You want 2 million or more profile database for successful start but have weak hosting? This is a problem. We can help give you a powerful hosting on our services, plus support if any issues happen. First 3 months of hosting is free, after that, $15.00/month.
What server do you need?
There are basically two kinds of servers: virtual and dedicated. Dedicated or Root Servers are real servers with full control over all system settings. The main limitations they have are RAM & hard drive size. Internet connection speed and the number of processor cores may also be important for heavy-loaded sites. A Virtual Server (or VDS) is a virtual environment on a server that resembles the behaviour of a real server. A real server can host many virtual servers. VDS is much cheaper – it may cost US$5 to US$20 per month. Having a VDS is suitable for start-up projects when you are not sure about future community size, activity and behaviour. A VDS usually has significantly less RAM and disk space than a Dedicated Server. However that is not the most important issue, the most serious limitations of a VDS relates to the webhosting company’s rules of shared server usage. We have come across numerous cases where webhosting companies limit the amount of processor time the client’s script may use, or limited numbers of files the client may store on the VDS, irrespective of Webhosting Company’s so-called “unlimited hosting plan”. Another really big limitation is that on a VDS there is hardly ever access to system setting, including tmpfs disk size for MySQL to store temporary files, the maximum number of MySQL connections, the maximum memory size, execution time for PHP scripts etc. So if you plan to have a heavy-loaded site with many profiles and thus many active visitors and you want to enhance your dating script later, you will require a Dedicated or Root Server. The Dedicated Server is an absolute necessity if you start with large numbers of profiles (hundreds of thousands or even millions). There are of course more expensive Dedicated Servers, but a usable server configuration starts at US$50/month. US$100/month gives you a really good server. When you start with 200k-500k profiles, you need 50 to100GB of free disk space and 4 to 8GB RAM. The amount of disk space needed varies from script to script. Traffic requirements do not really depend upon profile numbers, but it is advisable to have maximum hard disk space. You will rarely have problems with traffic at the early stages. You may however face site performance problems when you get larger numbers of active members. In that case, you will have to decide if you will allow members to store their music and videos on your site or if you wish to add games, gifts, chat, and other services. If so, you will need a more powerful server. There is no exact formula, we advise you to start with minimum requirements and then expand your server later, when the performance of your dating site becomes impeded.
Although Dating Script Developers claim that their script will work fine on VDS and/or with millions of dating profiles, this may not be completely true. Many dating scripts experience substantial performance problems when having to deal with large numbers of profiles. Also, the basic system settings that are set up by the webhosting companies may contradict the script requirements. The webhosting company and Dating Script Developer’s tech support may usually be of help to you in some, but not in all cases. You have to take into account that photo sizes substantially increase after conversion. Dating scripts usually store photos in several resolutions to show them faster. Skadate is the undisputed leader in photo size expansion as it stores every photo in five different resolutions and three of those are large resolution sizes. So, when you use Skadate, a profile pack with 10GB of photos will take approx. 35GB of your disk space. Many scripts such as Skadate or Emeeting store all the photos/images in the same folder, which, in case of browsing is not a big problem. It becomes a real challenge when uploading those photographs. Uploading them one-by-one via FTP may take months. The solution is to upload archives and unpack them, and even in that case your server may be under severe load for several hours and perhaps even days. We also once faced a really interesting and rare problem: when after uploading approx. 20-25 million files into one folder, the ext4 file system (the most common file system for Linux servers) showed an error message telling us “No space left on device” for some file names. We solved that problem by rewriting the way Skadate stores images through splitting them into multiple subfolders. Some of our clients found that after profile installation some pages refused to load at all, or on some pages several photos can appear “damaged”. There are known reasons why those problems occur:
- your MySQL may be set up to store its temporary files in a tmpfs folder that is created in memory. When dealing with large numbers of profiles and badly indexed tables, the temporary tables may grow to a size where they no longer fit in the allowed space (usually 4GB), so the page may fail;
- the PHP script’s maximum allowed memory may be insufficient for some loaded scripts;
- a limited number of MySQL simultaneous connections may lead to showing “damaged” images if their URLs are taken from the database. This happens for instance with Emeeting scripts.
Sometimes unusual and unpredictable problems occur on dating sites. However unusual and/or unpredictable a problem seems, there is always a reason why the problem occurred in the first place. Sometimes it takes time to discover the cause of the problem, but we would always be happy to solve those problems for you.