5 Tips for Getting the Best Deal on a Virtual Private Server

For anyone who needs extra computing resources but prefers not to pay for a dedicated server, a VPS offers the perfect middle ground between shared hosting and renting a dedicated server. With a VPS, you get a virtual machine installed alongside multiple other clients on one physical server with enough computing power to allocate resources to all clients when needed. It’s a cheaper alternative to server co-location for businesses that don’t need such a heavy-duty infrastructure.

Most companies that offer VPS hosting give you the chance to specify how much RAM, CPU, disk space and bandwidth you think you’ll use; many also offer dynamic cloud hosting that automatically scales as your website changes. It’s an ideal solution for businesses, software developers and other people who need to host large, resource-hungry applications on the Internet, but if you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into, you can easily sign up for the wrong service.


1. Choose the Right Bandwidth and Disk Space for Your Needs

This advice is the most important, and while it may seem obvious, you still need to consider the edge cases that may come up while you’re hosting Web apps. As with any website, you must research your target audience before putting your site up on the Internet, and this data can help you decide whether to save money on less bandwidth or spend more on bandwidth that expands as your traffic increases. For example, if your users have a seasonal need for your service, such as a need for winter-related products, your traffic will increase in winter and then go back down for the rest of the year.


2. Match Your RAM and CPU Resources to Your Content

This point is almost as important as choosing the right bandwidth because RAM and CPU completely determine how well your applications run over the Internet. If you choose a Web host that allows you to specify how much RAM and CPU to allocate for your VPS, find out exactly how much you will need before making that choice. If you don’t know, ask someone knowledgeable in computer science how much RAM and CPU your site will need at max capacity, and don’t allocate more than that amount because you’ll have to pay for it even if you don’t use it.


3. Save Time With Managed Hosting

Even if you’re a programmer yourself, it still requires a significant amount of time to set up Apache, MySQL, PHP, Python and all your Web apps on a bare operating system, and the technicians from your Web host can manage your server more efficiently than you can because it’s what they do all day. In other words, it’s their comparative advantage.


4. Make the Effort to Find the Best Tech Support

This advice is mentioned by everyone who has ever paid for Web hosting because it’s an absolute necessity when you don’t have physical access to the server hosting your website. Even if your host claims to have 99.99 percent uptime, this number is usually a slight exaggeration as they’re talking about server uptime. If your site goes down because of a DDoS attack or some other unexpected reason, you need to be able to get your hosting service on the phone or an online chat portal to quickly resolve the problem.


5. Avoid Problems By Getting a Control Panel

A graphical administrator interface, such as cPanel or Plesk, allows you to access all the functions of your server without referring to dense online documentation. However, a control panel cost extra, so if you don’t need it, you can save money by installing all your Web apps via the command line.