Virtual Private Servers, or VPS hosting, has become one of the most popular forms of web hosting on the market.
Offering a midpoint between your run-of-the-mill shared web hosting plans, and a fully dedicated server, VPS hosting is often the top choice for developers, organisations, and businesses throughout the world.
For beginners and those who aren’t very tech-savvy, VPS hosting can seem confusing and unclear. You may be left thinking – what exactly is a VPS? When should I choose one? How is it different to other types of hosting plans?
In this blog post we aim to explain exactly what VPS hosting is, which scenarios are suitable for VPS hosting, and how you can get started.
What is VPS Hosting?
A Virtual Private Server, or VPS, is a virtual machine that gives all the control of a dedicated server, but within a fully virtualized environment.
With a VPS, there is one physical node server, which is then split into virtual partitions which are then treated as individual systems. Each virtual server has it’s on storage space, resources, memory, and operating system. You can have a number of virtual private servers on one physical server, and it’s even possible to have different operating systems for each VPS instance.
Customers can usually select the operating system, memory, storage capacity, and processing power of their VPS plan. This can often be upgraded or downgraded at any time; since the physical hardware doesn’t need reinstalling, the resource limits can be easily and quickly changed.
When Should You Choose VPS Hosting?
VPS plans are a great choice for any growing business, combining the affordability of shared hosting with the excellent features and benefits of dedicated hosting – without the higher costs and necessity for technical knowledge. VPS plans don’t typically require much technical know-how, since the virtual server is configured by the hosting provider, so it’s often easier to use for beginners or teams who don’t have dedicated IT staff.
If you’re finding yourself outgrowing the limited resources and performance of a shared hosting plan, VPS hosting is a great step up.
Choosing a Hosting Provider
The first step on your hosting journey will be choosing your hosting provider. This is an important step to take, and there are a variety of factors you should be taking into consideration.
With the massive selection of hosting providers on the internet, it can however be difficult to understand what to look out for, and what to avoid. At the end of the day, you don’t want to choose the wrong hosting company and be stuck with subpar service, or worse – downtime on your VPS!
Each hosting provider will usually have their focuses and specializations, with many varying wildly in the level of service you can expect to receive. Don’t make any quick decisions and do some comparisons to find out what suits you best.
Here are some (but not all) of the things you should take into consideration when choosing your hosting provider:
Reliability: Downtime means lost traffic, lost revenue, and lost SEO Rankings. You want to ensure that your hosting provider is reliable, because you’ll be placing a lot of trust in their hands. You should try to look for uptime guarantees, SLAs, and industry-recognized certificates.
Security: Your hosting provider will hold all of your important data so it’s absolutely crucial that this data is held in a fully secure environment. Your host should have a fully secure data centre environment, along with hardware firewalls, DDoS protection and malware scanning functions.
Customer Reviews: Reviews submitted by customers are a great indication of how trustworthy a hosting provider can be, so always make sure to check the reviews first! If a hosting provider receives consistently bad reviews, then you should make sure to stay away!
Choosing Your VPS Plan
Now that you’ve done your research and picked the right hosting provider for you, it’s time to select a VPS plan.
This is another important decision to make and you shouldn’t rush into ordering a package. Take your time, consider all of the options, and make a properly informed decision!
VPS plans vary greatly in a number of different factors, as many plans are aimed at serving different industries and scenarios. Some plans will excel in some areas and lack in others – this applies to all web hosting plans, not just VPS plans.
Here are some of the most important factors you should consider when picking a VPS plan:
Cost: Probably the first thing you’re going to consider is the cost that your provider charges for VPS plans. While this is important, it shouldn’t be the only thing you’re considering – because lower prices doesn’t necessarily mean a more suitable plan!
Resources: Hosting providers will typically have differing resource limits on their hosting plans across the board. You want to ensure that your hosting plan provides you with the resources you need to run your website, power your application, or fulfill your needs otherwise.
Scaling: Eventually you may find that your business has outgrown the limits of your hosting plan. Ideally you want to be able to easily upgrade your plan to accommodate this change, so try to determine if this is possible with the plan you choose.
Performance: Performance is key when you’re running a website, as you want your visitors to have the best browsing experience possible. Make sure your VPS plan is running on modern, up-to-date hardware that won’t hinder your website or application.
Control Panel: Most people choose to add a control panel to their VPS, allowing them to easily manage every aspect of their VPS through a simple web interface. If you’re not familiar with command line operations then it’s advisable to choose a control panel like WHM.
Extras: If your VPS requires any additional extras like specific software, hardware, or networking setup, then make sure to check that your plan can accommodate this.
Choosing a Domain Name
Usually your VPS will need to be associated with a domain name to be used in it’s hostname, for accessing the control panel. Also, if you’re planning to host a public-facing website from your VPS, it’s a good chance to pick a good domain name.
If you’re upgrading from a shared hosting plan then you will most likely already own a domain name, so you don’t need to worry about this step.
Usually you will want to purchase your domain name from the same hosting provider. Although this certainly isn’t necessary, it often makes the process considerably easier to start and to manage down the road!
You want to choose a unique, eye-catching domain name that’s relevant to your website or brand. You want to create an association between your domain name and your company, so that your customers know how to easily find you and distinguish you from other websites.
In conclusion, the form of hosting you go with depends on your needs and budget. Shared hosting might not be enough for you and a better solution such as VPS could fit better.
For further information on the different types of Web hosting, check out our article here.
You should keep in mind that VPS hosting gives you the best combination of affordable shared or powerful dedicated solutions.
AUHost4U provides a range of web hosting services. If you need a website solution offering more stability and performance than shared hosting, but without high costs, a VPS could be the right option for you.
You get the benefits of your own dedicated server without the financial and technical burdens that go with use of a physical server.
With any of our VPS plans you get free set up and support, unlimited traffic, SSD drives, and a current 50% discount.
To find out more about our VPS services, email your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact directly our 24/7 Live Chat.