Solar VPS Blog

What Does Speed Have to Do with It? The Pros of a Private Server

Maintaining a strong web presence for your business goes beyond designing a website. Having a beautiful website is great, but your customers want to visit a website that works well. One of the biggest factors that impact their perceptions of your content is how quickly they can access the information they need from you. In today’s blog, we’ll take a look at the top six reasons to choose a virtual private server solution to host your content.

What Is a Private Server?

A virtual private server is similar to a standalone server machine except that it’s often shared by any number of organizations. In this scenario, VPS clients may have a small or a large amount of control over the setup, use, and security of their space. 

For the purposes of today’s article, we are recommending that using a private server is the best way to improve how your company uses the internet to work and make money. This type of solution provides all stakeholders with the best possible access to what they want or what they need at any moment.

Pros of Private Server #1: Full Control of Resources

The first reason to consider using a private server boils down to control. When your team is deciding who to use as your hosting server, consider what you have access to. The best hosting packages will provide the client (YOU) with full control of the resources. The biggest benefit of using a private server is that it’s designed to be private. This is possible because, unlike other hosting solutions, only your data is kept on your portion of the server. You have full access to data about usage, traffic, and security.

Pros of Private Server #2: Virtual Servers Save Money

The second thing to keep in mind about using a private server involves cost. As we’ve already established, your company is the only one using the server. The cost-saving comes into play because you do not own the server. Instead of owning an on-site system, you rent only the amount of space that you need. Since you have access to the analytics discussed earlier, you have the ability to raise or lower the amount of space needed based on traffic and usage. An added bonus to renting a virtual server is that your company is not responsible for server maintenance. Updates and repairs fall to your provider.

Pros of Private Server #3: Data Management Made Simple

The third reason to consider using a private server involves simplicity. If you’re considering setting up a virtual private server for your organization, chances are that your company is small. Small companies don’t need to over complicate their IT needs. When you trust your data storage to a hosting company, it’s important to verify that they can provide adequate support for your team. Having a partner that can be trusted with data eliminates the cost of hiring someone to just manage data. This saves time, money, and sanity for your leadership group.

Online Data Security Computer with Lock
Image by TheDigitalWay from Pixabay

Pros of Private Server #4: Safety and Security Built In

The fourth thing to keep in mind about private server usage is the safety and security of your data. When renting private server space from a trustworthy company, it is their job to maintain the network at all costs. It’s likely that you’re aware of the costs associated with data breaches and system failures. While you might think that small businesses aren’t at risk for substantial damages, that’s not the case. According to Security Magazine, the average cost to small businesses ranges between $36,000 and $50,000. That’s a risk your team doesn’t need to take. Hiring a trustworthy hosting company reduces your liability.

Pros of Private Server #5: Working from Everywhere

The fifth idea to keep in mind about using private server space involves portability and accessibility. Since your data lives virtually, it’s possible for your team to work from anywhere with an internet connection. In today’s post, we’ve spent quite a lot of time discussing costs. I’s time to discuss the savings that come with VPS for workers.

When it comes to owning and managing a small company, saving money is an important factor to keep budgets in line. One way of saving money involves your team. VPS operations allow employees to work remotely. This can reduce the costs of office space. It can also encourage real-time collaboration without wasting time on physical meetings. With virtual software, your team can achieve something incredibly important: work-life balance.

Pros of Private Server #6: Customers Can Use It Everywhere

The sixth concept to keep in mind involves how your customers can engage with your content. Much like your employees, customers like the flexibility to be able to access your site from anywhere. Whether it’s to view and share viral video or to order your latest products, having a site with good bandwidth and accessibility makes all the difference in customer satisfaction.

According to Webfx, 89% of customers will shop with a competing company after a poor experience. Customer service matters!

An offshoot of customer satisfaction involves repeat use. If customers find it easy to access content and get what they need from your site, they will become more regular users. Private servers are designed to have almost constant up-time. This is something that’s possible because of the limitations involved. With only your data on your portion of the server, the risks are minimal. Your team and your customers will have no problem accessing your data aside from regularly scheduled downtimes and the occasional traumatic issues.

