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  #1  
09-02-2018, 08:25 AM
Relja Relja is offline
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Hi all,

For skipping the intro, go to *SPECS part.

My name is Relja, coming from Serbia and relatively new to "hosting worries". Cheapest shared hosting has worked fine for my site in the past few years, but not any more, so I'm looking for a better solution.

I've been reading reviews, specs, types of hosting. From what I've gathered - there's no way to get good hosting cheaply, but it also makes it even more costly if you pay for what you don't use. So this post is with having that in mind - I'll provide what I currently have, what I expect in the next 12 months, and hoping to get advice based on that.

I understand it's not easy to recommend, and of course I take full responsibility for (not)taking any given advice.

My previous experience with hosting is practicaly none. I understand (Windows) servers and networking.


*SPECS:
1. Wordpress site in Serbian, with about 1000 visitors per day, not growing very much. Most traffic from Europe.
2. Wordpress site in English, set as subdomain of 1, with a completely separate Wordpress installation, about 1000 visits, growing still, faster than 1. Most visits from USA (60%) (California 1st within USA) and UK (20%).

Both sites provide static pages with instructions, reviews and tech. specs. User comments allowed. 20 plugins each, looking to reduce that as well.

Users viewing an average 3 pages per visit, each about 100 kb in size.

Both using W3TC caching, and Cloudflare free service. SSL is currently provided with my host through LetsEncrypt and Cloudflare's "dedicated" "strict" SSL service to connect to the host's server ($5 per month).

3. Several (3) small Wordpress website, with about 100 visits per day. Mostly business "web-presence" sites, with a few "about us" static pages, and occasional updates, or added pages once in a few months. No e-commerce, or anything similar. Few plugins. Will offload these, as soon as friends' business' get on their feet and they can afford proper web site design and hosting.

4. Several very small pure HTML sites (3), low visitor count (50 per day).

Whole lot takes under 10 GB of space. Growing in about 100 MB per month.


*BUDGET:
My websites are non-profit. The few ads I have provide for about $20 per month, so I'd be happy to not pay more than that for hosting. However, if it won't do for good quality, I'd pay more.


*QUESTION:
What hosting would work for this setup? Reliability is more important than speed, but of course, wouldn't want over 10s page load time.

Been looking at "Shared Cloud" hosting, as well as unmanaged VPS. Seems like decent choice from the little knowledge I've got.

Also not sure about specs - CPU and RAM - how much would suffice? I don't expect it to grow over 5000 daily visits in the next 12 months.

Managed vs Unmanaged?
Currently with Justhost cheapest shared hosting. No problems before, but getting slower, giving "500" error from time to time, and some downtime this winter.


*HOSTINGS I'VE BEEN LOOKING INTO:
Webhostface
- Cheap VPS, reviews seem good and genuine.

Hostmantis
- Cheap VPS, mixed reviews, positive ones seem (more) genuine.

MDDhosting
- "Shared cloud" hosting - reviews seem very good, looking very proffessional and reliable.

Futurehosting
- Good reviews, unmanaged VPS isn't expensive.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions and help,
Relja
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  #2  
09-02-2018, 03:22 PM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Relja View Post
Hi all,
Welcome.

Quote:
but it also makes it even more costly if you pay for what you don't use.
... or if you choose the wrong host. Price doesn't always translate to quality. While that doesn't really mean "cheap can be good" (which is usually a false statement), it mostly means that more costly hosting isn't necessarily better. For example, you can get a VPS or dedicated at 1&1 or an EIG brand, and it costs quite a bit, but it's a pretty crappy service.

Quote:
My previous experience with hosting is practicaly none. I understand (Windows) servers and networking.
Well, actually, you're probably off to a better start than most. The majority of hosting customers have a hard time settings up their email account, much less any comprehension of networking or any type of server environment.

Quote:
*SPECS:
1. Wordpress site in Serbian, with about 1000 visitors per day, not growing very much. Most traffic from Europe.
WordPress is a nice CMS, but you need to give it regular attention. It's not an install-then-forget sort of application, as most treat it, and is why it probably the most hacked platform out there. It requires that proper site security is enacted, as well as updating as needed, and tweaking for performance.

So, given that, there are two choices:
- managed "WordPress hosting" (the host handles updates/security/performance, but at a cost)
- normal shared/VPS/dedicated/cloud hosting, where you handle those tasks

With an audience that is mostly European, it should stay in Europe.

