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This question is not so much about ISPs and service providers as about the type of hosting that I should choose for a network site.

Should I go for shared hosting, dedicated hosting, VPS or cloud?

I am being tasked with building a network of university portals that will be white-labeled and handed over to their respective admins. There's a lot of custom development so I would like to have control over apache modules, php ini settings and mysql. These subdomains are unlikely to be heavily trafficked but need to be secure and fast.

Are there specialists out there that you would recommend? Would like to hear about past experiences (positive and negative) with service providers too.

UPDATE: Let me just clarify budget here: It should be under $1000 US a year

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From a recent experience I'd suggest staying away from Plesk. It's a major pain and will cause you many headaches. A VPS is a minimum for what you need. Maybe a resellers account with a dedicated server is in your budget if you look around. –  Jeremy Jared Apr 1 '12 at 3:28
    
@JeremyJared could you clarify a bit about what you mean by "resellers account with dedicated server?" What is it? And where do I find it? –  Amit Erandole Apr 1 '12 at 3:38
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1 Answer

I have all my sites hosted at WP Engine, they have an AWESOME product, they only host WordPress sites, so their support staff REALLY knows WP. In my opinion you can't go wrong with WP Engine.

I don't work for them, and I didn't even use an affiliate link, so I hope you know that I'm serious!

At least give them a call, ask for Trafton, tell Trafton the guy from Weedub.com sent you, and he will explain their product to you in person (over the phone) ... then, you'll see what I mean. Their rates are very reasonable for what they offer.

I have hosted my sites with all the big names, and NO ONE compares.

Really hope this helps mate

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wow! WP Engine looks good. Am contacting them right now. You have a multisite hosted with them? –  Amit Erandole Apr 1 '12 at 3:42
    
yes, I do, and I couldn't be happier! I'd love it if you could get to talk to Trafton, that's who's phone rings when you call the number on their site. It may be a little too late right now, but then again it might not be... try back during the day if you don't get Trafton! I'd love it if you'd let him know I sent you, I really want those guys to know how much I love their hosting, it won't get me any kickbacks or anything, but it'd be nice :) Hope you end up going with them... you can try it for free before you decide to buy, by the way! –  Klyde Apr 1 '12 at 3:53
    
ok Klyde. I'll be sure to mention you –  Amit Erandole Apr 1 '12 at 4:07
    
Thanks, and take advantage of the free time, it will help you get a feel for things... ENJOY!!! –  Klyde Apr 1 '12 at 4:09
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