Charlottezweb

A long and semi weird history with SMF and Anhosting

Discussion started on Pre-Sales Questions

Hi Jason,
My wife started a community at http://www.christianfamilyplanning.net in 2009, which has now grown to about 150 users. We have been running SMF for the forum software.

We began using AN Hosting and in the past we have had some issues with outages, but after a few days they generally went away for months at a time. Due to increasing traffic (11-12GB a month) We recently upgraded to AN Hosting's power boost plan for about $18 a month, but now we are having intermittent outages, & CPU & Memory spikes every couple of days. These consist of momentary outages of 1-2 minutes all the way to 25-45 minutes outages. Unfortunately AN Hosting is not listing most of these scenarios in their status blog, even when I bring it to their attention.

Is Charlottezweb the place for us at this point? I realize shared hosting implies sharing the host with other websites, but are we really big enough yet to warrant a VPS or semi-dedicated hosting or am I missing something in optimizing my code?

I have never switched hosts before with a site this big. Is there a good guide or tutorial on move an SMF install across hosts? We are also contemplating switching to phpBB, in your experience which one have you found to be more of resource hog?
#1 - September 20, 2012, 02:11:54 AM

Hi Daniel,

Thank you for your inquiry!

I'll respond to it this morning.

Regards,
Jason
#2 - September 20, 2012, 06:38:32 AM

In addition to issues lasting days (which is unacceptable) I wonder if they are reporting your bandwidth usage incorrectly? I don't see how a forum your size could be sucking up 12GB of bandwidth a month! That just seems like a lot. I could be wrong however.
#3 - September 20, 2012, 10:29:04 AM

We began using AN Hosting and in the past we have had some issues with outages, but after a few days they generally went away for months at a time. Due to increasing traffic (11-12GB a month) We recently upgraded to AN Hosting's power boost plan for about $18 a month, but now we are having intermittent outages, & CPU & Memory spikes every couple of days. These consist of momentary outages of 1-2 minutes all the way to 25-45 minutes outages. Unfortunately AN Hosting is not listing most of these scenarios in their status blog, even when I bring it to their attention.

I'm assuming this is them?  http://www.anhosting.com

If so, then their philosophy and model is quite different than my own.  It's not surprising that you may face issues in an environment like that in most cases.  I'm not passing judgement without knowing how they run things but in the hosting world, a lot of companies who offer packages like that have to pack lots of sites on their machines to make a profit.  Again, that's not always the case but we see lots of this out there.

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Is Charlottezweb the place for us at this point? I realize shared hosting implies sharing the host with other websites, but are we really big enough yet to warrant a VPS or semi-dedicated hosting or am I missing something in optimizing my code?

After a cursory glance at your site, I don't think you need a vps or semi-dedicated hosting yet.  What I don't know is what sort or resources the chat (or any other mods you have on your forum or WP) utilize.  Based on similar websites, I don't think you'd have an issue here.

You have reasonable traffic and users online but nothing excessive.

Quote
I have never switched hosts before with a site this big. Is there a good guide or tutorial on move an SMF install across hosts? We are also contemplating switching to phpBB, in your experience which one have you found to be more of resource hog?

There are some faqs on the SMF site if I'm not mistaken but I could move it for you if you wanted.  I can't really comment fairly on phpBB.  I haven't run or used that in probably a decade so I'm not sure how it stacks up performance or feature-wise.

In addition to issues lasting days (which is unacceptable) I wonder if they are reporting your bandwidth usage incorrectly? I don't see how a forum your size could be sucking up 12GB of bandwidth a month! That just seems like a lot. I could be wrong however.

I think it seems pretty legitimate based on the users online and other parts of the site (both visible and non). 

Cheers,
Jason
#4 - September 20, 2012, 11:22:42 AM

Thank you so much for your replies?

So if you do the site move, do you charge anything extra? I would assume that you would need CPanel Access to the current host? What sort of downtime timeline are we looking at?
#5 - September 20, 2012, 01:17:18 PM

So if you do the site move, do you charge anything extra? I would assume that you would need CPanel Access to the current host? What sort of downtime timeline are we looking at?

No extra charge unless there's anything non-standard to do or fix in the process.  We'll know that in advance if so -- I don't see that being an issue here but once I login I can confirm.

Yes, if you can provide cPanel access that would be great.  Being on cPanel makes this a pretty simple process.

What we'd end up doing is to put your forum in maintenance mode, run the backup, transfer the files and restore them.  Then you would update your nameservers on your domain to redirect the traffic.  That last part can take up to 24 hours to resolve over but usually it's just a matter of hours if not less.  That's something you and I don't have control over unless your current host is willing to redirect your traffic during that period. 

We'd take the forum out of maintenance mode on the new server (while leaving it locked on the old) and that's how people will know when they've rolled over when they hit the live one again.

#6 - September 20, 2012, 01:26:56 PM

I have ran phpBB before. I personally don't recommend phpBB. I found it hard to use (harder than SMF.)

I personally recommend using SMF or MyBB for a forum software. Even though phpBB is widely used, it's advanced (not good for the beginner or novice.) It is also hard to add boards and categories in phpBB.
#7 - September 22, 2012, 04:28:15 PM
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