Site News: New hosting service needed

Site News: New hosting service needed


January 9, 2017

As you may have figured out, the website was down yet again for the majority of the day yesterday. It was also down for most of New Year’s Day. I have been assured by my hosting service at times that they could handle the amount of traffic at TTB, but that is apparently not the case on their shared servers.

Therefore, I am now in need of a new hosting service. I put this out on Twitter yesterday, and here are some of the suggestions I received:

  • A2hosting
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Host Gator

I am hesitant to pay for a dedicated server, which was suggested by my current provider, because they start at about $80 per month. That would take a big chunk out of my revenue. Since I don’t have a store, do consulting, make public appearances, etc., ad revenue from Google and Amazon is my entire source of income for the site. I do get over 300,000 page views per month, but the next few weeks will see an increase in traffic due to National Signing Day, so I at least need something that will auto-scale for traffic fluctuations.

Anyway, if you have experience and/or suggestions concerning this type of issue, please hit me up in the comments. Thanks!





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11 comments

  1. Comments: 19
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    boliver46
    Jan 09, 2017 at 11:22 AM

    Hey Thunder –

    I commented on another post, but you might not have seen it.

    I, personally use Amazon Web Services with auto-scaling. When traffic is low, system resources are scaled down accordingly. When traffic hits hard, AWS auto-scaling will ramp up resources and add servers/bandwith/memory to accomodate.

    You can learn more about auto-scaling here:
    https://aws.amazon.com/autoscaling/

    Cost is REALLY reasonable as well. My 2nd job is a VERY small company – but has periods of high traffic that require us to be flexible. I could try to get a cost breakdown for us, but I believe we are in the neighborhood of $15/month. Certainly reasonable when you think of the lost revenue your site being down might cost you.

    http://calculator.s3.amazonaws.com/index.html

    I am not the Uber geek others might be – but I know there are options out there to help you become more stable.

    We also evaluated Azure, and the costs were higher for the same needs. Here is a good breakdown of a comparison of the services.

    http://www.tomsitpro.com/articles/azure-vs-aws-cloud-comparison,2-870.html

    You can ping me directly if you want and I can see if my tech geek buddy would be willing to provide more insight into what we did.

    [email protected]

    -Brett

    • Comments: 1512
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 09, 2017 at 11:34 AM

      I actually remembered you posting about it, but I searched the comments and for whatever reason, my search couldn’t find it. Thanks! I’ll read through some of this stuff and get back to you if necessary. I appreciate it.

      • Comments: 19
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        boliver46
        Jan 09, 2017 at 11:37 AM

        No Problem!

    • Comments: 76
      Joined: 10/22/2015
      SinCityBlue
      Jan 09, 2017 at 11:50 AM

      Do a Go Fund Me campaign. If it’s only $15/month I’ll pitch in for the first month. You get only 12 people to chip in for what amounts to less than a lap dance at Spearmint Rhino and you’re GTG…

      • Comments: 19
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        boliver46
        Jan 09, 2017 at 2:54 PM

        The $15/month was based on a lack of knowledge of the traffic TTB sees on a “typical day” as well as the “peak days” such as when MGoBlog goes down.

        @Thunder,

        What are you using to capture site statistics? Can you make a reasonable assessment of what a typical day is vs. when your site gets dragged under to see what your breakpoints are?

        The cool thing about AWS is you typically pay for what you use…so if you set a performance/reliability threshold of x and stick within that limit – you won’t see undue charges.

        But if you under-assess your needs with ANY of the solutions you identified – that’s where they hit you… but at the same time you don’t want to buy capacity you won’t ever need…

        It’s a guessing game for a little bit til you get the right mix of traffic to capacity ratios.

        Also – not sure if you build the site yourself or have someone else do it – often there are code optimizations and db query optimizations you can do to help “lighten the load” overall.

        Good luck!

        • Comments: 1512
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Jan 09, 2017 at 7:35 PM

          I use Google Analytics. Honestly, I’ve had a hard time identifying that breaking point. The last two times it went down (yesterday and New Year’s Day), I was getting about 900 page views per hour at the time. But at other times throughout the week, I’ve been getting 1,200-1,300 page views per hour with no issues.

          I have someone else build the site on the back end because I’m not that computer-savvy. I’m not sure if they’re capable of making those optimizations, but I can bring it up.

          Thanks again for the advice!

  2. Comments: 197
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Jan 09, 2017 at 9:18 PM

    Just a recommendation, but can the next site work with the Tapatalk app? It’s much easier to catch all the comments I’ve missed since my last check in (I travel for work and get chunks of downtime)

    Headed over to amazon to make a purchase, but that GoFundMe doesn’t sound too bad… you have a lot of folks here who appreciate the content!

    GO BLUE

    • Comments: 1512
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 09, 2017 at 9:22 PM

      I don’t know anything about Tapatalk, but I’ll check it out.

      By the way, though, I’m just looking to move my site to a new host. The site will still look the same with the same features, but the hope is that it won’t go down so frequently and it will be faster.

  3. Comments: 1512
    Joined: 7/13/2015
    Jan 09, 2017 at 9:36 PM

    I see that some of you have suggested a GoFundMe campaign for new site hosting. I appreciate the offers to dish out some funds to keep the site running well.

    Since I have yet to choose a new host, I don’t want to set a certain amount as a goal just yet. When I was raising money for the new site in 2015, however, I had a pretty successful campaign simply using Paypal. The donate button for Paypal is on the sidebar. Any contributions have been, are, and will be appreciated.

  4. Comments: 5
    Joined: 12/30/2015
    robpollard
    Jan 10, 2017 at 3:04 PM

    To contrast and compare with Microsoft Cloud or AWS, I would recommend you contact A2 Hosting. I use them for my company’s website and while I don’t get the 1,000 visitors (or more) per hour that you get, I have had no problems getting setup what I need. I know they have more powerful options; I just don’t need them.

    They have sales people who can walk you through the options & pricing (i.e., an actual real live human on the phone), which can be helpful in understanding what you need when you are not that tech savvy (which is the case for myself), as opposed to just filling out an online form and reading instructions.

    Good luck!

    • Comments: 1512
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 10, 2017 at 3:41 PM

      That’s good to know about A2 Hosting. I am concerned about having tech support since I do most of this stuff myself if I can. Thanks!

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