How to choose your VPS provider
Hosting can seem like a complex area with some tough decisions to be made, but the right provider will make the journey smooth and seamless. The first stage in making your decision is to decide on the type of hosting that’s best for you. If you’ve already settled on VPS, then the next thing to decide is what your VPS plan is going to look like.
Of course, there are many factors that come into play, including your budget, technical requirements, expertise, and the potential changes you anticipate in the future. But whatever your situation, there will always be a VPS provider that is right for your needs.
What is VPS?
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. This means you almost have your own server all to yourself. The server itself is shared between different users but separated using virtualization software. You will be isolated from your neighbors, so effectively you have your own private server space.
For those that find themselves asking “what size VPS do I need?” there is usually a range of plans to choose from that cater to the needs of projects of every size.
Read more on why VPS hosting could be right for you.
The different types of VPS hosting
If you’re new to the game, you may be asking yourself, “which is the best VPS plan to go for?” Let’s take a look at some of the different types of VPS hosting.
Cloud vs traditional
With VPS, there is the choice of using cloud or traditional hosting, with most providers offering one or the other. While cloud VPS plans offer more scalability and flexibility in terms of payment, traditional plans allow users to know their hardware and what their bills will look like.
Find out more about the differences between using cloud and traditional hosting.
Managed vs unmanaged
One important point to consider is whether you need managed or unmanaged VPS plans, and what level of management is right for you. Management of your server may be something included in the plan, or available as an optional add-on. This is different for every plan and should be checked before signing up.
Managed plans include additional services offered by your provider, which include admin tasks and some specific software. This may be a good option for those without the technical expertise or in-house server admin to handle the extra workload, but otherwise, you can avoid the extra cost by going for an unmanaged plan.
Things to look for in VPS hosting
There are multitudes of VPS offers on the market from different providers. Be sure to account for the following factors when choosing any VPS plan.
We need to know that the VPS hosting service we are using is reliable, effective, and trustworthy. This can be shown in such things as server uptime and performance, a provider promise, and a money-back guarantee. For your web project to be successful, uptime and performance are critical. And if you are hosting a website, this is also important for both visitor experience and SEO rankings.
What exactly will you get with your plan? Here you will need to look at the tech specs that describe the capacity and power of the hosting deal. This includes CPU cores, RAM, bandwidth, storage, dedicated IP, control panel, licenses, add-ons, and the operating systems that you can choose from.
For those that need the most control over their server, root access will be a must. This provides the highest level of direct access to your server and is only really useful to those with the expertise to operate servers. The levels of root access may vary from one provider to the next, just as there is a range of management plans available. At Namecheap, we offer plans with different levels of server management and root access.
As previously mentioned, management can give extra control of the server and hosting, while for those with the technical ability and the need for customization, server management can be kept to a minimum. Some providers also offer the chance to build on your hosting product with add-ons that can include management, licenses, and control panels.
It’s better for management plans to be flexible, so users have the chance to change as and when it suits them. They can also choose whether they will need a control panel and which one works best.
The price is always an important consideration, and we all need to weigh up the overall offerings of each plan against the price tag. We also need to account for the extra services and upgrades that could add to the costs in the future, such as support and management. So it’s important to factor in all the extras and compare this with all-inclusive plans.
It is also sometimes the case that advertised prices for promotional offers are only available for longer billing cycles, so this should be checked.
Other considerations to make are for the cost of licenses, which with some providers will be included in the price, while others will charge this separately as an add-on. Also, the purchase price will not always be the same as the renewal price.
Some providers allow you more scalability for your hosting plan, and the chance to easily upgrade to a higher plan. With Namecheap, you can increase your resources while staying on the same plan, without experiencing any downtime.
When you’re taking on a large and highly technical project, you need to be sure that someone is there to help out at those times when you run into difficulties. This means high-quality support that is available on a 24/7 basis.
You should remember to check whether your provider offers support that is ad hoc, emergency, or by the hour. Support is another point to factor in when considering your hosting budget and you can also consider testing the support provided before making a purchase.
Security should be a priority for everyone in hosting. This means looking at the network protection offered, and whether providers secure just their own systems or individual accounts too.
Some providers offer Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection for each plan, while others protect their entire infrastructure and software.
In some cases, providers include things like firewalls and malware protection as part of the OS installation. Namecheap offers CXS anti-malware protection when users choose to include Complete Management in their plans; otherwise, it can be chosen as a paid add-on.
Here are some additional VPS security best practices that will help to protect your virtual server.
The backup storage offerings that are included with VPS plans should be taken into account, as well as the optional add-ons that are available. Another thing to check is whether there is an option for offsite backup, as this is included in some premium plans.
With Namecheap VPS plans, backups are included in all plans, while offsite backup storage is also available as an optional add-on with managed plans for those times that call for that little extra.
When you are migrating between plans and providers, sometimes there is an extra cost incurred. However, providers like Namecheap offer migration free of charge. You may also need to consider the possibility of migrating from VPS to Dedicated Hosting at some point in the future, and how easily this can be managed.
Choose your VPS account wisely
So the question that we are probably all looking to answer by this point is which is the best VPS provider? Of course, this depends to some extent on your particular requirements at this stage in your hosting journey.
There are many differences between VPS providers, so it’s best to take your time to carefully weigh up your options. When you find a provider that ticks every box and offers you all the reassurance you need, you know that’s the one to go for.
At Namecheap, we provide a transparent pricing structure where each customer can choose the features needed in terms of management, control panel (cPanel or Interworx), and even cPanel licenses that allow projects of any size to flourish. Our three VPS plans cover everything from entry to high-end hosting requirements.
Take a look at our range of VPS hosting plans, which can meet every requirement and budget, whatever the project you are working on.