Why are you still using shared hosting?

Why am I posting this?

This post first started brewing when users posted screenshots such as the two below showing hundreds of updates being done after WordPress 5.7 was released. These posts were followed by others wondering how they could process so many updates at once since their updates timeout after a certain amount.

400TotalUpdates

While I can’t guarantee it, I have a VERY strong suspicion their Dashboards are not on shared hosting.

This does not mean your Dashboard can’t be on shared hosting, but if you start getting into the 50+ updates at once, you can run into time-outs and bottlenecks.

We’ve seen almost every issue before

The MainWP plugin is pretty mature at this point, and there are not too many support issues we haven’t seen before. Most issues fall into 3 categories:

  1. Underperforming server (what this post is about)
  2. Security rule blocking requests from Dashboard to Child
  3. Expired or misconfigured SSL cert on a child site

Cloud Servers in 2021

It’s 2021, and there is absolutely no reason to remain on shared hosting! The price for cloud hosting rivals that of most shared hosts. As of this writing, you can get a Cloud Provider, no sponsor links.

Vultr: $10 a month for 2GB
Digital Ocean: $5 a month for 1 GB
UpCloud: $5 a month for 1GB (Upcloud is our pick)

Those are pretty low prices! And, all those resources are YOURS not shared.

If you are nervous about moving to a Cloud Provider since it’s different than the shared service you’re used to using, few companies help bridge that gap, no sponsor links.

GridPane (This is who we use)
RunCloud
Cloudways

All three offer the type of service you are accustomed to from a shared host, with better-trained support staff.

We’ve used all three, and currently, we’re on GridPane since we want more control over the servers but still are not comfortable enough to go out on our own. If you want more of a “hand-holding” experience, go with CloudWays.

PHP Worker Tax

Now that we have pricing out of the way, it’s time to talk about "PHP Worker Tax"

Most shared servers are more likely oversold, causing underperformance of what you were promised when you bought. This is the main cause of most Dashboard issues especially failed updates or timeouts.

No matter how many GBs your shared service says you are getting, you are more than likely paying a “PHP Worker Tax.”

This selection from GridPane gives a basic overview of the Worker tax:

"Depending on your hosting experiences in the past, you may have come across the PHP Worker Tax. That conversation usually goes something like this (minus the sarcasm):

Oh, your website is slow and completely unreliable when you have a few people trying to checkout at the same time? You need more PHP workers! Upgrade to our 60 site plan, even though you only host 8 websites…

This is the PHP worker tax.

Most managed hosting companies have rigid, container based hosting plans that can be great for your average brochure style website, but for any dynamic website with lots of cache bypassing traffic, PHP worker restrictions on these types of plans can quickly become a costly pain point.

As you grow your own hosting business and host bigger and more complex websites, it’s important to have a fundamental understanding of what PHP workers are, and how they will affect your websites performance."

For a deeper dive into PHP Worker check out PHP Workers and WordPress: A Guide for Better Performance | GridPane

I recommend switching your Dashboard from shared hosting to a cloud service as soon as possible and experience the real power of your MainWP Dashboard!

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A number of hosts provided very low PHP worker levels. It is crazy not to use a host which provides a decent amount of PHP sized based on the provided RAM on the server.

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I had a lot of issues using shared hosting when I first started using MainWP. But as soon as I moved my management site to a VPS, everything changed. I set it up with enough resources and settings to make sure everything works flawlessly. Now I can run anything from a few hundred updates at once without any issues.

It’s also great that I have dedicated IP’s, which I usually whitelist on a clients server so there is never any issues with it being blocked. In saying that, one thing I always try and do is bring the clients website to one of my servers, so if there is any issues, I don’t have to wait around for a third party customer support, or have messages passed back and forth from the clients host and the client.

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That top post (with 400 updates) is mine, and you are correct. I am on a VPS, and it handles 400 updates with ease. I told my wife when I made that post that I would probably stop hosting sites without this plugin. There are at least a few updates almost every single day, and some days - as you see - up to 400.

