Google VPS hosting is a web hosting service that provides privacy and reliability but at a lower cost than dedicated servers. Choosing a web hosting solution is a big decision. Many people may not be aware that shared and dedicated servers aren’t the only options, though.
VPS hosting can be a great alternative to both traditional hosting approaches. What is Google VPS and who is it right for? This guide covers everything you need to know about Google VPS hosting, its pros and cons, and a few alternatives worth considering.
What is Google VPS Hosting?
Google VPS is a cloud and web hosting service that offers private virtual machines running on shared physical servers. It’s one of a few different web hosting options Google offers today.
A VPS, or virtual private server, is created using a hypervisor, a digital layer added to a physical server to virtually segment it into isolated chunks. So, a VPS acts like a virtual version of a dedicated physical server.
Google VPS hosting offers many of the same benefits as a dedicated server, but for a more affordable price. Unlike conventional shared hosting, VPS hosting allocates the resources of the shared server to specific, isolated parties. A user in one VPS on the server can’t access or utilize the resources of any other VPS on that same server.
Google VPS hosting is customized on a user-to-user basis so you’re only allotted the space and resources you need. Google offers a free tier of the hosting service, but users can also get a custom quote for paid tiers, which are priced based on usage.
Benefits and Use Cases
Why use Google VPS hosting? There are definitely situations where this hosting option would be a good choice. Of course, it’s not right for everyone, but it’s worth considering a few key benefits and use cases.
Benefits of VPS Hosting
Pricing is a huge plus when it comes to VPS hosting. People who would like the privacy of a dedicated server but can’t afford one can opt for a VPS service instead. Google VPS hosting is a third option for cases where neither shared hosting nor a dedicated server are a good fit.
There are also some technical benefits of using VPS hosting. For example, a small business owner using shared hosting might find themselves frustrated that other tenants’ traffic is reducing the resources available to their website.
By switching to VPS hosting instead, the small business owner can secure dedicated resources just for their website without the high cost and unnecessary infrastructure of a dedicated server.
VPS hosting is generally more reliable than shared hosting due to the allocation of resources rather than open sharing. This often results in better performance for all tenants, especially when resource allocation is customized.
Compared to dedicated servers, VPS hosting can be easier to scale. Users don’t have to worry about purchasing more servers or setting them up. They simply contact their hosting provider and request more resources to be allocated to their VPS. If needs change, they can also request to scale down, as well.
Additionally, VPS hosting allows users to choose their own operating system. This isn’t always possible in shared hosting where a common OS may be required for all tenants on a server. Due to the use of a hypervisor in VPS hosting, though, each tenant can use their own OS.
VPS Hosting Use Cases
There are many reasons someone might choose to use VPS hosting over shared or dedicated servers. The main benefits of VPS hosting point to a few ideal use cases.
For example, VPS hosting is a great option for small businesses, especially those that are experiencing or pursuing growth. Scalability can be a challenge for small businesses since purchasing additional equipment and resources is often expensive.
VPS hosting has plenty of flexibility and is much more affordable than dedicated servers. This allows small businesses to only pay for the resources they need and scale up or down risk-free.
Google VPS hosting in particular is a great option for individuals or organizations that already use Google’s other services. Google’s web hosting platform is designed to integrate seamlessly with other in-house apps and services, such as Google Drive, Google AI tools and other Google Cloud services. For those who already prefer these tools, Google VPS hosting may be a good fit.
Google VPS is also an appealing option for users who may be new to VPS hosting. It is helpful for users to understand exactly what they need before signing up for any of Google’s paid web hosting services. However, the free trial option for Google’s VPS hosting makes it more accessible to people who may just want to test drive VPS and compare it to their current web hosting setup.
Users who are concerned about security but have a tight budget can also benefit from VPS hosting. Dedicated servers are generally considered more secure than shared servers, but many people simply can’t afford the cost of a dedicated server. VPS hosting is a great alternative in this situation. It offers the privacy of dedicated servers at a much lower cost.
Drawbacks of Google VPS Hosting
VPS hosting can be a great option in a lot of situations, but it does have a few drawbacks worth noting. For example, VPS hosting is generally more expensive than normal shared hosting services. This is true for Google VPS hosting as well as most web hosting providers.
The addition of a hypervisor and the extra effort to allocate, set up and manage VPSes results in a higher cost compared to shared hosting. VPS hosting is still typically cheaper than dedicated servers, though.
Google VPS hosting is also less secure than a dedicated server would be. While VPS is more secure than shared hosting, it is still running on shared hardware at the end of the day. If maximum security is a must, a dedicated server might be a better fit.
Regardless of the hosting service users choose, they should always remember to stick to web hosting security best practices to keep their websites safe. After all, no hosting option is 100% cyberattack-proof.
Steps to Setting Up Google VPS Hosting
If you’ve decided Google VPS hosting is right for your business’s platform, incorporating the right steps will help you get set up.
1. Create a Google Cloud Account
Start by visiting the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) website. Here, you’ll find a ‘Get started for free’ button, which leads you to sign up for a 12-month free trial of Google Cloud services and receive $300 in credits. Once you click the button to get started, it’ll prompt you to fill in your Gmail username. This is an account you’ll need to create if you don’t already have one.
Next, it will have you verify your identity, which typically requires a credit card to put on file. At this stage, Google won’t charge you unless you upgrade to a paid account. After providing the necessary details, read and agree to the terms of service to complete this setup. This account creation gives you access to the Google Cloud dashboard, a central place to manage your VPS hosting and other services.
