Do you have a growing website that demands more resources than is offered by a shared server? Would you consider shifting your website to a VPS to enhance its performance? Are you searching for the right way to choose a VPS plan for your website? If yes, read on to find out the criteria for selecting the best virtual server for your hosting needs.
How do I choose a VPS plan for my website?
Choosing the correct VPS plan will help you extract the benefits of a dedicated server at a fraction of its cost. Therefore, factor in all the considerations listed below to find your website’s best match:
Know your requirements
The first step to selecting a VPS is knowing your website requirements. How many daily and monthly visitors are you expecting in the coming months? Does your website allow users to upload multimedia content or will it allow this in the future?
If you are planning to expand your website portfolio, you need to take into account some additional factors. How many websites will you host on your new VPS? What will be the sizes of these sites?
You might need to consider a VPS plan that offers high bandwidth and huge disk space when you have multiple websites or lots of user-generated content. By knowing all your website needs, you will get a better grasp of the server specification that you require.
However, if you are unsure of which VPS plan from a specific host will best match your needs, you can always contact the host’s support team.
Choose the Right Type of VPS
You will find two different types of VPS plans with most hosting providers, namely, managed and unmanaged. Do you know the difference between managed and unmanaged VPS hosting? Don’t worry, here it is:
A managed VPS plan is one where your hosting provider handles all the server-related aspects including the initial setup, configuration, and server monitoring. It can be compared to a shared hosting plan for its server management but offers dedicated server resources.
An unmanaged VPS plan is one where the responsibility of managing the server lies on your shoulders. It is suitable for people with technical knowledge since it comes with server root access. With unmanaged VPS, you get the freedom to configure the server as per your needs, install the desired applications, and perform custom partitioning.
Before choosing a VPS plan for your website, determine whether you need a managed VPS or an unmanaged one. Though a managed VPS plan is priced higher than an unmanaged VPS plan, you don’t have to work on the technical/server aspects. It is best to choose a managed VPS when your website can do well with the basic server configuration.
On the other hand, if your website demands server customization, you must go for an unmanaged VPS plan. In such a case, you will have to manage your VPS on your own or hire a developer for the job.
Are you planning to build your website on NodeJs? Does your desired VPS plan support the technology? If not, reconsider your plan.
Your VPS must support the technology on which you will be making your app or website. Whether you are using Java, Python, NodeJs, Ruby on Rails, or any other language, do check its compatibility with your server. Ask your hosting provider if you are ever unsure of the technologies supported by certain VPS plans.
The processor of your server or CPU is its brain that performs all the tasks. It interprets and executes all the instructions. You will find VPS plans with different CPU cores. A CPU with two cores will be able to perform lesser functions than one with four cores.
But not all website owners need more CPU cores for their servers. Even a single-core CPU can handle most software efficiently. However, if you are planning to run CPU-intensive scripts, choose a VPS plan with more CPU cores for better website performance.
You must keep in mind that your website will run slowly if you use a processor with fewer cores when you truly need one with more cores. Thus, carefully determine your processor needs to get faster speed and performance. If unsure, go with a two-core CPU initially and scale up when your website grows.
The RAM (Random Access Memory) capacity of a VPS directly impacts its performance. A server uses this memory to carry out all processes. Different VPS plans offer different amounts of RAM. Therefore, you need to consider your RAM needs before choosing a VPS plan.
Determine your RAM requirements from these questions:
- What type of website are you planning to create?
- Do you want to host multiple websites on your VPS?
- What will be the size of each of your websites?
- How many plugins and software do you intend to use?
- How much traffic do you expect to receive?
E-commerce websites, hosting multiple sites on a single VPS, and high-traffic websites demand more RAM. The more programs and functionality your website requires, the more RAM your VPS shall offer.
When you go for lower RAM than needed, your server processes will slow down, thereby impacting your website speed. On the other hand, purchasing too much RAM might mean overpaying for the memory your website might not be using. Thus, determine your RAM needs and choose a VPS plan that is sufficient enough to run your server smoothly.
Additionally, keep an eye on your RAM usage to upgrade or downgrade your VPS plan to maintain excellent site performance.
