Wondering if this will always be free?  See why free is better.

Main Menu

Server advice (free)

Started by skb, January 10, 2019, 03:00:05 AM

Previous topic - Next topic


I manage the website for our local State Shooting Association. The site has all these years been a static one just giving out General, Competition, Scores and other information to users.

We now want to build a dynamic website which will have features like Shooter Registration, Competition Registration, Training registration, Generation of Entry Cards & Certificates etc. Also the site will be linked to a payment gateway so that the User can pay the fees online.

Total number of users on date would be about 2000 and 6 competitions are held every year with about 500-600 shooters participating every time.

We're in touch with a local IT company to develop the above for us. Apart from their quote, they are insisting on a Server Setup as below


ec2 instance - Linux (App server)
ec2 instance - Linux (DB Server)
EBS Volume (Storage for ec2 instance)
ELB (Load Balancer) / Amazon Certificate Manager
S3 (S3 Storage for Backup)
SES (Simple Email Service)
Route 53 (DNS Hosting)
AWS Support

t2.medium/vCPU- 2 core/Memory-4 GB/I/O- Low to Moderate
m5.large/vCPU- 2core/Memory-8 GB/I/O- Up to 10 Gbps
General purpose SSD (gp2) 50 GB
1 SSL Certificates + Application Load Balancer
150 GB
200000 Emails per month
1 Hosted Zone
Business Support (Min 6 Month)

Cost $ /month


Can someone please educate me, if this setup (from Amazon $ 265/month) is really justified / required or is this a case of overkill?

Thanks in advance.

SMF 2.1.4 / TP 2.2.2


Are you expecting those 2000 users to be highly active?


2000 is the total number of members. Out of which around 600 would participate during competition times. Those 600 would be active on those days, roughly about a week per competition.

SMF 2.1.4 / TP 2.2.2

Bob Perry of Web Presence Consulting

Hmm, interesting, might could do that much cheaper, not sure... will keep tabs on the conversation, one of my favorite past-times is turkey shoots and competition skeet...
Best Regards,
Bob Perry

"The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it." Elbert Hubbard


Quote from: skb on January 10, 2019, 03:37:55 AM
2000 is the total number of members. Out of which around 600 would participate during competition times. Those 600 would be active on those days, roughly about a week per competition.

Any idea how active that would be?


Quote from: skb on January 10, 2019, 03:37:55 AM
Those 600 would be active on those days, roughly about a week per competition.
I think I have already answered the question, unless I'm not getting your actual question.

SMF 2.1.4 / TP 2.2.2


You say active, does that mean they log in once that week, or does that mean they sit and hit refresh every five seconds?


for any value it holds, I have a dedicated 'enterprise' server from hostgator that is far better provisioned than the AWS you describe, and for more that $100USD less than what your offer states.  ($150<$265)

with it, i have control of everything i need to have control of, with resources to spare.  it took me a while to provision it the way i needed as there is really no help anywhere- I could have stayed at what was 'base' on the machine, but tweaking it has given great results.

up time, the most important factor, has been superb and exceeding my former host (of almost 20 years who abruptly shut down giving me only days to shop a replacement last July)- i haven't encountered a single (knock on wood) failure to connect.   

insofar as your requests for form handling/production- I'd recommend using an offshore freelancer... there are several sites that manage this and bid what you seek out to coders.  I would guess what you ask for on such a bid should be in the $150 range and that includes support to get you started-one time cost... you can most likely gain support here for integrating the forms visually within SMF or your site's main page, if applicable. 

for what it's worth and to give you an idea of function/robustness of the server, the site i manage hosted on hostgator and the recommended package above has had 70k posts over the last six months and according to google analytics as many as 75 concurrent users with an average of 15 online at any time. total members is a bit over 200, but i keep that trimmed purposely for the needs that page requires... those 220 members are 'regular' (as in often) users, and at least 100 visit the page multiple times a day.  I have apache installed running current centos, and php_mod and fpm set with 125 handlers.. I can provide a list of mods and packages running to assist your configuration if needed.  it took me a while to get it right and though i claim no expertise it works very well for my needs.  you can mirror them and get off the ground, if needed.   


This is why I asked about activity... there are advantages to AWS that you won't realise on a dedicated server (point in time backups being a thing if enabled for example), but activity really is the key stat, since depending on that I wouldn't even necessarily recommend a dedicated server (based on what I'm hearing, a mid range VPS would do the job for under $100 a month), but I could see it scaling up and that's where AWS really works wonders (at least at my scale where the number of hits is tens of thousands a minute or more, on applications way more complex than SMF)


my old provider offered cloud flare and a stack of twenty servers- and i don't think it ever flared to more than two and only before i started running OPCache the load was significant... but they were there if needed... my poor current arrangement would crumble under the load you mention, Arantor... but it's been pretty stout for the small page and simple applications it runs.  it's tempted me several times to resell here to folks seeking 'small' operations and tailoring to SMF for a ridiculously low cost, but..... that takes effort and time, and i have limits on both...


Thank you for your inputs. Let me clarify about 'activity'.
In the initial stage all 2000 members will be required to complete a set of forms for the Online Registration with us. At any given moment of time the number of online users should not exceed 50. This would also involve payment of Registration fees etc. This will be an annual feature happening every January. Once the registrations are done there will be very low activity, with a User logging in once in awhile, maybe 10 per day to extract some previous certificate or travel permit (required for movement with firearms), and such kind of things.

Then, during competition times, 600 out of these 2000 would register for participation and pay the fees. That is a one time log in. It's not that we will be running a live feed of scores or anything that they need to be logged in all the time. The static website will be providing all the other information for which log in is not required.

As far as scalability is concerned, we can expect this number to go up to 3000 in the next 5 years. Personally, I also feel that probably one of these developers is a reseller with Amazon and hence the push to buy such an expensive set up. Otherwise, the program comes at no cost to the Organisation as the User is to pay a fee per transaction that would belong to the development company.

SMF 2.1.4 / TP 2.2.2


with what you say a good quality shared hosting should be good enough unless there is a good reason why you need a dedicated server like needing to run scripts in the command line.