Should I Get a Dedicated Server?

24 replies
I have a site that when i check google webmaster tools, says is 74% slower than other sites. The site is fairly large (about 250 pages) and gets about 2000 visitors a day.

I tried to enable gzip compression on my pages, but my host does not allow access to .htaccess, so i cant change it and neither will they.

I guess my question is should i get a dedicated server for this site, and will it help with the sites speed?

Thanks.

Rob
#dedicated #server
  • Profile picture of the author poweraff
    Hello,

    a Small VPS is Great for this
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    • Profile picture of the author rvrabel2002
      Originally Posted by ablehosting View Post

      Hello,

      a Small VPS is Great for this
      I don't suppose you can recommend one, can you?

      No but for real, will this help improve my sites speed? Would i be able to enable gzip compression, or will it depend on whether or not the host allows it?
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      • Profile picture of the author lordspace
        Originally Posted by rvrabel2002 View Post

        I don't suppose you can recommend one, can you?

        ...
        I tried to enable gzip compression on my pages, but my host does not allow access to .htaccess, so i cant change it and neither will they.
        ...
        I've tried 2 VPS providers.
        Slicehost (~1y) & Linode (since Feb).

        Both a pretty good however I get more RAM with Linode which I am currently using for my sites.

        Regarding the .htaccess you don't need access to the main .htaccess.

        What happens if you create .htaccess, does it give you 500 internal error ?

        Here is what I have in my .htaccess.

        Code:
        Options -Indexes
        DirectoryIndex index.php
        
        # credits: http://betterexplained.com/articles/how-to-optimize-your-site-with-gzip-compression/
        # compress text, html, javascript, css, xml:
        AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
        AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
        AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
        AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
        AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/javascript
        AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
        AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
        AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/atom+xml
        AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
        AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rdf+xml
        AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
        AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript
        
        # Error handlers
        ErrorDocument 404 index.php?error=404
        ErrorDocument 403 index.php?error=403
        ErrorDocument 500 index.php?error=500
        ErrorDocument 503 index.php?error=503
        
        # Let's restrict access to certain file ext (just in case).
        # sometimes the php creates .log files at the same level as the script so the log file could be accessed
        <FilesMatch ".(ini|log|csv|xml|tab|txt|zip|psd|crt|key|csr|git|rar|zip|doc|mm|svn)$">
            deny from all
        </FilesMatch>

        Also you didn't mention if it is a Wordpress site. If so have you installed supercache or w3total cache plugins ?
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        Are you using WordPress? Have you tried qSandbox yet?

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  • Profile picture of the author stma
    liquidweb and wiredtree would both be great places to start. Wiredtree is smaller, and they've had some growing pains lately. However, it's minor stuff. If you ignore the problems they had recently I wouldn't hesitate to recommend. (dns attacks and power failure a couple months ago that caused problems for a week)

    liquid web is about 100 for a vps.

    Wiredtree is about 50 for a vps.

    There are budget vps providers - but it's really a case of you get what you pay for. Budget vps's have bigger problems.
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  • Profile picture of the author poweraff
    Hello,

    I highly recommend you to visit WebHostingTalk Forum for the web hosting requirements, they will help you to choose the best choice for you, you can find anything related to the web hosting there, Offers etc...
    make sure to signup with a reputed company
    Best Regards,
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  • Profile picture of the author caesargus
    Originally Posted by rvrabel2002 View Post

    I have a site that when i check google webmaster tools, says is 74% slower than other sites. The site is fairly large (about 250 pages) and gets about 2000 visitors a day.

    I tried to enable gzip compression on my pages, but my host does not allow access to .htaccess, so i cant change it and neither will they.

    I guess my question is should i get a dedicated server for this site, and will it help with the sites speed?

    Thanks.

