So you’re thinking of hopping on to a brand new VPS server?
Here’s a short review and introduction to SkySilk. You can sign up here.
SkySilk offers free VPS as part of its Beta Plan. Once the Beta phase is over, they will continue with the free VPS service as part of a Basic Package.
They offer a Cloud Platform where you can host a site, build upon or use applications or games, or for use for other growth purposes. Developers too can use the Platform for creating cloud-based applications and testing them.
The features of the Free VPS and Paid VPS plans are as follows:
The VPS Plans start at $0 and the premium VPS Plans start from $15, and go up to $360/month. In the Free Plan you get 1 VCPU with 256 MB RAM and 2GB SSD. Root access is allowed in both Free and Paid plans with SLA requirements. Even in the free plan there are weekly backups which is something I have never seen with any other provider so far.
Regular: Plans are priced at $0.
- Up to 5tb transfer
- 1 CPU CORE
- 256 MB RAM
- 2GB Storage
- Standard Monitoring
- Automatic Weekly Backups
- Resource Limit Email Alerts
- Standard Email & Chat Support
- 1x Skypoints with SkySilk Rewards.
SkySilk additionally features QEMU templates featuring Turnkey Linux Apps like node.JS, ownCloud, and SimpleInvoices. The very vast offering makes the ecosystem look extremely interesting.
The entire infrastructure is now much more stable as a result of consistent feedback from users and testers all over the world. You can also deploy VMs from existing backups.
Shifting your site to a VPS (Virtual private Server) is a very wise decision. There are several scenarios that could have prompted this decision. If you have been on shared hosting for a long time now and your website has been raking up hundreds of thousand visitors then it’s time to switch hosting services.
>>Don’t forget to read our post on the best vps hosts today.
Shared hosting companies make a lot of promises like unlimited bandwidth and storage. However, when you read between the fine lines you’ll see that most of those promises dissolve into nothingness.
Every shared host has its limitations and you don’t want your site to remain inaccessible just when your article is going viral. You could be missing out on hundreds of sign ups, conversions and lot more.
Page load time can cost rankings
Another scenario is when you want to optimize your site to Google’s quality guidelines but the current hosting solution isn’t just up to the mark.
One among the different on page factors that Google pays attention to for ranking your site is its speed. A site that takes forever to load may lose brownie points when it comes to determining whether it should rank high.
In a Moz case study, they created a big list of 2000 search queries. The queries ranged from consisting of single word keywords to over 5 word keywords. They then created another list, this time the top 50 ranked pages for the queries.
It was discovered in the study that Time to First Byte (TTFB) could affect how sites are ranked. TTFB is another way of saying the time that is required to for the browser to capture the first byte of data from the server hosting your website. It was a measure of latency. It measured the time it took to send the request to the web server, processing the request and then generating a response.
It was seen that higher the time required for the browser to receive the first byte, higher the correlation with lower search engine rankings. Correspondingly sites with lower TTFB, which implies sites which loaded faster showed higher correlation with higher search engine rankings. This is a strong discovery and it could very well imply that faster sites get better rankings.
There are tools available that let you optimize load times but all of that stand secondary to the kind of web host and servers you are using. A good web server is the first requirement to better site load times.
Page load time can cost conversions
Moving on to the third scenario, various case studies prove time and again that conversion rates are affected by page load times. More time it takes for a site to load, lower the conversions.
It’s especially important if you are running an eCommerce site where every second matters.
In other words faster the site, higher the conversions. Studies conducted by Gomez.com indicate that most web users expect a site to load under less than 2 seconds. If it takes 3 seconds, the visitors would rather go to some other site. The page abandonment rate could even approach 50% if your site takes 10 seconds to load.
It’s even scarier for eCommerce sites. Studies show that if your shopping site makes $100,000 in revenue/day a one second increase in page loading time will cost over $2.5 million in lost sales over the year. That’s ugly.
Now let’s move to understanding the differences between the main types of hosting services.
Differences between Virtual Private Server (VPS), Shared hosting and Dedicated Server
What is a VPS?
Also, known as Virtual Dedicated Server, this is a virtual system loaded on a server running its own version of the OS. A server that hosts a VPS/VDS may have several other versions of it running but the user sees and accesses only one which is allotted to him. This is achieved by portioning a single server into virtual components each with its version of the OS. Hence the term Virtual Private Server.
The server in a VPS is much bigger and has resources allocated to it with a much more powerful hardware. As such the OS can be either Windows or Linux.
So if it’s a Windows VPS you can typically run all applications that run on the Windows Operating system.
With VPS you get root access to the server and your site is hosted in a very secure environment. Most VPSs also come with no limitations on bandwidth, i.e. they are unmetered.
What is a dedicated server?
A dedicated server on the other hand is akin to owning a whole house. It’s fully your own; you are the admin, you get the root access, you can make the changes that you deem necessary and add customization if you want to.
Unlike a VPS where you share the computer with others here you have your very own server to host your site and other needs. The server isn’t virtual.
What is shared hosting?
With shared hosting the server resources are shared by thousands of other users. Hence shared hosting is often unreliable. With so many people hosting their sites and using resources that are pooled together not one website gets enough and if your site tends to use more resources the site would go down.
Now that we have gone over the differences between the three let’s move to the next section. You might be wondering that if the servers are going to be any good they are going to cost a lot.
This isn’t true. There are a lot of companies that offer free VPS hosting. Here you go:
The Top Sites for Free VPS hosting
AWS is an Amazon Web Services company in the VPS hosting niche. Needless to say, AWS is a behemoth, the market leader in all respects.
Amazon provides free VPS service for one full year. The Virtual Server Hosting is called Elastic Cloud Compute.
