The Best Hosting for a PTC Website
Most of people who plan to start their own PTC or GPT business do not take into account the fact that hosting is one of the most important things in such kind of business. A lot of PTC projects were closed because their owners did not pay proper attention to the hosting part of their site. This article explains how to choose the right type of hosting for your project. Actually, here is just one secret: the only really acceptable, solid, scalable and cheap solution for a popular PTC site is a “cloud” hosting. This article explains why.
PTC owners usually start from shared hosting which costs less than $10 per month. Shared hosting is not suitable for a medium or big PTC site at all. It is hardly suitable even for a small PTC website with about 1000 active members. Shared hosting is created for sites with low amount of visitors per day, like not very popular blogs, small forums, personal pages, simple sites with 3-5 pages etc. PTC sites owners do not realize the problem with shared hosting until they start to promote the site, the amount of members increases and the site becomes slower and slower. In a day or two a hosting company sends an email saying that “your site exceeded the limit of resources usage, please upgrade your hosting plan or your account will be suspended”. The important thing is that even the most advanced and expensive shared hosting plan is not enough, and, finally, a hosting company will propose a website owner to buy a VPS or an expensive dedicated server. It means that a website should be moved to another host. Usually it is a VPS host, and it can't be cheap as it should have at least 1 Gb of RAM in order to handle the load of a somewhat popular PTC project.
This is where the headache begins. A site owner will have to find someone who is able to setup the VPS, and will need to do this really fast, or your site will be closed by a hosting company because of its load. While a site owner is looking for a professional administrator and waiting for a VPS setup, the site is running on a shared hosting and it is slow. If the site is popular and has many visitors then there is high probability that it will be suddenly suspended by a hosting company because of excessive resources usage and before the migration process is finished.
During this period PTC sites usually lose a big part of their members who are tired to wait a page to load during 20-60 seconds or even more. Also, the migration means some downtime for a project. Another big part of members leave a PTC site when it is temporary closed because of moving to a VPS host. For many people a downtime looks like scam.
So, let's say a site owner have finally migrated to an expensive VPS host, paid a lot of money for it's setup, and lost many of site members because of bad site performance and further downtime. At this point everything seems to be fine finally, except the price for VPS and dramatical income decrease.
Now, when it is clear that migration should be avoided, let's take a look at possible VPS resources capacity. Usually VPS resources are limited and do not fit requirements of a project with a lot of visitors, like a PTC website. For example, available server memory is the most important resource that defines how much web server processes can be launched and serve visitors' requests. The more visitors a site has, the more server memory it requires. It is not possible to add more resources to a VPS, it is not scalable and that is definitely not good for a website with constantly increasing amount of users. If a PTC site owner have purchased a VPS with 1 Gb of RAM and want to upgrade it to, say, 4 Gb after some time due to increased site traffic, then another migration is needed, along with another VPS setup process and script installation, another downtime and another profit loss.
The major disadvantage of traditional VPS hosting is that it is not suitable for a fast growing project, like a PTC website. Running a PTC site on a single VPS means problems because of server upgrades, downtimes and loss of profits and trust of site members. To avoid server migrations you will have to spend a lot of money for expensive server from the very beginning, when you don't actually need it, because the site traffic is very low. And even expensive VPS does not guarantee that you will never need a server upgrade.
Another VPS disadvantage is that it is just a single server, therefore, it is unreliable. A single server becomes a single point of failure. Uptime will never be 100% with a VPS server, because any hardware/software problem or server software update means downtime. Sometimes downtimes happen suddenly, and if a site disappears without a prior notification it is not good for a PTC website reputation at all.
In contrast, cloud hosting is flexible and scalable. The "cloud" means that websites are spread over many servers. This servers infrastructure can be automatically scaled if needed, by adding more servers. In case of traffic increase more servers can be added, and servers can be removed if traffic decreases. All this happen transparently for a hosted application/website and usually does not requires much reconfiguration. There is no any website downtime or server migration at all. So, a PTC owner hosted on the cloud can "start small" and pay just like for a regular shared hosting. But it is possible to add more and more power to a hosting plan at any time and no migration/downtime is needed. In short, with cloud hosting you pay only for resources you really use and need, not more, not less. It is called "pay as you go" concept.
The real advantage of a cloud hosting is the possibility to build a scalable servers infrastructure, which can handle any load, just like Facebook, Twitter or Google do. In fact, these days any big Internet company uses cloud technology. It allows them to easily handle millions of hits per day with well designed servers infrastructure. For example, it is possible to simply clone a configured server as many times as needed, resulting in ability to handle more traffic.
Cloud hosting is far more reliable than a single VPS or dedicated server: if any hardware fails, hosted sites are not affected at all. In this case requests are seamlessly routed around the troublesome server and are served by "healthy" containers on other hardware servers.
The only disadvantage of the cloud servers infrastructure is the setup process. It is not easy, takes a lot of time and requires professional server administrators. There are many public clouds like Amazon Wed Services and Rackspace Cloud Servers, but it is not possible to run a website there without appropriate technical knowledge. The sell "raw" cloud servers which should be configured before any website hosting.
The only way to avoid complex configuration process and get most of cloud hosting advantages is to use services of company that provides easy cloud adoption. EasyCloud is such a company, and it was created to help people to use cloud hosting without any technical knowledge. We provide completely managed cloud hosting solution. Our clients do not even need a control panel as everything is managed by our team. It is much easier than any regular cPanel host. There is no need in technical knowledge at all. We offer 100% free PTC script installation: all you have to do is just provide us with the script files. We do initial setup and provide on demand management of hosted websites. You simply email us about the things you need to be done and we do it. We setup FTP accounts and domain names parking, create subdomains, setup cron jobs. For all of our clients we setup our backup system. We provide our clients with FTPS access to website files and with full access to MySQL database via phpMyAdmin. Also, we provide database export/import as the need arises. Our company name perfectly describes what we do, it is really easy cloud hosting solution.
Our cloud system is built on top on Rackspace Cloud Servers and we provide fully managed cloud hosting for PTC and any other type of websites, along with free DDoS protection. We have developed zero downtime cloud architecture which guarantees 100% uptime to websites hosted at EasyCloud.
You may think of our cloud system this way: it is like purchasing a dedicated server with unlimited resources, but you use just a little slice of this unlimited server, and pay only for that slice. You can expand your slice whenever you want. You can add as much resources as needed, without any downtime or other service interruption. "Slice" re-sizing is completely transparent for our customers and installed scripts.
Even if you sign up for our Basic Cloud plan for $6/month, you may consider it as purchasing a slice at unlimited dedicated server but paying only for resources you actually use. It is nice to know that you may start small and have the power of many servers when you need it.
The bottom line: you save money with us and receive a stable and successful PTC website.