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Best way to host a CGI::Application based web site?

by scorpio17 (Canon)
on Oct 17, 2007 at 15:03 UTC ( #645460=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

scorpio17 has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

I'm preparing to launch a web site, developed with CGI::Application. The site will support user accounts (registration, login, etc), use database-backed sessions to maintain state, shopping cart info, etc. As a result, every page hit will result in a cgi script being run.

Most web hosting companies assume you only need to upload HTML files. I've had a hard time finding companies that allow CGI scripts like I need. At this point, I'm seriously considering the company that hosts perlmonks - but their terms of service state that no user may have more than 8 processes running on the server at any one time. For me, that means if I have 8 customers all click on a link at the same time - boom! Right?

Note that I'm looking at the $30/month plan. In order to get a dedicated server running with mod_perl enabled, the price jumps to $250/month. That's more than I can afford, at least initially.

So - what are my alternatives? Find another web host? I expect most hosts will have similar limits. Use PHP (the horror!). What have other people done?

I've actually done a lot of webapp development - but always at work, within the company intranet, where I had root access to the web servers, etc. This will be my first personal website, using a hosting company, and it seems really hard to do anything with all the restrictions. Of course, I understand the need for security, sharing resources, etc. I'm assuming that some of you here do web development using perl, so - any suggestions?

Thanks!

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Re: Best way to host a CGI::Application based web site?
by erroneousBollock (Curate) on Oct 17, 2007 at 15:19 UTC
    While I can't comment specifically on pair Networks' policy, I think you'll find that 8 processes refers to "long running" processes. It's probably the case that your hosting provider will limit the number of connections to any particular site/account to avoid such a situation for short-lived processes (such as calls to CGIs).

    -David

Re: Best way to host a CGI::Application based web site?
by metaperl (Curate) on Oct 17, 2007 at 15:32 UTC
    I have root access, 10 gigs of disk, plenty of ram, and a knowledgeable staff available via IRC at Linode. They are the best in the hosting business in my opinion. And in that of many other dedicated hackers.
Re: Best way to host a CGI::Application based web site?
by snopal (Pilgrim) on Oct 17, 2007 at 16:24 UTC

    I've found the hardest thing about multi-hosted services (many host accounts on one machine) is that even if you have them install your Perl module, your site may be migrated to another machine at any time. The most important thing about such hosting services is if you have shell based access on your hosting server. Not root, necessarily, but just a plain old shell account in which you can manage your site.

    All other things being equal (CGI w/ Perl, reasonable disk space), having that shell account gives you the ability to install your modules in personal space. Obviously, some of the "horse pill/kitchen sink" modules are probably not suited for this type of installation, but if you are careful you can get what you need without asking for help.

    For example, I work on a site for a neighborhood association. I like Template::Toolkit, but because of the redeployment of assets, I had it then lost it as a system module. However, I have installed it in the site's tree, and just make sure my @INC knows where to look, and I'm good as gold where-ever they move the site next.

Re: Best way to host a CGI::Application based web site?
by perrin (Chancellor) on Oct 17, 2007 at 19:37 UTC
    Why don't you look into one of the virtual server services? They give you root, allow you to run mod_perl, and are not expensive. You get a lot less hardware power than I expect Pair gives for $250, but you may not need it if you can run mod_perl.

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