Home Web Hosting Presale Tips for the First VPS Purchase

Presale Tips for the First VPS Purchase

by amol238

VPS Hosting

Virtual Servers become increasingly popular among web hosting services users. Many website owners, whose projects are constantly developing, look into virtual servers as into the most optimal upgrade solution. There are, however, nuances that should be kept in mind while making the purchase.

The thing is that unlike a shared or a dedicated server, a VPS has several ways of resource provision that depend on the virtualization type in use. This factor prompts dependencies for other aspects of hosting in turn. Thus, if you are intended to get a virtual server as a hosting platform for your web project, have a look at the tips below.

What Are You Going to Host?

No matter whether you are upgrading to a VPS or want to start a new project on such a server, you have a concept of your website in mind. Therefore it would be more logical to start analyzing those dependencies in the reverse order.

The first thing to stick to is the framework type. If your website is built with the help of html and standards scripts (php, perl etc.), a Linux-based server is going to suit your needs. If you use ASP .NET, MSSQL databases and some other specific Windows software, you will need Windows to operate your VPS.

Apart from the framework, it is vital to consider hosted software before making your choice. Depending on the script in use and visitors’ activity, hosting of blogs and forums may require more resources, than hosting of a simple ecommerce site. On the other hand, some ecommerce scripts may require more resources due to numerous modules applied.

Another point to consider is the purpose of service usage. Using a VPS for email/ftp transfer and hosting of a simple website is going to use hard drive resources mostly. In case of intensive scripts usage you will also need to take care of databases to be processed properly. This may require additional physical memory (RAM).

Which Platform Are You Going to Host Your Project at?

As far as you can see, even such a brief analysis of hosted content has already provided several options for hosting platform selection. By platform we do not mean the operating system only, but the hosting control panel, too. If you choose Windows, this will require installation of some of the following panels: Helm, Parallels (Ensim) or Hosting Controller. There are some other panels also, but those are the most popular ones.

A point to make here is that both Windows and all related hosting software has rather strict system requirements and uses significantly more resources than Linux. Additionally, those products are rather costly.

Choosing Linux sets you free from many nuances. First of all you do not pay for the operating system and you may choose between licensed and open-source software. Since Linux is more widely used in hosting, there are more types of software applied for server administration.

Therefore you can choose of a wider range of control panels: cPanel, DirectAdmin, Parallels (Ensim) – those that are paid – and WebMin, VHCS, WebCP and Xpanel – free web hosting control panels. Another aspect is server resource usage. Linux OS and its software usually consume less RAM and CPU time. You should, however distinguish types of software and especially control panels. The more feature-rich and automated the panel is, the more resources it consumes. cPanel for instance needs 256MB at least, while DirectAdmin or Webmin – only 64 MB of RAM.

Which Virtualization Type Should You Choose?

We are finally ready to discuss this most important aspect. Before we start helping you choose the type of virtualization, let us find out what it actually is. In a nutshell, it is a technology that allows creating multiple virtualized environments within one physical server (carrier) or vice versa – grouping several machines into one environment. If the latter technology is applied for clustered systems creation and cloud hosting provision, the former one is exactly what they use to create virtual servers.

Virtualization can be performed on two levels – on hardware level (paravirtualization) and on the level of operating system (OS-level virtualization). This is what is actually meant by type. The current trend in hosting, however, is to distinguish virtualization types by systems used – XEN for paravirtualization and OpenVZ for OS-level virtualization – since those platforms are the most popular and widely used in VPS hosting.

The main difference between those is that XEN supports full virtualization, letting its users operate an absolutely isolated OS with fixed dedicated amount of resources. Environments, created with OpenVZ are less independent – those are containers of a host system, installed on a carrier. Unlike XEN, that is able to support different operating systems, OpenVZ limits the user in choice of operating systems, narrowing it to OS Linux distros only (both XEN and OpenVZ systems are based on *nix). This difference explains the pricing – a more complicated technical solution delivered by paravirtualization makes XEN servers more expensive.

Last but not least – resource provision and sharing. This mostly concerns RAM. The thing is that, owing to full virtualization, XEN servers have a set amount of RAM, backed by a swap file – just like on a standalone server. An OpenVZ-based VPS does not have a fixed RAM limit – it only has a guaranteed amount of RAM that is supposed to be available all the time and burstable RAM (free carrier memory) amount for short time memory overuse peaks.

On the one hand, this way of resource sharing is rather useful since it lets the server operate faster. On the other hand, however, you cannot rely on constant availability of burstable RAM and sometimes (depending on resource sharing policy and limitations) you cannot even get all your guaranteed RAM, if it’s locked by another VPS, that uses it as burstable.

I believe, this explanation makes your choice more obvious. If you need to have your project hosted on Windows – you should get a XEN-based VPS. This server should have 768 MB RAM at least, however, since such “mid” specifications are not popular and taking into account the further growth of your project it is advisable to look into a VPS with 1 GB RAM at once.

Choosing Linux hosting gives you more solutions. You can get an OpenVZ server with minimal amount of RAM (usually 256 MB) to host small websites and carry out email/ftp transfers. This server will need the simplest control panel though, which means some manual administrative work. Thus, for maximum automation it is advisable to look into a VPS with 512 MB guaranteed memory limit.

If you are going to host some resource intensive software or expect your website to have many visitors, you should get a server with 768 MB – 1 GB RAM, since it’s risky to rely on burstable memory. You may also need a XEN-based VPS – those are mostly needed for projects that need all its memory constantly available.