    Rob
    Hey Rob,

    Try doing the following first:
    A lot of websites host things like images and other items like movies. That is the part that causes the slow down. So what I would recommend is using a Content Distribution Network - Amazon S3, for instance would help offload a lot of the content onto the server, allowing the images and movies to be hosted on a server that is closer to the user (since the content is distributed, they can pick out the servers that are closer)

    Check out a plugin - Firebug and YSlow (works with Firebug) Extensions for Firefox, and they will provide suggestions on how you can make your site faster when you run the analysis report on it (which would just opening firebug, open the YSlow tab, and bring up your website)
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  • Profile picture of the author rvrabel2002
    Thanks for all of your suggestions. The bottom line is, I want my site to be faster, and will pay accordingly. But, will getting a VPS increase my sites speed? I have several other urls that i have hosted on the site, and they all seem to be operating fine. I have changed the image sizes to be alot smaller than before, but would like to use gzip compression, as i know it will substantially reduce size.

    Choosing a VPS is a big deal for me, because about 4 years ago I had one with Go Daddy and it was a complete nightmare. Promised myself I would never do that again, but I almost feel like i have to now.
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  • Profile picture of the author kjhosein
    So VPS is one of those terms that can mean so many different things, so you have to be careful when using it or reading it.

    If you can do the sys admin yourself (or hire someone), a great option is to use a host that uses Xen (or other) virtualization. Although your 'virtual server' is actually only part of (or a slice of) a real physical server, you would never know from using it. These actually start pretty cheap (~$20/mo) and one nice benefit is the ability to scale it up with a few clicks and little downtime.

    A couple of examples include Linode, Slicehost, VPS.net, and Rackspace cloud.

    HTH!
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  • Profile picture of the author phpbbxpert
    While adding more power to the site, eg. RAM, processor power through VPS or Dedicated hosting will be an improvement. You first need to find out what is going on with your site on it's current hosting.

    Is it traffic, or is it the site itself using to many resources through http requests and script processing.

    You need to do some bench marking with the tools mentioned above in another post
    "Firebug and YSlow (works with Firebug) Extensions for Firefox"

    And find out where your resources are going. I would also recommend checking database queries.
    To many queries on page load will significantly cost you in speed.

    How is the markup? Is it valid?
    Invalid HTML will force browsers into quirks mode and cause the browser to do more work to display your site, in turn taking more time to load it.

    The point is, there are a large number of factors that effect speed and efficiency.
    You need to do some analysis and find what the actual cause is before throwing money at hosting.

    If everything actually checks out OK, then upgrade your hosting.

    NOTE: if the site is PHP you can use PHP to enable GZip for the PHP but this will use more processor. I would look into other possible issues first.
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  • Profile picture of the author marcellarhughes
    dedicated for high traffic.. if it will take a while for the traffic to increase, you can use a shared server to save money.. but pay attention to the traffic if you do.. you can often switch your hosting plan to dedicated and your host will move your files for you.


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  • Profile picture of the author Shirlyn
    Dedicated server is a great means to host any website for security and reliability and it would be really great to opt a dedicated server for hosting a website.
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  • Profile picture of the author Richard Pickett
    Originally Posted by rvrabel2002 View Post

    I have a site that when i check google webmaster tools, says is 74% slower than other sites. The site is fairly large (about 250 pages) and gets about 2000 visitors a day.

    I tried to enable gzip compression on my pages, but my host does not allow access to .htaccess, so i cant change it and neither will they.

    I guess my question is should i get a dedicated server for this site, and will it help with the sites speed?

    Thanks.

    Rob
    You using wordpress? if "yes", there are optimizations you need to do w/ your plugins and caching. I can help you if you need.

    Also, if you want to go with a VPS and are looking for an admin help you make that transition, I run several server farms (one in the pentagon) and do this sort of stuff all the time.

    PM me if you need help.
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  • Profile picture of the author seopress
    Originally Posted by rvrabel2002 View Post

    I have a site that when i check google webmaster tools, says is 74% slower than other sites. The site is fairly large (about 250 pages) and gets about 2000 visitors a day.

    I tried to enable gzip compression on my pages, but my host does not allow access to .htaccess, so i cant change it and neither will they.

    I guess my question is should i get a dedicated server for this site, and will it help with the sites speed?

    Thanks.

