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Looking for a new server host, any recommendations?


Cadence
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.Hey guys, hope your holidays are going well. :)

I have been hosting my websites via DreamHost for the last few years, yet I'm not too pleased with how much their plans are costing for both shared & VPS hosting. Also as a Canadian and paying USD, the exchange rate kinda (really) hurts. Their customer support is pretty shoddy as of late as well, and haven't been helpful in dealing with some tickets I had submitted. So I'm hoping to switch to another hosting company - I have a few client sites that are getting a lot of traffic, and would not mind paying extra for something that is more robust and can handle the traffic.

I thought I might ask you guys for recommendations as I haven't stayed up to date for years on hosting companies or services, and am worried the information I'm going off on choosing a new one is (slightly) outdated. 

My budget is ideally $30/month - I've been looking at BlueHost, and thinking of getting a VPS for said high-traffic client and a shared hosting for my smaller sites. I'm also debating whether it's worth splitting the hosting up so that the smaller blogs / shops can be hosted via Squarespace (saves me from setting up Wordpress), but ideally I'd like not having to logging in/out three or four different accounts and paying the subscription rate at full price for multiple sites. :/

Thanks everyone.

Edited by Cadence
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Sounds like you would do best with what is called a "Reseller" account. You would get an account that lets you create sub accounts for all your users and then you could use somerhing like softaculous or installatron to do the wordpress software installs.

The advantage of using Softaculous or Installatron is you can set them to keep things up to date and thereby more secure, and they also provide a one-click login option for managing client sites without knowing their passwords. This is an important feature if you hire someone to maintain things in the future as its secure.

You could do similar with a VPS a DirectAdmin code 500 license (vps pricing for resellers) and a softaculous license for your budget also, but you would need to know how to maintane your own linux server. If you are interested in knowing more I do host more than one Petsite and am more than willing to give out advice and recomendations.

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5 hours ago, Cadence said:

My budget is ideally $30/month - I've been looking at BlueHost, and thinking of getting a VPS for said high-traffic client and a shared hosting for my smaller sites. I'm also debating whether it's worth splitting the hosting up so that the smaller blogs / shops can be hosted via Squarespace (saves me from setting up Wordpress), but ideally I'd like not having to logging in/out three or four different accounts and paying the subscription rate at full price for multiple sites.

My husband owns a hosting company and he said his shared hosting can handle a pretty large amount of traffic. He has multiple servers located in Montreal with 1Gbps speeds and unlimited bandwidth. He can do shared hosting or also can spin up a VPS pretty quickly for you with a cPanel license and full management. If you want more info let me know and I can get you in touch with him.

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If you are an advanced user when it comes to servers you can get great prices with DigitalOcean's cloud servers.  Server start at only $5 a month and go up in about $5 increments. I have 15 servers for only $120 a month. If you use my referral link you'll get a $10 credit to try it out. https://m.do.co/c/e429deb227cb

5a394a218161a_ScreenShot2017-12-19at12_19_03PM.thumb.png.8c235acdf93e1637bc65d400f6b8944d.png

Edited by Design1online
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/18/2017 at 6:13 PM, Cadence said:

.Hey guys, hope your holidays are going well. :)

I have been hosting my websites via DreamHost for the last few years, yet I'm not too pleased with how much their plans are costing for both shared & VPS hosting. Also as a Canadian and paying USD, the exchange rate kinda (really) hurts. Their customer support is pretty shoddy as of late as well, and haven't been helpful in dealing with some tickets I had submitted. So I'm hoping to switch to another hosting company - I have a few client sites that are getting a lot of traffic, and would not mind paying extra for something that is more robust and can handle the traffic.

I thought I might ask you guys for recommendations as I haven't stayed up to date for years on hosting companies or services, and am worried the information I'm going off on choosing a new one is (slightly) outdated. 

My budget is ideally $30/month - I've been looking at BlueHost, and thinking of getting a VPS for said high-traffic client and a shared hosting for my smaller sites. I'm also debating whether it's worth splitting the hosting up so that the smaller blogs / shops can be hosted via Squarespace (saves me from setting up Wordpress), but ideally I'd like not having to logging in/out three or four different accounts and paying the subscription rate at full price for multiple sites. :/

Thanks everyone.

Dreamhost is AWFUL. I am currently looking to get away from them as well. I am constantly dealing with their "max connection" issue, which is something DH is known for. I recently found Server Pronto, which looks like a good option if you are still looking!

