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How to Select the Best VPS Hosting Provider?

With the current popularity of Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting, there is a need to know more about it. This post contains what VPS hosting is, its benefits and several other factors that one should put into consideration before choosing a VPS hosting provider.

Quick navigation as per the topics

This text is subject to five topics of discussion:

  1. What actually is VPS hosting?
  2. A comparison of VPS hosting and different hosting types.
  3. Should you switch to VPS Hosting?
  4. How to select the best VPS hosting provider?
  5. Recommended VPS Hosting providers

 

What actually is VPS hosting?

VPS is an abbreviation for Virtual Private Server.

Virtual Private Server

 

VPS hosting is a type of web hosting service where the hosting is achieved by dividing or segmenting the main physical server into small numerous virtual servers. Each of the virtual servers within the main physical server gets its share of resources as per the custom requirements. In fact, each of these virtual servers is capable of conducting independent tasks, as they all have their own operating system and server resources dedicated to each one of them.

 

How does VPS hosting work?

With VPS hosting, a website is stored on a single virtual private server within bigger and more powerful machine. This machine is divided into numerous virtual sections and a server operating system is installed on each of these virtual sections; hence, these sections are fully independent of each other.

In the virtual private server scenario, both your website and other websites will be hosted on one physical machine. But in the end, it’s your site that will be the only one privately hosted on one of the virtual sections and provided with its own independent resources within the server, including RAM, CPU core, disk space and much more. The performance and availability of your website will not be influenced or affected by the other websites in any way hosted on the physical machine. Thus, you will pay for what you will get. In short, the websites hosted on a virtual private server are allocated with resources that can sustain it fully.

In this manner, you also get full control after getting complete access to your server’s root, like it is your own dedicated server. However, in a technical perspective, you are still hosted on the same physical machine as other accounts and in a real sense, you are still sharing the physical machine’s bandwidth, RAM, CPU and disk space. Like an expensive dedicated server, virtual private servers provide their account holders with a complete control over their servers. For this reason, a virtual dedicated server can be purchased at a cheaper price and also experience a high website performance that is a plus as compared to a shared hosting server.

 

A comparison between VPS hosting and different hosting types

VPS vs Dedicated vs Shared Hosting

VPS hosting and Shared hosting

In literal terms, shared hosting is similar to an estate where many people get to share one court with neighbors and you are limited to making changes to the common court. Moreover, all the neighbors share the maintenance costs and responsibilities. It is majorly used by site owners who have low capital, low traffic, limited email accounts, or are just hosting a lightweight website.

On the other hand, Virtual Private Network or VPS is similar to living in an estate where everyone or every house has its own court and you can customize this space according to your tastes or preferences. Here, you will have the responsibilities on your shoulders and carry out the maintenance tasks yourself. Therefore, it can be referred to as an upgrade from Shared hosting.

The major differences between shared hosting and VPS hosting are;

  • Resources – with shared hosting there is limited access to server resources whereas VPS hosting provides a more private disk space and more server resource availability.
  • Security – VPS hosting is more secure as compared to shared hosting majorly due to the full control and customization of security feature.
  • Platform – with shared hosting, there are only basic or low levels of file systems and compartmentalization, unlike VPS hosting.

But with all these advantages VPS hosting comes with its own disadvantages;

Firstly, as compared to shared hosting, VPS hosting is more expensive since getting your own private disk space and the VPS hosting provider to manage your server will require a large amount of money. On the other hand, you will also require hiring a dedicated server manager in case you opt for an unmanaged VPS hosting and it turns out you lack the technical know-how pertaining server management and operation. Secondly, you must be careful and well observant when it comes to some specific applications, as they might have problems in running within a virtual environment.

VPS hosting and Dedicated hosting

VPS to Dedicated Hosting

With dedicated hosting, you are provided with your own storage and you are in charge of it in terms of maintaining and monitoring it. Therefore, as the owner, you need the adequate technical know-how to operate all hosting tasks.

On the other hand, VPS hosting acts neutral as an upgrade from the shared hosting where you get more features and unlimited resources. However, you as a site owner and a hosting client still get assistance and support in terms of maintainers or even general server monitoring.

