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Hosting Many Small Sites


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 16, 2010
I work with a small boutique real estate brokerage in Southern California. We're starting a new marketing initiative for our agents that includes a basic property website and custom domain for each of their listings.

We're going to roll this out to new listings only, not retroactively, so the number of sites we're hosting will grow with time. Between all of our agents we average about 200 listings active at any one time, and the sites will stay up for a short period after the listing is sold. So ultimately we'll need a solution to host about 250 micro-websites with their own domain.

The websites are mostly made up of static html pages, but we are including a lot of features like a slider rotating 3 large images on the main page, jquery for tasteful hover and click interactions etc... but they should not be too bandwidth intensive. We're not expecting a heavy traffic load to each site either.

A lot of shared hosting plans advertise Unlimited domains, but I just don't think they are the right solution for what we're looking to do. Even with minimal traffic to each site I would assume that 250 domains would overwhelm the resources of a shared hosting plan.

Does anyone have any experience trying to do something similar? What would the right type of hosting be given the sites are HTML5 with very minimal PHP? Virtual? Dedicated? Multiple shared hosting accounts? Looking for a variety of opinions.



macrumors 6502
Apr 3, 2006
Beacon, NY
I'm currently working on something similar with my new business, currently at 9 sites, should expand over the next few months.

At 250 I would look at something other than shared hosting, either a dedicated server or cloud hosting.

Depending on your management needs you might want to look at building all the sites off of a frame system instead of having multiple independent sites. I'm using drupal and the domain access module to do this. All the domains point at the same drupal install but different content is shown depending on which domain is used to access the site. It would allow the agents to be able to easily update their own sub-sites while being able to manage any network wide updates on just one site.


macrumors member
Aug 6, 2012
I would actually think a good shared hosting provider would be ideally set up for this. The larger providers are already hosting thousands of small websites with their own domains, and they've set up server pools, load balancing, etc, etc all to optimize for this case.

Unless I misunderstand what you've got in mind, there just isn't much overhead in hosting many domains, even all on a single server. We did something similar on a Sparc 5 in the late 90's, and that machine was so slow you could barely check email on it.


macrumors member
Jun 15, 2007
WordPress Multisite sounds perfect for this. I use it and am really happy with it. I have about 20 domains on it right now as well as several sub domain sites under a few of those. Setting up a new sub domain site takes only a few clicks and a few minutes to do. Definitely worth checking out.
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