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I have been researching this stuff for so many days, and I can't make up my mind!

So the scenario is this site could grow extremely rapidly, so I would need something that scales very quickly. I would also need considerable amount of SQL Server storage, say 5-10 GB for the same reason. (Please feel free to tell me my estimate is all wrong, because I am just learning).

Should I start out with shared and migrate to VPS, if needed? Although I am a programmer, I am new to this web-hosting thing, so do you think VPS could be hard to manage all on my own? And how important is RAM, can that be a critical factor in the decision? I plan to do a lot of caching.

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A shared host would be easier from a management point of view- but then might have more restrictions later on. A VPS would be more of a management headache to start with- but would easily grow with you, and you can easily install the software that you want.

Either way- ensure that you go with a provider that can easily scale to your needs

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Given the what you've said in your question, especially about your inexperience, I'd suggest going with shared hosting, at least for now. Then you can take some time to learn what you need to know in order to move to a VPS, if that does in fact become necessary.

As for your guestimate of 5 to 10GB of SQL storage, we have absolutely nothing to go by but I'm inclined to think you won't be needing that kind of capacity for quite a long time. Either that or the data is being stored extremely inefficiently. The question of RAM is likewise impossible to answer without knowing anything about the site and the software behind it.

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