Solar VPS: Experts at Building Custom Private Server Solutions

Now that you’ve learned some of the reasons for employing a virtual private server, it’s time to take a closer look at Solar VPS. Our team has years of expertise in designing custom solutions to meet the needs of Windows, Linux, and iOS-based companies. We work hard to maximize value while keeping costs low. With a dashboard of tools that give your team full control over your content and performance–there’s no better answer. Don’t delay–contact us today!

Five Factors to Consider When Managing Website Costs

Photo by Igor Miske on Unsplash
Photo by Igor Miske on Unsplash

According to Adobe, 73% of web-based companies invest in web design to make sure they stand out from their chief competitors.

Whether you’re new to website design or revamping an existing site, it’s likely that you’re looking to get the most value for the lowest price possible. There are a lot of factors to consider when managing costs. In today’s blog post, we’ll take a look at the top 5 factors to get you started on website management.

Managing Cost Factors #1: Functionality on All Platforms

First, it’s important to consider how much the internet has changed over the past two decades. While websites have traditionally been designed for computers, that is no longer the best possible option. More often than not, modern users are accessing the web through smartphones and tablets. 

According to Leftronic, 63% of all US internet traffic comes from these mobile devices. While designing for computers will never change, it’s important for your web designs to be usable on any device that a visitor chooses. Failing to optimize can cost you time, money, and traffic.

Consider the key features of your site as you think about mobile access. Mobile users prefer small amounts of text, smaller paragraphs, and engaging images. If your content frequently includes video, this is even more important to consider. Many mobile users enjoy quick videos that can be watched, enjoyed, and shared at anytime, anywhere. Making your site device friendly will likely include higher development times and costs, but the ongoing results outweigh those challenges ten-fold.

Managing Cost Factors #2: Content Migration Fees

Second, it’s possible that your site may outgrow the existing size of your current web server. When it comes time to move from an existing to a new website, this process can be expensive. Depending on the content management systems being transitioned, automation is possible–and it’s a time saver! In the event that someone has to manually move content from one site to the other, the process can be particularly costly in time and money. Consider designating what type of content should be moved and what should be left behind. It could really make the difference in cost and functionality.

If time is an issue, you might consider adding a scheduled migration feature to your content. In this feature, content can be moved to a backup server on your terms. It could be weekly, monthly, or be driven by how often it’s accessed by visitors. Migrating content regularly can save massive headaches during upgrade periods–and it can also be used to store older content for later use.

Photo by Sai Kiran Anagani on Unsplash
Photo by Sai Kiran Anagani on Unsplash

Managing Cost Factors #3: Content Generation Times

Third, viable websites require fresh, interesting content. Creating, editing, and posting this content is another consideration that can be costly. Written and visual content are just two parts of this equation. Engaging web design requires careful attention to detail on a variety of levels. Beyond the layout of the site, the best sites will use analytical strategies to draw traffic. These strategies will include search engine optimization, the use of keywords, and updated tech knowledge. Failing to include engaging content in interesting ways could put your site out of business.

While the ways that content is created, edited, and posted will vary depending on the needs of your organization, it’s important to remember that content creation is a process. Consider how members of your team play to their strengths. If your team is filled with great coders but no writers, be mindful that you will want to work with freelance or outside writers to generate copy on a regular basis. Similarly, visual artists or other content creators are likely a freelance expense that can take the weight off the rest of your team.

Managing Cost Factors #4: System Integration

Fourth, websites that serve as a gateway to sales and service opportunities need to be designed in ways that make getting goods and services more easily. This means spending time and money to integrate sales management programs into the design of your site. This will take time and energy, but a well-integrated website will pay dividends for a long time.

Rest assured that your customers will let you know how they feel about your website. If the design is functional, you won’t hear a word about it. If the design is problematic, you will hear about it regularly. One way of attempting to balance costs with income is to track customer feedback. Maintaining an ongoing database of customer feedback can save time and energy. Keeping your website up to date will likely include adapting the site to the changing needs of visitors.

