A Comprehensive VPS Guide: What Is a VPS and Where To Buy
In today’s day and age, one can’t play hide and seek with website visitors. You’ll eventually need a reliable web hosting service to claim a stake on the Internet, and to do justice to your increasing traffic. After all, slow speed, dead response, or frequent downtime can easily piss off customers and lower your Google rankings. Not to forget the fact that dealing with a crappy web host provider would prove to be a task from hell. With no purposeful intent, one might be leaving behind a trail of unsatisfied customers. The key takeaway over here is to choose a proper web hosting plan while starting off to avoid disappointment down the road.
Why Would You Choose a VPS?
No, we are not talking about free hosting or something else that comes on a shoestring budget. For great stability, reliability, and peace of mind, you will need something better. We all know that shared hosting has its share of downsides primarily because it’s one of the low-cost hosting packages out there. Because others will be sharing the server, you will get access to limited disk space, bandwidth, and other data. It’s like living in a shared apartment, where you share a common space with your neighbors. Dedicated hosting is great, but it may not suit every wallet. As a matter of fact, the cost of dedicated hosting might scare some beginners. As webmasters looking to run a professional and legit online business, we need something in between.
Introduction to VPS Hosting – What is a VPS?
VPS or Virtual Private Server hosting could prove to be the answer to our prayers. It fills the gap between shared and dedicated hosting. It’s far more reliable and stable than shared hosting, and it’s relatively cheaper in comparison to dedicated hosting. Basically, VPS hosting can offer us the best of both the worlds. It’s the ideal route to enjoy the functionality and flexibility of a dedicated server minus the high cost. So, let’s understand VPS in bare basic terms through this VPS guide. VPS hosting provides complete control of the server in a webmaster’s hands just like owning a dedicated server. However, the virtual aspect of the equation implies sharing CPU, RAM, and bandwidth with other webmasters using the server. This means that the web hosting company will allow you to use the same pool of resources from the server, but the resources allocated to you are guaranteed by the system.
VPS Basics – How Does it Work?
Let’s say; you acquire a Cpanel VPS hosting package with 4GB RAM, the company will ensure that your server will get 4GB RAM at all times, regardless of the RAM used by other people on the same server. So, a VPS user will have his own operating system, premium bandwidth, dedicated storage space, RAM, CPU and other hosting resources but at a lesser cost than a dedicated server. It’s a perfect solution for those website owners who have outgrown their shared hosting service but are unable to upgrade to a dedicated hosting package due to the high-cost associated with the upgrade. In a battle between shared hosting vs Cpanel VPS vs Dedicated Server, VPS is bound to win because it bridges the gap between the two.
Differences Between Linux and Windows VPS
Linux is a free and open source platform, so it costs less than Windows. Unlike Windows, the majority of the Linux server applications are free for users. The fact that cPanel is also compatible with Linux, it has become a hit with the masses. On the other hand, one would need an operating system license to use the Windows platform.
Being an open source, Linux offers top-notch protection against malware and viruses. You will have to install a host of security software to gain the same level of security on Windows. Moreover, the SSH Access creates less load on the server compared to Windows. Also, one can enjoy better control as well. So, Linux is ideal for webmasters who aim for a budget-friendly open source option and have the required tech skills to manage the server.
Compared to Linux, Windows is a more comfortable and easy-to-use platform. You don’t need a ton of IT expertise to manage the server. Any window user should be good to use the Windows platform. So, it would prove to be an ideal option for novice webmasters. Moreover, it will prove to be a match made in heaven for ASP or ASP.NET users or users with a MS SQL database. One will get a lot of support and updates from Microsoft as well. Windows VPS works best with the Microsoft platform. So, it’s best for businesses that rely heavily on Microsoft software and programs.
Different Types of VPS Hosting: Managed vs. Unmanaged
At the moment, you might think that life is all sorted. Just choose a VPS hosting package and enjoy a trouble-free hosting experience for a lifetime. Unfortunately, life isn’t all that simple with a VPS hosting, unless you have a good tech background. In some cases, good knowledge of Linux becomes a must to handle some technical difficulties that one might encounter down the road. Well, don’t lose hope yet. You can always opt for a managed virtual private server if you don’t want to get your hands dirty with all the tech commands. It’s the ideal option for novice webmasters without any tech background. As such, there are two types of VPS hosting—Managed VPS hosting and unmanaged VPS hosting. Let’s get to know them better.
What is Managed VPS Hosting?
Managed VPS Hosting fits the bill perfectly for both technical and non-technical webmasters. Over here, the hosting company will take care of all the technical aspects of the server. In simple words, the entire technical headache such as system upgrade, VPS backup, configuration, how to setup, etc. will be handled by the host, while you can focus on running your website as usual. Make no mistake; you will still have administrative access via the control panel to make required changes to your server according to your needs and preference.
What is Unmanaged VPS Hosting?
