Reaching the point when you need a virtual private server (VPS) is often a good thing. It’s a sign that your online business has outgrown the cheaper but far less powerful shared hosting plans. However, good things can come with dark linings. Quite frankly, choosing a VPS can be a harrowing experience as there are so many options and considerations to take into account. That’s why we’re going to go over some tips for choosing the right VPS.
First, why would you need a virtual private server? A VPS provides you with dedicated hosting resources, including RAM, processor cores, and storage space. With a VPS, you won’t have to share hardware with other websites. This means the resources of your VPS at at your disposal, and your disposal only.
A virtual private server will provide you with flexible, powerful, and scalable web hosting at an economical price. Generally, a VPS is more affordable and easier to maintain than a dedicated server, but still provides similar capabilities. When selecting a VPS, however, there are many things you need to consider. Let’s go over those.
1. Check Out the Server Uptime Guarantee
A server uptime guarantee refers to the amount of time within a given period that your server will remain up and running. Life happens and occasionally servers will go down. However, reputable companies will provide an uptime guarantee, usually 99.95% or more.
If a potential VPS provider doesn’t provide an uptime guarantee, you should probably skip them. Many of the best companies now offer a 99.99% guarantee.
2. Customer Support/Service
A lot of people overlook customer support when selecting a web host. Big mistake. Fact is, problems can emerge. Great customer support will ensure that the problems are solved quickly. Poor customer support can lead to a lot of downtime, with your website being offline, and a lot of headaches as well.
When selecting web hosts, check out customer reviews. Also, look for professional reviews. You should always take reviews with a grain of salt, however. Some customers are simply hard to please. Meanwhile, there are ways to “game” reviews, so unscrupulous companies may be inflating their reputation.
3. Make Sure They Offer An Easy-to-Use Control Panel
Virtual private servers generally offer a great mix of power, ease-of-use, and price. When it comes to ease-of-use, control panels are vital. You’ll use your control panel to manage your domains and websites. Unfortunately, some VPS providers don’t provide a control panel, or use a substandard one.
The most widely used control panel is “Cpanel”, which is known for offering a lot of features while also being easy to use. Another good option is Plesk. If a potential VPS provider is using a different control panel, make sure you’re comfortable with it first.
4. Make Sure Your VPS Will Be Secure
Security is one of the biggest threats for any online business. If you follow tech news, then you know that hacks and data breaches are common. A security breach could knock your website offline, result in stolen funds, or expose your customers’ data to unscrupulous parties. You could even find yourself legally liable for any breaches and lost assets.
Your VPS should have Secured Socket Layer (SSL) available and your host should be monitoring your VPS 24/7. Your VPS provider should also have a plan in place to counter any security attacks, such as a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DdoS) attack.
5. Examine the Features, Limitations, and Hardware
Your VPS will only be as good as its hardware and other features. Make sure your VPS will provide you with powerful processors and adequate RAM. 512MB RAM is now considered the minimum, although 1GB or more is often recommended. You’ll need plenty of storage space as well.
You don’t necessarily needed the latest and greatest hardware, however. Processors that are a year or two old, for example, will be fine for many websites. What’s important is knowing your needs and what hardware will meet your needs.
6. Finding a Good Value for the Money
We buried price at the end of this article quite intentionally. People often hone in on price as the first factor in their considerations. Price is important, but value is more important.
If you select a cheap VPS but your server is frequently offline, customer support is lacking, or security is lax, you could be getting a bad deal that will cost you in the long run. It’s better to pay a little bit more for a better VPS provider. While virtual private servers offer a great mix of price, features, and power, you have to make sure you’re selecting the right one.
Conclusion: Choose a VPS but Make Sure You Choose the Right One
Anyone serious about doing business online should consider setting up a virtual private server. A VPS will prove your growing business with the dedicated resources it needs. Still, not all VPS’s are created equal, make sure you choose the right one.
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