Managing Cost Factors #5: Strong Analytics

Fifth, one way of managing website costs in the long run has a lot to do with how the site runs. As you’re shopping around for a hosting service, it’s important to take a look at the level of control you have over performance. Having access to a dashboard can assist you and your team in actively managing resources.

When it comes to using analytics with webspace, you’ll want to consider how everything works together to provide a good customer experience. Visitors want to see engaging content, but they also want to access your site quickly and easily. Regularly reviewing available analytics and dashboards can really help your team get an idea of what users want and the issues that they want to avoid experiencing again in the future.

Solar VPS: Your Experts in Managing Website Costs

Now that you’ve learned a bit more about managing costs for your website, it’s time to find the right hosting solution for your business. The professionals at Solar VPS have been helping clients from all walks of life to build, maintain, and manage websites for years. No matter what stage of planning you’re in, we’re here to help. Our team can design custom solutions for iOS, Linux, and Windows users. When you’re ready to be in full control of your website costs–contact us today!

Key Performance Indicators and Your Site: Getting the Most Out of Your Server

Photo by Benjamin Dada on Unsplash
Photo by Benjamin Dada on Unsplash

Once you’ve undertaken the task of building a website or connecting to a private server for your data, how do you know that you’re getting your money’s worth? That can be a thorny question that’s difficult to handle. One way to answer the question involves how your site is performing against key performance indicators or KPIs. In today’s blog, you’ll learn more about what KPIs are, how to determine what your indicators should be, and how to use them to better meet your expectations.

What Are Key Performance Indicators Anyway?

If you’ve never heard of KPIs, chances are you’ve heard about objectives and expectations. All three of these terms play well together–if you are doing well. In a nutshell, a key performance indicator is how an analyst can tell if a goal is being met, is on the path to being met, or going down in flames. 

While the KPIs you choose for your site will be unique to your line of business and your needs, finding objectives that support and challenge your goals are key to stability and growth.

How Are Key Performance Indicators Designated for Websites?

How your business is succeeding and growing will have a lot to do with what you are using your server space for. If you are using the server to host a business website, you’re looking to make money. For the following example, let’s assume that you’re selling rubber duckies.

Since you are selling a product, the objective is easy: sell more duckies. But what should the KPI be? This could differ depending on your organization, but a good KPI would track average order totals. In this example, a good analyst would look at trends to see if certain times of year have significantly higher or lower order totals. The data could be used to determine when to time sales, promotions, or introduce new products.

Another good example would be to track the average amount of time spent clicking between products. If a customer spends a lot of time clicking through before buying something, this might suggest that adding a help/chat feature could be beneficial. If a customer visits often but never buys anything, it could suggest that navigation or some other aesthetic feature is discouraging sales.

Now that we’ve looked at how KPI data can be used on websites…what about using it for your private in-house server solutions?

How Are Key Performance Indicators Designed for Private Servers?

While your business may not be using a server or website like the examples above, chances are your team will want to get the most out of the resources you’re paying for. Let’s look at a few examples of some KPI you or someone in your organization can monitor to do exactly that.

Performance: The Main Idea

When monitoring the functionality of your private server, performance is the largest part of what you pay for. In this section, we’ll review the four most important performance issues that can derail the functionality of your private server.

Server KPI #1: Availability and Downtime

The first metric to consider here involves how reliable your server resources are at any time. A well functioning server will almost always provide accessibility aside from scheduled maintenance or downtimes, while many hosting services will provide dashboards for monitoring all metrics. While the occasional unscheduled downtime will occur, more frequent downtime can signal an issue that requires evaluation.

Server KPI #2: System Performance

A second metric to be aware of involves the physical server space that is used to host your data. Take a close look at how the entire system is functioning: CPU, disk use, memory problems, and network traffic. Monitoring performance dashboards on an ongoing basis can help prepare for future server failures and prevent them. Reviewing historical data can also help determine if there are trends that appear during regular times of day.

