When to Move Away from Shared Hosting?

Hi dear community,

I’m wondering when it is advisable to start looking to move away from shared hosting?

My site has broken through 2,000 visitor per day, and 6,000 page views. At times, there are up to 30 visitors using the site at the same time, and up to 200 visitors an hour.

If the site keeps developing like this, I expect to see 10,000 daily visits, and maybe 30,000 page views per day, probably in 12 months time.

The site is currently on shared hosting. It is powered by WordPress with clean programming and an efficient cache. No problems at all. Dreamhost shared service is great! The site is running smoothly with great average loading times.

However, because I feel that it’s better to be pro-active and be prepared, I like to know if there is a ‘rule of thumb’ when I should start seriously considering to move the site away from shared hosting.

Further, I would like to get some advice if starting with VPS is a good option, or if it is better to move straight to a dedicated server?

Thanks in advance for your advice! :slight_smile:

I usually tell people “If you’ve done everything possible to speed up your site, and the speed of it frustrates you, it’s time to CONSIDER moving away from Shared Hosting.”

There isn’t a magic number. If you have 30k views a day on a static HTML site with no images, shared is great! Drupal or WordPress without caching? Not so great. Keep a good eye on your traffic, continue to pay attention to optimization (like CDNs or proxies like Google PageSpeed) and you should be able to keep up with things.

Since you’re on WordPress, before a VPS I might consider DreamPress, which is a super-charged WP managed host. It’s not perfect for everyone (membership sites notably aren’t quite as fast as they could be yet), but it’s a nice middle-step between shared and a VPS where you’re expected to manage the server more.

Thanks for your helpful advice! :slight_smile:

I have been actually thinking about DreamPress as the coding of the site is already becoming sometimes quite a challenge. It’s the content which matters in my opinion, and programming can be a pain in the backside. It takes up far too much time, especially when you have to teach yourself everything from the start.

The problem is that my site is not just a static HTML. It’s a genuine blog (with pictures, etc.) which gets a good deal of attention. Sometimes there are huge spikes of traffic. For example, a few times people mentioned an article, e.g. on Reddit, which became a featured post there and this brought the site down.

Also advertising is growing, and adverts often require geo-targeting. For this to function caching needs to be limited, otherwise it shows the code which is in the cache until the cache is refreshed.

It’s the memory limitations of a shared hosting (and maybe also DreamPress) which worry me. Otherwise, if there would be a ‘dedicated server with managed service’ then this would be probably the solution for somebody like me.

Oh. Reddit. How I love you.

A dedicated server with managed WP would be expensive. DreamPress is a VPS with managed WP, so while we do have SOME memory limitations, a bare handful of people hit them AND because of Varnish caching things on the front end, Redditors would get that before they hit PHP memory issues. So… A genuine blog would be okay I think, based on what you’re saying. Advertising is loaded via js so even a cache saves it as the script and not the fancy geo dancing, so you should be fine there.

Hi Ipstenu-DH. It’s great to get substantial advice!!! Thanks! I love you! :wink:

(1) Adsense ads are loaded via js this is correct, but there are plenty of ads which do not come via Adsense or any other agency. They are direct sales and targeted internally. I use Adrotate for this and the functionality of this plugin is limited by the cache.

(2) It is a multilingual site, WordPress installed on one domain for the main language and the second domain as a mirror. I should probably give you the link to my site so that you can have a look what I’m talking about: http://www.soccerwidow.com/
So, when I move soccerwidow.com to DreamPress will the site still work when the other domain remains on the shared server?

I have to be hugely careful about what I publish not to bring the shared server down… For example, I was a writer for Betfair Germany in June 2012 and translated, just for fun, my statistical match previews into English and published them on my site. They attracted such a great deal of interest that as soon as we published we had hundreds of visitors within a short period of time and consequently the site went down. Right now, my husband tries to persuade me to write previews for the Worldcup this year, but I’m not sure if I can do it. 2 years ago, 2012, we were much smaller, and brought the shared server down. Now, there are many more regular readers.

The server limitations force me to think twice before I start thinking which content to publish and in which direction to develop.

If you need rotating ads, I’d strongly recommend that you come up with some sort of solution that is amenable to caching. (For instance, embedding advertisements using an iframe, or using a Javascript snippet that chooses the ad randomly when displayed.)

Hi Andrew,

for serving random code (ads, images, etc.) I have found a very easy PHP solution. Although it’s OffTop here the code:

if (is_single( array( aaa,bbb,ccc ))) {
$abctest = mt_rand(1, 500);
switch ($abctest) {
case ($abctest < 250):
echo adrotate_ad(AAA);
echo adrotate_ad(BBB);
} else {
echo “”;

I love Adrotate as it allows me to manage code snippets in a database manner. It tracks statistics, e.g. how often the code has been displayed, and if there are links, it also monitors the clicks.

It’s the geo-targetting I have not worked out yet - serving code A to country B, code C to countries D & E, etc.

However, the question of the most suitable hosting solution still remains. I’m not keen of managing my own dedicated server. Too much coding, not enough time to concentrate on content development and visitor experience. Nevertheless, coming back to…

[quote=“Ipstenu-DH, post:4, topic:61250”]
A dedicated server with managed WP would be expensive. [/quote]

How expensive is expensive?
Would it not only be the set-up which may be somehow time consuming at the start, and then some adjustments and fine-tuning from time to time, especially after WordPress upgrades?

Soccerwidow -

Do have the time to explain your php code below? Like you, my site has been growing. I switched to dreampress but adrotate slows the site down. I find it amazing how there doesn’t seem to be a simple workaround on this.

Would you code below have to be implemented in every “ad zone” using adrotate?