The benefits of upgrading from shared hosting to a VPS (Virtual Private Server) have caused it to become one of the most popular hosting solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. VPS is not, however, just an upgraded version of shared hosting, in many ways it’s more akin to a dedicated server and this means there are different things to look for when searching for a VPS hosting solution. Here, we’ll explain some of the main criteria you should be looking for.
1) Managed Hosting
When you purchase shared hosting, you are essentially renting out space on a physical server along with many others. As no single client has sole use of the server, the management of it is undertaken on everyone’s behalf by the service provider. With VPS hosting, you are the only user of that virtual server and this means that you may be expected to manage it yourself, which can be technically challenging.
However, if you opt for a VPS that comes with managed hosting, it means your service provider will carry out the management tasks for you – those that you were used to, or perhaps didn’t even know were done on your behalf, with your shared hosting account. These include patching and updating your VPS software and operating system and ensuring that your server is secure. In addition, your host may offer application performance consultancy to help you get the most out of your server.
2) High-Performance Hardware
Moving to VPS can provide you with exceptional server performance, much superior to standard shared hosting. However, you cannot take this for granted. To make sure you get the fastest and most reliable performance, make sure that the hardware used by your host is of the best quality. Look for the latest Intel Xeon processors, high-speed DDR4 memory, enterprise-class SSD drives and high-performance RAID controllers. SSD storage is much faster than mechanical HDD drives and will provide superior performance for any of your applications.
3) Free Setup
Setting up a VPS can be difficult for those with limited technical experience and takes some time to achieve. You can speed up deployment and dispense with the inevitable headaches by opting for a service provider that will set up your VPS for you. Some will even do this for free.
4) Unmetered Bandwidth
The speed, storage capacity and performance of VPS make them an excellent choice for running large websites, such as eCommerce sites – which is why many businesses opt for them. However, if your aim is to generate more traffic and handle more customer transactions, you will not only need a superior server, you’ll also need greater bandwidth. Check carefully that your VPS contract doesn’t limit your bandwidth or charge you more if you go over certain levels, as this may hamper the growth of your business. For the best solution, look for unmetered bandwidth where there are no restrictions on the amount of data your server can send and receive.
5) 24/7 Technical Support
All companies face issues with their IT from time to time, whether it is to do with installing new applications, reconfiguring the server or dealing with a security alert. Whatever the problem, businesses need a swift solution, especially with mission-critical applications where you cannot afford any downtime. For this reason, you need to ensure that your choice of VPS provider offers 24/7 expert, technical support. This way, no matter what the issue is, there will be an experienced member of the technical team there to help you resolve it, regardless of the time of day or day of the week.
6) Control Panel
Having the right control panel can make it much easier to manage your server, your websites and any other applications that you run on your VPS. While there are many different control panels available, including the generic ones, by far the most useful and the most supported are Plesk and cPanel, both of which are industry leaders and which you may be familiar with from your shared hosting.
These control panels make it much easier to add websites and mailboxes, configure your firewall, apply security policies and install applications. Look for a provider that not only offers these control panels but which also has a technical team which is trained to give customers support in using them.
VPS hosting provides significant improvements for businesses when compared to shared hosting, offering increased storage, faster performance and greater computing resources. Hopefully, from reading this article, you will now have a clearer understanding of the things you should look for when considering VPS hosting: managed hosting, high-performance hardware, free setup, unmetered bandwidth, 24/7 technical support and a choice of Plesk or cPanel control panels.
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