Quote:
2. Wordpress site in English, set as subdomain of 1, with a completely separate Wordpress installation, about 1000 visits, growing still, faster than 1. Most visits from USA (60%) (California 1st within USA) and UK (20%).
With a USA (North American) primary audience site, you have to make choice.
- Do you split hosting, with 1 in NA, and 1 in EU?
- Do you keep a single server/host, and leverage CloudFlare to minimize site visit lag?

I'd opt for the second choice. For many years, this site was run from Amsterdam with EuroVPS, even with a 75%+ USA traffic source. And we were fine.

Quote:
Both sites provide static pages
WordPress isn't static -- and I'm assuming you're not referring to non-WordPress pages that are truly static (HTML).

Quote:
20 plugins each, looking to reduce that as well.
While reducing plugins is always a good idea, inversely don't sacrifice a plugin that you're getting benefit from. Sometimes the answer to having too many plugins is more server power (CPU/RAM), not less plugins. Again, this is a choice that must be weighed carefully. Pros/cons of each (ie, does the plugin help visitors, vs budget costs of bigger server/plan).

Quote:
Users viewing an average 3 pages per visit, each about 100 kb in size.
That's a good page size. I get so tried of seeing pages that are multiple MB each, especially when it causes a phone to lag/freeze or laptop/desktop CPU to start whirring.

Quote:
Both using W3TC caching, and Cloudflare free service. SSL is currently provided with my host through LetsEncrypt and Cloudflare's "dedicated" "strict" SSL service to connect to the host's server ($5 per month).
I'm not a fan of W3TC, and other caches are actually leaner.

Quote:
3. Several (3) small Wordpress website,
and they can afford proper web site design and hosting.
Or have them pay you, which reduces your overall hosting costs.
It just depends on whether you want to get into hosting, which can be time consuming, or just focus on your own endeavors.

Quote:
*BUDGET:
My websites are non-profit. The few ads I have provide for about $20 per month, so I'd be happy to not pay more than that for hosting. However, if it won't do for good quality, I'd pay more.
Hmmmm...

- Shared is out, you don't want those domains to share a single Linux account.
- Reseller would be good to isolate each domain, but the WordPress + plugins can exceed your resource allocations. VPS is safer.
- The problem with VPS is that there are hidden costs: the panel (cPanel), potentially the OS (CloudLinux, so that one site doesn't affect others), cXs (security), and more. If you just went the the panel alone, it add at least $10, up to $15, for the license. That leave $5-10 for the VPS, which is honestly not enough money to get a quality host. Sure, you can find $5-10 hosts, but you'll be sorry you did.

Quote:
*QUESTION:
What hosting would work for this setup? Reliability is more important than speed, but of course, wouldn't want over 10s page load time.
Load time is mostly a factor of the site itself, and the WordPress optimizations/plugins would msotly cause this. A host would only cause it if it has overallocated resources (aka oversold), which is the hallmark of both cheap and "big name" (1&1, etc) hosts.

You could potentially offload the #3 and #4 sites to a reseller account, maybe shared if you want to live dangerous (meaning if 1 gets hacked, they ALL get hacked), but it leaves the #1 and #2 WP sites to contend with. 1k/daily isn't a huge number, but the resource hit per visitor would really determine where the site could thrive. You could always try a dedicated shared plan for each, so that brings you to 3 hosting accounts: 2x shared, 1x reseller.

And with a $20 budget -- let's say $25-30 to be more realistic -- it may work. You need a host that doesn't just suspend you at the first sneeze of resource use.

IOzoom actually could do either option:
- single Linux VPS 4gb + cPanel license ($25)
- multiple accounts: 2x WordPress ($5), small cloud VPS (essentially reseller) + cPanel license ($20)

Either Amsterdam or New Jersey (location depends on plan).

Quote:
Been looking at "Shared Cloud" hosting, as well as unmanaged VPS. Seems like decent choice from the little knowledge I've got.
Realize that "cloud" is a pretty meaningless term, and has been abused. It's can mean anything from a synonym for "online" to true redunant architecture. So don't let the term "cloud" impress or sway your decision.

Quote:
Also not sure about specs - CPU and RAM - how much would suffice? I don't expect it to grow over 5000 daily visits in the next 12 months.
The ideal minimum for VPS is 2gb, or 4gb to give yourself room for growth when still small. Realize that the OS/panel consumer up to 1gb of RAM by itself, leaving the rest for the sites.

