Hosting Tutorial & Guide

How to Choose a Virtual Private Server (VPS)

updated on Nov 23, 2017
How to Choose a Virtual Private Server (VPS) Choosing a VPS is not as easy as selecting a shared web hosting, since a large number of important factors needed to be considered, such as RAM, CPU, disk space, control panel, bandwidth, IP addresses, etc.

For people who are planning to start a large online business and those who have outgrown the shared web hosting recently, VPS is the ideal solution because it has more flexibility and resources than shared hosting, and at the same time, it comes with more affordability than dedicated servers.

How to Choose a Virtual Private Server

When deciding which VPS provider to go with, people should be careful about the following especially important factors.

Windows System or Linux System

It is important to know which hosting environment is suitable for your site – the Windows one or the Linux one. You can choose this based on your preference and comfort levels. However, if your site is based on the ASP.NET powered scripts, the Windows VPS hosting is your only choice.

Scalability and Redundancy

The scalability indicates the power to handle some sudden issues and frequent increasing on the server loads. The redundancy mainly refers to the backup ability at the data centers. Generally, when the regular power unit or supply fails, the redundant power system should be there.

These two aspects can be achieved by the large investment into the server location by the hosting provider. And also, this kind of information usually can be found from the company official sites.

RAM

RAMThe first thing as well as the most important thing to take into consideration is the amount of RAM which is essential for the running of operating system and server. Generally speaking, we recommend readers choosing at least 512 MB RAM to ensure fast loading speed and the room for the growth of the site.

Actually, 512 MB is also a good starting point for most people upgrading from shared web hosting. They get enough resource, and meanwhile, they don't need to pay for the RAM that will not be used in the near future. Of course, it should be better if a web host provides a certain amount of burstable RAM which can protect the hosting sites in emergencies like a traffic spike.

Server Configuration

The configuration of a virtually private server is really important, especially for the performance, uptime and speed of your site. In this case, you should figure out how much RAM you can get, what capacity processor you can use, how large disk sharing size for you and many more.

Even, the quality of the server machine should be ensured. Generally, the reputed brand is more robust and reliable.

Customer Support

Generally, the VPS hosting is more difficult to use than the common web hosting. In this case, the technical support is really important. You should make sure that the service provider can ensure you the 24/7 technical support. Thus, whenever the problem arises, you won’t need to worry about anything.

Free Trial Period and Refund Policy

These two aspects all give you a sense of risk free and worry free. After all, no matter how great the promotion or advertisement is, you have to try something to figure out whether it is good for you. In this case, the free trial or the money back guarantee must be the necessity.

Managed or Unmanaged

Managed VPSThere are 2 popular types of VPS plans in the market – managed VPS and unmanaged VPS. Unmanaged VPS is only prepared with root access, so users need to manage the LAMP stack installation, control panel installation, software configuration, server security and maintenance manually. This solution is cheaper than the other, but it is only suitable for people professional in server management.

As for normal users and business owners, managed VPS is the better choice because the server is monitored 24x7 by a professional system administrator. So users can save time in learning how to manage the server and just focus on their business goals.

Uptime

UptimeMost VPS hosts guarantee at least 99.9% uptime, but not all of them do that good in practice. In fact, it is a little bit hard for people to know the real uptime of the server they haven't been placed on yet. To solve this problem, we suggest reading as many real customer reviews as possible. If a web host has much downtime or latency, there should be a large number of complaints on the Internet. Then people can avoid this company.

To make sure the websites run smoothly at all times, we highly recommend our readers settling on a company with minimum uptime of 99.95%. It is not so easy to find such a VPS provider, but fortunately, a few companies have met this standard indeed. BlueHost is one of the recommended options.

Price

VPS PriceCompared to a dedicated server, a VPS is much more affordable, starting from about $15/mo usually. In this sense, people should be cautious about 2 kinds of VPS hosting providers. One of them is those with extremely cheap price. As far as we know, they always cut the price down by overselling the server resources. The other kind is those charging very high rates more than $70/mo, which could be almost the price of a budget dedicated server.

As price is concerned, money back guarantee is also important. This feature helps people get their money back when they are dissatisfied with the web host. Be sure that the VPS plan that has been chosen includes at least 7 days money back guarantee.

Our Recommendation

BlueHost VPSAmong the 50+ VPS hosting providers we have reviewed, BlueHost is the best recommended choice due to the outstanding reliability, affordability and the positive customer feedbacks.

BlueHost is a well-known budget hosting provider specialized in VPS hosting. This company has a world-class data center in Provo Utah, both of which utilize Dell PowerEdge servers and Cisco Systems network equipment.

The regular price of BlueHost VPS hosting plans starts from $29.99/mo, but the readers going through this promotional link can get 50% off for $14.99/mo for the first month. With this low price, the cheapest all-in-one VPS plan comes with the following features.
  • Free domain for life
  • RAM: 2GB memory included
  • Disk space: 30 GB included
  • Bandwidth: 1000 GB included
  • IP address: 1 included
  • Enhanced cPanel included
  • Full SSH and root access
  • 30 days full money back guarantee
  • 24x7 expert support via email, online chat & telephone

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