VPS hosting is a great option for anyone who has outgrown the basic features of a shared plan. It’s perfect for small businesses that are steadily growing and gaining more traffic. You get more resources to support that growth and better control over how your site performs. Plus, you can easily adapt the hosting service to meet your needs as they change.
For managing the content of individual sites, I recommend using a well-supported Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress or Drupal. Even very basic sites need to be updated regularly and a content management system makes this much easier, as well as giving you access to themes and plugins that add useful functions such as search forms, contact forms with spam protection, image galleries, event calendars, online shops and so on. Proprietary systems or “website builders” generally have more limited features and can be very difficult to update or move to a new host.
Think of a shared server as a large apartment complex, and all of the individual apartments are rented by other website owners. All of you need a place to live — just like your website’s files — but going out to buy a huge family home would be too expensive for your needs. Sharing common areas and utilities in an apartment block helps keep costs down. And the same is true for shared hosting.
Shared hosting is not meant for websites that use large amounts of RAM. As your website grows and you add more and more content, you will start to see a decrease in your website’s load times. As soon as this happens, it’s an indication that you are maxing out your limits. Upgrading to a VPS will enable you to scale your website without having to worry about slow load times.
You will need to change the Domain Name System (DNS) settings to point to each new site that is added to your VPS - this is how the human-readable website addresses and email addresses get translated into machine-readable IP addresses. Each DNS change can take 24 hours or more to propagate around the worldwide DNS network. If you're impatient you can access the site in "preview" mode at Virtualmin > Services > Preview Website or you can access the site directly by IP address (by entering an address like https://192.0.2.0 in your web browser) or you can modify the "hosts" file on your computer (on Windows this is usually located at C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts, on a Mac it's at /etc/hosts and you need to be an administrator in both cases).
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Your websites could vanish without warning, even at a large reputable host. It has happened to me more than once. Common causes are denial of service attacks, your site being hacked, the host going out of business, power or network failure, an expired credit card or simple human error. Your hosting provider may be swamped with calls and unresponsive when this happens. If you have a recent off-site backup and control of your domain names you can recover everything within a couple of hours - if not, recovery may be lengthy or impossible. Backups are important!
The most obvious and popular reason for a VPS is to run a single website, or multiple websites. However, you can use them for pretty much anything that requires access to the internet – such as a web application like Nextcloud to run your own Dropbox alternative – or to create your own virtual private network to better secure the internet connection of your PCs and mobile devices.
To sum up, a Windows server is more friendly to beginners but is less flexible and more expensive. A Linux server is cheaper and offers more freedom though it requires special skills and does not have a developed support system. Still, the most important question you need to ask yourself is whether your main goal requires Windows or Linux. If you need a Linux server for your needs but do not have required skills to manage it, you can sign up for a managed VPS.
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High-availability and reliability seem to be the focus of InMotion VPS hosting. Their state-of-the-art Linux VPS Hosting servers are built on top of InMotion’s cloud-powered infrastructure which is designed for real time redundancy. Their VPS plans come with many advanced and free features, such as SSD storage, free cPanel license, and unlocked CPU cores. All of their VPS plans provide server management for updates and patches as well as 24x7 email and telephone support.
You can check your hostname under Webmin > Networking > Network Configuration > Hostname and DNS Client. Unfortunately, some hosting companies overwrite this information every time a VPS is rebooted - you may need to contact them to get it changed. Choose a fully-qualified subdomain that you own, such as "webserver.mydomain.com" or "mail.mydomain.com". Do NOT accept a generic name provided by the hosting company if you will be sending email from the server because spam filters will block it and you can't easily generate SSL certificates for it.
Unlike most shared web hosting plans with unlimited domains, almost all VPS hosting plans include metered bandwidth limits of between 1-5 TB per month. VPS hosting plans have better resource utility panels for administration than available with cPanel where web traffic statistics can be accessed in realtime and the levels of RAM, CPU cores, or bandwidth limits can be adjusted.
The hypervisor provides each guest machine (each website using the VPS) with a virtual operating system and takes care of managing and executing guest operating systems. This process makes the most effective use of computer resources such as network bandwidth, memory space and processor cycles. For this reason, a hypervisor also goes by the name of a virtual machine monitor (VMM).
Memcached with CMS websites than the system resources provided on shared Linux plans will permit. Content Delivery Networks or CDNs cache copies of a website's files in data centers by geo-location and use DNS routing to select the version closest to the web browser or user request origin. CDN services can reduce VPS website response times considerably and reduce web traffic strain on the hardware. The main advantage of VPS hosting plans is that they provide the isolation and system resources required for advanced web server stack customizations that enable better website caching for high performance web & mobile applications at scale.
Two unique features that InMotion VPS hosting provides for free are the Resource Monitoring Dashboard which provides you with charts and graphs to monitor resource usage and allocation on your VPS partition and the Live-State Snapshots functionality, which goes beyond the (free) daily backups and allow you to restore your machine to a specific “known” working state.
FastComet offers multiple configurations for VPS hosting, all of which are cloud-based, include SSD storage, and are fully managed and monitored. The VPS servers are optimized for many popular applications and frameworks, including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and OpenCart. All VPS plans also include 24x7 support for both your infrastructure and applications – with a 10-minute response time! If you are an experienced server administrator you can also have root access to your VPS.
There are a few downsides to shared hosting, though, mostly because you’re sharing. For instance, if someone else on your shared server has a huge spike in traffic, that could affect your website’s performance. However, if you’re just getting your website off the ground and don’t have huge traffic volume, shared hosting is a great way to get online!
Note that some administrators change the port the SSH server listens on from 22 to something higher, to reduce hacking attempts and associated log file entries. I no longer do this because it's only a temporary solution - whichever port you use will be found eventually by port scanners and I'd rather know sooner rather than later if someone is using a weak password.
This means just a few domains could pull an entire reseller website offline if transfer limits are not closely monitored on a regular basis. Many Cloud VPS plans offer a "pay as you go" approach to billing where only the actual amount of CPU resources, storage, and I/O processes are billed. Systems administrators and website publishers need to calculate expected monthly traffic rates when estimating how many system resources are required to support a website in production. "Pay as you go" approaches can be more costly than fixed ratio accounts, where the trade-off is typically a more advanced VPS platform and toolset.
Be careful, though – there are some common traps many people fall into. Firstly, the promotional prices are only on offer for a month, after which you’re paying between $49.99 and $299.99/month on any of its five plans. Secondly, the 30 day, money-back guarantee is only valid for those who subscribe for a year or longer. Everyone else only has 48 hours to claim a refund.