How to Upgrade to Bluehost Pro Package

I am going to share my experience of hosting on t:bluehost for 1.5 years and why I decided to upgrade to their PRO package.

For the first year I had no problems with their shared hosting, everything worked great but as my site’s traffic went up I started noticing small downtimes, which were quite minor and a few minutes is something I would not complain about since its a shared hosting and its was still within 99.5% uptime.

Their “unlimited” package is ofcourse limted, once you start getting high traffic you would often reach the SQL maximum concurrent connections limit and/or get slowed down by their CPU throttling mechanisms.
CPU Throttling Bluehost
Bluehost’s CPU Throttling graph

I would say Bluehost can easily handle 1 page request per second (or around 80,000 pageviews/day) for a light-weight site with few queries, small page size, etc.  anything more than that and you would start hitting their SQL limits. This I feel is not bad for a shared hosting, but then from the past couple of months I started seeing more downtimes due to other sites hammering the server and database. At first I thought that their CPU throttling technology would prevent this from ever happening as it used to slow down my site in the past. But I was wrong as I was told by their support staff, I knew it from that moment that I had to get out of this shared server.

I had known about their PRO package before but did not know the details, so I found how it was different from the normal package:
5 GB Total MySQL Databases (up from 3 GB)
5 GB Single Database Size (up from 2 GB)
3000 Database Tables (up from 1000) 
15 Mb/s Bandwidth (up from 8 Mb/s) 
2000 Max Emails/Hour (up from 750)
More CPU time and server memory (they don’t mention any details on this)

Interesting, but I didn’t care much about it since I hardly required all these, all I was interested in was going to a server with fewer users or that which can handle more traffic. Well, I could be going with a VPS or Dedicated, but I am running a light-weight site and I think a shared hosting with a less crowded server should easily manage that. Most importantly I wanted minimum downtime and upgrading to their PRO package seemed easy and attractive.

So, finally I decided to upgrade, before starting the upgrade I did a backup and deleted the junk so the process of upgrading would be faster. I made the payment and after about 10 minutes my site went down.

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Bluehost Pro Upgrade
Bluehost Upgrade in Progress Page

I was expecting a few hours downtime so I decided to do it at midnight but I was surprised when it took just a minute.
I checked that there were around 200 sites hosted on the same server, down from about 2000, not bad – 90% less crowded. Now, it’s a PRO server and you can expect other sites to be high traffic sites as well, so now I am going to monitor for a few days and see if it’s worth to upgrade.

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