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265 posts

Ultimate Geek


# 177672 11-Aug-2015 10:46
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I'm owner of a NZ based web shop. Most of our customers are from New Zealand, but sometimes we get overseas customers. Site is using Prestashop (PHP).
Currently we're hosting with Openhost, but the performance is sometimes absolutely terrible. Load times of >20 seconds are happening throughout the day.
And it's getting worse, and the only reply I got is "yes it's shared hosting" or "ask your developer to add SQL indices or look at the code". Just bull, as on Azure the site performs great.

I'm giving them their last chance. I'm quite happy with their other support, e.g. when I migrated from Windows to Linux they were very helpful.

I've been googling a lot, and drilled down to two choices: GoDaddy ($8.99 / month) or Kiwi Web host ($50 / year for starter pack or $15 / month for more expensive package).
I think Kiwi Web host is the better choice, and likely the $50 pack is suitable. However, I need to pay $50 for one full year, I'd rather try it first.

Or should I go for GoDaddy? Or probably something else?

Also looked at Webdrive for $15 / month, but that's owner by Openhost as well (or the other way around) and it's more expensive.

Please your advise.

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383 posts

Ultimate Geek

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Trustpower

  # 1362686 11-Aug-2015 10:55
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With Cloudflare and caching you shouldn't necessarily need NZ Based Web Hosting.

Personally I have used a few different webhosts to host different site with two I would recommend.

 

  • NameCheap - I use them currently for my hosting and have had a pretty reliable service - Only major downtime was an hour due to a DDOS attack aimed at another site at the same server but even then their Twitter account posted re the outage almost straight away and was up on their status page. Their base price is $9.95 for the first year - https://www.namecheap.com/hosting/shared.aspx

  • ASmallOrange - ASmallOrange are owned by the same company that owns GoDaddy and a wide range of smaller and larger web hosting providers but are still run independently from the other brands on their own servers/networks/etc. Their pricing is a bit more expensive then NameCheap ($20 a month for a business plan - $5-10 a month for shared hosting) but their support was nothing but great the entire time I use them and uptime was 100% the 8 months I had hosting with them - https://asmallorange.com/hosting/business/ and https://asmallorange.com/hosting/shared/




Any comments made are my personal views and does not represent those of my employer


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Ultimate Geek

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  # 1362692 11-Aug-2015 11:05
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I have hosting accounts (just the cheap, shared hosting kind) with both Webdrive and GoDaddy and neither of them have blazing performance.

If most of your customers are in NZ, I would try to stick with local hosting if possible. Have you considered a more expensive option that will give you your own virtual server and increased performance? I can definitely vouch for RimuHosting (disclaimer: that's my referral link which I haven't actually used before), their Auckland data centre has been performing very well for me with several sites that I have launched on the virtual server including an eCommerce one running Concrete5 which is quite a resource-intensive CMS.

 
 
 
 


597 posts

Ultimate Geek

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Internet by Design

  # 1362694 11-Aug-2015 11:10
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As you've discovered, you get what you pay for.

For NZ websites we use Mothership, they have a crazy fast network, and run their servers on nothing but SSDs. You'll pay them in one month what you'd pay an overseas host in a year, but if the shop is your business, that shouldn't be an issue.




Ask me about Web Servers, Wordpress and the internet in general.

 

 

 

Internet by Design




265 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1362699 11-Aug-2015 11:20
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Thank you all.

 

Yes, it's our business, but it's a side project. We don't earn enough to pay for a VPS. Currently shared hosting is the only option from a financial point of view.

I'm already using Cloudflare for caching, but to be honest I haven't noticed a huge performance difference. 
So much alternatives now. All look good, but so much to choose from.

1495 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 1362727 11-Aug-2015 11:39
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Would hosting on Azure be an option to consider?



265 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1362733 11-Aug-2015 11:43
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jonb: Would hosting on Azure be an option to consider?

Yes, just thought about that.
As I have access to MSDN, I initially hosted it on Azure on a VM. To be honest, I wasn't impressed by the performance. TTFB was ~1 - 1.5 seconds, even when hosted in Australia. But the performance overall was much better than Openhost, but that's not a fair comparison of course. 
But yes, will think about it.