For instance if you are sure, that whatever the load spikes may be the entire memory use is not going to exceed the 512 MB limit. Then it is better to get a XEN VPS with 512 MB or RAM, to support the system, services, your control panel and software, while all the other random short-time processes will get swapped and then released when they get executed and die.


If you are searching for a powerful, reliable and at the same time affordable hosting solution, you are most likely to be searching for a VPS. This type of hosting perfectly fits any needs and now you should be able to define which VPS you need exactly. I sincerely hope this article comes in handy when you decide to switch to a virtual server.

Image Credit: x10hosting

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Debt December 1, 2010 - 12:59 pm

I think with a normal blog, we should using shared hosting is enough.

Aluminum Cases December 2, 2010 - 4:48 pm

Yes if you only have a single blog without much traffic, there is no need to get anything beyond shared hosting. Something like VPS becomes more beneficial when you have multiple blogs or websites or are getting too much traffic for shared hosting.

Alex@jocuri December 1, 2010 - 1:17 pm

I think the best option is to go for a dedicated server, you can find ones that have almost the same prices as a vps but with better hardware.

Also, I never liked the idea of a vps it’s practically shared hosting but with some resources guarantees.

Car Rental December 8, 2010 - 5:48 pm

I am also a big fan for dedicated servers. It gives you complete resources and customization. I would never buy a VPS when I can get a dedicated server with a little extra price.

Arkadij December 2, 2010 - 6:58 am

Hi Guys,

Thanks for reading this one. If you don’t mind, I am to share some arguments 🙂

Shared hosting is fine for running a blog only until your blog’s popularity rockets away. As soon as it does and you start receiving a load of hits, you are going to face such inconveniences as slowdowns and overloads, caused by too many database requests. Additional pain in the neck is going to be delivered by plugins – the more of them you use, the more will it take them to load and operate.


I agree, that some dedicated server deals can bring more gain, but a VPS sets you free from hardware issues. As for comparing a VPS to simple shared hosting – I can hardly agree with that. Apart from resources, a VPS delivers great customization options which you will never get on a shared server.

Printable Coupons December 2, 2010 - 7:21 am

dedicated or shared server? which is better?

Arkadij December 2, 2010 - 7:30 am

This really depends on your needs. A dedicated server is definitely a better hosting solution since it’s a standalone server, but it’s rather costly so you need to make sure your online project is going to return the investments.

Aluminum Cases December 6, 2010 - 4:26 pm

Yep, if you’re running an online business, you need to get the hosting that suits your business needs. There is no point in paying for a top of the line dedicated server if your business doesn’t really need it. Most businesses would do just fine on a VPS server.

Tej Kohli December 2, 2010 - 10:09 pm

Yeah Sure Dedicated server is the best option in comparison to VPS hsoting in terms of reliability and security

Jasmine December 7, 2010 - 4:08 am

Great tips on purchasing our first VPS hosting.

Arkadij December 7, 2010 - 3:30 pm

Hi Tej,

Depending on the configuration a VPS may be a real fortress. If you have enough skills and your VPS host can makes some changes on a carrier for your VPS specifically, be sure your virtual machine is going to become a web Fort Knox 🙂


Thanks, but those tips are fit every host 🙂
I can see you do not offer hosting services directly, unlike we do. However, you’ve got a nice website. Any chance of SiteValley.com getting there? 😉 Please send me a DM over Twitter. Thanks in advance.

Car Rental December 12, 2010 - 4:13 pm

Anyone who has signed up with Blue host, can you please write a review for us. Thanks.

ZK@Web Marketing December 12, 2010 - 10:08 pm

I use BlueHost for some of my sites, my experience with them has been great – they are prompt in response time, I’ve never had a case where any of my sites has been down.

Hans December 13, 2010 - 12:03 pm

I am thinking about moving to a dedicated server in stead of a VPS, just because VPS is still some kind of shared hosting (you still have to share the server). While a own server wouldt cost much more money, you still have the benefits of no other party taking resources from the server

Evan Schulte December 13, 2010 - 1:00 pm

If you don’t have a lot of domains or a large site then shared hosting is fine. Its when you do something more complicated that you would need something to be dedicated or private.

wicker furniture December 15, 2010 - 4:08 am

I am about to purchase a VPS and I wanted to ask does amount of RAM matter for hosting a website on cPanel?

Arkadij December 15, 2010 - 11:39 am

Yes, it really does. cPanel requires 256MB at minimum to provide full functionality, thus you need to get a VPS with 512MB of RAM at least. Frankly speaking, picking a VPS with a lesser amount of RAM (say, if you choose DirectAdmin or WebMin instead of cPanel) is not going to do much good. Sure, other control panels require less RAM and look like saving more free memory for other processes, but depending on the virtualization type, RAM amount cutting (say choosing a VPS w/ 256MB RAM, 64MB of which are used by WebMin) can hardly be a solution.

FirstHosting January 26, 2011 - 4:10 pm

I think a 512 mb ram vps is best for normal users, and it really depends upon our needs, as you discussed what what kind of platform is important for us.

Arkadij January 27, 2011 - 7:56 am

VPS plans with 512 MB RAM are really the most popular among VPS users. Less experienced webmasters or those who upgrade from shared hosting choose configuration with lower RAM quota while more experienced users get their VPSes with up to 4 GB RAM getting performance rates, close to those of a dedicated machine. Well, again, everything depends on one’s needs.


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