Benefits of opting for VPS Hosting

All types of web hosting have their own drawbacks and benefits, and the necessity of each varies according to circumstances and user preferences. But generally, the benefits of using VPS hosting supersede the drawbacks. These benefits include:

  • Almost all VPS hosting plans give room for customization to meet your preferences and need in that you only pay for what you need and you don’t have to worry about all that you won’t use at all.
  • You can also opt for a half-managed and half-unmanaged VPS hosting service. Here, the web hosting provider will take responsibility for some maintenance works. You can even opt for a fully managed or unmanaged VPS hosting service.
  • You will get the same technical support just like shared hosting services when it comes to certain issues. Therefore, whenever a problem occurs, you won’t be left hanging as there are no technical experts to resolve the issue at hand.
  • You will have more control over your virtual private server unlike shared hosting. You will get full root access, and the ability and privilege to run scripts and commands that are not allowed in shared hosting.
  • As compared to a dedicated hosting service, VPS hosting service is very cheap and affordable.
  • Most VPS hosting services are scalable; i.e., at the start, you might begin with a virtual environment that has minimum resource allocation that serves your needs at that time. But with time as your needs grow and your website grows, you may periodically increase your resource allocation to serve this growing demand. Hence, you do not have to pay for things that you don’t need at a particular time.

 

Should you switch to VPS Hosting?

VPS hosting, is it right for you?

Currently, majority of the site owners opt for VPS hosting due to the unlimited server resources as compared to shared hosting and also for safety reasons; since there is an effective and efficient hosting environment control. Moreover, other site owners with little technical know-how find it more useful as compared to other hosting types.

When is VPS hosting necessary for those using shared hosting?

Many site owners opt for shared hosting in the very beginning because it is the easiest choice at this point since it is cheap, easy to manage and requires little technical know-how. But over time, these sites grow larger and thus require more functionality; hence this is the time when VPS hosting becomes necessary.

These are the signs that should trigger you to change your hosting type to VPS hosting.

  • Security and reliability

There will be an urgency for a more flexible and constant flow of server resources for more site reliability. Also, you may require making effective backups and have advanced security and other options.

  • Root Access

A time will come when you will need to have full control over your hosting environment to make certain changes, such as installing your own preferred server software or configuring the server as per your needs or preferences.

  • Higher traffic

With time, the incoming traffic may increase drastically and this may lead to your site consuming a lot of resources when under shared hosting. Therefore, this is a concrete reason for you to upgrade to VPS hosting for more server resources and effective performance. You should also monitor your traffic and load times to make a decision on whether you need VPS hosting or not.

 

How to select the best VPS hosting provider?

The best VPS hosting provider will have several admirable traits, such as flexibility, control, considerable pricing, the privacy of the dedicated virtual server and above all, customer support that is prompt and always available. Before you make any move to get a VPS hosting provider, you will have to put the following into consideration.

  1. Managed or Unmanaged

In case of shared hosting, there is no root access to the main server, thus issues of management of the server always come up sooner or later. But this is not the case with VPS hosting where the server is wholly given to you to manage. Therefore, you need to employ a system manager to take care of it and observe its performance. In a case where this management job is done by the VPS provider, it’s known as a managed VPS. On the other hand, if the management responsibility is yours then that’s an unmanaged VPS.

Managed VPS vs Unmanaged VPS

Therefore, unmanaged hosting service will require a lot from you in terms of observing the system performance and keeping the server up in a healthy condition. Since you are the VPS administrator, you will have to fix these problems on your own in cases of security breaches or software malfunction.

This will only be useful if you are a computer guru who knows all it takes to manage a server and can do things, like server repair, restart, reboot or even shut down. But if you have no knowledge in this field then you will have to opt for a managed VPS.

Severe management will vary according to the provider or the package you have subscribed for. So before choosing any VPS hosting provider, check out different hosting packages and the providers, and compare them to get the one that works for you. By default, most VPS hosting services are managed but you can choose to manage your own server. Presently, there is an option where you can choose a semi-managed option where you and the hosting provider share management responsibilities.

  1. Linux or Windows

 

It is good and very effective if you get to know the kind of environment your VPS will be running on e.g. Linux or Windows. These different environments have their own shortcomings and advantages, and every site will require specific environment i.e. an ASP.net site will pretty much require a windows environment.

  1. Price

With anything entailing money, price is a key factor that everyone keeps into consideration before making a decision to make a purchase.

There will always be a variation in prices of every VPS hosting, which is due to the hosting environment’s variation and nature. The price of a VPS hosting service will differ in terms of hardware specs, customization provisions, the kind of service offered and much more. For that matter, there is a possibility of you paying less for a package, such as Basic VPS Hosting that always entails a 1GB RAM and a maximum of 20GB storage. You should also choose a VPS hosting service that has a price that you can maintain in the long run; but not one that you will start using and then after a few months, your site will go down because you are unable to pay.

