As websites become more advanced and the numbers of internet users grow, more and more website owners are having to upgrade to a bigger and more powerful hosting solution. Only this way can they cater for more visitors and provide them with the functionality and customer experiences they expect. For those with shared hosting, a VPS (Virtual Private Server) is the logical next step, providing acres of extra storage and oodles of additional processing power. If you are considering VPS hosting, here are six of the most important things you should look for when choosing a VPS plan and provider.
1. A managed VPS hosting solution
Shared hosting gets its name because lots of different users share the space and resources of a single physical server. For this reason, it’s the hosting provider that carries out the management of the server and its operating system on everyone else’s behalf. With VPS hosting, users get a virtual server all to themselves. The storage and resources (CPU, RAM and bandwidth) and operating system are reserved entirely for you, and you can even choose which operating system you want.
What you need to be aware of, however, is that there are two types of VPS hosting: managed and unmanaged. If you opt for unmanaged hosting, you’ll be responsible for managing the server and operating system, something that can be challenging for those without technical know-how. With managed VPS hosting, on the other hand, the service provider will do all this for you, just like with shared hosting. This includes services like patching and updating your operating system, ensuring that the VPS is working optimally and that it is secure.
2. Hardware quality
The whole point of upgrading to VPS is to give you more storage and better performance. When it comes to performance, i.e., the ability of the server to carry out more processes simultaneously and at speed, you need to ensure that the hardware on which your virtual server is housed is not going to let you down at times of peak demand.
For fast and reliable website performance, look for VPS built using the latest Intel Xeon processors, enterprise-class SSD drives, high-speed DDR4 memory, and high-performance RAID controllers. Using modern SSD storage instead of older HDD drives, for instance, will help speed up how quickly your website loads and responds to user interaction.
3. Free, no-hassle setup
Just like server management, setting up a VPS so you can start to use it can also be challenging to those with no prior experience. If this applies to you, then the hassle-free solution is to find a VPS host that will set it up for you; some hosts will do this for free. This approach speeds up deployment, so you can quickly get on with the process of migrating your website and take advantage of the extra storage and computing resources.
4. Ensure you can reboot remotely
If an emergency happens, there may be a rare instance when you need to reboot your VPS for recovery purposes. For those with self-managed VPS hosting, you may also need to restart whenever there is a kernel update. Some VPS providers insist that when a reboot takes place, they carry it out on your behalf and do not give you the option to do this yourself. Whilst getting the host to do it is a sensible solution in most cases, this can’t always be carried out when you need it to. To avoid this delay and to give yourself the option, choose a host that does allow remote reboots. They should provide you with a secure VPS management panel from where this can be performed.
5. 24/7 technical support
All site owners will face occasional problems with their websites and this can cover a wide range of issues, including apps, security, server configuration and more. When a problem occurs, you will need to solve it quickly, especially if it has resulted in your site not working properly or if it goes offline.
For this reason, an essential element of any web hosting package, including VPS, should be 24/7 expert technical support that comes as a standard part of the plan. With this in place, you can rest easy knowing that, should a problem arise that you cannot resolve, there will be an experienced technical engineer there to help you find a solution. Of key importance, is that this should be accessible all day, every day.
6. User-friendly control panels
If you already have shared hosting, you’ll be well aware of how important a control panel is to help you manage your hosting, server, domains, email and any other apps. Control panels are just as essential and helpful on VPS and though there are various ones available, by far the most user-friendly, intuitive and feature-packed are the industry-leading cPanel and Plesk.
cPanel and Plesk make it simpler to do things like add domains and mailboxes, configure firewalls, install new applications and apply security policies. Look for a VPS plan where the provider offers these control panels and has a technical support team that is trained to help customers in using them.
For websites that need to offer better functionality and CX, and which need to cater for more visitors, VPS hosting raises the bar significantly on the storage and processing power offered by shared hosting. Hopefully, this post will have shown you the most important things you should be looking for when choosing a VPS hosting solution.