How to Choose the Best VPS Web Hosting
VPS web hosting is the ideal go-between for someone who desires the power and flexibility of a dedicated server, but cannot afford the higher price that comes along with it. Short for virtual private server, a VPS is created by software that divides a single physical server into smaller partitions that run independently with their own operating system and applications. The end result is a more stable environment that makes perfect sense for the website owner who is quickly outgrowing the confinements of traditional shared hosting.
Today, VPS web hosting is highly sought after for all the advantages it has to offer, with the main feature being increased reliability. The virtualized environment is better equipped to handle internet traffic and heavy applications. This is made possible by the guaranteed resources that come with each virtual container having its own operating system. Reliability makes this type of hosting an excellent choice for developers, small businesses, and anyone with more demanding needs.
VPS web hosting has also garnered a reputation for its flexibility and control. It is about as close as you can get to having your own physical server. In most cases, you are provided with root access to the server, which gives you the ability to install your own software, make configurations, and perform various other administrative tasks. This extends into being able to incorporate your own security mechanisms to ensure that your virtual private server has the strongest level of protection.
We could go on and on about the merits of VPS web hosting, but we would rather shift the focus to finding the best solution. The real advantages you enjoy will ultimately depend on the decision you make. Before you decide, keep in mind that there are many important factors that must be considered.
RAM and CPU
Two resources you are taught to keep an eye on when shopping for a web hosting plan are bandwidth and disk space. Of course they still matter for VPS hosting, but RAM and CPU deserve a little more attention for the simple fact that they have a bigger role in this environment. Some have gone as far to say that RAM is the most important of all these resources as it has a direct impact on performance and the availability of your site. While 256 MB of RAM is sufficient for the average website, it may not be enough for one that is rich in content and memory intensive applications. For this reason, you should seek out a package that comes with a generous amount to give yourself a little room to work with.
CPU is also a key component in the VPS web hosting environment, and for the many of the same reasons. The central processing unit is responsible for scheduling tasks and allocating dedicated resources for the underlying operating system. Additionally, CPU must work whenever a web page is requested, so optimal allocation is critical. Some VPS hosting providers put you at a disadvantage with CPU allocation, leaving you to fight for resources with other users on the physical machine. This often leads to sluggish performance and untimely disruptions. Look for a host that offers guaranteed CPU for the utmost speed and availability.
VPS web hosting and all of its power comes at both a higher price, and higher degree of complexity. As we mentioned early, it is very close to having your own server, thus the administrative challenges are quite similar. For someone without knowledge of a how web server works, a VPS can be a difficult task to maintain. The answer to this problem is a good control panel. This type of software will simplify server administration, and provide access to powerful features that can be used to bring out the best in your online projects. There are a number of control panels that offer the same capabilities, so it is best to focus on the specifics needed to streamline your management processes.
Although VPS web hosting is naturally more secure and reliable than a situation where you are trying to conduct mission-critical task on a shared server, there are some potential drawbacks. Virtualization is designed to maximize hardware utilization, but its workload still demands a lot from the physical server. It takes a rock-solid infrastructure to get reliability out of a VPS solution. A reliable company will make sure your data is backed up regularly and can be quickly restored. It will also employ an expert technical staff that actively monitors the infrastructure and responds fast when problems arise. These are qualities that can’t be overlooked.
Company Track Record
Last but not least, you need to consider the company offering the VPS web hosting solution. Their reputation and standing in the business should be factored into your decision. Most services look good on the surface, but not all firms are equipped to fully service your needs. You also have to consider that virtualization is a relatively new technology that still has a few kinks. Partnering up with a company that has a reputation for successfully adopting and integrating this technology should be your primary focus. It will provide the peace of mind that comes from knowing you can focus on your web presence, rather than the technical stuff behind the scenes.
Make the Right Choice
Finding a good web hosting company can be hard enough when you only have basic requirements. It gets even more challenging when more advanced needs come into play. Although VPS web hosting is a manageable solution in the right hands, it is still a big step up from the shared hosting environment and thus calls for you to take a number of crucial factors into consideration, all of which can have a huge impact in some form or another. Before you make the final decision on who will provide what, take some time out to weigh your options and carefully evaluate your needs.