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How to find web hosting that meets my requirements?

I'm an inexperienced webmaster trying to estimate hosting requirements for a site. I need to work out a dollar amount for a grant.

The tricky part is that traffic fluctuates dramatically throughought the year, because we're an international day of celebration. That means most of the year, we get ~50 visitors a day. Then in the months ramping up to the day, we get between 200-600 visitors a day. In a three day span at the peak, we can get 5,000-200,000 a day. Last year the site crashed because of this and I want to avoid it this year.

I'm writing a grant to get better hosting, but I have no idea what the best solution for this would be. I need to have a solid dollar amount it will PROBABLY have if things go the way they did last year. Any help is greatly appreciated.

EDIT: we're in the USA. Right now we have our site hosted on GoDaddy but I don't have the details. The site handled the traffic okay right up until June 8th, when it crashed. We don't have an accurate measure of how many people visited, but our sysadmin thought it was a DDOS attack at first. He said it was around 200,000 at once. The site is http://www.WorldOceansDay.org

Note: we also use CloudFlare to cache and serve our pages, not sure how that may affect it

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Can you give more info of the situation? What type of organization is issuing the grant. What type of web hosting do you currently have? What is your budget? What is your country of origin? All these things matter. How much load does your server require? It's often cheaper to get an unmetered dedicated server from france than anything else. –  user606723 Oct 24 '11 at 17:23
    
Thanks for the heads up Dennis –  user1011335 Oct 24 '11 at 17:23
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Oct 24 '11 at 17:44

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marked as duplicate by John Conde Oct 24 '11 at 17:51

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2 Answers

Well, what about flexible hosting. I use Gandi for my needs and they always have been 100% reliable:

Check here: https://www.gandi.net/hosting/vps/gandiflex

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You could also check out Rackspace CloudSites. It scales automatically, and if you experience a single day with peaks then Rackspace say they'll help you prepare for it by scaling up your site for that day.

It works just as any other hosting. No need to configure anything yourself, no need to deal with load balancing yourself. Both PHP and ASP is supported.

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