What Is Joomla’s Ideal Hosting Environment?

One of the first questions that our new customers ask us is: “What is Joomla’s ideal hosting environment?”. They usually ask us this question out of frustration with their current hosting provider: they have done everything they could to optimize their Joomla website – they have even followed our advices on how to make a Joomla website faster, yet their Joomla website remains slow, very slow! And now they believe that the problem lies with their hosting, and not with Joomla itself. They are right…

You see, there are two things that you need to know about Joomla (when it comes to its hosting environment):

  • Not all hosting environments are suitable for Joomla.
  • The hosting environment can have dramatic (positive or negative) effects on your Joomla website.

So, what are the things that make an ideal hosting environment for a Joomla website? In no order of importance, here they are:

  1. Using cPanel: cPanel makes everything a breeze. It has an intuitive interface, it is really easy to spot any performance issues when using it, and its footprint on the server is very light (it has a negligible overhead). Plesk, on the other hand, is the worst platform to run Joomla on (regardless of what you’re hosting provider tells you) – if we had a dime every time we get a new Joomla customer who’s having a problem because of Plesk, we’d be billionaires (well, not really, but you get the point). Plesk generates a lot of problems for Joomla, from incompatible modules to wrong permissions, to wrong hacks done here and there by other developers trying to fix issues that were caused by Plesk in the first place. Avoid at all costs!
  2. Using Lite Speed as a web server: Lite Speed is a lighter and much faster web server than Apache. A Lite Speed server will increase the speed of your Joomla website often by a 100% (or even more). The only two downsides of Lite Speed is that it costs extra (well, not that much, it’s really $10-$20/month extra) and that not all hosting providers support it.

  3. Using memcached: You might have noticed that one of your caching options in Joomla is memcached. Memcached is a memory object caching system that will use memory to cache your Joomla database calls, as well as your Joomla rendered pages (among other things). This will dramatically increase the speed of your Joomla website.

  4. Using a PHP accelerator: There are 3 major PHP accelerators which are APC, eAccelerator, and xcache. Installing one of them on the server hosting your Joomla website will greatly increase your website’s speed. Note that APC is probably the best choice, and that’s why it’s going to be included in PHP6. eAccelerator is good (some say it’s faster than the other two), but it seems that it’s no longer actively supported.

  5. Running PHP as a DSO module: Most PHP implementations out there run as SuPHP. While the latter is more secure, the PHP DSO module is much faster and you won’t have any security issues with it if you follow our security tips for your Joomla website.

  6. Having your own dedicated server: We can’t insist enough on the importance of having your own dedicated server to host your Joomla website. Doing so will ensure that the speed of your website is not adversely affected by other websites (that may or may not belong to you and may or may not be resource-hungry) that are hosted on the same server. It’s also much better for your security. A VPS is a good and affordable choice in case your Joomla website only gets a few hundred visitors a day. Shared hosting should be avoided whenever possible.

  7. Not hosting with your programmer/designer: This will not necessarily enhance the performance of your website, but it’ll make you sleep better at night. The thing is your programmer or designer is an individual, and not a company – he may find a full-time job and decide that he no longer wants your business, he may not want to work with you anymore (personal issues), he may put your website with literally hundreds of other sites on the same server, he might stop paying his server fees, he may even die! (what will happen to your website then?) We always advise our customers to avoid hosting with their developers/designers and opt for a real and decent hosting solution instead.

If you need help implementing the above then we can do it for you. Just contact us and you’ll see how friendly, caring, responsible, and motivated we are when working on your website. Our rates are very reasonable too. Oh, and did we mention that we are very nice people to work with?

3 Responses to “What Is Joomla’s Ideal Hosting Environment?”
  1. Pingback by Is Your Joomla Domain Blacklisted? | itoctopus — May 16, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    […] The first and only thing that you need to do is to contact your hosting company and tell them about the issue. Ensuring that your mail server is not on a blacklist is their responsibility – not yours! What they will do is that they’ll cleanup the server and then contact the different blacklisting services and ask them to remove the IP of your mail server off their list. If the blacklisting happened because of your website (either because you’re sending unsolicited emails or your website is hacked by a spammer), then your hosting company might warn you about this and might ask you to 1) stop sending unsolicited mass emails and 2) ensure that your Joomla website is secure enough (unlike popular belief, the security of your own website is rarely your hosting company’s responsibility). (We recommend you check this post on Joomla’s ideal hosting environment) […]

  2. Pingback by Can Joomla Be Used to Build a Social Networking Website? | itoctopus — January 22, 2013 @ 12:50 pm

    […] A social networking website powered by Joomla must have the right (hosting) environment. In other words, it must have access to a lot of physical resources on the server hosting it (social websites tend to grow exponentially when they succeed), it must be able to connect to MySQL, it must be powered by the right web server, and it must enjoy a lot of bandwidth. (We have discussed Joomla’s ideal environment before – see here.) […]

  3. Pingback by Does Joomla Require Zend Optimizer to Run? | itoctopus — November 5, 2013 @ 8:52 pm

    […] a basic LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) environment (check Joomla’s ideal environment here) to work properly. In short, a basic instance of Joomla with no 3rd party extensions can run […]

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