Quote:
Managed vs Unmanaged?
Currently with Justhost cheapest shared hosting. No problems before, but getting slower, giving "500" error from time to time, and some downtime this winter.
You want managed. You'll be in for a rough ride if you go unmanaged.

Quote:
*HOSTINGS I'VE BEEN LOOKING INTO:
Webhostface - Cheap VPS, reviews seem good and genuine.
Hostmantis - Cheap VPS, mixed reviews, positive ones seem (more) genuine.
MDDhosting - "Shared cloud" hosting - reviews seem very good, looking very proffessional and reliable.
Futurehosting - Good reviews, unmanaged VPS isn't expensive.
- I'm not a fan of WebHostingFace.

- Hostmantis is alright as a budget shared host for smaller sites. Something that people may not notice, but I surely do, is that shared-only type hosts, that actually offer VPS, always do it at a premium. And it's really because, I think, they just don't want the hassle. So you'll pay a lot more for VPS at the shared host that you would the VPS at a VPS specialty host. And Hostmantis fits that description.

- MDDHosting is another excellent shared host, but with premium VPS offerings that just don't make sense. With them, it's mostly offer an upgrade path to existing customers that don't want to move. And I'm pretty sure they handle migration, management, etc. So it's more like a custom big shared plan. Offhand, I don't even recall if they give the customer root access.

- Futurehosting is a good VPS host, but there have been ownership and management changes in the past year. And for that reason, I'd shy away some.

- Knownhost did not make your list, and should have.

- And then I'll PM you another option.

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The following users thank kpmedia for this useful post: Relja (09-02-2018)
  #3  
09-02-2018, 04:06 PM
Relja Relja is offline
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Thank you for a well informed and clear to understend, comprehensive reply. Really.

Writing this both to clarify things for my sake, as well as in case someone in a similar position finds the (potential) answer(s) useful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
... or if you choose the wrong host. Price doesn't always translate to quality. While that doesn't really mean "cheap can be good" (which is usually a false statement), it mostly means that more costly hosting isn't necessarily better. For example, you can get a VPS or dedicated at 1&1 or an EIG brand, and it costs quite a bit, but it's a pretty crappy service.
Understand and agree. With more money, there is a more quality to choose from, but price just on itself is by no means a guarantee.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
WordPress is a nice CMS, but you need to give it regular attention. It's not an install-then-forget sort of application, as most treat it, and is why it probably the most hacked platform out there. It requires that proper site security is enacted, as well as updating as needed, and tweaking for performance.

So, given that, there are two choices:
- managed "WordPress hosting" (the host handles updates/security/performance, but at a cost)
- normal shared/VPS/dedicated/cloud hosting, where you handle those tasks
I have managed all the WP installs, updates, optimization on my own. Would be more than happy to leave it to an actual expert, unless it costs too much. Or at least to have an expert "slap me" if (when) I do something stupid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
With an audience that is mostly European, it should stay in Europe.

With a USA (North American) primary audience site, you have to make choice.
- Do you split hosting, with 1 in NA, and 1 in EU?
- Do you keep a single server/host, and leverage CloudFlare to minimize site visit lag?

I'd opt for the second choice. For many years, this site was run from Amsterdam with EuroVPS, even with a 75%+ USA traffic source. And we were fine.
Most traffic, by numbers, and growth is in the USA. I'm already N01 in my country (10 million people, and a niche website) and don't see much room for traffic increase there - it is what it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
WordPress isn't static -- and I'm assuming you're not referring to non-WordPress pages that are truly static (HTML).
My bad, stand corrected. Meant: Wordpress posts, with text and some pictures, occasional link (embeded) YouTube video. Write it, publish it, leave it. About 2 new posts per month.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
While reducing plugins is always a good idea, inversely don't sacrifice a plugin that you're getting benefit from. Sometimes the answer to having too many plugins is more server power (CPU/RAM), not less plugins. Again, this is a choice that must be weighed carefully. Pros/cons of each (ie, does the plugin help visitors, vs budget costs of bigger server/plan).

That's a good page size. I get so tried of seeing pages that are multiple MB each, especially when it causes a phone to lag/freeze or laptop/desktop CPU to start whirring.

I'm not a fan of W3TC, and other caches are actually leaner.
Something like that - trying to weigh it all out, use reliable plugins with good reputation.

