How to Choose the Best VPS Hosting Providers?

Top VPS HostingWhen launching a new website, the right hosting is key to its success. With many service options and website hosting providers readily available, choosing the right combination can be a difficult task.

VPS hosting is a method of hosting where each customer has their own virtual location to store their website files on the host’s server, as opposed to a location shared with many other websites. Also sometimes referred to as virtual dedicated server (VDS). This option allows hosts to allocate resources more effectively and allow savvy customers “root” access or access for maintenance work. VPS hosting allows more RAM (Random Access Memory) and CPU (Central Processing Unit – or processing power) giving a much better performance and capability for a high traffic website. Setting up and managing a server can be expensive and fraught with risks, so renting space on a host server is often the best route for small and larger companies.

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VPS is a “Virtual Private Server”, a virtualized private server which mimics a dedicated server but is actually part of a large shared server, in essence it’s actually both shared and dedicated. Far more advanced and able than standard shared hosting services, VPS can offer a number of benefits to bigger websites or those that need setting up in a certain way.

Is that Server Right for me?

Most new websites begin with a basic shared hosting plan from their provider. Shared hosting is cheap, light on the technical stuff and easy to setup and managed. A basic shared hosting package will suit most blogs and even lower traffic e-commerce sites. As a site grows and traffic increases VPS hosting is the logical next step to ensure reliability, security and performance.

Indicators for a change

Indicators it might be time to switch to VPS hosting are:

Heavy website traffic – some shared providers will indicate when you are using too many shared resources, visitor statistics and page load times from Google Analytics will also be good indicators. If you expect sudden increases in traffic in the future or plan to add additional websites it may be time to prepare now.

Reliability and security – shared hosting may no longer be viable if you need more resource or you require stronger backup, advanced monitoring or other enhanced features. You may want to work with confidential secured data in your business and limit any security risks.

Root access and control – you may require custom software, configuration or access to your site or server space. Complete control of your website may suit you better.

What are the Pros and Cons?

Security and Maintenance

  • Privacy is greater with VPS than on a shared server as other websites do not have potential access to your own files.
  • With a single dedicated physical server the risks are lower once again.
  • With VPS you can add custom firewall configurations.
  • Some technical ability is needed with VPS hosting, especially an unmanaged host service where the security and reliability would need to be monitored.

Customisation and Control

  • On VPS a website has its own operating system, with single use applications such as Apache, PHP and MySQL which can be easily customised to one websites requirements.
  • If the installation or setting changes initiated require a restart this can be carried out without affecting other sites with dedicated space on the server.
  • Some applications may not run in a virtualised environment.

With VPS, valuable RAM is not shared, amounts are set and allocated, so when you need it, it’s there. On a shared server, other websites can use available RAM and potentially slow down your own site. With VPS you receive exactly what you pay for. Benefits are very close to that of having a completely physically dedicated server. VPS residents who share the virtual space will be much lower in number that the number of sites hosted on a standard shared hosting service. Greater space and bandwidth can be a huge boon.

VPS hosting will always be more expensive than standard shared hosting, but less costly that owning and managing your own server. Website owners need to compare package features and should detail their needs and wants, comparing this with available packages and prices.

How to Decide?

Linux or Windows
You will need to decide whether a Windows or Linux VPS environment is right for you. For ASP or users it has to be a Windows environment.

Managing your VPS hosting
Usually with VPS hosting the management of the whole virtual server is given over so server performance must be monitored and actioned and security must be maintained. However managed VPS options exist where the provider takes care of some or all of these aspects.

Backup systems
VPS servers should exhibit a strong backup network in case of power failure or ISP downtime. Scalability should also be a consideration – which is the ability to handle sudden increased loads on the server – sudden increases in website traffic – by quickly utilising spare resource.

VPS hosting is more expensive that standard shared hosting and a range of VPS packages will be available from each provider designed to serve a myriad of needs and budgets. Trial periods and offers may be worth considering.

Package features will be comparable by the amount of:

  • Storage
  • Speed of Data Transfer
  • RAM
  • CPU Cores
  • IP Addresses
  • cPanel/WHM Access

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Top VPS Hosting or Cloud-Based?

With conventional VPS hosting, hosting servers are physical data centre with many multiples of storage “disks”. Cloud-based VPS draw space from multiple clustered servers with no actual physical alignment of separation. Additional space or servers can be added remotely which can give more flexibility than conventional VPS hosting.

Website performance depends on the configuration of the server, the capacity of processor and RAM and the quality of the physical data centre. Restrictions on data transfer, backup protocols, limits to IP addresses and core CPU power are all factors.

Customer Support
As with all hosting providers adequate customer support is vital and for VPS hosting and larger websites excellent levels of 24/7 support is essential.