Moving from a shared website account to a VPS account?
I currently run a single website for a federation of schools. It's a single site, about 200 html pages, about 20 downloadable documents, a few images here and there but nothing too intensive. Traffic is pretty low, maybe 20 visits on a good day with the odd spike of a few hundred visits at key times in the year. Up to now, it's fine being on a shared account, one of those £30 a year jobbies from hostgator.
I've been asked to set up a new website that can be accessed by possibly around two thousand students in one go, without some students having to wait too long or students being given a 'Not available message' from their browser. The plan, apparently, is to put some work on different pages, e.g. cover work if there is snow, use it to deliver simultaneous questionnaires to a few thousand students, do some tests that have to be done at the same time across multiple schools etc but the idea is that a large number of students will access the pages at the same time.
Now, I don't want to look like a cock-up artist. I have produced a new website but am not sure whether a) the shared account will hold up with so many simultaneous log-ins (I have my suspicions it won't) and b) whether I need to upgrade to something where I have more CPU use and RAM, e.g. a VPS. I've discounted a dedicated server as being over-the-top. I'm going from £30 a year to around £300 a year so want to try and get it right.
a) Any thoughts?
b) Any suggestions / recommendations for a mangaged VPS, please.
I'm keen for a managed solution to minimise the workload, and alternatives delivery via a website are not possible - this is the main Head's baby!
Thanks for your help!