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  • 2 months later...
On 19/12/2017 at 6:17 PM, Design1online said:

If you are an advanced user when it comes to servers you can get great prices with DigitalOcean's cloud servers.  Server start at only $5 a month and go up in about $5 increments. I have 15 servers for only $120 a month. If you use my referral link you'll get a $10 credit to try it out. https://m.do.co/c/e429deb227cb

5a394a218161a_ScreenShot2017-12-19at12_19_03PM.thumb.png.8c235acdf93e1637bc65d400f6b8944d.png

@Design1online How is Digital Ocean working out for you? I'm looking to transfer Horse Reality to their server. I'm having the same issue as @Vix . Getting the max. connection errors al the time :(  I've been working on improving my code, but even then I keep having the issue. 

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Works great but it requires pretty extensive knowledge of Linux or operating systems, they don't setup the environment for you, however there are lots of articles and docs to help you get setup if you don't have much experience. I run 15 servers there and I have virtually no downtime. Only costs me about $130 a month. For my largest game I'm running 2GB RAM / 40GB disk for the database server and 1GB RAM / 20GB disk space for the web server. I generally have very few issues with that setup and I've been running it for 3 years now. If you want a discount on your first month when you sign up I can give you my referral link.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm also a huge fan of Digital Ocean. I run about 20 or so droplets with various projects and architecture. They have a lot of pretty good documentation and there is a basic LAMP setup that works for most default php applications. We use the servers in combination with forge.laravel.com to help manage the servers. Might be a little pricy for just one server but it is a pretty big help when it comes to managing firewalls, ssls, databases etc. 

I've never had any issues with DO, any maintenance or downtown I've been alerted to ahead of time and it's been minimal, they've improved their pricing since I became a customer, they're support is super helpful and if you reach out to them and they even offered us a $500 credit to help cover the costs for us to transfer our entire architecture over to them. They've also rolled out a half a dozen new features in the year we've been with them.

Heroku is another option in the same realm, but I've used them significantly less and can't say much. 

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On 2017-12-28 at 3:50 PM, Vix said:

Dreamhost is AWFUL. I am currently looking to get away from them as well. I am constantly dealing with their "max connection" issue, which is something DH is known for. I recently found Server Pronto, which looks like a good option if you are still looking!

Thanks for the recommendation! I agree, DH is awful. Their support has also dropped lately, but thankfully my clients have OK'ed a switch away from them :) I just need to do some research and find some time to move the sites over, and we are good. 

I am going to take a look at Server Pronto. 

I have also heard so many good things about Digital Ocean, but it seems super intimidating for someone new at sys admin like me. I also don't consider myself savvy enough about Linux systems or maintaining a backend. I am all self-taught so I worry about migrating my clients over and something going wrong!

 

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On 3/26/2018 at 6:20 PM, Cadence said:

I have also heard so many good things about Digital Ocean, but it seems super intimidating for someone new at sys admin like me. I also don't consider myself savvy enough about Linux systems or maintaining a backend. I am all self-taught so I worry about migrating my clients over and something going wrong!

You can always try one at only $5 a month it's extremely affordable even if you just want to try it out for a month or two to play around and see if you can get something setup.

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I would highly recommend not putting a a sever into play unsecured if you don't know what you are doing. Most IP's are scanned constantly and start getting hit with automated login attacks within seconds of going live. Sure brute force with a secure IP takes time, but I've seen evidence of a botnet with more than 10K bot nodes, that work in sync with each other, with each bot never hitting a single server more than once an hour. This allows the botnet to try multiple times a second and yet not be tack-able by automated firewall systems as most are based on attempts per second by a single host.

If you want to learn basic unix or windows server management, start off by installing it on your desktop, laptop, or using a virtual machine like VMWare on your local computer where you can easily shut it down if something goes wrong.

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16 hours ago, GeekGirl said:

I would highly recommend not putting a a sever into play unsecured if you don't know what you are doing. Most IP's are scanned constantly and start getting hit with automated login attacks within seconds of going live. Sure brute force with a secure IP takes time, but I've seen evidence of a botnet with more than 10K bot nodes, that work in sync with each other, with each bot never hitting a single server more than once an hour. This allows the botnet to try multiple times a second and yet not be tack-able by automated firewall systems as most are based on attempts per second by a single host.

