Virtual Private Servers (VPSs) are a great way to host websites and blogs of any size. VPS plans offered by leading hosting companies have been shown to produce better results in load times, SEO variables, and software and system interoperability, while giving website administrators much more control over their content than traditional physically-shared servers. There are a few things to watch out for, however, when choosing a VPS provider. Avoid these five common mistakes when selecting a VPS service to ensure your website runs at maximum performance.
1. Tech Support Issues
Running your website on a VPS will require more advanced technical skills than if you’d placed it on a shared server. This is because you will be responsible for configuring the server, its operating system, and any software you will need to use. Software installation responsibilities also include dependency software like Ruby or ASP.NET. There will also be times you’ll need to inspect, diagnose, and resolve server issues that would otherwise be taken care of by the host. Choosing a hosting provider requires that you can either take care of your own tech support, even at higher tiers of complexity, or going with a provider that offers advanced tech support through their customer service agreement.
2. Choosing the Wrong OS
Most VPS providers, by definition, allow you the option of choosing which Operating System will reside on your virtual server. There are several pros and cons to choosing either a Linux-based of Microsoft-based operating system, such as Apache or IIS, respectively. If you plan to run an ASP.NET website then you’ll virtually have no choice but to select Microsoft’s IIS server management software. Apache is a great alternative for those running open source systems like WordPress and Joomla. Keep in mind, you may want to add additional software later on for analyzing traffic to and from your server. These systems are generally designed to work on one Operating System or another, but not always both.
3. Overpaying for a VPS
While a VPS plan will cost you a little more than a basic, economy-priced shared hosting plan, you’ll see many benefits of the upgraded service that virtually pay for themselves. This usually includes dedicated IP addresses, improved SEO for any website or blog, server configuration options including those affecting resource allocation, and others. The extra features found in VPS hosting are likely to run a total of $15 to $40 per month.
Lower cost VPS hosting plans can be purchased around the $15 figure, but check to make sure you’re not loosing any benefits that are important to you. Paying $40 per month for VPS hosting doesn’t make as much sense, however, if you don’t plan to receive a lot of traffic, and don’t need access to massive amounts of storage space and bandwidth. Save yourself money and avoid overpaying for VPS services by selecting the least expensive plan that contains all your required features. Compare pricing at several hosting providers to ensure you’re getting a good deal.
4. Server Management Issues
All web servers require routine maintenance and occasional software repair and installation. Server software also needs to be updated on a regular basis to keep your information secure from emerging vulnerabilities. Security patches of this sort are often released on a monthly or biannual basis. If you’re prepared to complete these tasks on your own then you will be fine with an unmanaged server, and you will likely save some money using this option.
If you don’t want to perform server maintenance and regularly check server logs for issues then you’ll want to get a managed VPS plan. Managed servers are maintained by the hosting provider, leaving you the freedom to spend your time working on your website. Managed servers often cost an additional $10 or more per month, but pricing varies between providers.
5. Overlooking the Cloud Option
While many website owners are familiar with VPS options, some have yet to realize the power of a cloud-based VPS system. Traditional VPS services run on physical servers with a predetermined amount of disc space, RAM, CPU power, and other specifications. Cloud VPS plans offer a scalable alternative that will allow your website or blog to grow without limits while never requiring you to move your content to another server. Cloud servers can be reconfigured on the hosts’ end to provide you with more space or memory as needed, and can even be scaled back down if your traffic suddenly slows. This is a good way to ensure you’re only paying for space and resources that your website actually uses.
Avoiding these five common missteps will help you make the most of your new VPS plan. Cloud based options are growing in popularity, and should be one of the first things you look for in a hosting provider. Avoid overpaying by knowing what specifications you’ll need and doing a little comparison shopping. Knowing your level of technical skill and comfort in managing server software will help you avoid choosing the wrong type of server plan.