The chances are that your website is pretty successful if you’re looking towards a VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting package. Many individuals consider VPS hosting plans because of the need for more space and resources. So, once it becomes obvious that you need to upgrade your web hosting account to a VPS package, what else do you need to know and what do you need to consider?
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What is a VPS hosting package?
Before we go into more detail about different aspects of VPS packages, it is worth reminding ourselves of the detail of VPS hosting. There are some similarities between shared hosting and VPS accounts. In fact, they both have multiple accounts on one server. However, this is where the similarities end!
The best way to imagine a VPS is a dedicated server as the base and then individual resources and capacity for individual accounts. So, while several VPS accounts will be hosted on the same dedicated server they act independently of each other. All of the resources and the capacity for each account would be separate from any other. There will be no encroachment into space put aside for individual VPS accounts. So, even if one of the accounts requires additional resources/memory it will not impact other VPS users. To all intents and purposes, a VPS is your own private server.
Aspects to consider with VPS hosting
We will try not to get too technical with regards to VPS hosting issues to consider when looking at different accounts. However, you will need to be aware of some of the more detailed aspects of VPS accounts.
Managed or unmanaged
The first thing to consider is whether you have the resources/knowledge to handle your own VPS. If you choose an unmanaged account, this means that you are in total charge of your account, the operating system and software packages. Plus you will need to address any technical issues as and when they occur. There are varying degrees of managed VPS accounts available. Some will depend upon the level of assistance you require and your budget. However, if you are building your business, and even if you have experience of VPS hosting packages, is your time not better spent focusing on your business?
This is a very important question because in the event of a problem with your VPS you may need to divert valuable hours fixing it. If the account is managed then the host will be aware of any issues almost immediately. They will take the necessary action required to resolve the issue. While larger companies will have their own IT departments it will depend upon the specific structure of your company. This is a key factor to determine whether managed or unmanaged is more appropriate.
Scalability and redundancy
The term scalability with regards to a VPS account is fairly self-explanatory. However, some may not have come across the term redundancy. In this instance, redundancy refers to backup resources for your VPS in the event of a power outage for example. Scalability refers to the ability to manage abnormally high demand on resources or spikes in traffic. It is highly unlikely that the scalability and redundancy issues will be required at the same time which offers a relatively simple solution to these matters. In the event of a spike in traffic, or increased demand on resources, the scalability scenario would simply utilise redundant resources across the system. That means, those same resources would be used in the event of a power outage (backup system).
When these two matters work hand in hand to ensure that your clients see no difference to your website’s performance. This not only ensures significantly enhanced uptime. Not to mention, it allows you to retain your reputation for reliability which is often a precursor for customers returning. The issue of long-term scalability is a different matter. It will result in increased resources, increased processing power, etc.
Cloud VPS or conventional VPS hosting?
It is amazing how many people have come across the term “cloud” with regards to information technology but are not quite sure exactly what it means. The conventional VPS hosting package is simple. If there is an issue with the base server then this will have an impact upon the individual VPS accounts. However, like we mentioned above, this brings into play scalability and redundancy services.
On the other hand, the cloud VPS system utilises a network of servers, located around the world. It uses a single machine that pulls in resources from the whole network. There are many benefits to cloud VPS hosting but one is the significant reduction in downtime. In the event that one server is down, the machine operating the VPS account will simply utilise the resources of a different server. VPS hosting systems can also be useful in utilising servers which are located near to your customers. Further enhancing reaction times and overall performance.
There is no hard and fast rule regarding conventional VPS or cloud VPS systems but there are a number of issues to consider before even looking at cost.
When we delve into the subject of operating systems this tends to see many readers switching off and moving on. This is an area which should be discussed at length with your potential VPS host. Address the pros and cons of Linux and Windows operating system in relation to your software packages.
If you have experience of operating systems then you may have a greater input than many when discussing this with your potential host company. However, the majority of customers tend to take the advice of their hosting company to align a particular operating system with their specific requirements.
Whether or not you have a managed or unmanaged VPS account there should still be a degree of customer support available to all account holders. Think about it this way, the reputation of any hosting company relies on quality service and near-perfect uptime.
In the event that you were to have an issue with your server, traditional VPS or cloud VPS, it is in the best interests of the customer support department to assist you. There may be additional charges but at the end of the day the ability to keep your website up and running as much as possible is in effect priceless.
Pricing a VPS package
While researching this article I came across an interesting way to consider pricing versus performance. As we touched on above, the vast majority of upgrades from let’s say shared hosting to a VPS account will simply be a necessity because of increased traffic and the requirement for increased processing capacity. Despite the fact that the VPS hosting industry is extremely competitive, you do still get what you pay for.
If you want to cut corners, perhaps manage the account yourself with limited experience then you may be able to find a relatively cheap VPS hosting account. However, by cutting corners, how much might you lose with regards to sales and reputation with increased downtime? Think of it this way, many businesses will think nothing of spending a few hundred dollars a month on a leased vehicle. However, for some reason they may be reluctant to pay anywhere near the same price for a quality reliable VPS hosting account. Fair enough but consider this….
Why would you choose to compromise the performance and reliability of a VPS account when that is the service which keeps your website going? The service which effectively creates the income stream to pay for your leased business vehicle?
Why choose VPS hosting?
There are a number of specific issues you need to take into consideration when looking at VPS hosting. These issues often against the increased cost of VPS hosting and compared with shared hosting.
Whether you have a managed or unmanaged VPS account, you have an isolated server of your own on a dedicated server which significantly enhances security. You have more control and can introduce an array of different security packages.
There is no doubt that a VPS hosting package will deliver enhanced speed and processing times to your website. We live in a world where a fraction of a second can mean the difference between a client buying from you or moving on to your competitor. Therefore, do not underestimate the enhanced speed available via a VPS when compared to other options such as shared hosting.
The amalgamation of enhanced security and enhanced speed/processing power will lead to a significantly improved customer experience. The fact that you can utilise your own individual software packages, as opposed to limitations on shared hosting, means the software can be finely tuned to your website requirements. Thereby reducing errors and saving processing time.
A lot of the issues associated with VPS hosting are relatively straightforward. Although, may get a little more technical such as operating systems. The fact the VPS hosting industry is extremely competitive means the more reliable hosting companies will be only too happy to discuss your specific requirements. We all want value for money. So, favoring the price of a VPS hosting account over the level of performance must surely be back to front?