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Ultimate Geek


  # 1362737 11-Aug-2015 11:47
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jonb: Would hosting on Azure be an option to consider?

Just had a quick look at the pricing, and prices ramp up pretty quickly. $15 for the D1 shared (preview), and that price will increase when it's no longer in preview I guess.
F1 (Free) is probably not enough. I also need a MySQL database which may incur additional costs.

I think Azure is too expensive for simple hosting.

 
 
 
 


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Uber Geek

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  # 1362748 11-Aug-2015 12:01
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To be honest, the way you query the database is more important than the underlying host's capabilities







265 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1362770 11-Aug-2015 12:05
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Zeon: To be honest, the way you query the database is more important than the underlying host's capabilities

I have absolutely no influence here. I use Prestashop, and cannot do anything about the queries.

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Ultimate Geek

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Internet by Design

  # 1362781 11-Aug-2015 12:35
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Have you got all the caching turned on inside Prestashop?
If you do, the next step unfortunately is memcached which needs a VPS

Also, if you wanted to try another NZ host, as I mentioned, just send me a message and I'll set you up with an account under mine to test things out and see if you have any better luck




Ask me about Web Servers, Wordpress and the internet in general.

 

 

 

Internet by Design


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  # 1362827 11-Aug-2015 13:22
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Send me your URL, I can have a quick look tonight. I do a lot of performance investigation and optimisation.

GoDaddy isn't great, and I don't think they're hosted in NZ. You probably need a low end VPS if you require constant good performance. They could be right about your database, Azure may be running the DB on an underused server with loads of capacity.

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  # 1362833 11-Aug-2015 13:35
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boland: Thank you all. Yes, it's our business, but it's a side project. We don't earn enough to pay for a VPS. Currently shared hosting is the only option from a financial point of view.


Then it is a hobby.

Good hosting is the most basic thing to get for an online business.




Richard rich.ms

15110 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1362844 11-Aug-2015 13:46
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Also just check that the hosts you are looking at are Linux. I think one you mentioned maybe windows. Although you maybe able to host systems syuch as wordpress on either linux website or windows, I would stick to Linux to minimise potential software problems. Also many NZ hosts also host on overseas servers, and there is nothing really wrong with hosting offshore,  many big NZ companies do it, and using cloudflare helps a lot.

The downside with some overseas providers is that they can do maintenance during NZ on peak times, so they maydo their backups and you find the site running slower during that period. Many people these days have moved to hosted software as a service solutions as a no fuss solution these days, because shared hosting isn't the best in many cases for ecommerce. On the surface it looks like it costs more, but the potential time saves probably offsets that.

I also think you need to up your budget. The cheaper a host is, the more websites they need to cram onto the server. The cost of a server and staffing may cost the host thosands per month. So to make a profit, you may have 1000's of sites on that server.

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Uber Geek

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Vocus

  # 1362850 11-Aug-2015 13:57
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boland: Thank you all. Yes, it's our business, but it's a side project. We don't earn enough to pay for a VPS. Currently shared hosting is the only option from a financial point of view.

I'm already using Cloudflare for caching, but to be honest I haven't noticed a huge performance difference. 
So much alternatives now. All look good, but so much to choose from.


You won't notice the difference that CloudFlare makes until you have a large number of users hitting the site at once.  Then you'll notice it.  It will also deflect DOS, DDOS and a number of other attacks.

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  # 1362851 11-Aug-2015 14:02
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Cloudflare can make a HUGE difference even just for with basic caching for a very lightly loaded website, if you set it up properly. For example I have an image heavy website hosted in the USA, it used to take 12 seconds to load - super slow. Once I put it onto Cloudflare AND set the headers up to allow caching of images, css, and js the load time dropped to 3 seconds - they have a POP in Auckland. I set static resources to basically never expire, you can manually purge their cache if required. I can drop that even lower by setting headers to cache pages - I can achieve around 1 second website load times, at the expense of some pages being stale. You of course only cache pages that rarely change - product pages, but not ordering or shopping cart pages.

Putting CloudFlare in is only step one - configuration is really important. I do this for a lot of my customers. I have a pretty decent sized set of techniques in this area.

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