5 Key Parameters to Pay Attention to When Choosing a VPS Hosting Provider

VPS is the optimal hosting option for online businesses. Read this article to find out how to select the best provider!

When comparing hosting options for your online business, you might want to choose VPS hosting. This type of hosting can boast an optimal balance between affordable pricing and advanced technical capabilities. From this article, you’ll get to know about the five paramount parameters that you should focus on when selecting a reliable provider. Plus, we’ll briefly list a few additional features that might also influence your choice.

Managed vs Unmanaged VPS

One of the primary benefits of VPS hosting consists in the fact that it can be managed. It means that the provider will take care of your server. It will set up the server stack and offer you a selection of control panels. You won’t need to work with the command-line interface and configure your hosting settings yourself. This is a very convenient option but it involves larger expenses.

If you have certain technical skills, you might want to opt for unmanaged VPS to cut down the expenses of your hosting. Being the only server admin, you’ll have more control over allocating resources. Plus, you’ll save time and effort that you would have otherwise spent on negotiations with the provider.

If your technological competencies are limited, you might prefer to avoid unmanaged hosting. You would hardly be able to figure out how it all functions in just a few minutes.

If you hire a server admin to help you, that might cost you even more than using managed VPS hosting. But in this case, you might be able to configure the settings of your hosting a bit more flexibly than with a managed plan.

In this article, we will focus on five essential aspects of any VPS provider, regardless of whether it is managed or unmanaged.

Operating Systems

There is no one-fits-all answer to the question “What is the best operating system for VPS hosting?”. It would be great if your provider would let you choose between Windows Server or Linux and one or more of its numerous distros.

You might want to choose Windows for the following reasons:

  • Ease of use
  • Intuitive interface
  • Automated system updates
  • Compatibility with various third-party applications

On the flip side, Windows might be much more vulnerable to malware and security-related errors.

Linux is an open-source OS with a more affordable price tag. But at the same time, you’ll need more skills and experience to carry out updates and other admin tasks. You’ll be able to try CentOS, Ubuntu and other distros, each of which has its own set of advantages.

Compared to Windows, Linux provides enhanced security.

Elastic Resources

Over time, your business will be likely to scale — and your VPS hosting should be able to flexibly adjust to your evolving demands. For instance, you might get started with 1 or 2 GB RAM and eventually scale up to 32 GB without outages or excessive overage fees. You should be able to get more storage, bandwidth and memory with minimum effort. You won’t need to migrate your site and risk losing some part of its data.

Accessory Features

Apart from providing you with server space and a command-line interface, your VPS hosting might include various additional features:

  • Control panel. Plesk or cPanel are among the most popular options. A control panel is a pre-installed interface that saves you from the necessity of downloading and installing one.
  • Monitoring and alerts. This might seem like a very helpful service — but typically, it’s not included in the plan and you can purchase it separately.
  • SSL. That’s an essential security tool. Before signing a contract with your provider, you should check whether SSL is included in the price or not. Even if it is not, it won’t cost you a fortune.
  • SSD. Solid-state drives have few moving parts. That’s why they tend to be faster and more reliable than their mechanical counterparts.
  • Server setup. If you lack technical expertise, it would be wise to entrust the process of setting up your server to an experienced professional.
  • Content migration. This service might be included in your plan — or you might need to pay extra for it.

You should be able to include only those features in your hosting plan that you need for your business.

Uptime Track Record

Every second of downtime might incur losses for your business. High uptime is one of the most important competitive edges of a hosting provider. To make sure you’ll get exactly what you pay for, you should check reviews about this provider’s uptime by independent third parties (you can find plenty of them through any search engine).

High-Quality Customer Support

Top providers enable their clients to get in touch with them by phone 24/7/365. This opportunity comes in particularly handy in the case of a sudden breakdown. If you submit your query to live chat or email, you might need to wait while the phone is the fastest means of communication.

When you call just any random provider, the support rep who will pick up the phone will be relying on a script to talk to you. The best providers strive to hire tech-savvy reps who can quickly come up with a solution to your problem.

Besides, the provider should share comprehensive documentation and answers to the most popular questions on their website to facilitate DIY fixes.

Additional Factors to Pay Attention to

Apart from the five key criteria, you should pay attention to how long has the hosting provider been in business (the longer the better). You should find out how frequently they make backups (ideally, they should do it daily). If you need to host multiple websites, you should double-check whether your chosen plan supports this option.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you found this article informative and now you better understand how to choose a top-notch VPS hosting provider. You should pay attention to the selection of available operating systems, accessory features and the elasticity of resources. The higher the uptime, the better. The provider should offer high-quality customer support and allow you to choose from managed or unmanaged plans.

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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