Servers with limitless capacity


I've been searching for a hosting company that offers servers with a limitless capacity for expansion, that adapts to my needs and grows as my necessity for data storage increases. The reason I need that is because I'm building an "eBay kind of site" (ecommerce site with users registering to buy/sell products), and even though I obviously won't have a bunch of users right after launching, I need to know I won't end up reaching a limit on the servers I'm running the site on.

From what I've read, cloud servers are the best suited for that (considering one doesn't own his own servers, of course). I talked to GoDaddy, because I have a huge discounts with them, but they don't offer cloud servers. They do however offer dedicated servers, and told me many users simply rent more servers after reaching the maximum capacity of their most advanced plan (which is 32 GB RAM, 2 TB of storage and 20 TB/month of bandwidth). I want to know if this is something tricky to be done, if there's some sort of catch to that, or if it's something that can be done easily.

Putting it simple: what's the best solution to achieve what I described?


  • Wheel of Commerce
    • WordPress Warrior


    I've been checking on a lot of companies and so far it seems like GoDaddy Pro dedicated servers would be the best option. They offer 32 GB of RAM, 2 TB of storage and 20 TB/month of bandwidth by a little more than 200 dollars, with all the discounts I get. They told me that if I need more capacity, all I have to do is to buy more servers, and I can buy and aggregate more indefinitely -the operator I was talking to told me many clients do that. I want to know from you guys if this process of aggregating more and more servers can be tricky or present any issue.

    I'd also like to know what's the cheapest way for me to have servers that can be expanded indefinitely as my site grows. Since all the financial data users will be inputting in my site to buy or sell products will actually be handled by third-party companies (no financial data will go through my site) and I'm starting this whole thing as an experiment, if possible, my initial plan is to start spending not more than 400-500/month with servers; this ammount seems to be the cost of the most advanced dedicated servers' plan hosting companies offer, and a cloud server with the same capacity is more or less the same cost. That being said, I want to know what's the cheapest way to achieve what I want. Are dedicated servers the best solution, or are cloud ones? Do I have any other "alternative options"? The reason I'm asking this here as well, and not only to the hosting companies, is because they're likely to give me biased answers, for obvious reasons, so I'd really appreciate the opinion of the WPMU staff on this matter.

    I'd also like to know if there's a relatevely precise way to know what server capacity do I need. My site is an ecommerce website in the models of eBay, so, like said before, I can't have a limit for growth, but I'd like to know how much of capacity I'll need to start with. From what I've researched so far, the GoDaddy specs I've mentioned are enough as a starting point, but I'm not entirely sure.


  • amused
    • friend of Bill. W.

    hey @Gabriel
    the above suggestion from Michael is a great one.
    i actually started a SiteGround cloud a few weeks ago to try out and i can tell you they are very fast with their custom cache options they built in-house.

    your question has been asked many times by many users and there honestly is no single best solution.
    it really depends on a lot of things.

    here is my humble opinion.
    i have tried SiteGround, wpengine, digital ocean, RackSpace, AWS, Bitnami, HostGator (shared, VPS and Dedicated), Godaddy and i am sure i forgot a couple others as well.

    you mentioned "limitless" but even cloud servers have limits unless you continue to add nodes, load balancers, etc. etc.
    what people do not tell you is that Cloud Servers require you to basically be your own server expert to hire one. this is true as well for dedicated servers and even VPS. RackSpace does have a managed service but you have to pay $500 extra /month for that.

    This is where SiteGround is different, you can scale the servers and resources like RackSpace and AWS but they are managed for you. all OS, patches etc. are done for you similar to a shared plan. SiteGrounds cloud plans comes with priority support. 24/7 live support, i have tested them asking lots of questions and have never waited more than 10 seconds for someone to answer the live chat regardless of day, night or morning. Excellent service and speed with 1 click staging and wordpress installs. you still get access to cpanel if thats your thing. but their cloud maxes out i believe at 200GB storage and i am not sure they have custom plans but you can ask.

    However honestly with all things considered specifically for wordpress - security, speed, support, reliability, 1 click installs, staging, back ups etc. i will say wpengine is my best choice if you wanna focus on your core business and not server administration etc. If you outgrow their largest plan (Business), they will customise a plan for you on their "Enterprise" platform where you get a dedicated support person with whatever resources you require (for a custom price). based on your suggested starting budget they may be worth a try.

  • Wheel of Commerce
    • WordPress Warrior


    First of all, thanks for replying. About the server administration, all I'd have to do is keep an eye on how much of the resources are being used and buy more servers when it's needed, so once the first server capacity is reached, users exceeding this capacity will automatically be handled by the new server, right? Or there's more than just that?

    Another thing I'd really like to know is, considering my case, is there any advantage of running on a cloud server, or is the dedicated server really the best for me? Considering a cloud and a dedicated soltion, both with the same capacity, which one would cost less? From what I've seen so far, for the same capacity, both cost pretty much the same.

    Thanks once more.

