If you’re planning to start a web application, the first thing that you need is to setup your own server. Usually people start with shared hosting, which sucks if you’re trying to run anything more than a wordpress site. A dedicated server is expensive, and can range between $200 – $9000/month. The best thing to start out with is a VPS or a Virtual Private Server. It gives you completely flexibility since you are root and the price is between a shared hosting and a dedicated server.
If you decide that you do need a VPS server, there are a ton of things to look out for. Though as with all things, the internet is full of how to do it. As far as I see, there are 5 hosting companies that I get servers in. I’ll run you through each of them, and maybe it will help you decide which one is the right fit for you.
So here we go:
This used to be my first choice, though I’m not too sure after it was purchased by Rackspace. I have a feeling that they’ll be moving all their customers to Rackspace Cloud sooner or later. This is also slightly expensive, but in terms of the UI of their admin and the Knowledge base, these guys are the best.
2. Rackspace Cloud
This service is by Rackspace and started after they acquired Slicehost. It’s cheaper than Slicehost in the sense that the price that you see is only for the server and not for the bandwidth (Slicehost’s plans include both the server and the bandwidth). A simple calculation shows that if your bandwidth usage is less than 72GB/month, Rackspace Cloud would be the cheaper alternative. Our server runs on this too. Their admin UI is picked up from Slicehost and does almost all of the things that Slicehost does, but it’s a lot uglier and slower.
This is also a really cool provider. It’s cheaper than Slicehost and recently we have moved almost all our clients here. They have an Extensive knowledge based and the support is also top-class. If I compare the support, I’m not sure which is better Slicehost or Linode. Also, since Linode is cheaper as well, we have started recommending this.
This is a site which assumes you’re smart. Since you’re already here reading this post on our blog, I assume you’re pretty smart as well. If you are the no-frills kind of a person looking for super cheap and reliable VPS hosting, this is the place for you. Interestingly, there is no admin UI here, you directly connect via SSH and do whatever it is you want to do. It is also significantly cheaper than the other options here. I own a couple of servers here as well.
5. Amazon EC2
This is undoubtedly the most popular one out there, but what most people don’t realize is that it’s really a cheaper alternative if you’re used to buying $1000/month dedicated servers. When compared to the other VPS services, this is massively expensive.
While we are on this topic, you should read this post from uggedel.com. It provides a great comparison between the most popular services and based on it you can decide what do you want to purchase.
Finally, one last link worth sharing is LowEndBox.com. If you’re looking for a cheap server, this is just the place to find one. The reviews are really good and no matter how often you work with servers, you’ll always pick up a few things here.
In Conclusion, no matter what your budget, no matter what your requirements, you will always find something that is just right for you. All you have to do, is know what you want, and you shall get it.
Do let me know if you have any questions, or if you know any better services that we should try out.
Image via zunami