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Do I need a VPS?

Posted on 2013-05-30
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Last Modified: 2013-05-31
I need to move my site to a new host (for reasons that are not particularly relevant to this question), and I'm trying to decide whether to stick with shared hosting or move to a VPS.

This is a Joomla site that does a decent amount of e-commerce via a custom web app built into the Joomla installation.  It's currently on a shared hosting plan with Rochen, and I have no complaints about the site's speed or functionality.  Maybe there are problems that I'm not aware of, but so far as I know, it's running just fine.

Yet, having discussed my dilemma with a couple of VPS web hosts, I've been told that, based upon the site's stats, I really need a VPS, and one with more than a gig of RAM.  Obviously they have an incentive to tell me this, but I don't get the impression that they're intending to mislead me.  (Of course, this could just be the sign of good salesmen!)

Here are the pertinent stats that I know of:

Hits (total, not raw)
Busiest month of 2012:     907 k hits
Entire year 2012:     5.8 m hits

Bandwidth
Average month of 2012:     10 Gig bandwidth
Busiest month of 2012:     78 Gig bandwidth

As I said, the site seems to be doing fine on shared hosting, and I'm not eager to incur the cost or added responsibility of moving to a VPS.  Based upon these stats, does it appear that there's any need to move to a VPS?

I'd be grateful for a couple of opinions on this.  Thanks very much!
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Question by:Jonathan Greenberg
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Coffinated earned 1000 total points
ID: 39209768
VPS will give you much better flexibility, performance, security. The cost difference will not be much, you can get a good VPS for about $50 a month. Shared hosting is fine, but Rochen or other hosting company could shut down your site if it'll start getting too many hits.

I used to host Joomla on shared hosting, and moved to a VPS about 3 years ago. It loads faster, I have 100% control over it and custom scripts, configurations and VPS configurations are keeping it secure.
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by:COBOLdinosaur
COBOLdinosaur earned 1000 total points
ID: 39210753
based on your current traffic, you are at the point where additional growth will seriously impact performance, and it will happen suddenly when you hit a tipping point.  What happens is you start to slow down and the delays cascade across transactions and at peak periods you get exponential degradation.

My advice would be to be pro-active and move to VPS if you are projecting additional growth, the additional cost will be less than the potential loss of business and good will if you suddenly start to run into performance issues.  

Doing it ahead of a crisis also means you can take your time making sure the transition is smooth instead of being stressed out trying to make a quick upgrade.

Cd&
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Author Comment

by:Jonathan Greenberg
ID: 39211501
What you both are saying is roughly what I've heard from the two VPS hosts that I've contacted, so I think I can now accept it as the truth -- that based upon the available stats, my site appears to be at the point where shared hosting may no longer be wise.

Thank you both for being very helpful!

Regards,
Jon
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