Patterico's Pontifications

10/15/2008

Bleg re Hosting

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:58 am



I have to investigate options for hosting, and with family in town and a day job, my time to research is limited. I’m hoping you can help.

What hosting sites do you folks recommend (do not recommend Hosting Matters)? Given the current traffic the site is experiencing, and the fact that it will almost certainly fall off after the election, what should I expect to spend per month?

Keep in mind that I don’t understand virtually anything about technology, so your answers will have to be as if you were speaking to a complete layman.

Also, if anyone has suggestions for advertising, please let me know that as well. For whatever reason, Blogads has become far less effective at drawing advertisers, at least for me — I made much more during the 2004 election than I’m making now, although my traffic is multiple times what it was then. Pajamas Media does not appear to be signing anyone up at this time. Without significant advertising, I’m looking at the site being a losing proposition that I can’t afford. I may end up having to go back to Blogspot, as I’m not a bottomless pit of money.

In theory, this should be a good problem to have. But I feel guilty toward you, the reader, who has been putting up with problems at the site for weeks. I believe that is my fault: the traffic here has exploded (as it has everywhere) and I wasn’t prepared for it and didn’t take the bull by the horns when there were problems. I’m trying to do that now, but my time is very limited, so your input will be helpful.

If there is anyone among the readership who knows about these matters and would be willing to “hold my hand” through the process of seeking a new host and moving, that would also be greatly appreciated. But any suggestions are welcome.

This is not a bleg for money, by the way. I just want information.

39 Responses to “Bleg re Hosting”

  1. I can only add in my past experience regarding ad sales in general – it doesn’t follow that PJM is not bringing in exponentially more revenue as your traffic numbers have expanded. Do they give you a small percentage of all of the ad revenue that’s spread around their entire network, or are you compensated individually? If this is confidential information, then I completely understand, but it would help to see the big picture on this front.

    BTW, I would gladly contribute to keep your operations going – no one wants to see you laboring under a financial cloud.

    Dmac (cc81d9)

  2. I am not signed up with PJM, but rather with Blogads.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  3. To be clear; I would *like* to be signed up with PJM, but it hasn’t happened. I spoke with them, but it appears they’re not taking new people — or if they are, it’s a slow process. Either way, it hasn’t happened, and I can’t count on it.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  4. Patterico – If PJM is too stooopid to have you on board …

    That is all I have. I have no knowledge of the information that you seek. FWIW, a mobile version with just text, links and comments would be awesome.

    JD (f7900a)

  5. Since you’re using WordPress it would seem should be easy to migrate to Typepad and that platform is sufficiently scalable + load distributed such that you’ll have other folks alongside to complain & adequate resources behind – in this space no less – if there are adverse performance hits (that would affect everybody). Unfortunately even the best hosting companies can tend to fail at even the simplest of things i.e. even hosting images, etc.. Similar could be said of a SixApart partner & that may be a good list to investigate. But my guess is that you’ll receive a lot more disclaimers than recommendations you can truly rely on (Caveat Emptor) i.e. I could tell you lots of ones that don’t work well vs. any that do (preciseNews is all self-hosted with in house servers etc., etc.). re advertising … 2004 was much better economy and advertising is always the first corp. expenditures to go during downturns and the whole space at large is economically sensitive.

    Steven W. (ffe8fd)

  6. I love Dreamhost. Check them out. They provide an almost unbelievable amount of resources for a price so reasonable it might as well be free.

    Disclaimer: I get a discount if you sign up through the above link. I would recommend them without hesitation regardless, however. 😉

    BNJ (e1defa)

  7. I have used http://www.xisto.com/ for some time, and am very satisfied with their service. However, my statistics do not remotely approach yours.

    Xisto is an interesting example of the “flat world.” The owners and personnel are in India; their servers are in Los Angeles. That keeps personnel costs down and hardware state-of-the-art.

    I have sent an email directing them to your request.

    docduke (97e102)

  8. Sorry about that – I misunderstood the orginal question regarding the hosting services – wish I knew someone at PJM to help here.

    Dmac (cc81d9)

  9. See PowerLine. They just yesterday switched to what seems to be a very robust platform, and give several details.

    gp (72be5d)

  10. Patterico: according to Seqouia Capital’s gloom-and-doom powerpoint slide show, advertising is down across the board as opposed to 2004.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  11. Sorry about your continuing host problems.

