What's the most number of websites you have on a single shared hosting account?

I’m a web designer who hosts multiple websites for clients. I love DreamHost because it is unique in the sense that they don’t require you to pay for additional accounts. You only pay to upgrade to DreamPress if you want a faster website experience. I guess this is fair.

DreamPress is excellent, and I definitely have a peace of mind hosting my clients’ websites there. However, DreamHost’s shared hosting seems too good to be true. Is there a point where the number of websites grow so big on a single shared hosting account that performance start to take a hit?

Would appreciate anyone who has any experience to share :slight_smile:

Hard to answer to that question in general terms… Are your customers’ sites on WordPress/other CMS or are they static sites? You can read stories of customers here hitting limits even with one messy WordPress site (if you search for procwatch you can get an idea).

In general, I’d say that a couple of WordPress sites with very simple theme, no fancy plugins and limited traffic would probably have no issues. On the other hand, I’d expect that a dozen static sites with fair amount of traffic would have no issues.

I found that more important than the number of sites is having multiple users. WIth one user, updating two WP sites worth of plugins is enough to use excess resources and threads are killed. One user per site seems to help, if somewhat of a nuisance. Perhaps a good thing, anyway.

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I’ve started a few threads on this topic over the last few months. In addition to recommending you view other threads on this topic, here is a summary of some concepts:

  • Yes, one site per named user is helpful, though a hassle.
  • Limit yourself to about 10 plugins. Beyond that too much code loads per transaction, RAM usage goes up, and procwatch starts to randomly terminate your transactions.
  • Get a plugin that monitors RAM usage to see the numbers and keep usage down to less than 70MB RAM per transaction. Beyond that, in shared space you’re going to start finding issues.
  • Your business model shouldn’t be to attempt to get a bunch of clients into a single shared account for a cheap price. Your shared account is good for 1-2 sites with minimal usage and/or test sites that you use for developing, prototypes, showcasing, etc.
  • For “real” clients who want “real” websites, your price should include the actual hosting cost plus your cost of services. Then you can manage them separately and avoid resource usage by one client affecting others.
  • Be prepared to move a site to VPS if they grow beyond shared space limitations. This means you shouldn’t have them share a common WP core. I’ve done the math in another thread here and essentially a 2GB VPS will easily support about 20-40 concurrent WP users (the definition of concurrency means truly simultaneous, hitting all at the same time, which really only happens with popular sites). If you compare that to shared space with roughly 128MB per user “practical or enforced” limits, you’ll see shared space supports much less.
  • Of course beyond all that, use standard optimizations: PHP 7, compression of all components including images, minification, CDN, caching, and whatever other gimmicks to reduce the server load and the size of payloads. (Note however that software on the server to do this actually increase load, so there are balances…)

I’m sure some people will disagree with my numbers. We all have anecdotes of faster or slower environments. I’m just documenting my practical experiences here to answer the specific question, and I won’t argue with the experience or claims of others.


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