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j103c
08-30-2004, 11:26 AM
A friend and I are thinking of moving a community site we co-admin to WestHost in a couple months. I've been looking at the packages again, and the Starter package might be good enough for now, but I have a question on performance..

I've read that the Starter Package's instance of Apache apparently goes to 'sleep' when it's been inactive for awhile? Am I wording that somewhat correctly? Is that behavior somewhat true? Is there an annoying performance hit when that happens? Would buying a dedicated IP address solve this issue (I read this was related somewhere, due to IP's being shared across sites)?

I'd appreciate knowing if there is a performance difference between Starter, and say Value, since one of our primary reasons for moving is a more responsive site.

Thanks..

FZ
08-30-2004, 12:07 PM
I reckon if the bandwidth and space allocation on the starter package is enough for your needs, it should be good enough.

I believe you are correct about the Apache "going to sleep" thing, but I don't think there is a major performance hit (don't have any experiece comparing the starter package to others, sorry). Besides, as you say, it only happens if your site is inactive for a period of time. It would be a problem if that occurred every few minutes, for example, and your site was popular. But if it is popular, then it would have no need to enter "sleep" mode.

A dedicated IP address does help in some cases. The "sleep" behaviour does not occur on any package other than the starter package (probably because of the dedicated IP). Plus, you get other benefits, e.g. anonymous FTP. Now, whether this would emulate non-"sleep" behaviour (and decrease whatever performance hits occur because of it) by buying one for a starter package, I do not know (but I think it should, as the whole issue is related to shared IP addresses, as you say). Best you should ask WestHost about that.

By "responsive" what do you mean? A lower ping? Faster pages? It would all depend on your "target audience" and where they are located. If WestHost is faster for them (lower ping, for example) that would help. Also, once out of "sleep" mode I think Apache and your pages would perform on par with other packages, since all the servers have the same config (or at least I think so). I reckon you should do your research before you move that web site to WestHost - in terms of asking your visitors which ISP they use, and if possible, getting them to do a tracert to a WestHost account (as well as a ping) and comparing that to the results that they get doing that for your current ISP.

Good luck.

j103c
08-30-2004, 12:19 PM
Thanks FZ..

Most of our target audience is local (on purpose, it's a geo-based audience) to where I'm at, and WestHost flies here (NE). I'm not sure what to attribute the slowness at our current host, however I do know it is related to their servers as I can see time it takes to process the pages, etc.

I guess I'm most interested in the "sleep-mode" stuff, and what that really means. More to the point, I'm wondering how long it takes to 'wake-up'.. :)

FZ
08-30-2004, 12:27 PM
If WestHost is very fast for you, then it should be fast for your visitors (since you say they are in the same vicinity) - but it would also depend on which ISP they use.

Maybe your old host is using "sleep" mode software too?

As for the delay in getting Apache to respond, I would imagine it to be negligible - otherwise people would be complaining about very unresponsive web sites, high pings, etc. As always, for an authoritative answer you should ask WestHost.

wildjokerdesign
08-30-2004, 01:34 PM
A have a couple accounts I manage that are on Starter packaage I have seen no difference in response time. If you want to test from your area a starter shared IP account try my test site it is (hahajoca. com). It only has front page but shoulod give you an idea of a hit when it has to "wake up" since I don't go to the indexpage as a rule and it is no longer in the search engins so should be in sleep mode when you access it.

Armadillo
08-30-2004, 07:24 PM
I have a starter package with a dedicated IP and it still seems to go to sleep late night/early morning. I think it might have something to do with log rotation, but I dont know. MySQL is a little slow sometimes.

I am satisfied with the performance and the price. I have a average sized "edutainment" site with a phpBB forum and a phpNuke forum (testing only). I get about a thousand "unique visitors" a week.

I am considering upgrading the package to get Darwin streaming, but I am happy with the starter package.

j103c
08-30-2004, 09:13 PM
Awesome - thanks wildjokerdesign and Armadillo!

Seeing a live site and hearing about example loads helped me decide that we'd probably be ok starting out with Starter on this site. We run phpNuke/phpBB, but with a lot less 'unique visitors'.

Thanks!