When using the free 1 year program you get Linux t2.micro and Windows t2.micro for free. In addition to that a new user (someone like you) gets the following features/benefits each month until one year is complete.
- 750 hours of EC2 (Elastic Cloud Compute) running Linux OS, RHEL, or SLES t2.micro instance usage. Only one of the t2.micro usage is free.
- 750 hours of EC2 running Microsoft Windows Server t2.micro instance usage
- 750 hours of Elastic Load Balancing plus 15 GB data processing
- 30 GB of Amazon Elastic Block Storage in any combination of General Purpose (SSD) or Magnetic. SSD storage is extremely fast.
- 15 GB of bandwidth out aggregated across all AWS services. This implies that if you’re running any instances* (more on that later.) the bandwidth will get allocated towards that as well.
- 1 GB of Regional Data Transfer
*An instance is referred to an AWS server where you are running any application.
However, if you exceed any of the quotas mentioned here, then it will get added to your bill.
Other noteworthy features
- If you are going to use other features of Elastic Computing by running instances then it’s very easy to scale up or down. This can be done in minutes.
- As it generally goes with VPS servers, you get root access to the servers. It’s fully under your control.
- AWS offers a great deal of flexibility in choosing the configuration of your choice. You can decide between Linux or Windows OS, memory and CPU configuration and even boot partition size.
- Comes with an uptime guarantee of 99.95% which is lower when compared to some services like Digital Ocean but still very good.
- Completely secure cloud platform. You can choose to make instances private or public and can specify IP ranges for the servers.
- Free for 1 year.
Only 1 Linux Machine and 1 Windows machine is free. If you become careless during the set up stage and launch multiple instances or applications, AWS won’t stop you from doing so and bills will rack up.
So be careful of that.
OHosti Free VPS
OHosti provides completely free shared hosting plans, and free VPS hosting plans. Here are some features that set OHosti apart:
- CentOS Linux (CentOS Linux is a free open source software provide by Red Hat)
- Full root access ensures that you get complete control over the server
- The software is compatible with both 64 bit and 32 bit applications
- You can install many applications and the platform supports languages like PHP, Perl and Python and few more
- Secured VPS backed by a firewall.
- Virtualizor c-panel
However if you are someone who cannot do without windows, unfortunately there’s no provision for that yet.
The free package called the Sun Package is free for lifetime and comes with the following features:
- 25 GB web space
- 500 GB bandwidth
- 512 RAM
- .5 CPU cores
- 2 Dedicated IPs
- Free .tk/.ml/.ga/.cf/.gq domain name
There are other packages with double and triple amount of web space and bandwidth but that requires you to refer someone.
The highest plan in the moon package comes with
- 1 TB storage space
- 10 TB bandwidth
- 16 GB RAM
- 8 core CPU and 10 dedicated IPs along with free .com/net domain names.
But that requires you to have $100 minimum in referrals.
X10 hosting- VPS and basic hosting
They only provide free webhosting. VPS isn’t free
With over 10 years of experience in the industry, you wouldn’t go wrong when choosing x10 for your site. Especially because it’s free.
Unlimited is the buzzword here. With unlimited space, 3 email accounts in the free option and unlimited in the paid one, 3 free ftp accounts and unlimited vice versa, 2 free databases and unlimited in the paid account and much more there’s a lot of goodies.
The great thing about x10 hosting is that they provide both VPS hosting and basic free web hosting.
Whatever be the case here’s their list of features that will make you drool.
The server platform is enterprise level with premium cloud software and intuitive C-panel hosting. It’s built on php 5.5 which is the latest iteration, comes with a free site builder and Softaculous.
The platform isn’t limited to just 2 or 3 CMSs’ (content management systems) auto installers as is the case with most free hosts but has over 300 one click installers. They make life easy.
It comes with easy to use x3 control panel and multiple account upgrades to take care of your site’s growing traffic needs. That’s not all, the support staff is friendly and experienced.
Here’s a quick point by point overview of everything that’s on offer.
- Unmetered Diskspace and bandwidth. If you run short on memory you can contact support to increase it since free accounts are capped unless done so.
- 2 add-on domains and 2 sub-domains
- Easy file uploads, edits via FTP
- Easy configuration of email boxes
- Every once in 30 days login requirement to keep account active
On the other hand the premium account comes with automatic backups every 6 hours, 99.9% uptime guarantee and unlimited access on almost every feature except php memory and upload limits. You also get 24*7 ticket helpdesk with fast response times with regards to every issue that may crop up.
There’s the forever free plan and also three types of premium plans — Prime, Illuminated and Premium. Prime comes at the low price of $5.95/year with unmetered disk-space, bandwidth, 6 free email accounts, 6 free ftp accounts, 4 free databases, 4 free add-on domains and ticket helpdesk. There are many other features as well.
The Illuminated Plan is priced at $60/5 years and comes with many of the features that the Prime plan has but also comes with 99.9% uptime guarantee. Backup is also taken every 24 hours.
The premium plan is priced at just $3.95/month and comes with unlimited bandwidth, space, add-on domains, sub-domains, unlimited email accounts, ftp accounts, databases, MySQL access, SSH access, 99.9% uptime guarantee, 24*7*365 support, and backup taken every 6 hours.
In the free account you are limited to help from community forums.
Additionally you will need to login once in every 30 days or about once in a month to keep the account active. In none of the above premium plans there’s such a requirement.
Google Cloud provides $300 60 day credit to new users who sign up for the cloud service. If you need a VPS for only a limited time then this could be an option.
Being a product from Google you need not worry about any down times or other problems like taking surveys or referring users.
But the free bliss ends in 2 months.