VPS Hosting questions for a small forum

Discussion in 'Hosting Discussions' started by Gnomenclature, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. Gnomenclature

    Gnomenclature Aspirant

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    My fellow admin and I are down to the point where we need to pick a hosting plan and start building, but we've been out of this business for a while, are only moderately technical, and could use a little advice.

    The forum itself isn't likely to be very large, and we have no thought of it making any sort of revenue. We're not doing a lot of videos or other storage-intensive things. The place is for discussion.

    1. What kind of RAM and storage do we really need?

    2. Is cpanel a must? We definitely want that functionality, but there are free cpanel alternatives as well. Are they any good?

    3. I know that "managed" means different things from different providers, but what is the downside of going with an unmanaged VPS? I'm just trying to find out if going managed is even worth the extra money. We can manage to install the usual LAMP stuff if need be, so that alone isn't an issue for us.

    4. Backups - Is this something that only comes with a managed VPS?
     
  2. haqzore

    haqzore Habitué

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    People on TAZ hate shared hosting, but, my vote is for shared.

    It's dirt cheap, its managed for you, and if you go to a decent company it will run any major script with no issue.

    • I've run XF 1 & 2 with RM & Gallery on shared.
    • IPS 3 & 4 with blog, gallery,commerce and pages on shared.
    • phpBB on shared.

    These weren't big boards, but they were active with multiple thousands of posts.

    Many shared providers offer backups.

    You say your only moderately technical, so you could likely run your own VPS, but it's just not necessary on a board staring out in my opinion.

    I would 100% go cPanel. It's damn near universal and makes not only backups easy, but server transfers as well if you need to move/upgrade in the future.

    Get an intro offer for a "first year"of shared for $10 and be done with it (yes, $10 for an entire year). Upgrade later when/if you need to.
     
  3. ToyBoxOrphan

    ToyBoxOrphan Aspirant

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    Is there benefit in getting shared hosting with a provider that also does VPS so that upgrading to that later (if necessary) is easier?
     
  4. we_are_borg

    we_are_borg Moderator

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    1. 2GB at least 4 is better.

    2. No cpanel is not a must. There are others like Plesk, virtualmin, ispconfig and a few others. One way or the other you’ll need to learn how they work.

    3. If you can read and learn you’ll don’t need managed, its not like they will solve everything.

    4. Backups most provide them once a day or you need to pay more.

    I am with Strato look at there VPS its 10 euro and its a good package.
     
  5. Tecca

    Tecca Fan

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    Shared hosting can be really good if you go with a reliable provider. I used HawkHost on a fairly popular site for years and they held up nicely.

    But if you're willing to learn and use your current knowledge, an unmanaged VPS is going to be the best bang for your buck. But it does take time to learn the things you're unfamiliar with; if you don't have a decent amount of free time, it's probably best just to go for shared/managed VPS hosting. I barely started learning the command line a few years ago, but I have a firm grasp of it and have been managing my own servers for years now. No cPanel, since that's added costs if you opt for that on a VPS.

    I'd recommend a LEMP stack over LAMP as well. That, again, is a little bit more to learn since Nginx takes a little more than Apache, but it's well worth it imo. But everyone is different, and some people may want to simply run their site over having to fiddle with the server it's on.
    • If you have any sort of passion for building your own server to your own desired specifications (there are many tutorials out there), then I'd recommend the cheaper and more powerful unmanaged VPS option.
    • If you're not planning on making any income with your site, and want to save as much money as possible, then I'd go with shared hosting.
    • If you don't mind spending the money for more "security" and customer service, a managed VPS would be the best option for that.
    VPS' will always be a more powerful option over shared hosting, but shared hosting could very well suit more than what you require. It's hard to say exactly what you need, but at the moment I think you might be best off with shared hosting. You can always change your mind later and move your assets elsewhere or through upgrade options if your host provides it.
     
  6. Paul M

    Paul M Dr Pepper Addict

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    You dont need 4GB, I run my site quite happily on a 2GB VPS, that costs $12 a month.

    ($10 a month for the VPS, $2 month for backups).

    You dont need any kind of control panel, if you know how to install basic software (apache, mysql)
     
  7. Gnomenclature

    Gnomenclature Aspirant

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    I have a little advantage at home, as both my son and husband work with these tools all the time. But I'm trying not to assume they're a regular part of this project. My son assures me I'll have no trouble picking this up (I run Ubuntu anyway, so I'm not a total newbie on that score).

    Ah, that's my son's argument as well. I don't particularly know Nginx or Apache, so that will take me some time to get up to speed.

    Well, and this is the issue. ToyBoxOrphan and I may be quick learners, but we're both in situations where one of us may be unavailable for a period of time, and I prefer what my son calls a bus failure rate > 1. We may need some time to hone our skills, and I may have to pay for that initially.

    Yes, we ran the last forum on urljet with shared hosting, and we managed fairly well with that. We were certainly not short of room, and it was 3 years worth of reasonably busy traffic.

    One thing we're looking for for certain is a host that will do both shared and VPS, so we don't have to switch hosts if we change service.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  8. Krazy12

    Krazy12 Enthusiast

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    You can try siteground shared hosting. It's fast, good support and worth to invest. Siteground is quite popular these days for their good services.
     
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  9. haqzore

    haqzore Habitué

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    Most will offer this for you.

    An unmanaged VPS will work great, but for a new site it basically amounts to added cost so that you can be your own teacher. Which is fine, maybe it future proofs you a bit... But you could potentially last year's on shared, saving money all the while.

    Since recommendations are coming, I recommend Namecheap.

    Very inexpensive, great performance, and 24/7 live chat support that has never failed me in years of use.
     
  10. Gnomenclature

    Gnomenclature Aspirant

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    Woohoo! I can't thank y'all enough for your advice about hosting issues.

    We've opted for a shared hosting for now, but after the forum's up and running I think I'll set up an unmanaged VPS as a sandbox so we can get our tech skills up to snuff.

    I've been out of IT for too long anyway, and it's time I get my skills up to snuff. Who knows I might even get a job again before I'm old enough to retire lol.
     
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