Author Topic: Whats Important For Hosting Your Site On A Shared Host.  (Read 3789 times)

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Whats Important For Hosting Your Site On A Shared Host.
« on: December 14, 2009, 02:43:33 AM »
Lets face it many people use a forum one kind or another From the free programs such as SMF all the way to paid ones like Vbulletin.

So the question is what is important? storage space? Amount of data transfer? Bandwidth?

Really none of those are important however:

 Out of those three the least important is storage.

Depending on the size of your forum how many users upload avatars. Pics for signatures. Pics for attachments. And even those items can be uploaded to a free image site by your users and linked from there.

Here is real world case. user has 1938 in one directory total storage needed 126MB. In another gallery he has 1992 with a total storage of 150MB. I used the two gallery's to show how different pic sizes can add or subtract form the amount of storage used. With those two gallery's used. Total pictures 3930 pictures using a total space storage of 276MB.

Oh wait what about database size?

Just a quick real life example.
Forum with 492,681 post with a full database backup uses 1.5Gigs of space.
I would say from the example above that even with pictures space storage is not a problem.
Videos on the other hand are very large and use a lot of transfer. Most forums do not allow hosting videos on there site because of the above reason.

The second least important is data transfer needs.

Once again anything to do with videos being stored on your site does not apply videos eat transfer like no tomorrow.

Amount of transfer is very tricky. there are two main variables how many concurrent users meaning how many users are on at any given time. Is it picture oriented. Remember pictures do take space and that space needs to be transferred when your user connects. So the more people connected into your site and the more pictures you serve the more data transfer you will require.

Example for picture the size of 102 kb. a total of 1048576 views of that picture would take 1Gig of transfer. that my friends is a lot of views for 1Gig of transfer.

Now lets look at some real life examples of forums when concurrent users are in question.

Average site with 20 concurrent users=25.4 Gigs of Data transfer per month
Average site with 498 concurrent users=38.7 gigs Of Data transfer per month
Hold up I hear you say. that's only 15Gigs difference between those sites. Yes and guess what the first site is heavy in pictures. any way you look at it the transfer is still a minor issue.

 The third least important aspect of those items are Bandwidth.

Bandwidth is the rate at which data can travel. most comman when webhost are concerned are these 10 Mbps/100Mbps. meaning the Data can transfer at speeds of either 10 Megabits per second or 100 Megabits per second. How ever one needs to remember that no matter how fast the data travels from the data center it is still your end connection that decides how fast it gets to you. Another aspect of Bandwidth is the carriers of the Bandwidth are they tier one providers meaning the top providers or are they lower providers.

Its always best to be on a server with a blend of tier one providers and running a 100 megabit connection into the server.

To recap in importance:
#1 Bandwidth
#2 Data Transfer
#3 Storage

Hold up here. I just talked about the least important things.

Here are the Important things.

#1 Server Specs
#2 Amount of sites on server.

Lets look at server specs the absolute most important thing for your forum.

Forums all run on PHP/MYSQL Apache to serve the pages.those items (and more) need to be accessed for your forum to work correctly. And accessing those items create processes on the server and those processes mean you are using server resources. Everytome a user goes to your site you are using server resources basically CPU and RAM.

Not all servers are created the same. Some have one processor some have 4 others have 8 Those numbers are very commen and out of the box. And add into the processor's cores. Some processor's have only one core others 2 cores and even others 4 cores. And concerning RAM some servers have 1Gig others have 4 Some have 8 and so one. the trick here is to remember that the more the better.

The server that has 2 processor's with 4 cores per processor and 12 Gigs of ram will cost more then a server with one processor with 2 cores and 4 gigs of ram. with that in mind your cost to be hosted on the first server will cost more.

Yet one does not need that big server until there forum is ready for it. So you could do well that small server. Its all about getting that right server for your forum.

Now lets look at the amount of sites on a server.

No rocket science here. The more sites on your server the more resources that get used the less your site functions like you want it to. That is why all shared providers place a cap on there shared machine for things like concurrent users,Ram,CPU,MYSQL. It helps so sites that are busy do not bog down the server. And forums are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to being server resource hogs. When your sites hits these hardlimits one day you wake up and see your site has been supended. what happens from there is up to your provider and of course you. Alot of providers jam so many accounts onto their servers that your site will lag no matter what. Its just the way it works.

The absolute best thing.
Be on a server that is optimized for your sites concurrent users.
And has the absolute minimun amount of accounts on it.

Never forget you get what you pay for!!!

Just my thoughts on Forum hosting.
Frank Doud
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Re: Whats Important For Hosting Your Site On A Shared Host.
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2009, 04:23:47 AM »
Most important things for me are reliability and up-time.
We got kicked off our old host for using too much cpu resource.
It was only a SMF forum and joomla based site but because they were oversellers they couldn't cope with one slightly busy site on their server.

Moved here a couple of years ago and couldn't be happier.
No longer suffer small outages and don't feel like a number.