  1. Conventional or Cloud-based VPS Hosting

Today, cloud-based VPS hosting has become very popular. But many people do not know the difference between Cloud-based and Conventional VPS hosting due to the fact that they get their resources from one source channel and on top of that, they use virtual environments.

 

What is a cloud-based VPS?

A cloud-based VPS operates on many assembled servers. Similar to Conventional VPS, cloud-based VPS gets all its resources from one machine. But the major factor here is that the machine is made of main servers put together; making it larger than a Conventional VPS.

 

What is a Conventional VPS?

A conventional VPS is a small server located within a large server. Therefore, there can be a larger server which is divided into smaller servers that are rented by various VPS hosting accounts. But here there are limitations on the number of storage disks that can be held in the larger server.

 

Which one of the two should you opt for?

Virtually, cloud-based VPS is not limited to the number of servers you can add to the assembly. Hence, you can upgrade the server’s resources without any downtime and on top of that, you can put additional storage in the central storage system.

Cloud-based VPS is more flexible and therefore is better as compared to the conventional VPS.

  1. The specifications and configurations of the server

Your website’s performance is affected by your server’s configuration, especially when it comes to a conventional VPS hosting.

Certain factors will really matter, like the processor capacity, the amount of Ram, and the share of disk space. On top of that, the quality and capability of this machine that contains your VPS will matter a lot. Therefore, the machine should be made by reputed manufacturers and have a high-performance capacity. This is some of the factors in play when it comes to server specifications and configurations.

  • Backup – it includes the kind of backup procedure used, protection of your site and data structure.
  • IP address – it involves the number of IP addresses entailed, the cost of any address in case you need to add one, and the limit of the addresses
  • CPU core – although web servers use a lower CPU power, it is adequate and important for you to know the amount of core offered to your preferred VPS package.
  • Distributions – these include the options you have when it comes to server operating system, in case your website require specific VPS operating system distribution. On top of this, the provider you chose should offer you the required server operating system and ensure they do constant updates on it.
  • Storage and RAM – these include the amount of disk space and RAM that will be availed. The minimum RAM and storage that a basic site requires is 20GB disk space and 1GB RAM. But the amount of storage and RAM that your site will require will be influenced by the traffic or even by your own preferences.
  1. Scalability and Redundancy

Primarily, redundancy is the process of having a backup resource set aside, mostly in the central data center. For example, in case the normal power line fails, there should be a UPS system or a generator. Similarly, if an ISP’s services are intercepted, a prompt solution should always be in place. And in case a server gets overloaded, there should be a support server in place and much more. On the other hand, scalability is the ability of a server to handle abrupt, occasionally raised loads within the server, mostly through the usage of the redundant resources the system has to provide. These features are required for an increased uptime and consistency in performance.

  1. Customer Support

A VPS hosting provider may be very efficient, reliable and rich with features; but issues or problems do come at times with technology even when they are not expected.

For this reason, you will need customer support and a well-trained team that will be able to provide solutions in such situations. But a provider that cannot offer a 24/7 support team is not worth your time and money. This is because you may end up losing site traffic when your site goes down due to hosting problem. Therefore, you must ask questions about these issues and even go further to test a VPS hosting provider’s customer support services and team before you opt to host with them. One of the best VPS hosting providers that currently stand out in the market is YOCTA

  1. The Trial Period

Several VPS hosting providers always offer their first-time customers a trial period which entails a money back policy in case of a consumer is not satisfied with the service he or she wants to opt to. You, therefore, have to find out more about the provider’s trial period and when using this trial version, make sure you study and monitor the whole hosting system in terms of server response and uptime. You can do this using services like Pingdom.

 

Recommended VPS Hosting provider

Presently, several hosting companies are offering VPS hosting services all over the world. Although VPS hosting is currently considered as a very cost-effective hosting option, for you to find the best VPS hosting provider, you are advised to check the VPS service packages that the providers offer. But not all of them are worth your time and money. So you need to spend time knowing and inquiring about their hosting services before making a final decision.

Yocta: They are simply the best in what they do as they offer a ton of hosting services, right from application hosting to mail hosting. They are good for high traffic websites and those that require both managed and unmanaged VPS hosting. Unlike other companies, they make their services affordable for all clients which start at as low as $3 per month.

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