Multi-DB to use or not to use?

I am creating a social site hosted by remote server on a service. I am in the early stages fo set-up. The potential for the site to grow is huge but my host does not offer root access, although it does allow multisite. Would be a safe approach to build and run the initial site on the external and as it grows switch to a self hosted server? There will be lots of pics uploaded and downloaded. A few videos. And slew of traffic.

As far as members could be between from 1000 to 100,000 but it will take time to get that high.


  • Zyniker
    • WordPress Warrior

    For a project like this, my recommendation would probably be to find initial hosting with a provider who will be there to help you move things around and expand your hardware availability as your needs grow. However, it's probably sufficient to deploy the site on hardware sufficient to see you through your first year or so of growth (whatever you project that will be). WordPress, even MultiSite, is fairly easy to move around from server to server/host to host. If you don't want to deploy on a WordPress-friendly host (some of whom post here) initially, it shouldn't be too difficult to move later if your growth demands it.

    If I'm not mistaken, the technicians/developers here at WPMU DEV will help you deploy Multi-DB (up to 16 databases, I believe) at no additional charge as part of your membership. So, you may want to start with a single database install if you believe that will be sufficient for your first year of operation and then take advantage of the support here to move your site to a sixteen-database install. Of course, some of this will come down to costs: Does your host charge you for using more databases? If not, it may make sense to do some future proofing at deployment and use Multi-DB from the start.

    Maybe aecnu has some more thoughts on this one?

  • Gabe
    • The Bug Hunter

    Multi-DB will help if you allow your users to have their own sites. Multi-DB becomes useful once you reach a couple hundred sites or so and DB queries start slowing down. If you just have one site and many users/posts/pics etc., then Multi-DB isn't really necessary (the devs can correct me on that if I'm wrong).

    I totally recommend starting with a budget host that's only a few dollars a month to keep your costs down during development. I promise you that development will take longer than you think and it's not worth worrying about scaling until you need it, because most projects never get there.

    Once you go live and you get some traction, then you can upgrade to something more significant. Try to avoid over-optimization.

    Whether you decide to build your own server or not, check out some of the hosting discussions on this site (see below). There are plenty of hosts out there that offer bulletproof, scalable hosting for under $30/mo. As a business owner, I promise you that you have better places to spend your time (customer development, marketing, development, etc.) than building and managing a server.

    Here's one of the more recent hosting discussions:

    The above discusses site speed, choice of host etc. There are other discussions on this site as well, but the above was the most recent.

    Hope this helps.

  • jeduhu
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    Yes. Thanks. I'm in progress of making commercials for the site right now :slight_smile: much more in-line with what I'm good at.

    I'm having all kinds of small probs working out the kinks of getting my network up and running. I'll come back to this when it's more needed. But I am offering sites to my clientele. Not sure how long it will take till it needs to expand.

    Thanks for the advice!

  • Tom Eagles
    • Syntax Hero

    Hi @jeduhu

    The best way to look at multi databases is this, the more posts / pages / images / sites etc that wordpress has to index or search to deliver the longer it would take with a single database,

    What Multi DB does is share everything over a cluster of smaller db's making searching etc. much faster. Does it benefit a small site or a new site not really as there won't be that many people hitting it and generating all the queries etc.

    Whats the key disadvantage well not much it does make finding out which post etc is in which database a bit more difficult.

    Take a look round at the hosts i personally use run by @aecnu one of our support team here. Highly robust powerful servers optimised for wordpress and totally bulletproof as many members and staff here know as we host with him. Bang for buck can't be touched.

    if you are thinking about a host try and get one that has cpanel, and then move to a more powerful solution later also with cpanel, migration is simply a few clicks away and incredibly painless.

    At the end of the day some great advice handed out here so far, welcome to the darker side of wordpress server config lol. If in doubt get an expert in or an expert host with an expert level of wordpress and all its issues. That's what i did and even in a massive DOS attack from some nice kind chinese people my server stayed up serving pages. No one has got past the server security or the wordpress security to date.



    p.s. pts on way for @Gabe and @Zyniker

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