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I have developed a Django app for a client and I am trying to find the best hosting provider for them. I have decided that I like WebFaction and I have signed up for one month so far with the smallest plan so I can try it out. The thing is that my client has a tight budget and needs the most affordable possible hosting plan. I'm required to provide a cost estimation for them with a particular hosting service. The Django web app is fairly lightweight, with minimal database interactions. However, I have no idea how to estimate what the cost would be to host it on WebFaction, depending on the number of users it sees.

My client would like a basic cost estimate that includes scaled cost if the app grows to a large user base (which is a legitimate concern for this application). Assuming I scale the application as the user base grows, I need to provide an upper bound estimate of the cost for a range of users. My end goal is to provide a list like this:

  • 1,000 Users/Month --> $???.??/Month
  • 10,000 Users/Month --> $???.??/Month
  • 100,000 Users/Month --> $???.??/Month
  • 1,000,000 Users/Month --> $???.??/Month

I understand this is a very difficult question to answer, but I'm a little out of my comfort zone because I have never deployed an app to public web hosting before. Any insight as to how I can begin to estimate this cost would help me immensely. I can provide more details if needed. Thank you in advance.

asked 26 Oct '12, 23:16

MattG
1313
accept rate: 0%


You wont be able to provide a realistic cost estimates list this.

There are a few factors which stop any realistic calculations from being made,

  1. You have no idea how the users will be using the site, exactly. You can't predict if a future exploit or software trend will require your current setup to need extensive re-engineering.

  2. Between 1000 - 10,000 users it is typically easy to write some code, throw it up and watch it 'do its thing' but as your site grows you will have to be measuring and isolating bottlenecks in code and hardware to find issues, this engineering is no simple task, it is very tedious and you might have to hire people to help.

  3. Hosting providers change, and hardware costs increase as you need to ease from Shared hosting, to full dedicated boxes doing your work.

A simple answer is,

Between 1000 - 10,000 visitors should work on our basic plan, if your code is well written.

10,000 - 100,000 and you will want to start looking at our 'middle' plans with limited sets of users per-machine and/or our dedicated machines.

100,000+ users a month and you better start thinking of a team of engineers and large sums of dedicated hardware.

permanent link

answered 26 Oct '12, 23:40

johns
5.4k412
accept rate: 23%

I should also note you will want to look into the technical stuff which makes up the site and learn it forward-and-back. This guide covers 'why is my site slow' which is all information you will need to start making these tests. This is the official mod-Wsgi documentation which covers processes and threading and is required to understand how to scale apache/mod-Wsgi. And lastly there are countless blogs and community forums out there on how to serve Django, and which servers setups can benchmark what etc, a good search to run is 'Django server benchmarks' and read as much as you can about the subject from other developers who have published their experience.

(26 Oct '12, 23:51) johns

Thanks a lot for the response. This is pretty much what I expected the answer to be, I knew I was unlikely to be able to answer this question exactly. This is very helpful though, even just having ballpark estimates is a lot better than I had before. I will definitely check out those documents so I can fully understand how to scale Django effectively. As someone who is new to WebFaction, is that possible to scale easily with WebFaction? I'm assuming this involves paying for multiple machines and configuring them to use load balancing?

(29 Oct '12, 14:57) MattG

Load balancing is something that you have to do in your applications. We do have some documentation on this here to help you get going.

(29 Oct '12, 15:02) bmeyer71 ♦♦
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question asked: 26 Oct '12, 23:16

question was seen: 3,780 times

last updated: 29 Oct '12, 15:02

                              
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