If you want to learn basic unix or windows server management, start off by installing it on your desktop, laptop, or using a virtual machine like VMWare on your local computer where you can easily shut it down if something goes wrong.

Using SSH in place of normal terminal logins would mostly resolve this. You can also use firewalls to block access of database and ssh ports from all IP addresses except your own. I wouldn't go into production with a server you're unfamiliar with but personally I'd actually prefer to experiment with a host like Digital Ocean over using or exposing my local computer. 

 

On 3/26/2018 at 6:20 PM, Cadence said:

Thanks for the recommendation! I agree, DH is awful. Their support has also dropped lately, but thankfully my clients have OK'ed a switch away from them :) I just need to do some research and find some time to move the sites over, and we are good. 

I am going to take a look at Server Pronto. 

I have also heard so many good things about Digital Ocean, but it seems super intimidating for someone new at sys admin like me. I also don't consider myself savvy enough about Linux systems or maintaining a backend. I am all self-taught so I worry about migrating my clients over and something going wrong!

 

It was a little intimidating at first, I started playing with Digital Ocean with pretty much no sys admin experience out of need for my company but DO provides a lot of support and they have an incredible library of tutorials and there's options to spin up servers with most of the software you need installed already. 

I don't know what you're budget is but if it allows I'd recommend looking at Forge(forge.laravel.com) too. They provide a really nice interface for managing server sites, ssh logins, ssls, databases, etc.  It can be pricy but if you're just dealing with one server it's not bad. 

Edited by Syntax
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On 3/5/2018 at 10:15 AM, Deloryan said:

Getting the max. connection errors al the time

One thing you might want to try is adjusting the wait timeout in your /etc/my.cnf or /etc/my.cnf.d/server/cnf (hereby refrenced as "configs")

wait_timeout = 28800 
interactive_timeout = 28800

The interactive timeout does not affect any web application connections. A high interactive_timeout but a low wait_timeout is normal and is the best practice.

Choose a reasonable wait_timeout value. Stateless PHP environments do well with a 60 second timeout or less.

What this does is allow MySQL to drop any old "stale" connections from a PHP application that doesn't properly close the connection. It might help you get around your too many connection errors. You also have the option of increasing the max-connections to something larger. I believe the official MySQL default is 151, but I'm not sure about MariaDB or Percona straight out of the box. I have seen some providers issue a config with a max of 50.

max_connections=1000
wait_timeout = 60

That's the setting from my own MariaDB Master Server. I spent a lot of time using MySQL Tuner to try and figure out the optimum settings for my database server. (Server specs are 12x 3.07Ghz Intel Xeon Cores, 24 Threads, 128GB Ram and 3x SAS HDD's in hardware raid).

 

 

Edited by GeekGirl
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 2018-04-01 at 1:36 PM, Syntax said:

Using SSH in place of normal terminal logins would mostly resolve this. You can also use firewalls to block access of database and ssh ports from all IP addresses except your own. I wouldn't go into production with a server you're unfamiliar with but personally I'd actually prefer to experiment with a host like Digital Ocean over using or exposing my local computer. 

 

It was a little intimidating at first, I started playing with Digital Ocean with pretty much no sys admin experience out of need for my company but DO provides a lot of support and they have an incredible library of tutorials and there's options to spin up servers with most of the software you need installed already. 

I don't know what you're budget is but if it allows I'd recommend looking at Forge(forge.laravel.com) too. They provide a really nice interface for managing server sites, ssh logins, ssls, databases, etc.  It can be pricy but if you're just dealing with one server it's not bad. 

Thanks for this. I might just play around with DO this summer for my own website first. I will also look at Forge. 

I started a new job this spring, and I'm now managing three extra company websites so I would love to find a better workflow dealing with all my other sites. For those company websites I'm stuck using Hostgator until I can find a solution and convince my boss... they used hostgator and moved one of the sites to a managed wordpress hosting with GoDaddy (eek!), but the two other sites are still on HG. This happened before I joined so now I am trying to figure out the best way to consolidate everything haha. 

That's an aside though. DO or Forge could help a lot with my other clients. Because I've been so busy I have just temporarily moved some of my sites from DreamHost to SiteGround, just because it's cheaper. It's not my final move though, but decent enough in the meantime I think. I know that SG increases the price of their hosting plans for renewal, so I have like eight months left-ish to actually learn to use DO.

 

Edited by Cadence
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