    Maybe PJMers Amy Alkon or Bill Bradley would put in a good word for you.

    Bradley J. Fikes (0ea407)

  12. Talk with the folks at powerline. they have a sweet setup – they posted about it today. Maybe you could reach some kind of conservatives-helping-conservatives co-hosting arrangement.

    – mike

    mike b (fe8d0f)

  13. May I suggest something that is a bit out of the box as far as advertising goes? If I had your traffic, here is what I would do. My parents have made quite a bit of money in advertising by allowing the advertisers to create content on their equine site. For your site, there are many bloggers who read you who are quite envious of your traffic and I believe would be more then happy to pay a fee to have one of their posts posted. You can do what Perez Hilton does, He will post, then he will highlight advertising posts in yellow above his every once in a while. The best types of advertisements are those that are unobtrusive and informative that fit in with your format. Everyone has a bunch of ads on the side of their blogs, but those things are messy and not that effective. Whatever type of advertising you do I would make it content based and I would charge more but have less ads. Thats my take.

    Nancy (fc83d1)

  14. Hosting: OLM

    http://www.olm.net/

    Very dependable. Know what your current bandwidth demands have been lately and have them on hand.

    Google Ads:

    https://www.google.com/adsense

    Doubleclick:

    http://www.doubleclick.com/index.aspx

    Pointroll:

    http://www.pointroll.com/for-publishers.aspx

    Amazon affiliate program:

    https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/

    And I’ll get my consulting invoice out to you today…

    ha.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  15. Hmmmm.

    Well your main page is 100k in size and that’s usually the primary entry page. You’ve got about 750,000 page hits, assuming worst case.

    So that’s about 75Gb in monthly bandwidth.

    Assume 30 days in a month and 75Gb monthly bandwidth and you’ve got about 2.5Gb per day and 25,000 page views per day.

    Well. I’d consider MedaTemple.net as an option.

    Cons:
    I haven’t personally worked with them. Though they seem to have a very nice setup, particularly their Grid service which should be helpful if you get Instalanched or linked by Drudge.

    Essentially a Grid system caches a heavily visited webpage across multiple servers and allows each server to separately serve up that webpage(s) in case of a large number of visitors.

    Pros:
    1. $20-$50 a month for 1Tb (1,000Gb) of bandwidth.
    2. Their Grid service, which is included.
    3. Relative simplicity in upgrading if necessary.
    4. 100Gb disk space.

    All in all they do look pretty good. But I have to point out again that I haven’t hosted a site on them. My advice is to contact them and ask for contact information about an existing blog that has similar stats to yours. This way you’ve got someone to ask questions of that is already being hosted by MediaTemple.net and that could help in making a decision or in migrating.

    Hope this helps.

    memomachine (6ab657)

  16. Hmmm.

    *shrug* they certainly do have a relatively impressive client list.

    http://www.mediatemple.net/company/clients/

    Starbucks
    VW
    ABC
    Time Inc.
    Sony
    Toyota
    Adobe
    WB
    NBC Universal

    So they’re not some crappy servers in a guy’s basement.

    memomachine (6ab657)

  17. I am every bit as technology challenged as you are; but would happily kick in a few bucks to help keep this site open.

    Barsinister (a2cff1)

  18. Talk to the folks at obama.com and see if they are willing to share the server wealth with you.

    kaf (16e0b5)

  19. Hmmm, my wife, the lovely Mrs. EW1, has recently switched us to bluehost (http://www.bluehost.com) from HM (primarily for reliability reasons) and so far seems happy with it.

    EW1(SG) (da07da)

  20. Just sent you a semi-lengthy e-mail about these issues, so as not to get too inside-y about them here.

    Karl (f07e38)

  21. My site is hosted by Ipowerweb. They have wordpress as an addon and my sites cost less than 10 bucks a month with a lot of storage and depending on the service unlimited band width.

    http://www.ipowerweb.com is their site. I think they will even move your site for you if you pay them.

    John

    John Beane (5dc669)

  22. Patterico – Speaking only for myself, I wouldn’t mind some advertising that had pictures of hot chicks in it, maybe in skimpy clothes. I’m easy to please that way.

    Thanks.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  23. Maybe you could share the LA Times’ servers.

