Upgrading a hosting package to a more powerful plan which offers more resources and an increase in site speed can be exciting for some people.
Even though it costs a little bit more, a Level 4 VPS is far more powerful than a Level 3 as it offers nearly double the amount of CPU, RAM, Diskspace & Bandwidth.
But how do you determine how much resources like CPU, RAM and Bandwidth you actually need?
Recently i asked one of the sales staff at Hostgator for their opinion on which hosting package i should choose to make sure i suffered No down time.
Here’s a small part of the online conversation i had via live chat with Hostgator sales staff LaTanya M:
LaTanya M. You should just go with an elite dedicated server.
(2:34:01pm)Brad: How much is that?
(2:34:23pm)Brad: Wouldn’t it be better to upgrade to level 4 VPS?
(2:35:00pm)LaTanya M. It would be best to just get the elite.
This blog currently offers about 300 posts and less than 100 pages. I have 26 plugins installed and deactivate the plugins i don’t need after using them and activate them again when i need them.
Example Backupbuddy doesn’t need to be activated all the time.
I did suffer severe downtime after 301 redirecting all my URL’s to my new domain which is understandable considering the additional HTTP 301 permanent redirect requests caused by moving to a new domain.
I eventually upgraded to Level 4 VPS from Level 3 which costs about $70 a month.
The upgrade certainly fixed the problems of downtime immediately. I could have ended up paying significantly more if i didn’t have any knowledge or experience with web development as you can see by the conversation i had with HG sales.
Do you get the feeling some we hosts are forcing you to upgrade by placing 6000+ sites on the one server?
I decided to email Brent Oxley the owner of Hostgator to see what he would say about his sales staff advising an existing customer to upgrade to the most expensive Dedicated server and hosting plan Hostgator offer. The Pro Elite dedicated server.
Brent wasn’t available to return my email but normally does monitor all feedback if it contains his name in the Subject field apparently.
Here’s the reply i got from one of Brents Customer service officers which helped restore my trust & confidence in Hostagtor.
First and foremost I’d like to offer my apologies for the reply coming from myself and not Brent directly. He’s currently not available and I wanted to ensure this was being addressed without delay. I’d also like to offer our sincerest apologies for the way it appears your recent LiveChat was handled. I’d like to first discuss how that Chat will be addressed, then what can be done with your VPS to ensure it’s running as smoothly as possible.
After an initial audit of the LiveChat you included it’s clear there was rampant misinformation throughout. We typically do not make recommendations via our LiveChat for hardware considerations like this, but more appropriately through our linux administrators via email in our ticket system. I do apologize that the agent took this upon themselves to handle, however I’m quite certain we can likely optimize the current VPS to better accommodate your traffic. I will certainly be following up further though with this employee as this type of misinformation and general mishandling is not something which will be tolerated in an on going nature. We’ve worked very hard over the years to build the reputation we have in the hosting industry, so this will be addressed as promptly as possible.
Before getting to the issue at hand though I’d like to offer clarification regarding a few points that were not clear in the chat. While we do offer managed solutions on these VPSs, that does not involve actually monitoring the sites on your VPS for uptime. That would be the client’s responsibility as is general administration of the sites on that VPS. We do offer fully managed support for any services/software which are loaded to the VPS initially, which would cover basically the entire operating system and involved services(httpd, ftp, mysql, etc.), as where with unmanaged VPSs you’d be responsible for those aspects as well. The full managed options do also offer a network connectivity guarantee, so we do certainly monitor the VPS is online and has a network connection. With that clarified, we do certainly make every effort to assist you when problems do arise with your site beyond what would normally be supported.
Moving to the actual issue if it would be agreeable with you, I’d like to work with you and our server monitoring team to see if we can’t optimize your current configurations. More then likely it appears the VPS has stock configurations still which is most likely the reason it’s not able to handle the traffic. To touch briefly on the dedicated servers as well, I don’t want to jump to conclusions yet, however I really don’t believe a dedicated server is necessary given the traffic you referenced at this time. I really suspect optimization will yield the best results. Typically in a situation like this we’ll look at the PHP handler to determine whether there is a better option then SuPHP which would allow better resource usage. Beyond that if necessary we also typically use different caching options to help lessen the load as content is served out repeatedly to different clients. I’ll go ahead and begin reviewing this now, but please let! me know if this would be acceptable and we’ll have the VPS looked at by our monitoring team more in depth. From there we’ll present your options and go from there. If you have any other questions, comments or concerns please let me know.
Customer Service Manager
In conclusion, i am now very satisfied that Hostgators Linux Admins will work to optimize my Server so i don’t suffer any future problems or downtime. Time will tell!
The Server engineers at Bluehost told me they host over 6000 domains on one shared server. No wonder its so easy to suffer from CPU throttling and downtime from the smallest increase in CPU or spike in traffic!