Nowadays, regardless of the kind of business, you are running – whether it’s a fishing shop, a kindergarten for advanced children development, a café specializing in traditional Chinese tea serving, or anything else, you are going to benefit from a website. After your website is created, the next step is to start hosting it. Also, if you aren’t going to host a website requiring a lot of data storage and computing power with thousands of visits a day, a Virtual Privat Server (VPS) will perfectly do.
All in all, hosting a website is a complex undertaking, which implies lots of aspects and background knowledge. For this reason, we’ve prepared this short guide to throw light onto the basic aspect of VPS hosting.
How to find an optimal hosting solution?
- Choose the right hosting solution. Analyze, which are going to be the needs of your website, how heavy its applications are, how much data it is going to process, and how many visitors you expect each day and each month. Based on this information make up your mind about the hosting service that will be most beneficial for your website.
- Choose the operating system for your VPS. There are two main options for the operating system of your VPS – Linux (with any of its numerous distributions) or Windows.
Linux is a more popular operating system for servers. The reason for this is the price – most Linux distributions are free, as well as the flexibility, customizability, and stability of Linux.
Windows for VPS is not chosen not so often, first and foremost because it’s paid and a more rigid system as a whole, which makes it unworth choosing without a particular reason. It’s however still popular for certain purposes, as it includes certain exclusive solutions which are required for certain projects – such as Microsoft SQL and ASP.NET.
- Choose the right location for your VPS. In hosting location does matter, as it determines the proximity to your target audience, which in turn determines, how fast the pages of your site will load. The faster the page loading speed, the more content are your customers, and the higher your website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
- Choose the hosting provider. There are dozens of available hosting providers on the web. The quality of their services differs, however, so study carefully their offers, the prices, the customer reviews, the service level agreement, the availability of support, as well as their compliance with the standards, that is the availability of necessary licenses and certificates. Make sure they offer the location you are interested in and check whether they offer servers at a good data center, with all necessary equipment and security. If you are looking for a UK VPS Provider, for instance, we recommend you to check out this particular offer.
Starting to host your website on VPS
After you’ve purchased a VPS, there are a few more steps to do in order to start hosting your website – performing the basic configuration of your VPS and then uploading the files of the website to it. The exact configuration of your VPS depends, however, on the operating system you’ve chosen, whether it’s Windows or any of the Linux distributions. The following will be rather an overview of the steps to be done on both systems, to provide you with a basic idea of how this all works. The detailed configurations for both systems are worth dedicating a separate article to each.
Step 1: Connecting to the VPS
The first step is to connect to your new VPS using the login credentials you most likely have received in an email from your hosting provider.
As for Linux VPS, in case you are using a Unix-like OS on your PC as well, you’ll be able to access your Linux VPS through the command line.
If you use Windows on your PC, you’ll need a separate client application. The most widely used one is PuTTY which you can download for free from the official website.
As for Windows VPS, the connection is done via the remote desktop protocol (RDP). It’s already present in the system if you’re using Windows OS on your PC. To access it from Linux, you’ll need a special client. The most obvious choice is Remmina.
Step 2: Adding new users
On a new VPS, there is one default user – root. To optimize the administration of the VPS, it’s worth adding some new users.
On Linux, you’ll have to use a special command in the command line. Make sure to create SUDO group users, that have the rights to administer the server.
On Windows, this is done through the interface of the operating system. There are different paths on different versions of the system, but you always have to look for the “accounts” folder.
Step 3: Primary software installation
To work with the VPS, you need to install a certain set of programs.
On Linux, these are the so-called LAMP package, an acronym for their names – Linux OS, Apache web server, MySQL database management system, and PHP or Perl code interpreter.
On Windows, we will deal with a similar thing called Internet Information Services (IFS). It’s preinstalled in the operating system and is activated through the control panel.
Step 4: Uploading the website to the VPS
The last step is to upload your website to the VPS and make it run.
To do it on Linux, you’ll have to use either the SSH file transfer protocol or a special client like FileZilla.
On Windows, the uploading feature is accessible through the Remote Desktop where you’ll be able to simply drag and drop them once everything is properly configured.
To sum up
Hosting a website on a VPS might seem like a difficult task, but it’s not that hard if broken down into simpler steps. We hope that this article has coped well with this task. Thank you for your attention, take care!