The storage capacity or disk space offered by a VPS is an important consideration before purchasing a plan. All your visible and back-end website content utilizes disk space on your server. Whether it is your text content, videos, photos, emails, database files, language files, or operating systems, all of them need server storage.
More website content and files mean more storage requirements. Therefore, if you are planning to build a content-heavy website, an online store, or accept user-generated content, choose a VPS plan with high disk space.
If you are unsure of your server storage needs, consider starting with low storage and upgrading your plan, or only buying additional storage when you consume the existing one.
The bandwidth of a server decides the amount of data that it transfers over the internet in a specific period. Choosing a VPS plan with the right amount of bandwidth is essential to ensure optimal website performance.
If you are building a website from scratch and plan to grow your visitors slowly, you will need low bandwidth. However, when you already have an established website that you are about to shift over to your new VPS, you must go with higher bandwidth.
Additionally, if your website is going to be content-heavy as in the case of an eCommerce website, it will consume more bandwidth to display your content to your site visitors. So go for a VPS plan providing more bandwidth in such a case.
You are also advised to check your bandwidth usage from time to time. It will help you keep track of the volume of data transfer on your VPS. You can then upgrade your VPS plan in advance instead of experiencing a site crash.
It is essential to have a backup of your website data to cover unforeseen circumstances. Thus, you must ensure to purchase a VPS plan that includes a data backup feature.
Though many hosting providers offer backups, their services might differ a lot. You need to look out for:
- Does the VPS plan offer manual or automated backup?
- What is the frequency of data backups? Is it daily, weekly, or on-demand?
- Is it possible to perform customized scheduling of backups?
- What is the data retention period?
- Is it easy to restore your data from a backup?
After considering the above aspects, choose a VPS plan depending on your backup needs.
Also, keep in mind that some hosts provide the backup feature only with their advanced VPS plans while others include it in all their hosting services. So keep an eye on the backup feature when choosing a VPS for your website.
We all love getting something free or extra. Look for that additional piece of cake when selecting a VPS plan for your website. Almost all hosting providers offer similar plans but digging deeper will help you find a few special features in some cases.
Does your host provide free DDoS protection with its VPS plans? Are you getting any special performance optimization features? Will your host maintain automated backups on a third-party server?
Whatever that extra feature might be, consider grabbing it when you don’t have to pay an additional price for the same.
Price is one of the most important considerations when choosing a VPS plan for your website. You will find a wide price range with different server features. A cheaper VPS plan will offer fewer server resources while a costlier one will include more of them.
The difficult part is to maintain a balance between the VPS features you need and the budget you have set aside for your website.
If you choose the cheapest VPS plan, it might not be sufficient for your website needs. If you pay the highest price for the best VPS on the market, you might be wasting your money by spending on server resources you don’t even require. So choose wisely!
Many hosting providers offer initial hosting discounts to gain new customers. It helps you save money in the starting phase of your website/online business. Aside from the initial discount, ensure that you can afford the regular price of the VPS plan too so that you can remain within your budget in the long run.
Scalability is yet another important consideration when selecting a VPS for your website. Your server resource needs might be limited at this point but they won’t remain the same as your website grows. If you ever need to add in more resources, is there some room to scale up?
Consider whether your host offers multiple VPS plans with different resource levels. It will allow you to upgrade your hosting as and when needed.
Some hosting providers offer flexibility in allocating server resources. You are free to add or remove a particular resource according to your website requirements.
For instance, you can purchase additional bandwidth when you expect to receive more traffic instead of upgrading your plan altogether. Looking for such a scalability feature is recommended for websites expecting to receive higher seasonal traffic.
Running your website on lesser server resources than needed will result in poor website performance and might even lead to a site crash. So you must sign up with a VPS host that allows you to scale your resources whenever needed.
Choosing a VPS plan for your website is not a difficult task when you know your server requirements. Make a list of features you need beforehand and match it with the shortlisted VPS plans. Don’t forget to take into account the above considerations when preparing the list.
It is also recommended to start small and upgrade your VPS as your website grows. This way you will never have to pay extra money for the server features you don’t require.
Hope you enjoyed reading this guide on selecting a VPS for your website. If yes, share it with your friends who might benefit from it.