Your Ultimate Guide to Hosting a Website on VPS
Imagine your website as a vibrant storefront in a bustling mall. Just like a physical store requires a physical space to operate, your website needs a digital space to reside, and that’s where web hosting comes in.
Web hosting essentially rents a virtual space on the internet where your website’s files and data are stored, making them accessible to anyone who types in your website’s address. Among the various hosting options available, virtual private servers (VPS) have become popular for website owners seeking a balance of power, flexibility, and affordability.
In this guide, we’ll discuss what VPS hosting is, why is it beneficial, and how to host a website on a Windows VPS easily.
What is VPS hosting?
VPS provides users with a dedicated virtual space on a physical server. Meaning, each VPS has its resources like CPU, RAM, and SSD storage, which are not shared with other users on the same physical server. This makes VPS hosting a good option for websites that experience high traffic or require specialized software that demands extensive resources.
Moreover, as VPS hosting provides dedicated server performance at a more affordable cost, it is a cost-effective choice for businesses needing greater control than shared hosting but without requiring a full dedicated server.
Differences between VPS and Shared Hosting
Exploring hosting options for your website? While shared hosting is an option, it’s crucial to carefully evaluate the advantages and disadvantages compared to VPS hosting.
|Server resources are allocated into virtual compartments, providing users with dedicated and isolated computing power for their specific needs.
|Several users share resources on the same server.
|Provides isolation from other virtual instances on the same server.
|Shared environment with other users; less isolation than VPS.
|Superior performance than shared hosting due to dedicated resources.
|Performance may be affected by the activities of other users on the same server.
|Expensive than shared hosting but generally more affordable than dedicated hosting.
|Cost-effective, suitable for small websites and beginners.
|Scalable, allowing for easy upgrades of resources as the website grows.
|Limited scalability, as resources are shared with other users.
|Offers more control over server settings and configurations compared to shared hosting.
|Limited control as the hosting provider manages server settings.
|More secure than shared hosting, as each VPS is isolated from others on the same server.
|Less secure due to shared resources; a security breach on one account can affect others.
|Allows greater customization of server environment and software installations.
|Limited customization options compared to VPS or dedicated hosting.
|Can handle moderate to high traffic depending on the resources allocated.
|Suitable for low to moderate-traffic websites.
|Requires a moderate level of technical knowledge to manage and configure the server.
|Beginner-friendly, as the hosting provider manages most technical aspects.
Should you consider upgrading your Shared Hosting to a VPS?
If you’re currently hosting your website on a shared hosting platform, you might be wondering if it’s time for an upgrade. While shared hosting is a cost-effective option for small websites, it can become limiting as your website grows and experiences increased traffic.
Here are signs it’s time to upgrade to a VPS:
- Your site is experiencing downtime
- Your website is loading slowly due to increased traffic
- You notice a spike in bounce rates, suggesting visitors leave your site quickly, often because of slow loading times or poor user experience.
- You plan to add an e-commerce element to your website; a VPS is crucial to ensure the
security of sensitive customer information.
Why host a website on a VPS?
While the advantages of VPS for web hosting are evident, if you are still uncertain, here’s why you should host a website on VPS:
VPS hosting is a more affordable option than dedicated server hosting. This is because you are not renting an entire physical server but a virtual slice of one.
As your website grows in popularity, you may need to increase your hosting resources. With a VPS, you can scale your resources up or down as needed. This is not always possible with shared hosting, where you may be limited to a certain amount of storage space and other resources.
VPS hosting offers higher security than shared hosting since you have full root access to your VPS. This means you can install your security software and configure your server to your liking. You can also use a firewall to protect your website from intruders.
VPS hosting gives you full root access to your server, meaning you can customize it to meet your needs. This includes incorporating apps, software, additional security features, and specific plugins to optimize your website. Additional features available with a VPS hosting plan encompass:
- Site or data backup
- SEO tools
- Technical support
- Firewall setup
- Email services
- Other security features
Uptime is the percentage of time for which your visitors can access the website. VPS hosting typically delivers high uptime, which means that your website is less likely to go offline, making it a preferred choice for hosting a website.
How to host a website on a VPS?
