Growing Pains – Finding The Right Host
When you are looking for someplace to host your website, or web/cloud based business, location matters just as much as it does for real estate: Location, Location, Location!
Over the last five years Eugene Daily News has grown from a big idea, into a presence in Lane County. Originally started in 2011, we’ve consistently out grown our web hosts and our servers. We knew that there was a place for an online only news/lifestyle media centered here in Eugene, but we hadn’t anticipated growing to 75k+ monthly unique readers. Thank you by the way for supporting EDN.
With the founders backgrounds in game and web based products, we knew we could bring a breath of fresh air, if you will, to local news.
We had decided to setup EDN on WordPress with the simplest hosting we could find, just to try things out. Initially starting with a little website on GoDaddy.com, it took about 90 days for us to outgrow that host. While it is a terrific and inexpensive hosting option for blogs and low traffic sites, we quickly found we needed something a little more robust and fast. Hosts like GoDaddy have increased their offerings substantially over last half decade including many of the sites listed here: “Top Ten Website Hosts“. Before re-locating to self-managed virtual server hosts, we have used Bluehost.com and Web.com with good results. Newer offerings like Wix.com are even more impressive, although a little limited offerings wise for our needs. Check out The Top Ten Listing and see what we mean.
We then moved to Media Temple, a next level host with much more control, bandwidth and of course cost. This lasted us for another year and a half, but the same issues kept creeping up: increasing costs, increased traffic and an increasing number of articles posted by EDN. We next decided to try a virtual server host: Rackspace. While geared to much larger ventures than ours, it had all the control we could want and the bandwidth to match. At least until we started getting serious about hard news and public record postings. As soon as Lane County Mugshots joined forces with us, we found our traffic surging heavily. Along with this surge came a big jump in cost to keep up. This type of host requires you understand how to setup, configure, manage and secure your server and site as if you were running it from a physical server at your location…without the hefty electric bills and server expense.
Then we discovered Digital Ocean! Still a self-configure/manage/setup host, the speed and flexibility was just what we needed. When our traffic more than doubled earlier this year causing site outages and a serious overloading problem, we were able to scale our servers to manage the load with little or no hassle and a modest price too. To give you an idea, Eugene Daily News runs it’s own ad servers and currently serves more than 3 Million ad views each month, in addition to more than 650k pageviews we serve each month. That’s a lot of ones and zeros.
When you start looking for a virtual place to setup your online business or blog, take the time to investigate your options, price matters, but as only one corner of the pyramid, you need to consider your time, your skill sets, and your anticipated demand.
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