    Rob
    I can't imagine that a dedicated box is required for a site like this. But you shouldn't put up with not having access to .htacess

    Have you run diagnostics on the site. The new page speed online tool from Google is handy - it doesn't require any browser plugin.

    I think you may find that just moving to a decent shared host will allow you to better address the real cause of your problem - which might be that you could better configure your files, or it could just be that you are stuck with a really cruddy host.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steadyon
    Are there any industry guidelines about when it is worth moving to a dedicated machine?

    In other words, x number of visitors a day, or x number of page requests etc...

    I know this can be tricky as it can depend on the content of a site, such as images, video or just plain html.

    But any suggestions re timing a move to a dedicated server? Or is the next jump a VPS and then later a dedicated if necessary?

    (Obvious if money was no problem people would just start off with managed dedicated servers, but 99.9% or more, probably start on share hosting.)


    Thanks.
    Sam
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    • Profile picture of the author jminkler
      Originally Posted by Steadyon View Post

      Are there any industry guidelines about when it is worth moving to a dedicated machine?

      In other words, x number of visitors a day, or x number of page requests etc...

      I know this can be tricky as it can depend on the content of a site, such as images, video or just plain html.

      But any suggestions re timing a move to a dedicated server? Or is the next jump a VPS and then later a dedicated if necessary?

      (Obvious if money was no problem people would just start off with managed dedicated servers, but 99.9% or more, probably start on share hosting.)


      Thanks.
      Sam
      I have more than a handful of sites on shared hosting, and have 0 problems. Google says sites are faster than most etc.

      Usually it's not the servers but the code (usually poorly written plugins, or wordpress) that is the problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author creed1994
    if you are not sure i guess i have a spare dedicated server you can try it free i dont use it anymore
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    • Profile picture of the author Steadyon
      Originally Posted by creed1994 View Post

      if you are not sure i guess i have a spare dedicated server you can try it free i dont use it anymore


      That sounds great!

      Do you want me to send you all of my bank account details and passwords as well.

      Why don't I believe you? First post and you are offering a free dedicated server you don't use any more...

      Go and hand out sweets to children you mong.
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      • Profile picture of the author Richard Pickett
        Originally Posted by Steadyon View Post

        That sounds great!

        Do you want me to send you all of my bank account details and passwords as well.

        Why don't I believe you? First post and you are offering a free dedicated server you don't use any more...

        Go and hand out sweets to children you mong.
        Glad you figured him out, I was just going to post a reply and then I saw yours.

        Awesome!
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  • Profile picture of the author jminkler
    Originally Posted by rvrabel2002 View Post

    I have a site that when i check google webmaster tools, says is 74% slower than other sites. The site is fairly large (about 250 pages) and gets about 2000 visitors a day.

    I tried to enable gzip compression on my pages, but my host does not allow access to .htaccess, so i cant change it and neither will they.

    I guess my question is should i get a dedicated server for this site, and will it help with the sites speed?

    Thanks.

    Rob
    You shouldnt need a dedicated server for this amount of traffic. What are you running? Wordpress? other?

    A dedicated server won't help as much as optimizing the pages and the code that it is running.

    If after optimization, it is still running slow, it could just be the host. (not allowing to change the .htaccess is really unacceptable so sounds like its a subpar host to begin with)

    Where are you hosted? What language? What platform etc? url?
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  • Profile picture of the author alexacc
    If your site on shared hosting - you can try any FreeBsd/Linux VPS with minimum 256Mb. (512Mb much better).
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    • Profile picture of the author xtrecoolx
      Dedicated server is way too powerful for you and definitely harder to main.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rovi
        If you are looking into vps, I have been very happy with mediatemple.

        Here's an excellent article on optimizing your site/wp blog for speed: How to Improve Website Load Times

        Cheers!
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  • Profile picture of the author TG12
    Work on your code base first. Make sure that the programming is the most efficient it can be. This is what most people (Amateurs) overlook. I see it all the time. I suppose sloppy programming drives Server sales so I cant complain really Most people can do the same job with a server half the spec if they just tightened up on the programming side.
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