Hi all, I am fairly new to Drupal. I am re-designing/developing a website for a homeowners association using Drupal 7 that was originally built using tables. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being clueless and 10 being a Drupal guru), I would say I'm a 3. I don't know Php or Linux. I have some basic HTML and CSS skills.
My old site is hosted on Dreamhost using a managed, shared hosting plan and cPanel. The new site is coming together very nicely, and I am feeling pretty comfortable using Drupal 7. I am developing the site on a local testing server using a DAMP stack. For the most part everything works and when it doesn't, I have been able to figure it out or get an answer through the forums or the issues' cue for the particular module that is giving me grief.
I have installed a patch using cygwin and have also downloaded some code from Git. Although, I have to use step by step instructions.
My client wants to see be able to access the site online as I am developing it, so I have uploaded it to Dreamhost via Dreamweaver in a subdomain.
The drupal site is currently 250 Mb. The only traffic is myself and my client. I have disabled the login function and only administrators can approve users of which I have only two (me as a test user and admin). My client accesses the site as an anonymous user.
I recently started having problems with the site running slowly, and I can't update my database when I upload my revised site every few days. My web host says it's because I have too many processes running and am hitting my RAM limits which "kills" my site. They sent me an excerpt from my logs and it looks like the "procwatch kicks in between 39.5MB & 60MB.
I can change to a VPS on Dreamhost for $50/month for 1GB of RAM. It looks like this would be easy, since I would still be using cPanel, I'm comfortable with it and they would be there for support if I need it. Or, I can go with Lionode or Digital Ocean for $20/mo. or $10/mo., but I think I need to know Linux and there is no support (just the user forums).
I have to go live with the site ASAP.
I have checked out https://drupal.org/node/1722250 about optimizing my Drupal site. Some of it is over my head and turning on CSS and JS aggregation in the performance page caused my CSS to go nuts.
Do I need to go with a VPS? Should I stick with the expensive easy to use Dreamhost. How hard is it to use the unmanaged VPS services? You're thoughts in general?