  • amused
    • friend of Bill. W.

    well honestly i do not know your skills @Gabriel
    and honestly even if you beat your chest on server admin nomenclature that would not sway my advice.
    i mean that most sincerely.

    please allow me to explain.
    firstly as mentioned above i have tried them all and learnt the hard way in time, effort and money.
    LOTS and LOTS of it.
    yes sometimes it feels wasted, but i have accepted it all as an "investment" instead.
    "a spent force creatively" - "Roger Waters" :slight_smile:

    the bottom line is,
    what are you ?
    what is your intention ?
    what is your goal ?

    there are lots of people on this forum and the entire wordpress community,
    that say they are wordpress developers,
    and these same people would recommend hosting like digital ocean, bitnami etc,
    to anyone, very irresponsible in my opinion without proper explanation of the platforms.
    because these same platforms market themselves as,
    "Simple cloud hosting, built for developers." (screenshot)

    developers ?
    wordpress developers ?
    server developers ?

    yes to an extent a great wordpress plugin/theme developer has to know what works and affects
    the OS/platform/system/php etc, it is going to be used on.

    does that make the wordpress plugin/theme developer a server administrator/developer ?
    NO !!!
    even though each and every single one of them would swear otherwise.
    it is all marketing !!!
    and we are all being fooled because tech junkies that like to code like to dig up in shi*
    that they do not fully know about and refuse to admit otherwise.
    they are basically experimenting directly in a very unorthodox fashion with the industry.

    i myself, jumped into this crazy industry from a Mechanical Engineering background,
    and i can tell you the progress is fast which is great but causes much chaos.
    the unscientific approach from single individuals that influence the entire industry is scary.
    (thats a whole other topic).

    LEAVE the server admin job to the server admin.
    LEAVE the wordpress developer job to the wrodpress developer.

    just my stupid opinion.

    - a well established/structured company is suppose to have the proper communication, testing, collaboration etc.
    to put the pieces together.

    what are you ?
    what is your intention ?
    what is your goal ?

    are you a businessman ?
    focus on your core business !!!

    as i said, i have tried them all,
    the instant you spin up a DigitalOcean, RackSpace, AWS, etc. etc. node/server/vps whatever they all call it,
    i promise you, you will have to ssh into that server to update it instantly and harden it for security etc. etc. etc.
    plus continued updates/ maintenance. etc.

    if you like that kind of thing then no sceen !!!
    have fun.

    but based on your initial question,
    you expressed intention about an excellent idea/business decision about "an "eBay kind of site" "
    - forget the limitless capacity for now.
    only %50 of the budget you outlined ($500) could pay for wpengine most expensive plan.
    and they are considered very expensive if not the most expensive.

    i feel your pain but be careful not to micro manage in this industry.
    you will be in great hands with wpengine.
    i do not work for them and have no affiliate program.
    only my time, pain, and expense in trying every host and willing to give whatever little i can in these forums because of the countless it has given to me.

    focus on your core business and the plugins/themes etc.
    in other words, try to simplify everything and hold people you already pay accountable.

    everything behind the hosting (wordpress/plugins/themes) you can get amazing support right here at WPMUDEV !!!
    and you have already paid for that, and their support is second to NONE !!!

    just my 2cents
    BLESS !!!

  • amused
    • friend of Bill. W.

    shi* for brains as usual,
    i forgot to attach screenshot as i mentioned above.

    but this is a great topic am i am always pushing this to maximise the base of which wordpress falls upon.

    if anyone else can offer otherwise, that would be great !!!

  • amused
    • friend of Bill. W.

    regarding a couple points you mentioned.
    VPS vs Dedicated.

    it all depends on the host.
    but most host,
    the VPS would have more managed support than the dedicated server simply because they have to maintain a few accounts on the same server, so basically from a management and support point of view it makes sense economically so thats automated.
    Dedicated servers are usually less managed by the host.

    "I've set it all myself -have never done it before, and really didn't find it to be any rocket science, haha. "

    thats great. i myself have had both a VPS and a dedicated server on hostgator with VERY little knowledge about servers for a while. then i started getting black listed from my mail server and other issues. so as i mentioned above, its all up to u and your core intentions.

  • Wheel of Commerce
    • WordPress Warrior


    Again, thanks for the answer. It does seem that WP Engine is the best for what I want. There's an issue though: oddly, they simply don't tell me how much RAM they offer for their business plan, they just told me it's escalated as needed, but they don't inform how much do I have to start with and how much does it cost per GB of added RAM. As they keep giving me vague answers to that, I thought you might be able to tell me.

    They've sent me a questionnaire to know what my needs are, asking for data such as page views per month, number of registered users per month and so on, but I have no way to provide this since I haven't launched the site yet. Do you guys know of a way I could at least have some estimative for that sort of thing, considering what my site is about?


  • Michelle Shull
    • DEV MAN’s Apprentice

    Hi, Gabriel!

    I believe we discussed this in chat, but I think here you're safest starting with one of their lower tier plans, and expanding when you start to see a spike in traffic. I'd be upfront with the WP Engine team about your site being unlaunched, and let them know you have a big growth plan.

    Typically, when I've expanded with a host, I get warnings when I'm reaching my upper limits, then I get the option to talk to a support rep to expand my plan. It shouldn't cause problems in the short or long term, much like when you slap a new hard drive in alongside your existing drives on your home computer. When/if things get really huge, you can look at hosting your db on one or more servers and your files on other servers, which can give you a performance boost, but that would be a down the line thing.

    Hope this clears it up for you, Gabriel!

  • Wheel of Commerce
    • WordPress Warrior

    Thanks for the answer. From what I've seen so far, I'm pretty sure I'll be hosting with WP Engine, as they offer everything I need for a price I'm willing to pay. Contrary to what I initially though, except for GoDaddy, seems like every major hosting company offers the same as WP Engine for a far higher price. I'm just waiting for an answer from Amazon, but I'm presuming it's the same thing with them.

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