I have been searching for a good website hosting company that can offer me all the services that I need for hosting my PHP & MySQL based website. Now this is a community based website and users will be able to upload pictures, etc. The hosting company that I have in mind, currently lets me do everything... let me use mail(), supports CRON jobs, etc. Of course they are charging about $6/month. Now the only problem with this company is that they have a limit of 50,000 files that can exist within the hosting account at any time. This kind of contradicts their frontpage ad of "UNLIMITED SPACE" on their website. Apart from this, I know of no other reason why I should not go with this hosting company.
But my issue is that 50,000 file limit is what I cannot live with, once the users increase in significant number and the files they upload, exceed 50,000 in number. Now since this is a dynamic website and also includes sensitive issues like payments, etc. I am not sure if I should go ahead with this company as I am just starting out and then later switch over to a better hosting company which does not limit me with 50,000 files. If I need to switch over once I host with this company, I will need to take backups of all the files located in my account (jpg, zip, etc.), then upload them to the new host. I am not aware of any tools that can help me in this process. Can you please mention if you know any?
I can go ahead with the other companies right now, but their cost is double/triple of the current price and they all sport less features than my current choice. If I pay more, then they are ready to accommodate my higher demands. Unfortunately, the company that I am willing to go with now, does NOT have any other higher/better plans that I can switch to. So that's the really really bad part.
So my question(s):
Since I am starting out with my website and since the scope of users initially is going to be less/small, should I go ahead with the current choice and then once the demand increases, switch over to a better provider? If yes, how can I transfer my database, especially the jpg files, etc. to the new provider? I don't even know the tools required to backup and restore to another host.
(I don't like this idea but still..) Should I go ahead and pay more right now and go with better providers (without knowing if the website is going to do really that well) just for saving myself the trouble of having to take a backup of the 50,000 files and upload to a new host from an old host and just start paying double/triple the price without even knowing if I would receive back the returns as I expected?
Backup and Restore in such a bulky numbers is something that I have never done before and hence I am stuck here trying to decide what to do. The price per month is also a considerable factor in my decision.
All these web hosting companies say one common thing: It is customers responsibility to backup and restore data and they are not liable for any loss. So no matter what hosting company that I would like to go with, they ask me to take backup via FTP so that I can restore them whenever I want (& it seems to be safer to have the files locally with me). Some are providing tools for backup and some are not and I am not sure how much their backup tools can be trusted considering the disclaimers they have. I have never backed-up and restored 50,000 files from one web host to another, so please, all you experienced people out there, leave your comments and let me know your suggestions so that I can decide.
I have spent 2 days fighting with myself trying to decide what to do and finally concluded that this is a double-edged sword and I can't arrive at a satisfactory final decision without involving others suggestions. I believe that someone must be out there who may have had such troublesome decision to make. So all your suggestions to help me make my decision are appreciated.
Thank you all.
I appreciate all the responses, but so far I haven't seen any replies that can tell me about the file Backup and Restore tools. Did anyone ever actually get a chance to Backup and Restore the files in their web hosting account? If yes, please mention the tools and their relevant website links so I can check them out. Thanks!!!