Server KPI #3: Application Performance

The third metric to consider here happens within a program or group of programs that are being used. As a general rule, some applications will demand a lot more memory, disk, CPU, and network resources to operate correctly. When an application outpaces available resources, it can cause bottlenecking and system failure. It can also result in degraded quality. Monitoring for problematic or corrupted applications can alleviate future issues with server performance.

Server KPI #4: Security Performance

The fourth and final KPI metric to be aware of is easily the most important. It extends beyond what anyone user, machine, or application can do. It involves security. The security of your private server is one component that cannot be discounted in any way, shape, or form. In many situations, hosting companies are required to maintain the overall security of the space they provide, but this is not always true. Having a team of professionals monitoring your network for unauthorized or dangerous use can save a lot of time, money, and headaches down the line.

A lapse in security can lead to data breaches. Data breaches are incredibly costly for the targeted company, the customers who have their information stolen, and for the public trust. Monitoring security closely drastically affect your organization.

Now What? How Can I Get the Most Out of My Server?

Now that you’ve learned more about key performance indicators and how they can impact your organization, it’s time to think about the levels that you want to reach as an organization and with partners. These levels are often referred to as targets. While it’s unlikely that you’ll formally report whether you’ve hit targets related to server availability or system performance to a large group, having access to the data will be helpful when negotiating or severing service agreements.

The bottom line is that you are paying a hosting company to provide a service to your organization. If you aren’t getting the quality or level of customer service that you expect, there is no reason to continue the relationship. Knowing that you have a partner that cares about you and your work is important.

Solar VPS: Your Partner in Quality Server Performance

When you’re ready to learn more about key performance indicators and how they will impact your organization, look no further than Solar VPS. Our team of professionals will find ways to meet or exceed your KPI. Windows, Linux, iOS. We’re here to meet your needs 24/7/265. Don’t delay–contact us today!

Five Web Design Trends for WordPress in 2020

Photo by Sergey Zolkin on Unsplash
Photo by Sergey Zolkin on Unsplash

Curious about the latest website design trends? In 2020, WordPress remains one of the top web design platforms for businesses. Here at Solar VPS, we like to stay on top of the latest web design trends, especially when it comes to highly-ranked platforms like WordPress. When our clients want their websites to include the latest design options, we help them stay relevant and search engine ready with tips and tricks, and of course we’re here to provide top-shelf hosting services so that their web designs stay up and available. 

Before we get into your hosting options, though, let’s take a closer look at some of these trends. 2020’s WordPress design trends all point in a sleek, simple direction, with an emphasis on the user experience. Here are some of the top design trends for web design in 2020. 

1. Block Editors 

In 2020, block editors have taken the place of other editing options. Overall, block editors have made editing more simple and clear than other options have done. Many users prefer this new solution over older editing formats. 

Now, having said that, others do prefer the older options because block editors don’t tend to show word counts during the editing process, and word count does impact a website’s SEO. Some users have gotten around this issue by typing text into a document that has word count capabilities and then pasting that text into their blocks once they’ve made sure they have the word count that they need. This way, they can balance the need for control with the need for simplicity. Others users have handed over the reins to web design experts who are familiar with block editors and can handle other SEO aspects. 

Other than the word count issue, though, block editors have proven extremely useful for WordPress users in 2020. The straightforward approach doesn’t leave much guesswork for users, and it provides more sleek design options. 

2. Emphasis on Simplicity 

While we’re on the subject of sleek design options, let’s move on to the next WordPress trend for 2020: an emphasis on simplicity. This trend isn’t new to 2020, but it has gained a lot of popularity this year. Part of this simplicity comes from a need for user friendliness and mobile friendliness, which we’ll explore a little later. Overall, though, simplicity is also a design-based trend for 2020. These days, designers are letting go of flashy and overly-complicated web designs in favor of clean-cut and simple options. It’s easier on the eyes and provides a more enjoyable browsing experience. 

Having said that, simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy, and amateur designers have to be careful not to underestimate the design process when they create their websites. This is especially important when it comes to business websites. Even the simplest web designs require thought and careful placement of words and images. 

