Hosting recommendation needed

I've been doing months of research, I'm giving up and just asking what others use/recommend.

Right now I'm running a multisite install. The main site is currently just a landing page. There is one site running on it with at most a few hundred visits per day.

I'm hoping to expand this throughout 2012 to 100 sites most likely with similar traffic.

I was on a Hostgator reseller account. It was slow on the admin side and they kept shutting down my account due to "resource load". They'd tell me to change my caching plugin from whatever I was running to a different one. I'd do that, they'd reactivate me, then we'd repeat the dance in a month or so. They told me a VPS would be better, so I upgraded...

The Hostgator VPS has been nothing but problems from day one. No faster. More outages. Now they're telling me I should go with a reseller plan since that actually gets me more system resources. I explained I was just on a reseller plan, they did the digita equivalent of shrugging.

I inquired with psek since they come recommended here and they told me based on my description of current usage & growth that I should start with a $375/month dedicated account. Since I'm not making any money off my network at the moment, I really can't justify that. They told me that any add-on sites (via the domain mapping plugin) would count towards domain counts on their plans (even plans that don't list domain limits on their web site apparently do have limits).

I just want what everybody wants: fast, reasonable storage/bandwidth, plays well with WordPress multisite and reasonably priced (~$35/month starting). I'd prefer somewhere that has plans from there all the way up to dedicated should my project take off. And fully managed with good support so I don't have to deal with servers.

Is there a crowd favorite these days?

  • Timothy Bowers

    Hey nbostic. :slight_smile:

    I was on a Hostgator reseller account. It was slow on the admin side and they kept shutting down my account due to "resource load". They'd tell me to change my caching plugin from whatever I was running to a different one. I'd do that, they'd reactivate me, then we'd repeat the dance in a month or so. They told me a VPS would be better, so I upgraded...

    Yeah using WordPress Multisite will do that unfortunately, it can be a resource hog. Well not WP itself as such. But when plugins and themes then users are added it can be.

    The Hostgator VPS has been nothing but problems from day one. No faster. More outages.

    Not defending Hostgator here, but the chances are you need much more power in the VPS, perhaps even a dedicated server. But the most important question to ask yourself or a server admin is...... Are you increasing the hardware spec because of demand through traffic of users or because of an installation which needs much optimisation?

    So.... Start with plugins, what are you currently running?

    Are they all essential?

    Are some of them using bad coding and inefficient use of being called or DB queries?

    Same for themes as well as plugins.

    Now they're telling me I should go with a reseller plan since that actually gets me more system resources. I explained I was just on a reseller plan, they did the digita equivalent of shrugging.

    Left hand not knowing the right hand huh! Not the first time I've heard this about many hosting companies. Turning clients off, kicking them off sometimes.......

    I just want what everybody wants: fast, reasonable storage/bandwidth, plays well with WordPress multisite and reasonably priced (~$35/month starting). I'd prefer somewhere that has plans from there all the way up to dedicated should my project take off. And fully managed with good support so I don't have to deal with servers.
    Is there a crowd favorite these days?

    I think you should be able to get a decent VPS with that. But not a managed server....

    I couldn't recommend anyone in particular, I would be a little biased. I'm sure many other members here though have their own favourites!

    Take care.

  • nbostic

    Thanks for the reply, I'll do my best to answer your questions.

    Are you increasing the hardware spec because of demand through traffic of users or because of an installation which needs much optimisation?

    I don't think demand (I manage a single WP install on a $7 Hostgator account that gets 10k+ visits per day and runs fine). Unfortunately, I hired 3 "optimization experts" through here that all took my money and did absolutely nothing. So it may be an optimization issue, but that's all above my experience level.

    So.... Start with plugins, what are you currently running?

    To help rule out plugins, let me also mention it's slow on fresh sites running nothing but site-wide plugins, almost all of which come from WPMUDev. Network activated plugins include:
    Admin Footer Text
    Anti-Splog
    Blog Activity
    Blogs Directory
    Blogs Widget
    Comment Indexer
    Custom Admin Bar
    CustomPress
    Domain Mapping plugin
    Easy Blogging
    Global Footer Content
    Global Site Search
    Google Analytics
    Members Directory
    MU Support System
    Post Indexer
    Pro Sites (Formerly Supporter)
    Rebranded Meta Widget
    Recent Global Comments Widget
    Remember Me Checked
    Remove WP Dashboard Widgets
    Set Blog Description on Blog Creation
    Signup TOS
    Simple Sitemaps For Multisite
    Site Generator Replacement
    Sitewide Privacy Options for WordPress Multisite
    Who Sees Ads for WPMU
    WPMU DEV Update Notifications
    WPMU DEV Videos

    Are they all essential?

