Just as I have posted a while ago I have moved from NameCheap’s Professional Shared Server to RamNode’s OpenVZ VPS. I was reluctant at first to migrate from a shared environment to a VPS mainly because I have absolutely no idea how to use a Virtual Private Server.
Why I moved from Shared to VPS?
No reason at all really, my old account with NameCheap was about to expire so I had to do something. At first I was considering on just renewing but after reading a lot of forum threads about VPS and Dedicated Servers I was intrigued to learn more. RamNode was one of the few that has both a good reputation and can offer a package that I can afford.
VPS Packages on NameCheap are nowhere near as appealing as other small companies who offer for less the price. For NameCheap’s professional shared hosting I was paying about $6.45 a month with a limit on the number of domains I can host, it was 26. Not really an issue as I only had about 10 domains. Here is a comparison of NameCheap’s 512MB VPS and RamNode’s 512MB VPS.
|VPS||NameCheap OpenVZ||RamNode OpenVZ|
|Price||$22.55 per month||$7.50 per month|
|CPU||1 Core||2 Cores at 3.3GHz|
|IP||2 IPv4||1 IPv4 & 16 IPv6|
Since the RamNode specs are more preferable I decided to buy their 512 VPS. I’m glad that I did. I also manage to acquire a recurring discount of 35%. you just have to look for it.
Changes, Improvements from New Server
It wouldn’t be fair to compare my old shared server with a VPS since they have different structure but I’d like to anyway. I don’t really have anything to complain about NameCheap’s professional shared hosting since my experience was quite decent enough. Sometimes I would have an average downtime of about an hour a month especially whenever some jerk floods the server I was on. There was nothing you could do since NameCheap is a big name and a popular target. Though I admit server downtime is a natural part of life. Luckily I haven’t experienced any with RamNode… yet.
Also, VPS as I finally experienced for myself, responds a lot faster than shared hosting. My blog used to take about 3 to 5 seconds to load on a Pingdom Speed Test. Now it loads in about 2 seconds or sometimes even in milliseconds. Both tests below are done on a RamNode server.
Update: I’m using CloudFlare for protection so the results might be a bit slower now.
Google Webmasters Tools also reports an improvement on how long it takes to fetch pages. It used to take an average of 1.3 seconds, now it finishes downloading pages in around 300 milliseconds. See the huge drop in time.
Cheap and Fast. Is there a Catch?
RamNode’s Cheap VPS is unmanaged. Meaning you have to set up everything yourself. This was particularly daunting for a VPS newbie like myself. You’ll have to do some reading to know your way around an unmanaged VPS.
I quickly understood how a server works. Installing an Operating System – I learned – was actually just a matter of choosing your preferred OS ( I’m running CentOS ) then clicking the install button. The tricky part is installing the software that manages your websites. CPanel is a popular choice but it’s not free. I chose Virtualmin which is free but a bit complicated. I didn’t know where to start at first but it was a fun and valuable learning experience.
I just hope RamNode won’t raise their prices or show a decline in performance over time. If things go smoothly like it is now then I will surely be renewing for another year.
– Update –
Well RamNode has kept its excellent service consistent. I just purchased another 6 months. Also, the 512MB VPS plan stated above has been upgraded from a storage space of 20GB to 40GB with the price remaining the same. Nice! Keep it up.