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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Can RAQ server handle my site?

    Hi,

    I run the site www.cheatindex.com. I get around 4.5 million pageviews and the site is almost entirely PHP built.

    My current server is with Dialtone and has 550 P3 processor and 256 mb of RAM. It's been pretty reliable and uptime has been reasonably good. The server is only down come saturday night for an hour which I reboot.. that is the only time the server caves under stress.

    Unfortunetly, the bandwidth of the site is almost 250 GB/month. I've literally tried everything to bring it down, in fact, most, if not all images are loaded from an university server, yet the bandwidth remains high.

    With bandwidth included, I'm paying around $750/month. This is too much considering I make Canadian dollars which kills on the exchange rate.

    I've been considering switching to the "best value" server on rackshack..

    http://www.rackshack.net/values.asp

    The question I have is, would this server be able to handle the dynamic html load that I need? I've been told RAQ servers cave in when it comes to loading dynamic sites.. any opinions would be grateful.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Misfit
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    That's a tough one. While it may be able to handle your site, why not go with a genuine linux server for, say, $400 per month? You'd still be paying far less then you currently are.

    But as far as the RaQ being able to handle it... that's a really tough question. Compared to your current server, the processor is slower, but there's double the amount of RAM, which is good. It might be able to handle it. They just don't do that good with dynamic sites.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Guru
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    I think it can handle the load until it has 512mb ram. Considering the RackShack.net's 300gb offer, its a pretty good deal as compared with the 750 bucks you are paying.
    36Host.com - $36/year web hosting [affiliates earn 30%]
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  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Karl's Avatar
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    Seen as you say your site uses PHP I am assuming it uses mySQL as well? If so then no, I don't honestly believe that a RAQ will be able to cope with your site, I know from hosting several high traffic sites on a server considerably more powerful than a Raq that it will just cave big time.

    Also to get 250Gb from 4.5m pvs the HTML on each page must be 58k worth if images are loaded from elsewhere. I have taken a quick look at the HTML of the index2.html page, you could cut down on the HTML quite a bit by using style sheets instead of font tags all over the place. Now I know not every single browser handles style sheets, but you are targetting gamers, who always like to have the most up-to-date this, that and the other, so there is a very very good chance that there browser will be able to cope perfectly with style sheets.

    Even if you only trim 1k from the page and the external style-sheet is 5k (That's a fair bit of style) and each viewer looked at 10 pages, you would be saving:

    ( 58 * 10 ) - ( ( (58 - 1) * 10 ) + 5 )
    = 580 - 575
    = 5k per sesssion
    = 0.5k per p/v

    0.5k may not seem like a lot, but with 4.5m p/v it is:

    0.5 * 4.5m = 2.2Gb - which may not seem like a lot, but that's from only trimming 1k from each page, and I honestly think you can trim more and don't think your site would need a style-sheet that was 5k in size.

    Other things you can remove from the page are:

    <!--webbot bot="HTMLMarkup" startspan -->

    and similar. You can shorten URLs in hyperlinks etc.

    Remember that with 4.5m p/v each letter etc. removed from the HTML sent to the browser saves just over 4mb of data transfer per month.
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Karl's Avatar
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    OK, I just tried a little test. I took the original page HTML (Did view source to get it), and then did a copy and removed all redundant spaces (All the HTML was indented using spaces instead of tabs, so you could use tabs instead of spaces, but I removed the indenting), I removed all the webbot comments too and I compared the file sizes:

    Original: 31,379 bytes
    New: 27,949

    Saving: 3,430 bytes per p/v

    So for 4.5m p/vs it's: 14.37 Gb

    That was just me quickly trying a few things, now if I can save 3k per page view without changing the site to use style sheets, thus removing about 240 sets of font tags and saving quite a lot of bytes, I'm sure using CSS will save you loads of data transfer per month.

    I'm sure you could shave off another 5k or so from the page.

