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August 14, 2019

10 Things to Pay Attention to When Choosing a VPS Hosting Provider

Thousands and thousands of companies offer VPS hosting services these days. Such offers are supplemented with management and support services, security, software licensing. 

Previously, the best hosting company was determined by the storage capacity, CPU power, and network bandwidth that is provided for a certain amount of money. Now the emphasis has shifted a bit. High availability is among the most important factors now. 



The differences between VPS hosting offers and the growing popularity of cloud hosting services are worth explaining in more detail. Clients who select VPS receive a virtual environment with the allocated space on the disk or SSD and bandwidth, but the computing resources and RAM (News - Alert) of the host system are evenly distributed among all VPS. Cloud hosting is like a virtual machine in the cloud. With such a hosting (in essence - IaaS, infrastructure as a service), physical servers are combined into clusters, and storage systems - into a storage area network (SAN). As a result, cloud hosting uses a distributed server infrastructure. This makes the process of resource allocation more flexible and increases the fault tolerance of the service. At the same time, the freedom of clients to choose hosting options is more limited than in the case of VPS, and correct configuration may require some skills and knowledge.

The jury is out if VPS servers provide better performance than regular managed hosting solutions. A 2019 report by Hosting Australia tracked hosting performance across 10 popular web hosts and found that on average managed hosts had higher score in uptime. 

So how do you choose a truly reliable and quality service? What to look for? Here are some useful tips:

Uptime

Using servers with insufficient computing power and unstable network connections can often cause website outages. This not only makes it impossible to browse the web or breaks in web sales but also leads to lower search engines rankings. For most users 99.5% uptime is sufficient, but sometimes 99.9% and higher is required. The uptime of your site can be monitored using the appropriate tools. Avoid companies with uptime rates below 99%.

High availability and fault tolerance of servers is guaranteed not only by the use of a Tier 3 data centers but also by several high-speed communication channels and independent power sources in conjunction with a reliable backup system and load balancers.

Customer service

How efficiently and quickly do they fix technical problems? How does a help desk work? The best VPS hosting should offer ongoing support to its customers - 24/7. Also pay attention to those services who provide support through chat rooms and social networks, and not just rely on emails. Priority is given to companies with their own customer support departments and certified specialists. They can better understand the essence of the client company and the specifics of its business compared to outsourcing support services.

Data protection and backups

The current wave of cyber threats has led to an increase in the number of websites targeted by various types of hacker attacks. Inability to recover data encrypted by the ransomware virus may lead to irreparable losses. Therefore, regular backups become very important. You should choose a hosting service that provides regular backups, which will allow you to restore your website if it suddenly suffers from hackers or other unpredictable events.

Registration and maintenance costs

Usually, web hosting providers offer attractive plans for a certain period after registration or after the first payment or even a free trial. However, subscription renewal fees may grow to more than three times as high. To avoid surprises at the end of the discount period, check how much you will have to pay later to renew the selected package.

Ability to add domains

You can start with one website and a domain name, but then you may need several sites, domains, and subdomains. Therefore, before concluding an agreement with a particular service provider, analyze the different packages, paying close attention to whether they allow the use of several websites on the same account.

Typically, hosting providers allow unlimited use of subdomains. If to run several sites this option does not suit you, and you need top-level domains, you will have to select an appropriate tariff plan. So, find out the price of a plan with an unlimited number of websites and subdomains. Choose a web hosting service that provides tariff plans that allow you to add new domains and scale over time.

E-commerce and mail

You can get more feedback and increase the number of subscribers if there is an email associated with your domain name. Choose a web hosting service that provides the mailbox for the primary email address of your website. If you want your hosting provider to process emails, you need to make sure that email support is included in your tariff plan. If so, you need to find out how many email accounts you can get.

Security

In addition to ensuring the uptime of the site and data, you need to use a secure hosting solution. Any website requires protection, but in some cases, enhanced security is required. For example, the website may store personal user data or process bank card data. Pay attention to firewalls, malware detection tools, protection against DDoS attacks, whether servers can be monitored for unusual activity, etc.

Storage and network

The storage capacity required by VPS depends on website traffic, files sizes, etc. The larger the size and number of files, the greater the storage capacity and network bandwidth are required. For example, if a website works with databases, it stores high-quality images or videos, then a large capacity of data storage will be required. If the amount of data is large, and you know that there will be a lot of visitors, then you need to find out what bandwidth you can be allocated.

Managed hosting

In the case of managed hosting, most of the tasks are performed by the provider. The provider is also responsible for optimizing the speed and performance of your VPS. This option may be useful, for example, in the case of processing personal and financial data. However, this hosting plan is more expensive and usually allows the creation of fewer sites. It is usually offered for websites of a specific type.

Special conditions

Each hosting company has a set of conditions, violation of which leads to additional costs for the client, or even temporary or permanent account termination. For example, some hosting providers prohibit excessive use of processor power to perform intensive computing and scripting. Take the time to study all the conditions and discuss the requirements. Most importantly, you should avoid hosting companies that lack clear terms, when “limiting and suspending an account is left to the discretion of the management”.



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