About W3TC - can you recommend a better free caching option/plugin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
Or have them pay you, which reduces your overall hosting costs.
It just depends on whether you want to get into hosting, which can be time consuming, or just focus on your own endeavors.
Good thinking and makes perfect sense. I have a lot of things on my hands now, plus I don't think I'm nearly qualified enough to not feel bad about charging my "expertize". I'll give them hosting recommendation and help them set it all up, the bast I can. Leaving one extra small WP site at most, and a few "experimental" small sites with almost no visits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
Hmmmm...

- Shared is out, you don't want those domains to share a single Linux account.
- Reseller would be good to isolate each domain, but the WordPress + plugins can exceed your resource allocations. VPS is safer.
- The problem with VPS is that there are hidden costs: the panel (cPanel), potentially the OS (CloudLinux, so that one site doesn't affect others), cXs (security), and more. If you just went the the panel alone, it add at least $10, up to $15, for the license. That leave $5-10 for the VPS, which is honestly not enough money to get a quality host. Sure, you can find $5-10 hosts, but you'll be sorry you did.
My current shared host provides a cPanel. Guessed that other providers will give me some interface for setting a site up, surely, was I wrong? Should I look for a cPanel as a necessary "addition" whichever hosting I choose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
You could potentially offload the #3 and #4 sites to a reseller account, maybe shared if you want to live dangerous (meaning if 1 gets hacked, they ALL get hacked), but it leaves the #1 and #2 WP sites to contend with. 1k/daily isn't a huge number, but the resource hit per visitor would really determine where the site could thrive. You could always try a dedicated shared plan for each, so that brings you to 3 hosting accounts: 2x shared, 1x reseller.
I'd stick with just one hosting and look to offload the other websites. Was hoping to do it after I change hosting, but can do it before that (moving just my site and leaving them with the old hosting for a year if they need, until they find a solution).

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
Realize that "cloud" is a pretty meaningless term, and has been abused. It's can mean anything from a synonym for "online" to true redunant architecture. So don't let the term "cloud" impress or sway your decision.
Understood. And it's hardly ever clearly stated (at least not in a way that I'm able to discern). And tons of obviously paid reviews... it's a mess. This post of yours has given me more useful info than the last month I've been looking into hosting types, offers and reading both user and "professional" reviews...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
The ideal minimum for VPS is 2gb, or 4gb to give yourself room for growth when still small. Realize that the OS/panel consumer up to 1gb of RAM by itself, leaving the rest for the sites.
This is the answer I needed, and couldn't find anywhere. And it rules out all the 1GB options - great help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
You want managed. You'll be in for a rough ride if you go unmanaged.
Unmanaged means I install cPanel, PHP, etc - all on my own? Plus it's not set and forget i gather?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
- I'm not a fan of WebHostingFace.

- Hostmantis is alright as a budget shared host for smaller sites. Something that people may not notice, but I surely do, is that shared-only type hosts, that actually offer VPS, always do it at a premium. And it's really because, I think, they just don't want the hassle. So you'll pay a lot more for VPS at the shared host that you would the VPS at a VPS specialty host. And Hostmantis fits that description.

- MDDHosting is another excellent shared host, but with premium VPS offerings that just don't make sense. With them, it's mostly offer an upgrade path to existing customers that don't want to move. And I'm pretty sure they handle migration, management, etc. So it's more like a custom big shared plan. Offhand, I don't even recall if they give the customer root access.

- Futurehosting is a good VPS host, but there have been ownership and management changes in the past year. And for that reason, I'd shy away some.

- Knownhost did not make your list, and should have.

- And then I'll PM you another option.
Thanks a lot. Knownhost has actually entered my txt shortlist. But didn't have enough data to be sure it's worth considering. Along with synergyservers. That's all.
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  #4  
09-04-2018, 03:37 AM
Relja Relja is offline
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Note to self - do your own proper research before asking a question.

This article, at this very site, answers many of the questions: cPanel, protection, managed vs non managed hosting, vps or shared etc.

A post from this forum: WordPress caching solution explanation/recommendation.

Thanks a lot for running this site and forum. It's the most help I could find - at least from the knowledge I have to judge good from bad advice and info.
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  #5  
09-04-2018, 11:40 AM
Relja Relja is offline
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Been looking at KnownHost reseller and Managed VPS plans.
If migration from RS to VPS with the same host is not "painfull", I'd consider going with a (cheaper) RS account, then switch to a VPS if there are any problems.

Am I correct to expect the "Reseller Cloud" plans at KnownHost to be better than current Justhost's cheapest shared hosting plan?
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