Photo by Igor Miske on Unsplash

3. Emphasis on Uniqueness 

Now, here’s an interesting twist: Although WordPress sites are focusing on simplicity in 2020, there’s also a renewed emphasis on building unique websites. With each passing year, it gets harder and harder for business owners to make their websites stand out as more and more of the world moves online. This means that web designers have to build sites that stand out while staying sleek and simple. It’s a tough balance that the most advanced web designers can make look easy. 

Part of this balance comes from branding. Web designers and business owners often have to spend more time on brand-building before getting started on web design. Once a business owner has a strong brand to work with, the unique aspects of the site design come more easily. The extra branding work does create some extra effort upfront, but it can often save business owners some headaches overall. 

4. Bright Pops of Color 

One very visual WordPress trend is the focus on bright pops of color. This brightness provides an interesting contrast to the overall minimalism and simplicity that has taken over web design lately. Again, it’s not necessarily an easy balance to achieve. Designers aim for just the right amount of color to grab visitors’ attention without overwhelming them. The bright colors help certain businesses stand out, especially businesses that have a younger client base. 

However, some designers are also embracing dark mode, using plugins that let them offer the option to users. Newer phones allow dark mode on certain websites, and a lot of people prefer dark mode for their nighttime scrolling. Websites that come with the dark mode option while still providing excellent visuals can thrive in 2020. 

5. Increased Mobile Friendliness 

In 2018 and 2019, we saw an increased emphasis on user friendliness, especially for mobile users. WordPress users haven’t let go of that trend. As a matter of fact, it’s less of a trend these days and more of a stable growing feature. In any case, mobile friendliness matters, and it’s certainly not going to stop. 

Virtually everyone in the developed world has a smartphone now, and people tend to scroll through those phones far more often than they scroll through web pages on computers. When people look up businesses or search for specific products, they tend to do so on their phones. As new phones roll out, web designers have to make sure that their designs are compatible with the latest phone upgrades. 

WordPress Design With Solar VPS 

Of course, no matter which WordPress trends you embrace in 2020, it’s important that you have the right source for web hosting. That’s where Solar VPS comes in. We’re here to help businesses like yours thrive during 2020 and beyond. With our Solar System, you can access all the resources that your site needs. We provide reliable uptimes, excellent customer service, and a focused commitment to client satisfaction. You can get started for as little as $5 per month. 

Want to learn more? Take a look at your hosting platform options now. You can also feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Let us help you provide an excellent site experience for your clients.

How to Decide Between a Managed or Unmanaged VPS Plan

Image of Website Hosting Service on Computer
Image by Mudassar Iqbal from Pixabay

If you’re in the business of using your website to connect with current or future customers, you’ve got enough things to worry about without having to think about hosting for your site. The goal of today’s blog post is to help you weigh the differences between a managed or an unmanaged VPS package for your business.

What’s a VPS Exactly?

VPS, or virtual private servers, are one of the most popular solutions to hosting content and securing data for an organization of any size. Think of a VPS as a home that holds all of your data behind it and only a select few people hold keys to that information. VPS plans are popular because the sky’s the limit of what that space can be used for. Many organizations prefer VPS to shared server spaces that typically come with web hosting plans. 

Instead of a home, think of shared server space like an apartment building–a lot of different people doing a lot of different things. Sometimes, the plumbing gets clogged up and the elevator is running slow. If your business uses a shared server space, chances are you aren’t getting the most bang for your buck. Spring for the private home instead of the cramped apartment building.

What Is a Managed VPS Anyway?

VPS plans offer customers a variety of specific features and controls. By default, most plans involve managed VPS agreements. In a managed VPS, the hosting company handles the sticky parts of your private server. If something goes wrong in the middle of the night, the host can help. If a member of your team needs technical support, the host is helping you out. If there is a data breach or some other catastrophic scenario, there’s a good chance that the host is on the hook for solving the problem.

Managed VPS plans are designed to take the heavy lifting off your leadership team and off your IT staff. Chances are that if you’re just shifting to a VPS server, your organization is small and suffering growing pains. With few people wearing multiple hats, the last things those folks need to do is worry about coding or network security. 