2. Set Up a Project
After logging into your Google Cloud account, the next step is to set up a project in the GCP. Start by accessing the Google Cloud Console — the control panel for your Google Cloud services. This way, you’ll have the option to create a new project. Click on this, and it will tell you to enter basic details.
The most important detail is naming your project. Choose a name that reflects the project’s purpose so you organize and identify your work within GCP. This part is vital for setting the basis of creating your VPS and managing other services you’ll use in GCP.
3. Create a Virtual Machine Instance
To create a Virtual Machine (VM) instance in GCP, you’ll need to navigate to the ‘Compute Engine’ section in your Google Cloud Console. This is the dedicated area for managing VM instances. Start the process by clicking the ‘Create Instance’ button, which takes you to a setup wizard. In this wizard, you’ll specify various details for your VM. This includes choosing the Machine Type, which determines the virtual CPU and memory resources available to your VM.
Additionally, you’ll need to select an OS for your VM by choosing a boot disk, which offers various options, including Linux distributions and Windows Server versions. Configuring these settings correctly is crucial for ensuring your VM meets the needs of your project or application.
4. Configure the VM Instance
Once you’ve created your VM Instance, you’ll need to access it through the Google Cloud Console and make various adjustments. Key configurations include setting up network and security features, such as firewall rules and secure access permission. You may also need to install additional software essential for your project, like web servers — like Apache or Nginx — databases and development tools.
Ensuring your VM Instance is optimized for performance and security is important. Therefore, you may need to update your OS, configure storage options or adjust resource allocations based on your workload.
5. Deploy and Manage Your Website
The last step is to start uploading your website’s files. You can do this through various methods, such as File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or Secure Shell (SSH) file transfer. After uploading, you must configure your web server to serve your website’s files. This will involve setting up the correct directory paths and potentially configuring server blocks or virtual hosts.
Database setup is often a part of this process if your website requires one. Install and configure the necessary database, and ensure it’s properly connected to your site. Once everything is in place, test your website to ensure it’s functioning as expected.
Alternatives to Google VPS Hosting
What if Google VPS isn’t a perfect fit but you still want to try VPS hosting? There are other VPS hosting providers you can take a look at and compare to Google’s offerings. This is a good idea for anyone who isn’t interested in using Google’s ecosystem of services.
Ionos offers numerous services and options for hosting, including VPS subscriptions. This is a fantastic alternative to Google VPS hosting for anyone looking for operating system flexibility. It’s fully compatible with Linux and Windows, which many VPS providers don’t offer.
Ionos is best suited for small businesses thanks to its combination of unlimited data transfers, OS flexibility and affordable pricing. However, there are a couple of drawbacks. Ionos is not compatible with the popular cPanel web hosting tool, so anyone in need of cPanel may want to look at other providers.
Additionally, Ionos does have a lot of additional charges for optional add-on features which can increase the cost significantly. Plans start at only $2 per month, though, so Ionos can still be very affordable depending on what you need.
DreamHost’s VPS hosting plans have some important pros and cons, but this provider is definitely still worth considering. For example, DreamHost’s VPS plans include an SSL certificate, a guarantee of 100% uptime, a free business email and access to 24/7 customer support. Plus, they don’t limit the number of domains you can have.
The pricing is the main drawback of DreamHost. Their plans are priced across four tiers with different prices for different contract lengths. To get the lowest price, you need to purchase a three-year contract plan. So, the basic plan costs around $15 per month on a monthly plan but only $10 per month if you sign up for three years.
DreamHost is more expensive overall than most other VPS options. It is a good, reliable provider, though. DreamHost’s VPS services come with a robust set of cybersecurity features, as well. So, DreamHost is ideal for growing small businesses and medium sized businesses that need good security and guaranteed uptime.
If you’re exploring web hosting options, you’ve probably already heard of GoDaddy but you may not be aware they offer VPS services. GoDaddy is a great option for VPS hosting, particularly if you need easy web design tools and a strong suite of security features.
GoDaddy offers 99% uptime, free daily backups, 24/7 customer support, Linux and Windows compatibility, and cPanel and Plesk compatibility. It’s self-managed VPS, so you get full root access and total control over your site. GoDaddy also includes a free SSL certificate and DDoS cyber attack prevention.
The one drawback of GoDaddy VPS hosting is its pricing system. The monthly fee is fairly affordable, starting at $9.99 per month. However, GoDaddy only offers 3 year terms, which you need to pay for up front. Depending on the plan you choose, you may also need to pay extra for some security features and Plesk/cPanel integration.
Much like DreamHost, paying for a three-year commitment might sound expensive. It definitely is an investment to consider carefully. However, it is worth remembering that even with a three-year plan, VPS hosting is still less expensive than paying for dedicated servers.
The physical equipment and expertise required to manage your own servers will usually end up being more expensive per year than most VPS hosting options. So, compare pricing for all of your options carefully and consider what web hosting features you might need in both the immediate and three-year future.
Finding the Perfect Web Hosting Solution
Web hosting can be tricky to navigate at first, but it helps to know all of the options available. Google VPS hosting can be a great fit for many users and organizations.
VPS offers an alternative to both shared and dedicated servers. It is less expensive than a dedicated server but more reliable and private than shared hosting. Google VPS hosting also offers a free trial for users to test out some allocated resources from the hosting service.