What Features do I need on a VPS?

Am getting closer to making a decision on a web host for my client, and taking the leap… :open_mouth:

In order to intelligently pick a web host, I suppose I should have a list of “must-have” features that I need, but I don’t even know what to ask for! :blush:

My clients website will need LAMP, an SSL certificate, and I want cPanel.

But beyond that, I have no clue what others I will need. This includes uploading files, managing the VPS, e-mail, backups, and probably a lot of other things I take for granted which I have locally on my laptop.

There must be like a Top-10 or Top-20 list of things you need to run a website on a VPS…


Here are some ideas that I had…

Must Have:

  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • Email Server
  • cPanel
  • Ability for me to upload additional software
  • Firewall?
  • RAID?
  • Ability for me to do Manual Backups
  • Automatic Backups?
  • SSH2 support?

Nice to Have:

  • Managed Support for VPS
  • Web Stats Software

Any thoughts on my above lists?

What kinds of other things will I need?


To me, the MOST important things are:

  1. Managed server (by an outstanding support staff {WebHostingBuzz])
  2. Server apps updated to leading edge (NOT bleeding edge) to have the latest versions available
  3. WHM/cPanel
  4. Linux Server

Normally, you’ll have “Private Name Servers” for local DNS - and you can move them if/when it becomes necessary without having to go to 20+ registrars to move individual domains.

VPS/dedi will have at least one dedicated IP address (necessary for using a Secure Server). Secure server certificates are easily handled by WHM/cPanel.

WHM/cPanel can handle your backups for you, too.

I use current versions of Apache/PHP/MySQL/MyPHPAdmin and I rely upon AWSTATS (for my web statistics).

Additional software? My host has loaded Maldet for me (to allow me to see what’s been updated on my servers - and compare that to my recent updates, i.e., hack attack detection). Having the managed server makes sure that’s done correctly and in the proper location. In other words, it’s nice to be spoiled by an outstanding support team!

The downside to VHS and dedi is that they are strictly limited in their hardware (albeit that can easily be adjusted if you have a great host like I do) so you do need to have a good estimate of the storage (including logs) and traffic you expect. That’s not so bad, though, as VPS/dedi have specific capabilitiy dedicated to your account and not shared across dozens of other accounts. If you’re sharing with a lot of WordPress accounts (and the like), they’re “hogs” in terms of using server capacity and can act almost as a DOS attack when they’re busy. Then, too, if a newbie webmaster gets hacked and/or starts spamming, YOU get blacklisted, too, just for sharing the same server/IP address - better to have your own VPS/dedi any day!



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You have brought this up before. Can you explain what a “Private Name Server” is, and why I would want one? (I assume there is no connection with a “Virtual Private Server”, right?)

Do those just backup files or do they create an “image” of my VPS?

Does WebHostingBuzz offer AWSTATS with their packages? If not, did you have to pay to have them install it?

BTW, what do you use to upload files to your VPS?

Yes they do.

Any FTP program can be used for uploading files.


Do you use WebHostingBuzz yourself? (Don’t recall who uses what between you and DLynn)

If so, what do you use them for, and how do you like them?


A private name server is a local DNS for your own domains at the host. It’s used rather than dns1.host.com and dns2.host.com in order to allow resellers (or advanced webmasters) keep their hosting service out of their “business.” Why you might choose to use it is to simply move the IP address of the domain servers to the IP address assigned by a new host rather than updating registrars for each of the domains you are hosting. Okay, other might say that it’s just “cool.” but much better to have valid reasons for this.

Depending upon how you configure WHM/cPanel, your files can be backed up locally or FTP’d to another server or downloaded to you.

Yes, and I love AWSTATS.

FileZilla via SFTP (secure FTP).



Reasonable price would definitely be one of the things you need to keep an eye on. Other than this your hosting provider should provide fully managed vps hosting with backup facilities.

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