Having an agreement with your host can ease the burden. Depending on the level of management services being offered, your host will be expected to take care of server maintenance and initial setup. You might compare this plan to autopilot in a plane–your team will have access to dashboards and analytics but the plane mostly flies itself. One caution to bear in mind–managed VPS solutions are often more expensive due to the hands-on nature of the relationship between host and client.

How Is It Different from an Unmanaged VPS?

Of course, this might not be a scenario you want or need. If your company is larger and has the bandwidth to handle heavy IT processes, an unmanaged VPS plan might be the better fit. Unmanaged plans are the equivalent of flying the plane yourself. While the tools will be the same for both types of hosting plans, unmanaged clients should expect to do it themselves. From setup to patches and other critical elements, the host provides the server.

What Exactly Does VPS Management Involve?

Up to this point, we’ve looked at the two types of management options for VPS. If you’re new to this, you’re probably wondering: “What is my host managing or not managing for me?”

Let’s take a quick look at the five main things that have to be managed in a VPS plan–no matter who happens to be flying the plane.

Upgrades–While your team will need to communicate with their team to be sure that enough space and data are available for any new software, managed VPS providers are responsible for ongoing upgrades to the server and the existing software packages.

Server Patches–Similarly, managed VPS providers are responsible for correcting any real or potential faults in their networks. Publishers will release fixes to vulnerabilities and whoever is in charge of your network security will be responsible for verifying, installing, and addressing any update issues that may occur.

Server Backups–Most managed VPS hosts will coordinate a time to complete regular server backups with your company. While there’s no hard and fast rule about backups, many organizations will have nightly, weekly, or monthly backups of all data to an outside server. 

While VPS hosts are in the business of keeping you online and productive, there will occasionally be downtimes. There will sometimes be server failures. Maintaining regular backups prevents catastrophic data loss.

Technical Support–Managed VPS providers are invested in making sure that clients feel supported throughout the duration of their service contract. As such, they will maintain customer service and technical support hours. When determining which provider and the level of service being agreed upon, pay close attention to the technical support offerings. If there isn’t something in writing, it isn’t in your plan.

Server Analytics–One of the complicated parts of any VPS plan is how to manage usage. Managed plans will require some level of observation from the host. While any client can actively view a dashboard and make adjustments to speed or usage of data, managed VPS plans are more hands-off for clients. The host will do their best to help your team optimize the VPS for speed, performance, and ease of use. If you’re not sold on why your team needs a VPS solution just yet, consider the following statistic.

According to Verizon, 43% of data breaches that occured as of 2019 happened to small businesses.

That’s nearly half of all small businesses and that’s just too many.

Ready to Select a VPS Host? Consider Solar VPS!

Now that you understand a bit more about the differences between a managed and an unmanaged VPS hosting plan, it’s time to more forward. The team at Solar VPS has been helping clients from all sectors build private networks to meet their needs. Whether your team uses Linux, Windows, iOS, or a mixture, we can build a custom solution to meet your needs. No matter how managed or unmanaged you want your plan to be, look no further than our experts. Don’t delay–contact us today!

A Beginner’s Guide to VPS Hosting

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If you’re just beginning to find new hosting options for your business, you’re in good company. There’s something to be said about new things. You tend to be more open to learning more. In today’s blog, we’ll take a look at what a beginner should know about finding the right VPS hosting solution. We’ll take it step by step. By the end, you’ll be pretty host savvy.

What Is VPS Hosting and How Does It Work?

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. Simply put: it’s a dedicated server that can be accessed from anywhere. However, it’s only accessible by you and your team. Each server involved is divided to provide full network access to authorized users. A VPS is generally served through a hosting company that provides access to any number of other clients through the same data center. It provides a nice balance between shared hosting and private hosting with a lot of flexibility in bandwidth, resources, and cost.

And the market is growing. According to Allied Market Research, global subscriptions to VPS computing will reach an estimated $8.39 billion by 2026.

VPS, Shared, or Dedicated?: Why Does Server Choice Matter?