    Kevin (805c5b)

  24. Karl, Anything that you can post that’s insidey might be interesting to some of us. If you care to do that.

    PC14 (82e46c)

  25. PC14,

    Sorry to disappoint, but none of it is really “insidey” in the sense of going behind the curtain of blog advertising. It was “insidey” in the sense of being mostly unique to Patterico.

    My e-mail contained one hosting suggestion that I think might be a good fit for Patterico, but which I don’t feel comfy mentioning because I’m not sure how much I’m supposed to know about it, and don’t want to put anyone on the spot.

    It also contained a number of suggestions, large and small, that might help Patterico’s ad situation specifically. I’m not making those public because I want to give Pat maximum freedom to accept or reject them on his own terms.

    Karl (f07e38)

  26. I’ve been using 1 and 1 for almost 4 years (February)… I haven’t had problems and the fees are quite affordable. Go with the Linux not the Microsoft though.

    kimsch (2ce939)

  27. What #17 said. Absolutely.

    Old Coot (b63ab3)

  28. I switched hosts 13 months ago to 1&1
    http://1&1.com

    It’s an excellent service with virtually no downtime at all. They are an international company but their U.S. servers are in a huge facility out in the prairie, Nebraska I think. Staffed by people who really know what they’re doing and VERY responsive customer service, especially if you think you’re having a problem.

    I use WordPress too. They are geared for it. If you don’t have a dedicated server, then the price is very low, around $10 a month for what you probably need. Since you don’t store images or videos, you don’t need a whole lot of space. Their dedicated servers start at $29 month.

    As for switching over from one host to another, just spend the bucks to have a geek do it for you. He can transfer your entire archives over with everything else in an hour. No problem for someone who knows that kind of stuff. I’m a digital dunce myself, so I didn’t even try. There are plenty of people around who can do it for you.

    I strongly recommend 1&1.
    Bill Schumm
    Firegeezer

    Bill Schumm (610e0b)

  29. Forget doubleclick despite Peter’s recommendation. It loads spyware on everyone’s computer (unless they’ve changed recently, but I doubt that).

    I’m not a web developer, so I can’t give you specific hosting advice. But I will say this: a prominent blogger’s site showed an error message and it mentioned Access. That’s ridiculous – use SQL Server for your back end instead. (Oracle would be overkill in this context.)

    Psyberian (37b2ae)

  30. Just a note to say that I’ve had NO problem getting in tonight during the debate.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  31. I have no idea, but instead though I’d hijack this thread just to say hi. Keep up the great blogging Patterico. :-)

    Nothing much going on at confirmthem these days. But if McCain pulls off a miracle, then we’ll be back in business!

    Andrew (3b0903)

  32. Peter has nailed the important point: it is not a question of visits or page hits, but of bandwidth. That’s how web providers determine their package prices.

    Patterico, the tools to determine one’s monthly, weekly, and yearly bandwidth are available for pretty much everyone who pays for hosting. It’s just a case of logging into your site’s cpanel page; then point and click.

    However, for the non-web-savvy, your current website provider can easily give you the necessary statistics. Just ask for records of your bandwidth usage by the week, month, and year (your preference), and they should be able to whip them out in a jiff. Once you have that data, you will be able to make solid comparisons.

    I use Verve myself, and their pricing ranges from 10GB/month ($5.95) to 20GB/month ($9.95) up to 30GB/month ($19.95). Just a “for instance.”

    You may want to check in how much disk space you use (again, data easily obtainable from your current provider), but usually if the bandwidth is acceptable, then the disk space allowed follows.

    Casey (9ee427)

  33. Here’s some advice. Don’t worry about traffic growth. November 4, your traffic is going to drop severely.

    justaformerreader (d084ad)

  34. Comment by justaformerreader — 10/15/2008 @ 10:07 pm

    Wow. Even your “Information, please!” posts get trolls….

    Foxfier (15ac79)

  35. I have been using text link ads and like it, even though I get a tiny amount of traffic compared to you. I’ve been wanting to try adbrite, but you also seem to be a prime candidate for Federated Media.

    darleene (ac2b4c)

  36. November 4, your traffic is going to drop severely.

    I wish I had demonstrated in the post that I know that.

    Oh, wait. I did.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  37. Check out Blue Host or Dreamhost.

    At worst, consider moving to a WordPress.com site.

    William Teach (e36bd3)

  38. What about the hot chicks?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  39. The true drop-off in traffic here will occur when the Dog Trainer chains its’ doors…

    Oh Happy Day!

    Another Drew (6ac001)


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