How to Set Up Your Own Website Using VPS-Initial

As I mentioned in a previous article, I recently ditched shared web hosting and secured a virtual private server (VPS) account. I shopped around, as I encourage you to do, and chose Linode. The reason? They were reasonably cost, my co-worker recommended them and has been impressed with their service, and they have a very good knowledge base. I have yet to use their support, but I have heard their support is good as well. With setting up a VPS, support may be key. Whether it’s good documentation, a great user base, or tech support, being on your own can be a little scary, so make sure you get some feedback from trusted resources.

Logistics

Setting up an account with Linode was easy. I didn’t have huge needs so I went with their base package. At the time of this writing it consisted of paying $19.99 with a 10% discount per month for signing up for a year. My package has the following specs:

  • 360 MB RAM
  • 16 GB Storage
  • 200 GB transfer

I am going to set up sites for blogging and a low volume forum. So I’m not doing anything overly intensive. I can always upgrade if that’s the case.  Right now I have used 1GB of the 200.

After setting up my account with Linode, I had to choose a datacenter where my VPS would be located. I chose Dallas. Literally, New Jersey and Dallas locations were within a hundred miles difference to me, and Dallas is in the same time zone. I went with Dallas. You have to make sure there is one available in your location preference.  Apparently some locations may fill up and hosting in that datacenter may not be an option.

After giving them your credit card info and choosing a location for your servers home base, it’s time to consider your future set up. I got a site up and running only to start over again. Not a big deal unless you have a site that you’ve been updating for a couple weeks.  What I’m saying is, if you’re not overly invested in time, you can always nuke the server and start over no problem.

In this series of articles it’s important to know my specific situation because I am merely relaying my experiences to you; therefore, your situation and setup may be different and I can’t guarantee that all this will be as easy as it was for me. Continue reading “How to Set Up Your Own Website Using VPS-Initial”

Saying Good Bye to Shared Web Hosting

I first worked with websites and web hosting back in 2003, so it hasn’t been all that long in the grand scheme of things. I started out hosting an IIS server in my home to host forums for our roleplaying game group. I later bought my first domain grumblingdwarf.com and set up hosting through an online web hosting provider. I wanted the site to be more accessible to other people on the interwebs. Since my first site, sitting on a server in my basement, was ASP; I had to round up a web hosting company that offered IIS. It took me years to realize that shared hosting would be the bane of my webmaster existence.  Looking back now, I can’t even recall the first hosting company I used. They are no longer around.

I heard about LAMP stacks and the plethora of online forums, and CMSs, that were available to anyone and came with what I needed for my site. I’m not a programmer so working with Joomla, phpbb, xoops, and eventually drupal, seemed like a good format for the sites I wanted. Eventually I secured hosting at Dreamhost. I couldn’t even tell you how I found them. The performance was erratic. Downtime became a problem. I think they even had a fire in one of their datacenters. Though their approach was charming with their ability to make light of situations, I had to move.

Finding a good web hosting provider online can be daunting. Anyone can be a provider. Set up a linux box and some specs with a website and you soon realize that the picture of the big corporate building is just a facade for some guy’s company that is really being run out of a basement. I haven’t even mentioned the shills that can manipulate reviews and comments about services that aren’t all that great. So finding a reputable host can be a challenge. Continue reading “Saying Good Bye to Shared Web Hosting”