Whether you’re a true beginner (welcome!) or an established web content user, web hosting options can be confusing. Never fear! We’re going to explore what separates a true VPS server from a shared hosting solution and a dedicated server hosting plan.

A shared hosting solution is exactly what it sounds like. Your company and others are sharing access to the same server resources. Shared hosting is often cheaper, but the data speed and performance are largely out of your control. If another site using the same server uses an excessive amount of content that sucks up data, your site will suffer. Similarly, if another site from the server experiences damaging traffic or attacks, your site will likely also be damaged or attacked.

In a VPS hosting solution, you and your host will work together to determine best practices for resource usage. Many companies will allow you to adjust data speeds to control costs or to increase the reliability of your site.

A dedicated server is a whole different ball game. Everything about this type of server is yours: no sharing, no limits, maximum speeds. The downside for many small companies? The costs. Dedicated private servers can be prohibitively expensive. Additionally, upgrades and fixing vulnerabilities will require a dedicated IT professional to diagnose and install. If you can swing it, dedicated might just be the right way to go!

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Managed or Unmanaged?: Who Holds the Keys Anyway?

Regardless of the type of hosting server your organization chooses, it’s still important to understand what a hosting service will do for you. When we talk about a managed versus an unmanaged VPS, it all comes down to who does the heavy lifting.

If your organization is just starting out or relatively small, chances are that you don’t have the flexibility to put one person in charge of the network itself. This is where a managed VPS comes into play. In a managed plan, the hosting company handles a lot of the startup and ongoing tasks. 

This includes uploading software, troubleshooting access problems, and managing system updates. Of course, the level of responsibility should be clearly written in your service agreement. The host will provide you with tools to manage your network while also providing support.

If the opposite is true, an unmanaged VPS plan is likely the route for you. Unmanaged plans are designed to be placed in the hands of more seasoned IT professionals who understand the ins and outs of servers. These plans will be cheaper but they will contain less pre-loaded software and security features.

What Does a VPS Do Anyway?

When you consider everything that we’ve looked at so far, understanding the limitations of a VPS solution is important. VPS hosting is a more cost effective choice than a dedicated server. The overall monthly cost depends on the level of service provided. Some hosts will cost as low as $10 and dedicated servers will cost as low as $100. VPS hosting will also provide a lot of flexibility and scalability that meets the needs of your website. The sky is the limit when it comes to the content you release.

Need a Development Space? Look No Further than Your VPS

One of the fun things about having a private server is flexibility to use the space–when and how you use it. As an organization that is going to continue growing and moving forward, why not test? Establishing a development space on your network can lead to improvements for you, your team, and your content. Many organizations will devote a part of their server space to sandbox functions.

A sandbox allows members of your team to share new and experimental projects with the internal team for feedback and usability testing. These projects will not be available to the general public and can be used to determine preparedness to be published publicly. Sandbox files are also a way to learn or brush up on skills. Many companies building training regions of their servers to onboard new employees in realistic ways but without negatively impacting production.

Ready to Become a VPS Client? Contact Solar VPS!

The team at Solar VPS has been working with new and existing VPS clients since 2005. Our experts know what it takes to build a safe, reliable space for your company. We are ready to  build a custom solution no matter what operating systems you use: Windows, Linux, iOS, or a mix. Our team is ready to show you exactly what it takes to host your content safely, securely, and effectively. Contact us today!

How a Good VPS Assists in Disaster Recovery

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Not all VPS hosting solutions are created equal. Some companies talk a big game to lure in trusting clients, but what happens when times get tough? Will your provider be available to assist you when the worst possible scenario happens? Let’s take a look at how a good VPS hosting company will handle the two dirtiest words in data: disaster recovery.

Why Does Disaster Recovery Matter?

In the modern age, every company deals in data. Over the last several years, data breaches have become growing problems for organizations big and small. According to Digital Guardian, data breaches cost American companies an estimated $8.19 million in 2018 alone. How you (and your host) manage data security is more important than ever. Failing to have a disaster recovery plan that works well and fast will cost you time, money, and potential clients.

