VPS hosting, or virtual private server, is just one of the many kinds of web hosting services available to webmasters, web designers, programmers, and web developers. A virtual private server means that a user is granted a virtual server on an actual server—the virtual server runs in the memory of a host computer, which in turn can have a number of virtual servers running on it simultaneously.
There are many companies offering VPS hosting services. So how do you select the best one out of the very wide and deep pool of choices? Here are some factors to consider when choosing the best VPS hosting for you and your website.
- Reputation. Some VPS/VPN hosting providers, regardless of the amount of time they have been operating in the industry, have earned a good reputation for customer service, server performance, and reliability. You might want to look for such providers, either by doing a bit of research on the Internet or by word-of-mouth. Ask around for companies that have satisfied customers from different industries.
- RAM capacity. One of the things that you should consider is the amount of RAM the VPS hosting service provides. To run an operating system, different applications, and the control panel smoothly, you will need a minimum of 512 MB. Hosting more than one website on a VPS system will require a capacity of around one gigabyte of RAM. Good VPS service providers will offer larger RAM plans, which means that you can access a “pool” of memory—exclusive for your use—in the event that you have an unexpected event such as high traffic volume on your site.
- Network throughput. You should go with a VPS service provider that offers high network throughput, which will allow your customers or site visitor to receive and send information from the server in the fastest manner possible. Nothing turns off a site visitor or an online shopper other than sites that load slowly. You will definitely lose a lot of people—whether visitors or shoppers—with a site hosted on a VPS service provider that has very low network throughput.
- Control panel feature. Aside from ensuring that your VPS service provider does offer a control panel, you have to go with one that offers an easy-to-use, intuitive control panel. Many great VPS service providers offer DirectAdmin or cPanel, which are both user-friendly and reliable.
- Server uptime reassurance. No one can guarantee a 100% server up-time, but in moments when the server breaks down, a good VPS service provider can take responsibility for the unexpected event and take action as fast as possible. Make sure to sign up with a service provider that guarantees more than 99% server up-time to ensure that your website is up and running for the largest possible period of time.
- Reliability and security. Nobody wants to compromise important data, but on the Internet, this event can easily happen and cause a disaster. Check with the VPS service provider if they can guarantee not only consistent reliability, but also tight security for your data, and if you are operating an e-commerce site, for your customers; financial data as well.
- Money-back guarantee. Let’s say that you have signed up for a VPS or any hosting service that does not completely satisfy you. Will you be able to get a refund for the services you were expecting to get but did not? Good VPS service providers are confident in their ability to provide excellent service and server performance, and will gladly offer a guarantee should you be dissatisfied or disappointed with their services.