1. Texas or California DataCenter – When you start to signup, they offer a choice where you want to host your server – Texas or California. The help link describes them-
Texas Datacenter – Our Texas Datacenter is a state of the art facility featuring Premium Bandwidth such as Internap & Level 3. With this datacenter you can expect optimal network performance with great connectivity worldwide. California Datacenter – Boasting a blend of 7 Bandwidth Carriers our California Datacenter is another network giving optimal network performance to our clients. You can’t go wrong with either network so we’d recommend whichever is closer to your core website visitor’s location
We chose the Texas center as the ‘State of the art’ facility was appealing. We further checked their network and location at Colo4Dallas, which is a powerful network featuring Level 3, Internap, AboveNet, and TW Telecom providing optimum speed and reliability, high speed connectivity, clean IP addresses in a true carrier neutral environment.
Choose the right center, as it would be difficult to change later. When you are ordering, verify the package as VStx (for Texas) or VSca (for California).
2. Which Control Panel? – Cpanel, Plesk or DirectAdmin are control panels which are loaded on your server which help you manage your server is a user friendly manner. Unless you are really skilled with server management, you need a control panel. All three have their own unique benefits, but I chose Cpanel+WHM (costs $5 per month) based on recommendations of few friends and after browsing around forums.
They offer many add-ons, but for all practical purposes, the control panel is the only essential thing you need to get started, rest you can add-on whenever you want. Remember if you do not buy a control panel, you are self managed. If you want share the differences between these panels, feel free to write a guest article.
3. Don’t Choose Base Package VS1 – They offer many VPS packages, but if you are looking for managed VPS hosting, do not chose VS1 package. Though the cheap $25 per month cheap VPS package seems inviting, read the fine print.
* Fully managed service is included with VPS accounts that have a control panel installed. VPS accounts with webmin or no control panel are self managed.
** Plesk, DirectAdmin or cPanel control panel is not recommended with 192 MB of RAM due to the amount of resources required for control panel itself and all services installed and managed by the control panel
Since VS1 comes with 192MB RAM, they do not recommend you install a control panel like Plesk, DirectAdmin or cPanel because they consume lots of resources; but if you do not install a control panel, you are self managed! So you need a minimum package of VS2 ($35 per month) if you intend to get managed VPS support.
You can upgrade your package whenever you want. We opted for the VS2 package but were hitting memory limits with the provided 384MB, so we bought a 256MB RAM upgrade ($12.50 per month extra) and the excellent support team upgraded our package to 640MB RAM in 10 minutes. We always have an option to upgrade further without any downtime.