What VPS plan should I choose?

Choosing a VPS plan depends on a variety of factors. We offer the ability to upgrade between plans as you need additional capacity, so if you do not choose the perfect plan to begin, this can be rectified.

Factors affecting the choice of a VPS plan

  • What type of website?
  • How many users / visitors?
  • Level of interactivity

What type of website:

A CMS (content management system) site generates each page when a visitor loads your website. This takes both CPU, RAM, and some disk activity. If you use WordPress, Joomla!, or another similar platform, you use a CMS.

Additionally, a site with many rich features, such as videos and images (if stored on your webserver and not embedded from a website such as Vimeo or YouTube), can consume lots of data transfer.

Sites that are just html pages or make highly optimized use of caching can utilize much smaller servers, though upon each change to the site requiring a cache refresh, the site may load more slowly than normal for a short period of time.

How many users:

A website with 10 people using it on a daily basis consumes much fewer resources than a site with 10 people using it per minute. If you have historic traffic information on a website you've created in the past, or websites similar to a new website you are creating, take in to consideration the user count and frequency.

Balance the level of resources (cost control) with your user experience. If it takes 5-10 seconds to load your site when a more powerful server can improve the load time to 1-3 seconds, consider the user experience. Users are impatient and will want to visit the faster site over the slower one.

Our smallest plan will likely comfortably accomodate a website or set of websites with 500-2000 users per month, but the type of software you run and your level of optimized caching can increase or decrease the number of users supported by your VPS.

Level of interactivity:

A site displaying blog posts and static (infrequently changing) content is less resource intense than a site that allow users to submit content, such as a forum or members-only content portal. Highly interactive websites should err on the side of purchasing a VPS with at least 2 vcpu and more than 2 GB of ram to begin with. 2 vcpus can handle more simulataneously executed tasks, like assembling the webpage and performing database transactions.

Of course, if you only expect a handful of people to use your interactive site intermittently (such as a customer portal for your business), you can choose a smaller server, but page load times may slightly increase if your script has to process a lot of customization for each user that logs on or if you receive an unexpected spike in traffic.

So, which plan should I choose?

Take in to account all of the above items. Users, level of interactivity, and type of website. If you are familiar with ssh access, you should monitor your server load using the top command: generally, keeping the load average of your server to 0.7 per cpu core or fewer is a best practice. This loosely means you are using 70% of your server's processing capability (typically the largest bottleneck), and have room for increased spikes of traffic.

Don't pay for more server than you need to. You can always upgrade your server if it's apparent you need more resources or if your script consumes too much processing time.

Take a look at the site count limits we place per server type. On our cheapest plan, we offer the ability to host up to 5 websites on the server. If each of the websites was simply static content, this server type can handle most traffic needs short of 10s of thousands of visitors. On the contrary, even though one of our servers will allow 150 sites, you may have such an interative website that this VPS size is what you need, due to the combination of storage, ram, and data transfer needed, to successfully host your site.

Don't pay more than you need to. Start with what you believe to be the minimum requirements for your site. You can always upgrade. If you have an interactive website, and can't make use of extensive caching due to that interactivity, you will need more resources. With a properly optimized website, you'll be surprised how few resources are needed.

Need some help choosing? Send us an email at [email protected].

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