As you may have guessed by now, this VPS service is not really meant for non-technical people. The hosting company will provide you the administrative access and the promised resources, but everything else will be up to you to handle. Basically, the web hosting company will ensure that the server will be up and available at all times, but the configuration and administrative part of the equation will be left to you. In a nutshell, this service is for the technical nerds. So, unmanaged VPS hosting is not for the average Joe since there is quite a bit of technical knowledge involved with its use.
When You Need to Move From Shared Hosting to a VPS
Most webmasters begin with a shared hosting plan. It’s absolutely ok to do so because it’s the easiest and cheapest package out there. As your site grows, the next stepping stone would be VPS. If you are unsure when you should make a switch to VPS, here are some situations when a switch to VPS would prove to be a worthwhile decision.
- You start witnessing heavy traffic
Bingo! Your site outgrows, and now you cannot afford the risk of downtime. After all, a shared hosting is not a tangible solution for heavy traffic site. Before you receive a rude notification from your hosting company, you better make a switch to VPS to handle the flow of growing traffic. Any downtime on your high traffic website will not only lose potential customers or users but also could degrade your authority to Google, which will get you penalized in the SERPS – a webmasters absolute worst nightmare.
- Your website is always slow
A slow website is not always a designer’s fault. The web hosting package that you choose could be the culprit over here. Keep in mind that shared hosting packages are not meant for sites that eat a lot of RAM and disk space. As your website grows with new content, you might notice that your website is no longer the rabbit it used to be. It might turn into a turtle. When this happens, it’s a clear indication that you are maxing out on your resources offered on the shared hosting platform. An upgrade to a VPS hosting package will solve the problem of slow loading. Similar to above, if you notice your website getting slow, Google will think your website is degrading in quality. Checkout gtmetrix.com.This is one of the best online tools for indicating whether or not your site is slow. It gives specific suggestions to help your site become faster. If GTMetrix says your site is slow due to server load times, it’s a strong indication that a VPS may be needed.
- You need better control/security
There will be some point when you will need complete control over the servers for optimum website functionality. Some advanced actions such as installing custom configuration or software would not be possible in a shared hosting package. An upgrade to VPS will take care of these downsides. Also, it will enable you to implement advanced monitoring capabilities, better backup options, and enhanced security features.
- When you are on a budget
Agreed, dedicated hosting can solve all the problems mentioned below, but they won’t be easy on everyone’s wallet. Moreover, why pay more when you can get similar benefits from VPS? Therefore, it’s a good idea to start with a VPS package until you website generates enough revenue to meet the cost of a dedicated server. Remember, there are low-end and high-end prices in VPS hosting plans as well. The prices range from $20 to $100 a month. There is nothing right or wrong with the pricing over here. It simply depends on what’s best for your website.
Keep in mind that VPS is not the final terminal station. At some point, you might feel the need to upgrade to a dedicated plan or even cloud hosting, but that’s another story. Everything guns down to the needs of your website. It’s your job to monitor your site so that you can make the right switch at the right time without throwing an arm and a leg. The main thing is that you can pat yourself on the back because you have been able to make such transitions due to your website’s growth.
Where to buy VPS? Tips Included!
If you haven’t reached out to your wallet yet, then wait. We will offer you some important pointers on where to buy VPS hosting without burning your time and money. Goes without saying – go for a reputable web hosting company. Only a reliable and trustworthy company will be able to offer you rock-solid VPS package. So, don’t fall for the VPS cheap garbage prices. The merits of quality will always outperform quantity. Some hosting companies will put you in a spot where you could be left fighting for resources with other co-users. This could affect your website’s performance and lead to issues such as frequent downtimes and slow speed.
The VPS service should offer maximum uptime and easy backup VPS solution to save your site from meltdown if something ever goes wrong. Moreover, consider a company that offers user-friendly control panel. Even those with tech background are left with a ‘yuck’ look on their face with a complicated control panel. The company should have excellent customer support team as well. As a newcomer, you could be strangling for help, if the company fails to address your issue on time. Finally, get suggestions from friends and experienced professionals from the same field to know more about the hosting company you have shortlisted.
Here are some common VPS Hosting companies:
As you can see, these are common hosting companies that you’ve probably heard about when doing research for other types of hosting services. VPS hosting is quite common and a normal path when you’re in need of better service while maintaining a relatively low cost. If you’re looking for a more in-depth review of these companies, check out http://www.hostingadvice.com/reviews/vps/
VPS’s take the best of both worlds from dedicated and shared hosting. It gives you substantial power, control, and security without breaking your wallet into pieces. Though it can be a little more complicated, if you’re planning on running a website for a long time or running multiple websites, this is a path you should seriously consider.
A common question I get asked is whether or not there are free VPS hosting solutions. Or, what are the cheapest or closest-to-free alternatives available? Honestly – a truly decent VPS will always cost money. Imagine the other side of the table, where the person hosting must power a machine and provide the service and interface – it’s not a free or easy task. Hosting requires substantial power and technical expertise. The only way I can imagine a free VPS happening is if its a new service AND even this can be a risky proposition since the VPS hosting is new.
If you’re looking into VPS’s and want coupons, promos, or discounts, I’m currently working to get some right now! They will be available soon, so check out my Coupons Page to keep updated.
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