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Hosting issues, recommendations, advice, etc.

Discussion in 'Server Configuration and Hosting' started by jadmperry, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. jadmperry

    jadmperry Well-Known Member

    I have been running my relatively small forum (roughly 25k members, 100k posts) and have been using GoDaddy on a shared hosting plan for several years. I am paid through Oct. 2015 on this plan. I just upgraded to XF 1.3 beta, and got this message:
    "Your server is running an outdated and unsupported version of PHP (5.2.17). If possible, you should upgrade to PHP 5.4 or 5.5"

    Called up GoDaddy and said, tell me about this.

    The answer I got is that I could upgrade to a hosting package for a 33% discount now (which would be about $70/yr). I asked, well, what about what I already paid for my earlier package (which was about $85/yr). Answer: I could upgrade, then import to new hosting plan/server, then cancel old plan and get credit pro-rated for future services (but, not a refund, or credit for the upgrade). Was also told that at some point in the future, my php support for current plan may "expire" (whatever the hell that might mean).

    I don't think this is a horrible deal. But, one of the issues that gnaws at my innards (nice descriptive terms, yeah?) is that if I by a hosting plan, my instinct is that it should upgrade to current (or not obsolete) php either automatically or on request. Is this instinct wrong? Or do most hosts do this?

    Given the above, are there any recommendations (with general prices) for other hosting options.

    (If it matters, I have one other site, purely HTML, on my current hosting plan). Also, I can have no downtime on migration. I also have probably 8 domain names registered through GoDaddy. (The customer service rep started talking about setting up .test/domain name something or other in order to not have down time....I started to nod off and explained that I could pull of the migration on my own if I wanted to learn about this, but between learning curve, anxiety in potentially messing things up, and my own time, it would not be worth it to me). So, I am thinking that if I do change hosts (or even stay with GD, but move to a different hosting plan), I will want some help. My first instinct is to go with @SchmitzIT , whom I have worked with before. But, if this is not something he does, or if there are other choices out there, please chime in with recommendations).

    To be honest, my site works fine now. This is not an emergency. I could probably wait many months, or a year or more, to make changes. However, I would like to stay ahead of problems.

    Insight/comments/suggestions are welcome! Thanks for the help!
  2. jadmperry

    jadmperry Well-Known Member

    Just to follow up, an important issue to me is whether normal practice for hosts is to upgrade php versions on request, or to "upsell" new accounts based on need/request for newer versions.
  3. Mouth

    Mouth Well-Known Member

    If you buy cheap hosting, they usually leave the server that your site is on alone - no upgrades (other than critical security patches), etc as it affects too many sites and generates more problems (and revenue loss) than it solves. You are effectively buying an off-the-shelf, unmanaged, if-it-aint-broke-dont-touch-it slice of hosting for the cost of a coffee or two each month.
    $70 per year sounds alright -I'd take it and migrate (but ask what version of mysql and php they have available, and take the last) and then get your credit and find ways to spend it. Perhaps you can use it on google adwords advertising, resold through them, etc.
  4. jadmperry

    jadmperry Well-Known Member

    Thanks to the input!!

    The only point I maybe did not make clear is that the "credit" would only be for future services with same host. Does that change your opinion?

    Part of me says, ride this hosting plan out for the next year. But, if other hosts have different policies (especially regarding upgrade of hosting environment/php), then maybe an earlier move is smarter.
  5. jadmperry

    jadmperry Well-Known Member

    Do I lose any significant functionality by running php 5.2.17 with XF?
  6. SchmitzIT

    SchmitzIT Well-Known Member

    @Mike is better suited to answer that. Chances are that yes, some current or future functionality that relies on newer functionality will not work.

    With regards to the hosting, I think Mouth covered it pretty well. I think you would be fine up until you actually will need the functionality that would require a higher version of PHP (or in case some critical vulnerability in that version of PHP is discovered, but I'd expect that kind of stuff to be handled by GD should such things pop up).
  7. Jake B.

    Jake B. Well-Known Member

    Just a recommendation, check out linode or digitalocean and get yourself a (fairly) inexpensive VPS, and then you'll have control over the exact version of every software that is running. If you need help setting it up I would definitely be happy to help you when I have time.
  8. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    I don't think theres anything that is going to be effecting your board from not running 5.2.4 (which is what XF is reccommended as the minimum).

    Looking through the changelog, its mostly bug fixes and performance improvements.

    However, running such an old version is most definately not reccomended.
  9. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    It's also worth pointing out that with XenForo 1.3 you will receive a warning when upgrading if PHP is less than 5.3.3, as that is the minimum version required for some libraries likely to be in use in the future.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
    jadmperry and p4guru like this.
  10. jadmperry

    jadmperry Well-Known Member

    That is exactly what happened. I upgraded, got the warning, and so started my quest for knowledge!
  11. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    Don't bet the farm on it. That's one of the reasons I RAN from their shared hosting environment and went with a VPS with RamNode and then eventually (a whole 2 months later) to 3 full blown dedicated servers. Overkill for my forums - but I get to control the PHP versions, etc.

    @jadmperry, if you need somewhere to tide you over till you can set up on another host, I can set you up a temporary VPS (it would be basically unmanaged but I could help you get your sites set up and running) to tide you over till you found a permanent home. I can't provide full management services as I keep busy with some other work right now. It's on a server that I have set up with ProxMox on a dual L5520 and it's only hosting 3 other VPS's (one for my "IT Company" service tickets, one play and one was hosting http://downtherabbithole.co.uk - but think he's moved it now). It can be set up for centOS, Debian or Ubuntu (or even Arch Linux if you prefer).[/user]
  12. HittingSmoke

    HittingSmoke Active Member

    There really isn't much more to say about this issue other than that you're using GoDaddy. You should run from them. Eat the cost. Get away. They're horrible.

    If you want to stick with cheap shared hosting go with Webfaction. Their support is phenomenal and you can compile anything you want in userland on their servers. But pretty much any host would be better than GoDaddy. You should not have to pay for basic server stack upgrades. That is absurd. Just get off GoDaddy. It doesn't matter who you go with as long as it's not GoDaddy.

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