Hello everyone, I’ve stumbled upon this site a few times, and it looks like I’m finally making my first post here. I’m just looking for a little bit of initial advice really.

I currently run a forum on a free forum host which we’re pretty much trapped on right now. I say “free”, it isn’t really once you take into account the ever-increasing costs they seem to keep adding. They don’t distribute databases on this forum host. There are obviously ways of scraping the content though, so we plan on doing that then we’ll import the database onto a phpbb3 forum.

The forum has around 260k posts and 7,000 members. Our online statistics work using the last 20 minutes and usually shows around 50 registered members connected and about 80 guests. Sometimes more, sometimes less. I realise this doesn’t equate to the number of concurrent users though. Going by google analytics, we seem to get around 2,000 unique visitors per day and around 9,000 pageviews per day. Hopefully that gives you a little bit of an idea of the rough size of the forum then.

So we’re looking for some suggestions regarding hosting. We’ll be hosting the forum I mentioned above on phpbb3, and we’d also be looking to expand a little bit onto a section of the site hosting wordpress and possibly other sections with further features (which currently aren’t possible with our “free” forum host as we don’t have server-side access).

Going by what I’ve read on other topics, would VPS be our best option just now? Possibly onto a dedicated server at some point? That’s really what I’m not sure of, what sort of hosting do I really need for what I’d be using? The budget is around $50 per month (based on ad revenue/donations so it could change slightly).

One other thing I wanted to ask about was DDOS protection. The free forum host is very good for preventing any of that sort of stuff, whereas I see other hosted sites similar to mine being attacked and taken down constantly. I really wouldn’t want that being a problem, and I don’t want to be paying something ridiculous for DDOS protection. How do I go about dealing with that?

Thanks very much in advance!

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