My BuddyPress Hosting Recommendation
Hi BuddyPress Community,
Just wanted to let you know that I’ve written an fairly extensive hosting guide for those wanting to learn more about which webhost to pick. It does not review individual providers but gives you a good overview of the available hosting types available, so you can make a better decision. You can read the guide here: bp-tricks.com/buddypress-hosting
I hope this is useful for some of you 🙂
that’s a great article your blog looks nice as well. i think i’d probably agree with your conclusion but i am curious if you have encountered the issue over there where they are counting about 8 to 10 times the number of visitors GA reports (i believe due to faulty counting methods) it’s definitely giving me pause to refer any more business to them at least until the issue is resolved.
Thanks Ben! I never really look at my GA in great detail, but I do know that GA does not count visitors who have JS disabled. These visitors are usually bots. It could be that your site is being heavily targeted by bots/spammers which causes a lot of pageviews. On BP-Tricks I use CloudFlare (free) that blocks a lot of these threads and bots, which should save a lot of requests. 8 to 10 times as much hits is pretty crazy though, have you ever contacted support about this?
I’m reading this right now: http://wpengine.com/2012/04/visitors/.
Especially this point might explain a lot:
If a robot scans 20,000 pages over the course of a month, that’s not just one visit. It shouldn’t be 20,000 visits, but neither should it be 1. Something in the range of 100-1,000 visits is acceptable.
It’s a tricky subject for sure. But to me it has not been an issue yet.
yeah i have basically proved that statement to be incorrect so like i say i’m hoping to resolve this and i will surely keep you posted but i would also pretty much assure you that if you compared your visitor counts today you would see the exact difference i’m talking about i have already confirmed it on two accounts i control and with another buddy who’s client got a nasty shock on their bill i guess.
It really does depend on the site and how large it is. I have one (closed) site just for me and afew friends (a legacy-facebook experience before they started opening up), and hostgator shared hosting works really well for it.
Anything larger though (and anything open to the public) and you will want to upgrade.
Just thought I’d add this, since not everyone needs/wants a large site.
Thanks for adding that Chris. Personally I’d never go with shared hosting, but maybe there are exceptions to the rule. If you ever want to share your experiences in more details I’d love to cover it on BP-Tricks!
so like i say i’m hoping to resolve this and i will surely keep you posted
Any update on this!
Nothing good yet but they do seem to be taking the matter seriously (as one should expect) supposed to speak with them again today in fact. They have provided a few suggestions but none of them has done the trick (CDN, custom robots file) The last suggestion was a bit wanting IMO they suggested using a third party service to filter our traffic. If this truly is a system wide issue i’d think that they need to revise either their stated billing policy or their method of counting visitors. Just curious are you also experiencing this issue?
No as i’m hosted elsewhere.
Just researching potential managed hosts and trying to decipher reviews from affiliate marketing.
indeed, something tells me that this maybe a common problem amongst the managed wordpress hosts (pure conjecture nothing really to back that up) as they all charged based on visitors. i can say that the service itself has been great and having actual phone support as well as the fact that you don’t have to explain how wordpress works or what buddypress is every time you call in or start a ticket is very nice. there are a few quirks to the system that take a little getting used to but if it weren’t for this one issue i would have no hesitation to fully endorse them. anyway i’ll definitely update the thread once i have some kind of final resolution.
I haven’t experienced the bot / inflated visitor count issue on WP Engine, but I’ll keep an eye out for it. I currently have 2 large sites hosted there. I find WP Engine good for clients who don’t have much in house IT savvy.
If you’re looking to support a smaller shop and get more personalized support, I’ve enjoyed doing business with The Temple Host. I email them at support at thetemplehost dot com with the specs of the client project I’m working on and they always set me up with just the right amount of hosting. Prices don’t ballon each year. Great uptime. So refreshing. Heard about them through a friend. I think word of mouth might be their thing because I don’t understand how they offer such great hosting and support so cheap except for maybe the fact that they don’t have unnecessary bells and whistles on their own website hosting panel. It all works and is easy to navigate, but it’s not cPanel, they don’t offer a knowledge base, beginner tutorials, etc. They just offer solid hosting and support.
Hope that helps.
