Gah! I need help! (What's the next step for my community?)

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by ciderhelm, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. ciderhelm

    ciderhelm New Member

    Hi! First, let me thank KnownHost for the excellent service they've provided and the quick response to Sales and Support tickets I've had. What great customer service!

    Here's my situation -- I am absolutely clueless as to the technical side of running a web server. Finding security upgrades for my software is fine, but beyond that, this is all Greek to me. I'm just a college student who wants a heck of a website.

    My website is slowing down sporadically and in a way I can't figure out. I use the VPS solution, and have upgraded all the way to the very top option with additional RAM to boot. I use the California option, and honestly I don't know what the difference is between Premium and (non-premium?) bandwidth is.

    The slowdowns scare me every time they happen. They will sometimes happen for only a few minutes, sometimes for a couple hours. Virtually every time the issue occurs is between 7:00 AM and 1:00 PM PDT. This is a high-traffic period, but the jumps in latency don't appear to fully correlate to number of users on our site.

    We run a lot of services, though I think we've cut down the number of queries substantially to support. Here's a list -- vBulletin, Photoplog Galleries, Shoutbox (an open chat program), and a CMS program. We also run Google Analytics (in the Footer code) and vbSEO.

    We also have a semi-high-bandwidth web design; our flash banner is over half a meg large, our background images are also a bit hefty.

    To view the website (if you don't mind me linking), go to tankspot.com.

    This website was started about 2 months ago has boomed in a big way. It's not *huge* yet, but it's certainly ramping up very quickly, with over a hundred thousand visits in the last month. Our site has to compete with other well-established sites, so we want instant response times to keep users fully engaged in our content.


    The Next Step?
    Apologies for the length, but I really don't know what to do. We've got good subscribers and we can probably support a better server or more a la carte options, but I also don't know *what* to get.

    I assume it was RAM causing the issue, and I've been upgrading our server accordingly, but I really just don't know. I don't even know how to check. Virtuozzo panel scares me (really), and cPanel is only a little bit better. I rarely use either and I don't understand about 9/10ths of what's on them. None of us use the mail server, but we also don't know how to shut it down if it needs to be.

    What's the next step? Where is money best invested? How can I optimize my server to do exactly what it's doing -- run a website off the vBulletin core?

    Thanks,
    Patrick "Ciderhelm" O'Callahan
     

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