    95% are essential. Even when I deactivate the plugins though, it's still slow.

    Are some of them using bad coding and inefficient use of being called or DB queries?

    Entirely possible, but I try to only include either premium plugins (doesn't necessarily mean anything, I know) or from well-established developers. My most active site uses far fewer plugins than the site I manage on it's own account mentioned above and is still significantly slower.

    Same for themes as well as plugins.

    I'm using mostly StudioPress themes which claim to be optimized. Same theme as on the stand alone site I've mentioned and it runs fine.

    I know I've compared a multisite install to a single install and that's not 100% fair, but the single install is on the lowest of the low shared hosting and gets exponentially greater traffic.

  • Han

    Hiya

    I just want what everybody wants: fast, reasonable storage/bandwidth, plays well with WordPress multisite and reasonably priced (~$35/month starting). I'd prefer somewhere that has plans from there all the way up to dedicated should my project take off. And fully managed with good support so I don't have to deal with servers.

    it looks like this provider might suit your need http://www.knownhost.com/

    Cheers

  • Timothy Bowers

    Wow that is certainly a fair list of plugins to use :slight_smile:

    The ones network activated will of course run on every site within the install and thus use more resources.

    The most you load on the wagon the slower it will go, unless of course you fit it with a new engine. :slight_smile:

    Something else to consider:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/workflow-for-setting-up-an-online-service-like-edublogs#post-86111

    Installing plugins and themes then later uninstalling them, many will still leave things in your DB and cause bloat the more in there the slower it will load.

    Might be worth also optimising your DB and cleaning it up. A manual process though that can be laborious but look for things in there belonging to plugins no longer used.

    Take care,
    Tim.

  • nbostic

    Wow that is certainly a fair list of plugins to use :slight_smile:

    Tell the developers to quit developing such worthwhile plugins, they're all yours :wink:

    Might be worth also optimising your DB and cleaning it up. A manual process though that can be laborious but look for things in there belonging to plugins no longer used.

    Unfortunately it's a tiny bit outside my skill level and something I wanted to pay someone to do, but I've had three people come and go and do nothing that helps.

    I'm kind of at the point where I think I may just try some more horsepower on the server side and maybe even a fresh install of everything. A complete PITA, but nothing else really seems to help at this point.

  • Timothy Bowers

    Tell the developers to quit developing such worthwhile plugins, they're all yours :wink:

    Ha, ha. I'll be sure to let them know. :wink:

    Unfortunately I could't really advise you to use anyone in specific. Its always hard. :slight_frown:

    How large is your install, member wise? And content?

    You see If you did a fresh install you could use the WordPress Export/import plugin. It doesn't import users, you would need a secondary domain to use which would become primary. But you could alter with some work to use the other domain once moved.

    I'm sure it only copies pages, posts, etc and not all option tables and members.

    Its just a thought and something which you could try.

    There are also plugins which handle single sites.

    You might find this useful:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/8-tips-for-keeping-a-squeaky-clean-wordpress-database/

    Although it targets single site, you can adopt those queries for handling all sites. You see in a multisite site tables are duplicated for each site. Like wp_comments, there will be multiple _comments. One for each site you have.

    And this one:

    http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Optimization

    You could consider something like CDN, this will remotely host certain files and folders for you. I believe Wp Super Cache supports CDN as does W3 Cache. (W3 Cache is not compatible with our Multi-DB plugin).

    This way off load some of weight on your hosting package.

    Not sure how well this will work in Multsite but something like WP-Optimise is another option:

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-optimize/

    Lots of different information here I know, but there are various paths and things to consider. A CDN could be good money spent keeping the overall cost down. Although a good managed VPS might be just as good money spent.

    Decisions, decisions.......

    Let us know how you go and what you do. :slight_smile:

    Take care.

Thank NAME, for their help.

Let NAME know exactly why they deserved these points.

Gift a custom amount of points.