Now that you have learned about the numerous advantages of choosing VPS for web hosting, let’s delve into a step-by-step guide on how to host a website on a VPS server:
1.Select the right VPS
Before you learn how to set up a VPS for web hosting, it’s crucial to choose the right server for your website’s needs. At Bigrock, we specialize in VPS and web hosting services. Here are some benefits of choosing a VPS from Bigrock:
- Top-notch hardware with up to 6 CPU cores, 32GB RAM, and 500GB SSD storage for exceptional performance.
- Enjoy root/administrator access for complete control over your server’s configuration and management.
- Experience 99.9% uptime
- Get free website migration with all the plans
- 24/7 customer support
You can check out Bigrock’s VPS hosting plans to learn more.
2.Connect to your VPS
Connecting to your Windows VPS is simple using the Remote Desktop tool. This tool is pre-installed on Windows OS and you’ll only require administrator access. To connect:
- Click the start button and locate “Remote Desktop Connection.”
- Open the Remote Desktop application.
- Enter the VPS IP address provided by your hosting provider.
- Input your username and password.
- Click “Connect” to access your Windows VPS as an administrator.
3.Set up website hosting
Once connected to your server and have acquired a domain name, ensure your DNS A records point to your new VPS IP address. DNS links a domain to your server’s IP address, similar to associating a phone number with an individual’s name.
4.Install and configure your web server
Install Apache for Windows by downloading the Windows version from the official Apache HTTP Server site.
- Extract the Apache archive to a directory (e.g., C:\Apache24).
- Open Command Prompt as Administrator.
- Go to the bin directory inside the Apache folder: cd C:\Apache24\bin
- Set up Apache as a service: httpd.exe -k install.
- Start Apache: httpd.exe -k start.
Verify Apache installation by visiting “http://localhost” or your VPS’s IP address. The Apache default page should appear.
5.Install your desired CMS or migrate the existing site
If you install WordPress, follow these steps:
- Download and install MySQL for Windows. (Make sure to note the root password during installation as WordPress requires a MySQL database.)
- PHP Installation:
- Download PHP for Windows.
- Extract the PHP archive to a directory of your choice (like C:\php).
- Add the PHP directory to your System Path.
- WordPress Installation:
- Download the latest WordPress release from the official WordPress website.
- Move the WordPress archive to your Apache document root.
6.Set up your website on WordPress (or other CMS)
Create a new database for WordPress via MySQL and follow the WordPress installation wizard. Input your VPS IP address in your web browser and provide database details when prompted.
7.Test your website
Set up and test your website to ensure it functions correctly:
- Open your web browser and enter your VPS IP address in the address bar. The address resembles http://18.104.22.168, where 22.214.171.124 and is replaced with your actual VPS IP address.
8.Point your domain name to your VPS (Via DNS) to make it live
Now, modify your domain’s nameservers to ensure proper DNS record propagation. This crucial step impacts all DNS entries, so make sure to do it correctly:
- In your DNS settings, add an “A” record. While these changes typically occur quickly, allow up to 48 hours for complete propagation if necessary. To confirm the changes, visit your domain name’s web address using a browser.
- Finally, set up WordPress to your domain name. Navigate to Settings > General and confirm both the WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) fields match your domain (e.g., http://example.com or https://example.com).
How many websites can I host on a VPS?
A VPS can host multiple websites, and the number you can host is limited only by the resources of your VPS, such as RAM, CPU, and SSD storage. If you find you need to host more websites than your VPS can currently handle, you can upgrade your VPS plan to increase these resources.
What else can I host on a VPS?
VPS is a versatile hosting option and can be used for various purposes beyond just hosting websites. Here are some other things you can host on a VPS:
- Gaming servers
- Virtual private networks (VPNs)
- VoIP (Voice over IP)
- Dev testing
Remember, your VPS has a finite resource capacity, so carefully consider your requirements before hosting multiple services. Ensure your VPS can handle the combined resource demands to avoid performance issues that could negatively impact your website, SEO, and brand reputation.
We hope this guide has helped understand VPS hosting, its advantages, and how to host a website on a Windows VPS.
If you have any queries or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment in the below section. We’ll be happy to help!