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Eye-opening Beginners Guide to VPS Hosting in South Africa

Have you been wondering how VPS hosting works? We have prepared for you simplified beginners guide to VPS hosting in South Africa.

In this article, we will help you understand the following:

  • What is VPS hosting
  • How VPS hosting works
  • The advantages of using VPS hosting.
  • When to use VPS hosting compared to other forms of hosting
  • How to select a VPS service provider

What is VPS hosting?

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. It is created when a physical server is divided into smaller virtual compartments.

A Virtual Private Server works almost the same as a dedicated server in that it contains the following:

  • A dedicated storage
  • CPU resource
  • Dedicated RAM

The only difference is that VPS hosting costs less than dedicated hosting. It is high time that we understand how VPS hosting works.

What Is A VPS Used For

A Virtual Private Server is used to optimize the performance in small workloads. This is common for small businesses. Highlighted below are various ways that you can utilize VPS hosting:

  • Hosting email
  • Delivering virtual workstations to remote employees
  • Hosting web servers
  • As a storage for company and customer files in a way that you can access them from anywhere in the world
  • Hosting up to 10 websites
  • Delivering cloud-based services for customers
  • Control panel
  • Databases

How Does VPS Hosting Work

There are three options when it comes to web hosting. That is shared hosting, dedicated hosting, and VPS hosting. Shared hosting is the cheapest and most popular type of hosting, dedicated hosting is the most expensive and provides you with a server that is entirely yours, while VPS hosting is more like a dedicated type of hosting only that it is at a lower cost.

Most times, Virtual Private Servers are hosted somewhere within your country and are accessible via internet. You can manage your VPS through SSH or equivalent technology that is supported by your hosting provider.

Continue reading this beginners guide to VPS hosting in South Africa to know how you can fully utilize your VPS hosting.

Advantages of Using VPS Hosting

  • It is more affordable than dedicated hosting.
  • Using dedicated resources results to having a faster website since you have more processing power.
  • Your website can handle a high number of users simultaneously. This is key if your target is to direct a high traffic to your website.
  •  Easy to use as you do not need training to navigate around your control panel.
  • VPS hosting comes with a free SSL certificate to keep your website secured. This is mostly offered by the hosting company.

When To Use VPS Hosting

Most people are not sure when to move from shared hosting to VPS hosting. Here are some of the indicators that mean you need to switch to VPS switching.

1. You have a high amount of traffic.

When your web traffic starts increasing, your web hosting plan is unable to handle such high amounts of traffic. Using a VPS will effectively solve this problem.

2.Your website has data sensitive information.

When your website contains sensitive data like personal billing information from your clients it should be hosted on a VPS or a dedicated server. This is to ensure that the integrity of such data is maintained. On a shared hosting plan, the data is more susceptible to hackers since your website shares its IP address with all other websites on the same server.

3. Your website is running too slowly.

Normally, when you add more content to your website, it tends to run more slowly. It becomes worse when you hit your shared hosting limits and its time to upgrade to VPS hosting so as to boost your site’s speed.

4. The message “Internal Server Error” or the 50X keeps popping up

When your website displays the 50X error, for example 508, 503, 507, or 504, means that your site has reached the maximum level of its allocated resources. To solve this, you need to upgrade to VPS hosting.

5. You want to install custom software or applications.

 Shared hosting does not allow you to install your own software. You may opt to host custom software like database server, file server, forex trading software (online trading) or any other software of your choice. In this case, you will need to choose between a Virtual Private Server or a dedicated server.

6. The “Service Unavailable” error keeps popping up on your website.

This error means that your server is not able to respond to web requests. This occurs when your website exceeds the allocated memory capacity in Windows hosting or its maximum simultaneous connections limit in Linux hosting.

7. You run an online store

eCommerce websites that process credit cards need a PCI compliance certificate. Most websites under shared hosting barely pass the PCI compliance test. To be on the safe side, you can host your website on VPS hosting if not dedicated hosting.

Differences between VPS Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, and Shared Hosting

FeaturesShared HostingVPS HostingDedicated Hosting
Server resource utilizationWebsites only utilise the server resources offered with a specific planThe websites make full use of VPS resourcesWebsites make full use of dedicates server resources
Number of websites to be hostedDepends on the shared plan you buyUnlimited number of websites and each has access to a control panelUnlimited number of websites with each having access to its control panel
Pricing$3-$10 per month$10-$150 per month$80-$1000per month
Custom software installationNoYesYes
IP AddressYou share an IP address with hundreds of other websites.Your IP address is only shared among websites hosted within your VPYour IP address is shared among websites hosted within your server.
Ability to run your own Operating SystemNot able toVPS can run its own Operating SystemThe dedicated server has its own operating system
Hosting supportFully managed by defaultDepends on the VPS plan; it can be managed or unmanaged.Depends on the server which can be fully managed or self-managed
Skills needed to manage the account   
Hosting controlLimited controlFull administrative access to VPSFull administrative access to the dedicated server
Remote access to serverNo, it only allows FTP connectionsYes, through SSH or remote desktopYes, through SSH or remote desktop

How to Select a VPS Service Provider

There are innumerable VPS hosting providers in the market today. In this beginners guide to VPS hosting in South Africa we endeavour to help you make a sustainable decision.

 How do you know which one is the best for you? We have discussed below the most important factors to consider before approving a hosting provider.

#1. Live Customer Support 24/7

The web host technical team should always be standby to help when you experience any difficulties with your VPS. Some of the resources they should have to facilitate this include:

  • 24/7 live chat, phone support or email support
  • A comprehensive knowledgebase, for example a consistently updated blog.

#2. Managed or Unmanaged Service

To select unmanaged service, ensure that you have adequate time to manage your VPS and that you have the following skills:

  • Basic server administration
  • Troubleshooting
  • Managing applications, software, and services installed on your VPS.
  • Installing and Uninstalling
  • Resource monitoring
  • Server performance tweaking

If you do not have time to manage such or you have time constraints, then the managed service will be favourable for you.

#3. Linux or Windows

Hosting Windows based technologies like ASP.Net or the Microsoft SQL Server requires that you choose the Windows VPS hosting. On the other hand, for the PHP and MySQL based websites you need to choose a Linux-based VPS.

#4. Uptime and Reliability

The recommended uptime score is 99.5%. Anything below 99% is unacceptable. You can always check the past uptime records and reviews on various blogs, social media platforms, and other reliable third-party websites.

#5. Backup Service

Regular backups of the VPS to your local computer prevents total loss of data. Sometimes the VPS may be infected with shell scripts and with the most recent back up, you can restore your VPS to its previous state in a matter of minutes.  

Lack of constant backup could result to losing hours of work.

#6. Price

Pricing is important when choosing a hosting provider. However, you should not compromise on quality since the losses can cause you so much loss.

In this regard, you need to make sure that you have a list of all the things that you require for your website and then find the best price for that.

To add, ensure that the host provides a full money-back guarantee so that you can have time to assess the VPS performance while the guarantee period lasts.

#7. Hardware

The place where you VPS resides is called a Hypervisor. It must be configured with high end and brand-new hardware components before you take ownership. You can always ask the sales representative about the configuration of the Hypervisor node.

#8. Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and the Terms and Conditions (T&C)

Before making the final decision, you need to look at the AUP or T&C. This is to ensure that the local service providers are following the local state laws on data protection and offensive activities.

In Conclusion

This comprehensive beginners guide to VPS hosting in South Africa is meant to help you choose the best hosting plan for your website. At the same time, you will be able to maximize your VPS hosting plan to get the most out of your website. Check out this link for more tips on VPS hosting.

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