/ Will blow you away! )

    1000 sites on a Multisite network cannot be that big and it can be totally calculated in advance.

    On a Multisite network, one can assign the upper limit for space. Lets say its 20 MB per site. That is 20000 MB or 20 GB approximately.

    Database per site cannot be more than 200kb or so in most cases, so that’s 200 to 250 MB in total.

    Bandwidth can be calculated and they should be able to give you a number on the total number of users online that can comfortably work.

    Looks like these guys don’t know what they are doing. Try a support chat with WP Engine and they will give you more precise data I suppose.

    Good luck!

  • rossterling
    • Flash Drive

    Thanks, Arun and Joe.

    Joe – I think it is number 2 for sure. And probably number 1 and 3. Could you tell me, Joe, what HG package you are using?

    I just chatted with a Hostgator representative and they said their VPS level 3 with cpanel for $49.95 a month would work for me and would be enough for 1000 blogs.

  • rossterling
    • Flash Drive

    Arun –

    You said – – 1000 sites on a Multisite network cannot be that big and it can be totally calculated in advance.

    Did you mean that 1000 sites on a multisite network can be that big? How many subdomains can be on a multisite network?

  • Arun Basil Lal
    • New Recruit

    @rossterling

    1000 sites is huge for sure, but not like it’s something that cannot be handled or calculated. The host doesn’t know what they are dealing with.

    I have 300+ single WordPress installs on a shared hosting of Host Gator (just under 8$ a month I think) and some sites have 1000+ uniques a day and everything is smooth.

    I think there is no upper limit on the number of sub-domains. Anyways, 1000 is definitely possible and as Joe pointed out, Edublogs have over a million sites. They are on a self managed dedicated server (actually multiple servers) of course.

    HG VPS level 3 is fully managed, so that is good. Plus after the 20% discount its only 39.95 a month, which is what you are paying now.

    Also try some coupons from http://www.retailmenot.com/view/hostgator.com during sign-up (or ask the support for an offer, they might give you one).

    I have been on many hosts myself and worked on various hosts for some of my clients. Host Gator guys are the best so far. They know their stuff, not 100% WordPress experts, but they know what they are dealing with :slight_smile:

  • Moonworks
    • Code Wrangler

    Also, it’s worth taking a look at their free WHMCS license, because then you can use the WHMCS provisioning plugin for your MultiSite.

    The license that you get free with Hostgator (and some other hosts) is almost exactly the same as if you paid WHMCS directly each month. The only difference is that you cannot be a reseller and you don’t get an additional license for development purposes.

  • Arun Basil Lal
    • New Recruit

    @rossterling – I know you are looking at sub domains on a Multisite. I was giving you a comparison.

    Right now I have one WP install with seven (test) subdomains and the TMDhosting VPS hosting for $30.00 a month cannot handle that. How can that be possible?

    Two reasons.

    – Are you using any plugin that uses up all their resources? Or maybe a poorly coded one.

    – They hosting sucks.

    I would go with the latter, seeing their support after all :wink:

  • babbsela
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    I just want to put a plug in for the company who manages my server. I don’t work for them, and don’t get anything in return for mentioning them, btw. Check out the plans at http://springshosting.com – their support is phenomenal.

    When you’re buying hosting, the cheapest isn’t always the best choice (although they are not expensive), especially if you have a bunch of sites. When you host at Springs Hosting, they go out of their way to help make sure you get what you need, and when you have a problem, they fix it, without all the headaches you have with cheap hosting.

  • rossterling
    • Flash Drive

    Arun – The only plugins I am using are BuddyPress and Multisite along with a couple of others on the main website. They all came from wpmudev.org so they shouldn’t be a problem. The seven test subdomains are not using any plugins

    babbsela – Thanks for the suggestion. I will check out springhosting.com.

  • Moonworks
    • Code Wrangler

    @ross – sorry didn’t see your comment above.

    I’m using the business package on HG shared hosting. I use that mainly because I get the IP included and also the SSL certificate.

    If you are in the States, you also get some extras included, such as a toll free number and Google Ads credit, but I’m in the UK, so have no idea what they are like.

  • dhilditch
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    @ross – we experienced a similar issue recently – have you checked your error logs for your server? There has been a recent change to Facebook and this affected Ultimate Facebook, in particular auto-posting to facebook, this combined with the ‘post expirator’ plugin meant continuous re-tries on the server to re-post the item and continuous errors and memory leakage.

    Now that those errors are gone our servers are blazingly fast. As for hosting, I’m in the UK and I can highly recommend that everyone AVOID Fasthosts like the plague – our VM went down for 3 days with no support or explanation at all as to why it was happening and no movement to get our VM moved over to working hardware.

    We’re with Titan Internet now (also called Easyspace) and they seem to be really good so far, but like I said, UK based.

  • dhilditch
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    Also – if you’re using plesk or cpanel, you should be able to view your error logs without logging into SSH or anything. I only mention the above because it sounds so like our issue – slow server and memory issues.

  • Shawn
    • The Crimson Coder

    @ross, I know I’m late to the party but just wanted to give you another couple options.

    I have personally used dedicated servers for my sites (and client sites) for the last decade – they’re fine as long as you can accurately predict potential load in advance, but upgrading them to be viable when you need additional unexpected resources is a pain. There’s guaranteed downtime, sometimes hours or even days if a huge migration is required.

    To that end I’ve been going with cloud hosting recently and am gradually moving all my sites to Amazon EC2 and SoftLayer’s CloudLayer. Both of these operate essentially like any other physical system or VPS – except you can upgrade active hardware on the fly. 4gb ram isn’t enough today because you were slashdotted? Just activate an additional 60gb ram for a few hours – you’ll be fine. Very nifty stuff.

    And if your site is relatively small (in development) then you can get Amazon cloud hosting free for the first year – if you exceed that scope it’ll cost you – but at that point hopefully the site is generating revenue:

    http://aws.amazon.com/free/

  • Elliot
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    I’ve been using DreamHost, but you have to be very careful about minimizing your site’s resource usage. It has been very unreliable (with a lot of downtime), even with DreamHost PS, because things were not well-optimized.

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