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Website Hosting & Costs

Dear Internet,

I need some guidance and I hope you can provide some help.  Hosting my two websites (this one and tubeclockdb.com) is getting expensive.

I’ve used nearly a dozen shared hosting companies before going to Media Temple’s (GS) service.  The reason that I liked Media Temple was that their support was great and they proactively notify customers when there will be a potential outage.  They are far above other hosts I’ve used: Bluehost, PowWeb, Deamhost, and lots of other low end providers.

The (GS) service was nice, but being a shared server meant that my site would take longer to load than I was happy with.  The (GS) service allowed me to take a burst of traffic without thinking about it, but the flip side was that the overall performance was lower.

A few months ago, I migrated over to the Media Temple (VE) 512 service.  I setup the server, installed only the components I was going to use and voila, it worked!  It worked until I did the cut-over and the real traffic quickly caused it to exceed memory limits.  Crap.  So, I upgraded to (VE) 1GB and that work’s 90% of the time.  However, when I get bursts of traffic, I have to quickly upgrade to the (VE) 2GB server or my resources are quickly exceeded and I can’t even SSH in to the box.

I’ve ensured that my httpd configuration is limiting worker threads and that PHP has sane memory limits.  At the end of the day, the only real solution is to keep upgrading.

When I was on the (GS) service, I was paying $200/year.  The (VE) 1GB costs $50 per month and the (VE) 2GB costs $100 (when paid monthly.)  On top of that are the extra fees for snapshot backups.

This is getting more expensive that I intended for a personal blog and a niche-topic website.  I’ve started running ads to offset the cost but I hate the way the look and they don’t come anywhere near offsetting the operational costs of the website.  Nixie Clocks don’t have a large market and so setting up affiliate accounts for manufacturers is not likely to yield much success.

If you were in my situation, what would you do?  Stay with (VE) 1GB, revert back to (GS) and accept the slower speed, or change hosts?  (Or, is there some money-making opportunity that I am missing?)

TL;DR – this is getting expensive to host.  Do I switch hosts?  Go back to GS?  Find some creative way to make money?

As an interesting side note, I find that Joomla! can handle significantly more traffic than WordPress with the same server resources.   Granted, lots of my problems stem from the theme on WP I am using, but the difference is significant.

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