    Edit:

    Another thing you can do, is do the browser detection on the server side, then you don't have to put all the JS stuff in for book-marking if the user isn't using MS IE - I know most people do, but every little bit saved all adds up
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Guru prequel's Avatar
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    some tips

    1. install mod_gzip to compress pages, speed up loading and reduce bandwidth by an average of 25 - 36% - http://www.i4net.tv/marticle/get.php...e&articleid=12

    2. use your web logs!! - one of the reasons why web logs are so important to any web site Analyse your web traffic stats and see what are the top 10 most visited pages + your main page - these would probably genearate 50+ % of your overall traffic (generalisation)

    Reduce the size of these top 10 pages + main index page by either stripping the images even more etc

    3. optimise any of your images... Uleads' Smart Saver Pro is good

    4. using your logs find out if anyone is hotlinking your site images/content and use mod_rewrite to prevent this - http://faq.solutionscripts.com/misc/hot_linking.html

    you should be able to save 50 - 75GB/month in bandwidth

  7. #7
    ********* Callithumpian silver trophy freakysid's Avatar
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    I posted in this forum a few weeks ago the news that rackshack.net was about to offer very cheap dedicated pentium/linux servers (with cogent bandwidth) for something around $250 (if my memory serves correctly). If you go to their site and read through their forums you will get the latest news on this. The last I heard, they were delaying launching the service until next month (something to do with some swithching/routing problem - stuff that goes over my head).

    However, for that amount of bandwidth, if you shop around, there are quite a few other hosts with whom you could more than likely negotiate some nice specs on a pentium/linux box for something sub $2 per GB.

    I would suggest you contact Ed Barna at www.pwebtech.com for a quote and also look into www.weinbar.com

    I am sure others will have other recommendations too. I know this is not exaclty what you asked for - but in relation to using a RAQ, I think that already has been answered in the negative.


  8. #8
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    Check out swiftwill.com, there bandwith starts at $.99 a gig and you can get a 300 gig acct for $276 usd. Oh this is a dedicated server by the way. They have good customer support. Talk to Dweeks, He'll hook you up.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Guru jkcity's Avatar
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    "2. use your web logs!! - one of the reasons why web logs are so important to any web site Analyse your web traffic stats and see what are the top 10 most visited pages + your main page - these would probably genearate 50+ % of your overall traffic (generalisation)"

    You got any sugestions on the ebst way to use the logs, I have tried some log analyzer software but its really no good after about doing 8mb of a log, it goes so slow its unbeliveable and to do 8mb it takes a while.

    Is there any faster way to analyze larger log files
    that you know about as mine just get so big its impossible to look at them properly.

  10. #10
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    Ok..

    Why would I even want to pay $1 per gig if I can get a RackShack AMD server for about $100 per month that gives me 300 gigs of transfer?!

    That makes no sense to me. Even $1 per gig is a rip.

    I am currently paying $500 in hosting monthly for using about 150 gigs of bandwidth total between my five Websites and I am thinking I should just transfer all of them to RackShack and get one of the better servers, either the Intel or AMD one. I honestly don't need the extra hard disk space that the Intel one offers so I was thinking of going with AMD.

    Why wouldn't I want to do this? I would cut my overhead massively and it seems to me RackShack could handle my sites fine.

    I run FreeFunJokes.com, JLH-Online.com, JLBMedia.com, VinDieselWorld.com, and Ezzzy.com (my second biggest site, don't let the first page deceive you, hehe, great search engine rankings with the sub pages). Do you think I should go with RackShack?

    I really would like to cut these expenses and I have talked with other Webmasters who have used Rack Shack for up to six months even and one guy had only 4 hours of downtime in that period. I had 12 hours last month...
    Contact me about cheap hosting solutions!

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Karl's Avatar
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    $1 a gb isn't a rip off, in fact I'd be worried it was too cheap and what the network was like, yes maybe rackshack are offering it for $0.07 per Gb, but have you ever wondered what happens if their link to Cogent failed? The other lines they have wouldn't be able to cope with the load at the moment, never mind in a couple of months. Paying more than $1/gb pays for redundancy and network quality.
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  12. #12
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    Well

    I know many people who use Rack Shack so if you've never done it yourself, I'm not that interested in your advice, no offense. I just would like to hear from other people who have tried it.

    I think $100 per month would be awesome and it would cut my overhead very significantly.
    Contact me about cheap hosting solutions!


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