Thats swell to hear cos their marketing is formidable.
small update still no final resolution as of yet but they did reiterate that this issue is not normal so they wouldn’t be holding us to the inflated number in terms of billing so that’s definitely good and i do feel somewhat safer in recommending them. i would say that given the fact that i am personally 2 for 2 at this point i would definitely inform a client of the possibility prior to recommending them. i would say they have been very attentive in pretty much every support situation i have had so personally i have faith at this point at least they will turn out to be as i have suspected almost from the beginning the sort of ultimate managed hosting environment at least as it pertains to wordpress.
I am new to Buddypress and just launched my first Buddypress Community on a shared Server. It is not allowed to run any tests like JMeter or soapUI. How can I estimate how many users my website is able to handle?
In the Bp-tricks article it says the WP-Engine personal hosting plan can handle up to 25.000 visitors a month. Has anyone experience with shared server and how much they handle?
I don’t mean to take the discussion on a tangent but am curious, what is buddypress.org’s policy regarding affiliate links? The article’s conclusion is an affiliate link which for now I’ll accept is because Ben truly does like WPE and that is why he’s recommending them, not the commissions. So I’d like this clarified by a moderator so we know where the board stands officially (@mercime ?)
Getting back into the discussion, WPengine is unnecessarily expensive. Buddypress users can get the same (and more) functionality with a few free and very low priced plugins at a fraction of the cost.
For example, using proper speed optimization methods (minify, cache, etc.) as well as free backup plugins and CDNs (1 TB of transfer for $40/year) – I won’t mention names here but you can easily find out the most popular CDN for wordpress and that is its price.
Even if you are a novice, setting up a few plugins is easy. If it isn’t, you can get someone to set it up for you at fiverrr or similar freelancer sites (freelancer, elancer, odesk, etc.) for very cheap.
The net result is a rock solid buddypress+wordpress install that runs blazingly fast and has daily backup. And the price? a very small fraction of WPengine’s price. I have this on a shared hosting plan with a great quality host found at webhostingtalk and my cost is $14/month at 200 GB bandwidth/month.
PS I just noticed that WPengine prices their plans according to ‘visits’ instead of the hosting industry standard of GB or TB of data transferred per month. This is disingenuous at best and downright sleazy at worst. Yet another reason to stay awaaaay!
@cannedbear shared servers suck. Just from my experience I had a small private community with less than 10 members and I did a lot of heavy development on it and after one year the host scrapped and locked me out of my account saying it was a resource hog and that I would need to upgrade my account without any prior notice. Anyway, that is my experience.
well his article is not really on this site he was just promoting the article here and i’ve seen some be far more blatantly self promoting in their posts. Anyway i would say that putting an affiliate link attached to a review/comparison certainly calls into question the objectivity of the author, generally speaking.
Regarding WP Engine i think you over simplifying you analysis of the situation, @synaptic. First off it is standard practice amongst the managed wordpress specialty hosts to charge by visitor count. I would be the first to agree that its probably not he bet way to count usage and lends itself to discrepancy but so far at least they have been more then reasonable with me at least about not holding my customers to the inflated numbers. Also they offer way more then just an optimized platform, all they do is wordpress granted if you are extremely experienced or well staffed you can achieve what they offer for probably less money but if you cannot devote that level of time or resources to your own infrastructure wp engine (as well as the other wp specialty hosts I’m sure) provides a real value. Our site runs quite bit faster and more securely on their platform then it did with a basically whole vps (2 in fact) on dreamhost.
back to @cannedbear ‘s question @ 25K per month you are really talking about 1000 per day or on average about 5 or 10 at any given time during a week day. Even at that level i would not personally recommend any shared hosting for buddypress and in fact i’d say at that level you probably wouldn’t want shared hosting for any wordpress site, remember site/page load time is one of the top factors now in determining your page rank in google search results (at least according to google).
@bphelp it depends on who the host is, find a good one and you’ll be just fine (webhostingtalk forum is the best place to start looking for a quality host that is affordable). you can find shared hosting that is *better* quality than some VPS out there, you have to do your homework! shared, reseller, VPS, etc. these are all labels and you have to scratch to get at the real stuff underneath as well as the host’s reputation and service history
@ubernaut I reject completely the notion that counting visits is acceptable. This is hosting we are talking about! just because a few hosts have started calling themselves by a new tag ‘wordpress’ does not mean they are doing anything different or special. It is still just plain old hosting. And as I said, you don’t need ‘staff’, you can get a freelancer to set up your site and plugins for $50 or so depending on the complexity. And once it is set, it is set. Instead of paying monthly, you pay once for that as it should be. And then you pay a reasonable fee for hosting monthly or annually.
ps dreamhost? seriously?!? c’mon! do yourself a favor and drop by the forum I mentioned. You’ll thank me for it. There are smaller and medium size hosting co. you’ve never heard of but they are the BEST and they have the rep to prove it (as well as great prices).
