Advice for busy wordpress site with bursts of traffic

Big on Hosting. Unlimited Space & Unlimited Bandwidth
I am working with someone who runs a popular wordpress blog. The site is currently hosted by a local newspaper, but they are looking to move it to their own hosted account.

It generally has new posts once or twice a week and when that happens there is a large burst of traffic typically around 100 visitors per minute, lasting about an hour and then tapering down over several hours. On days when there are no new posts, the site gets a few thousand visitors a day, but on days with new posts, the site typically gets around 70k visitors. A few times a year a post may go viral leading to a million visitors over a several day period.

I don’t yet know the typical bandwidth numbers, but I’m guessing a typical month would be around 150gb. With a viral post, it could be much higher.

I’m looking for suggestions on hosts. I know many people who post here are quick to recommend VPS hosts, but in my experience, a good shared host often will offer more resources for the same price.

Part of my concern is the bandwidth costs when a post goes viral. I’ve always avoided hosts claiming unlimited bandwidth, but there seem to be a few respected hosts here offering semi-dedicated plans with unlimited bandwidth (stablehost and hawkhost). I assume they must throttle it at some point. Does anyone know or have experience with that?

Does anyone have experience with a wordpress site like this? I would appreciate suggestions on how to optimize it for performance and also suggestions on hosts where sites like this will perform well without being unreasonably priced.

I would guess that the hawkhost and stablehost semi-dedicated/enterprise hosting plans should be able to handle a site like this. I also looked at mddhosting, but I worry about hitting the bandwidth limits on those rare occasions where the site goes viral.

Any other options people would suggest? Any feedback on the above hosts for this type of site?

Last edited by Rick_M; Today at 12:49 AM.

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