Choosing VPS Hosting Providers - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The following article includes pertinent information that may cause you to reconsider what you thought you understood. The most important thing is to study with an open mind and be willing to revise your understanding if necessary.

VPS Hosting is one of the fastest growing hosting niches. More and more hosting providers are offering this as to compliment their offerings and it is gaining increased traction as the concept of "Cloud" becomes more main-stream. But this increase in VPS Providers makes the task of choosing your host difficult! More choices generally confuse buyers - simple psychology. But you don't have to be! This article will highlight a few of the key points that you should look out for when taking the plunge into your first "virtualized" hosting experience.

Truthfully, the only difference between you and Choosing VPS Hosting Providers - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly experts is time. If you'll invest a little more time in reading, you'll be that much nearer to expert status when it comes to Choosing VPS Hosting Providers - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

The first and most important thing to watch out for is how many years the VPS provider has been in business for. We've all heard of the horror stories of the teenager run hosting company that disappeared overnight because the kid finally found a girlfriend. You don't want to get burned like this. So pay attention. Experience is King. Especially in the web hosting industry. If your hosting provider has not had to recover data from a double drive failure, suffered from a 300 Mbit DDOS attack, or had to deal with a public relations flame on, then he's got a lot to learn. And personally, I'd rather be hosted with a VPS Provider that's been battle tested and proven.

The next thing that really catches a lot of people off guard are the reviews. Google "VPS Hosting Reviews" and you'll find hundreds of these so called "independent review" sites full of interesting reviews. Some good, some bad, but overall - you have to take it with a grain of salt (or two). It's a sad fact, but many unscrupulous VPS Providers operate in the gutter, posting fake positive reviews in hopes of fooling naïve customers. Review sites like this are quite useful though for examining negative reviews. If you see a slew of bad reviews one after the other, with a general flavor of corroboration between them all, then it's probably a good idea to not buy from that provider. Or at least start with a trial VPS first!

So if you can't trust the review sites where do you look? One good resource is the forum This is the most popular webhosting forum on the internet and is professionally moderated. Our company, EuroVPS, has extensive experience on this forum and can personally attest to the extreme prejudice the mods have towards scammers and shameful self promoters. Just use the search function and search for relevant threads regarding the VPS hosting provider that you are considering. And remember the first point. Experience. The forum history from this site will probably reveal the company's entire history since it's been the top dog forum from the very beginning years of this decade. Seriously - you should check it out!

The next factor that you should look at when choosing your VPS Hosting Provider is their level of transparency. It's always refreshing when you can see pictures of the company's hardware and infrastructure. Many VPS Providers lease their hardware. And although this is a perfectly good business model for the short term, it usually leads to long-term expandability problems for the host. This can effect the quality of service for clients.

Picture this scenario: A VPS provider has a great year and sells thousands of VPS. Expanding his fleet of leased servers by dozens. If sales stop the next year, he will still have to pay his server bills to let's say Softlayer or whichever Dedicated Server provider he is using since he probably locked into an annual contract. This can lead to liquidity problems. If Softlayer for example does not get paid, they do not care if you have 2,000 VPS relying on them. They will shut you down. No pay no play. This leaves the providers' clients stranded, sometimes without their data. I've seen this movie many times and is one of the reasons why it's usually safest to host with a provider that owns his infrastructure free and clear.

Transparency is one of the things that savvy consumers are demanding more and more of. That is why the industry is shifting towards using more social media and blogging tactics to gain consumer trust. Which brings me to the next point. Check out the company's twitter history and see what real people are saying about them. Twitter is much harder to scam than those silly review sites because it's represented mostly by real people. Sure, there are fake accounts that can be hired out for self-promo, but those are usually very easy to call out.

There are plenty of excellent VPS Providers to choose from. But finding them requires that you do your homework. Your VPS provider is the lifeline of your website. And for many people, this can be the difference between paying your rent on time or not. So it's ludicrous to take a chance with an unproven or dubiously reviewed VPS provider just because he was recommended by your friend who is probably an affiliate anyway.

To recap:

Remember, experience is king. Do not get turned off by forum threads about data loss or an unsatisfied client on the face of it. Be fair and read the whole thread. Examine how the provider dealt with the problem and see if it is something that you respect or not, because remember, you can only learn from your mistakes.

Don't trust the "independent" review sites! They have been commandeered by Judas Goats herding you to the slaughter house. Better take a look at and read some real reviews on the forums. Learn about the VPS providers history, ask questions, people generally are quite nice and love to help friendly people in need.

One of the last points was owned hardware is better than leased hardware. I'm sure there's many very competent VPS company's that are under 1 year old. But let someone else take the chance with them! The world is instable enough as it is, why complicate things even more with your hosting? And finally, see what real people are tweeting. The Good, the Bad, the Ugly. Research it all! Every host has had it's bad days. But the excellent hosting providers are the ones that come out of these experiences improved with lessons learned for the future.

Good luck!
Author and CMO of EuroVPS, is Mr. Foti Panagio. Foti was one of the founders of European VPS Hosting Provider, EuroVPS. EuroVPS was built by IT professionals, with decades of experience and training in true enterprise grade hardware.

EuroVPS servers are centrally located within the Easynet datacenter in Schiphol Rijk, The Netherlands. We have provided premier hosting solutions to thousands of customers since 2004, and are always excited to share our insights and thoughts in the Hosting, and IT industry at large.


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