I’ve always tried to keep my hosting costs low as possible as it’s a bit of a necessary evil. Hosting costs vary wildly, from $1 a month to several hundred for a small blog like this. Obviously, huge sites can spend millions.
I’ve been through my fair share of hosts and thought I had found the perfect cheap host when someone recommended Hostgator. It’s inexpensive, has 24 hour support and has really amazing up time.
However, even this company let me down eventually. I wrote a post called 10 Google Easter Eggs and spent at least six hours researching, writing, and formatting the post. Then I proceeded to promote it on the various social networks. The article was doing really, really well and two hours after launching the hosting company turned off my hosting. Without ANY warning!
I contacted them straight away and while their online support is good, they didn’t have any power to turn my site back on again, nor could they tell me what the actual problem was. I created a support ticket and and started a dialogue with their support team.
Here was the one of the emails I received back from their support team:
“You have exceeded your cpu quota, by driving system load up almost to 20. Normal system load is less than 10. Your account is starting to cause service outages for other users on the server, and re-instating it will continue to cause slowdowns and problems for other users. With that in mind, what do you feel is fair in this situation?”
Now, all I run is a blog, and who am I to know that their server can’t handle it? More to the point, I don’t know what’s fair? All I want is my blog running and yes, I don’t want other peoples’ sites to go out.
I literally begged for them to turn my site back on, but to no avail. Twenty emails later I got this response:
“The only way to get more CPU resources is to purchase a dedicated server: http://hostgator.com/dedicated.shtml However, there are quite a few things that can be done such as installing WP-SuperCache or another caching system and optimizing the database or using a theme that doesn’t have so many callbacks.”
Now most people know about WP Super Cache but I never thought it was necessary unless you are trying to hit the front page of Digg consistently, or were generating tens of thousands of visitors.
WP-Super Cache generates HTML pages directly from your Apache server instead of generating load-bearing PHP pages. This obviously stops your server from crashing, even if you get a huge amount of traffic, from Digg or somewhere else. Or in my case, I had a theme which was generating too many call backs and loading the server more than usual.
Click the link here to download WP SuperCache, it’s a great system and can save you tons of money and even more importantly, a lot of time and hassle.