My VPS currently has 142 sites on it, 130 of them WordPress. The day it had 400 updates - it took less than 10 minutes. I think it might have missed 8-10 updates? A 2nd click cleaned those up and I was done.
My VPS is ~895 annually (negotiated off the advertised price).

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Thanks for verifying that @daveb444 and thanks for the additional stats!

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Great advice. I use a 1Gb Vultr instance for 40 sites and it works great. I like that I can easily scale up to 2Gb as needed. It works great and is far better than when I had it on shared hosting with other sites. I also don’t worry about using most of the resources with a sync or updates affecting any other sites. Definitely worth the cost to have the resources all to Main WP.

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I missed that they still offer 1GB under 1024 MB :grimacing:

I love Interserver. You can upgrade as you need to, on the fly, as your client base grows. I often start a server with just 30GB for $6/month, and as I add more clients I go in and upgrade to add “slices”. :slight_smile: I have full control, although I set up everything once I order the VPS (which is delivered almost instantly). I install WHM and cPanel and start dropping clients onto it. :slight_smile: All of my servers match as far as settings, only differing by resources. I’m also careful to move high traffic sites and low-traffic sites to be blended, so there aren’t too many high-traffic sites on any one server. :slight_smile:

https://www.interserver.net/vps/wordpress.html

Not all shared hosting is equal. I stay away from any owned by EIG for starters.

I moved off of reseller hosting onto a Ramnode VPS on which I installed Virtualmin. This has worked well, but I end up doing a bit more admin work. I also host some email, and non-WP software such as shoutcast.

Recently, Ramnode has begun offering decent shared hosting. I am testing it, and May move some sites there, but will always keep MainWP on the VPS.

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EIG hosts are dire you really do get what you pay for when it comes to those web brands.

I am currently still running on a shared hosting plan, and this post has convinced me (along with other issues with my current host) that I need to consider something else, like cloud hosting. I am trying to figure out what my actual needs are though, and am wondering if anyone could help advise me.

I am currently running about 15 WordPress sites, but none are seeing a ton of traffic (right now, anyway). I can see that number growing to 20-25 max in the coming years. I come from a technical background (web development, systems administration, network administration) but do not want to spend the time managing a web server (nor do I have the time really). Any advice or thoughts is greatly appreciated. I know I will end up spending more than I do now, but the better performance, uptime, security, etc I know will be more than worth it. Thanks in advance for any thoughts or advice!

This is a very timely post for me. I currently have a dedicated server with Liquid Web and host approximately 150 client websites. It’s basically a shared hosting platform for my clients, but since the box is mine, I’m able to maintain far greater control over things.

Of the 150 hosted websites 60% are WordPress. The remaining 40% utilize a proprietary PHP-based CMS that I developed circa 2005… long before WordPress was a suitable alternative.

Now, I’m actively reviewing my cloud-based hosting options because I feel terribly exposed to the constant threat of hacking. It’s simply relentless. :frowning: One of my clients recently had a serious hack that damn near wiped me out completely. It was only after a solid week of damage control that I was able to save the server and my business. Somehow the hacker had gained access to EVERY SINGLE HOSTING ACCOUNT on the server through one simple exploit on this one hosting account. Yikes.

In the long-term, I plan on slowly converting the 40% over to the WordPress platform as an upsell to my existing clients. For those who don’t convert, I will transition them to an alternate individual hosting platform. However, for now, the reality is that I can’t just flip a switch and convert 60 accounts to WordPress. And, I certainly can’t just abandon these non-WordPress clients.

So, my challenge is trying to identify a hosting solution that allows for WordPress hosting management AND regular (legacy) PHP/HTML hosting accounts. I’m really struggling with finding the right solution for this need.

Does anyone else have any insight into this?

Also, here’s a good (and current) article that I found while researching the speed of some of the “Cloud-Based” solutions out there. It’s an interesting read: 9 Fastest WordPress Hosting Services 2021 (Out of 16 Hosts)

Thanks,

~Mike.

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