Disaster Recovery Step #1: Where Data Is Kept Matters

While VPS usage is a two-way street, your company and your host have to work together towards data security. Consider where physical data is kept. If actively used data is kept on your premises, where are the backups kept? Best practices would suggest that at least two copies be held–physical and digital–but never in the same place. Before exploring a new VPS hosting agreement, determine your data storage needs with those who understand the subtleties of data hygiene. Consult members of your IT, leadership, and operations teams to ensure everyone can agree to data standards before disaster recovery is required. Once you know what you need, get your potential hosts involved.

Disaster Recovery Step #2: Developing an Ongoing Backup Process

Once you understand the importance of maintaining security, it’s important to develop a regular schedule for file backups. One of the good things about having a VPS hosting plan is that data is often regularly saved. This allows all company members to work on the same network concurrently and from anywhere! The problem with so much concurrent work: a lot of copies in a lot of places. By scheduling a regular backup of files, old copies of files can be removed and replaced with the most current versions. Many experts will recommend that backups happen on a weekly basis but it all depends on what your company does with data and how much data you have. Consider the kinds of data and the amount that need to be backed up. More data or more sensitive data will require more time and space for backups.

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash
Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Disaster Recovery Step #3: Test Your Solution Often

Just because your team has landed on a VPS provider and a plan doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Systems get overloaded. Servers crash. Data can be lost. You can’t avoid the needs for serious disaster recovery. Consider running regular stress tests and simulations to detect possible weaknesses in your network and your host’s network. Many companies will establish a test environment while developing new processes and systems to locate bugs and possible weaknesses. Determine what works and what needs work before it’s too late. Consider involving your VPS host in the testing process. After all, they’re your partners in securing your data

Disaster Recovery Step #4: Get Your Disaster Recovery Plan in Writing

Once you’ve determined which VPS partner to go into business with, it’s important to have all terms and conditions in writing from the get-go. There’s no bigger headache than trying to figure out who is doing what in the midst of a data disaster. Key team members should partner with legal teams to draft clear terms that can be agreed upon between your organization and the host company. These are often referred to as Service Level Agreements or SLAs.

In SLAs, action plans for each part of the disaster recovery plan are spelled out for all involved. This allows the company or the host to undertake necessary processes to mitigate and address data breaches. Additionally, it will allow both parties to work together to prevent future issues. A service level agreement is legally binding and holds everyone responsible for their roles in data security and remediation.

Disaster Recovery Step #5: Review Your Disaster Recovery Plan Annually (or More Often)

While everything we’ve discussed today makes for a solid recovery plan, plans must adapt and change. They will change as your business changes in size, in direction, or in data needs. In many SLAs, clients will have the option to make adjustments to terms and services. Be mindful of the terms used in the SLA your organization signs–it might result in change fees, penalties, or other negative impacts for changes that occur outside of designated terms.

Similarly, you are a client of your VPS host. You reserve the right to sing their praises and air your grievances accordingly. A lot of hosting companies will bend over backwards to get your team to sign on the dotted line, but what happens after the ink has dried?

Disaster Recovery Step #6: Build and Rebuild Your Incident Response Team

As your company’s data needs change, consider drafting an incident response team to handle all the steps listed here. This team will be involved in the overall development, monitoring, and improvement of disaster recovery strategies as time goes on. The more time involved, the more costly the problem becomes. According to Comparitech, “An hour of downtime can cost $8000 for a small company, $74,000 for a medium company, and $700,000 for a large enterprise.” An entire day could cost a large company $42 million dollars!

Solar VPS: Building Custom VPS Solutions Since 2005

Now that you’ve seen the six most important steps to finding the right VPS host, look no further. The skilled team at Solar VPS has been building customized virtual private server plans for fifteen years. Our experts understand what it takes to maximize security while reducing the need for disaster recovery. Whether you’re using iOS, Linux, Windows, or a mixture of all three, we can find the perfect networking program for your organization. We’ll be there to support you no matter when–24/7/365. When you think about safety and security for your VPS, think Solar VPS.

Contact us today!