@synaptic as said before i would certainly agree that visitors is not the best way to gauge usage but it is the industry standard for this kind of hosting. These hosts are not simply slapping a few plugins on and calling it “wordpress hosting” at least not wp engine’s case. i know that people love to hate on dreamhost but their vps was fairly decent.
one thing i would say also is that you almost never know with the smaller hosting companies who you are actually buying your hosting from a lot of ‘hosts’ are simply reselling others’ services under their own brand. Oversell is common throughout the hosting world, always has been and just because your host maybe under capacity today doesn’t mean a thing if you outgrow them or they outgrow you. Fact of the matter is if you run buddypress then you are in the top 1% of sites in terms of server resources required to run your site, managed scalable wp hosting is a good solution for many situations, imo.
@synaptic I’m the writer of the Hosting recommendation on BP-Tricks, and you bring up some fair points. I do mention in the article that with the right knowledge you COULD set up something cheaper using a VPS/caching plugins and a CDN. I’ve been down that road, I learned a ton about hosting and caching, but in the end it’s certainly not worth the time and effort it takes, which is exactly my personal conclusion at the end of the article. It is by no means something that I recommend for those looking to build a social network with BuddyPress.
There are so many people around who are not in the least technical, but still have great ideas for niche social networks. These type of people are visiting BP-Tricks and are asking me for hosting recommendations quite often, and that is how the article was written.
Even for someone who is experienced with server management/optimisation, I would still recommend WPEngine above anything else. I’m an affiliate because I use their services myself, my sites are fast and available, and the support has been excellent. I’ve been running BP-Tricks for three years now, and this is first time that I ever used an affiliate link to promote a service 🙂
@ubernaut I completely agree with you in that you must research the host to find out all you can about them. Believe it or not, there are amazing hosts out there at very reasonable prices. I found this out personally because a friend pointed me to webhostingtalk where they all congregate (and compete). I don’t want to mention my host because it will sound like I’m advertising but they are a reseller of liquidweb and I am a fanatical fan because they are out of this world for technical support above and beyond what a normal host would provide as well as the quality of their servers and the price is incredibly reasonable.
So I think on the whole we agree, do your research. Don’t go in with a preset bias or prejudice and you’ll find that most people’s preconceptions (as shown here in this thread) are wrong. Again, I’m speaking from experience here.
@bowromir hi Ben, if you’ll note I wrote that my assumption was that you used an affiliate link because you truly believed in wpengine. I hoped that was the case and I’m glad to be proven correct.
As for the rest, we’ll have to agree to disagree. I’ve helped friends set up their wordpress blogs on shared hosting and they are getting better performance than some others on vps! go figure. and for a huge saving to boot!
My two cents here are for people to not be scared about doing things the right way, instead of paying for overpriced and overhyped service. If you are absolutely not technical, know that you can combine a great host with a couple of plugins (installed and tweaked by a freelancer) and then set it and forget it for a couple of years for great performance. Again, this is simply a fact from experience. Of course, if you want to pay out the wazoo for the same or inferior service, be my guest!
googling around you’ll find a lot of glowing recommendations for wpengine, with the not surprising affiliate link. but you’ll also find experiences like this one:
well it’s an interesting post but it is contrary to my own personal experience with WP Engine i signed up right about the time he gave up. I would note the fact that he states that the CEO issued personal apology and reimbursement for the migration issue, thats seems like at least they took the issue seriously at some point. Also way he closes the post “Where I am today Back at Linode, back to running it myself.” This is exactly the reason it makes sense for people along a spectrum of technical expertise not just novices. Granted the WP managed hosts are not without their drawbacks and even WPE has some quirks that take a little getting used to.
WP Engine is the only company that provides both phone support and specialized wp hosting as far i know. The entire system is built from the ground up only to host WP sites. I cannot tell you how valuable it is when you call into support and you don’t have to explain how wordpress works or what buddypress is every time you are trying to get to the bottom of something. It is also the only hosting company i know that Automattic is financially involved in, to me that means something, i suspect it also means something to WPE.
In my experience the notion of a perfect host is a canard, what may be a great host today could be horrendous two years from now, but WPE aside from any deal killing kind of quirks is the best platform you could be hosted on aside from wordpress vip unless you truly can afford to do everything yourself.
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