In the article Getting Started with VPS: Management and Administration we showed you what is the first decision you need to make for your future virtual server – whether you want to administer it yourself, or will you leave that task to our tech support.
If you’ve chosen the VPS option, you can start by setting up the environment for the future web project that will be running on such server – choose the software, complete the server installation and settings.
Note: The management, administration, setup and generally the entire support of your virtual server will be carried out via SSH access. Before you can start playing with your virtual toy, you will have to get to know the black window a little bit.
First, you need to set up the foundation on the virtual server where you will upgrade the rest of the necessary components. That foundation is the operating system.
The choice of operating system for your server depends on the applications used to create your website.
For example, if the website code is asp.net, the database is MSSQL and you want to use specific Microsoft web apps, then the best choice would be Windows. If the website is written in PHP and uses MySQL, the recommended and most widely used platform is Linux.
Apart from their technical features, the two platforms have different licenses – Windows is paid software, whereby Linux distributions are free of charge, open source, and have countless admirers and developers.
When you order a VPS, in your third step you will be able to choose the operating system to be installed on the server.
To make a dynamic website work, on the server there will have to be a collection of basic applications, such as an interpreter for the language it is written in, a web server to serve the website content to the web and to the database where the website data would be stored.
Software collections (or software stack), include the most often used server web applications that provide basic functionality required for the operation of any website.
In general, the names of such collections are acronyms and form an abbreviation of the software products included in them, for example LAMP = Linux (Linux based operating system), Apache (web server), MySQL (database), PHP (interpreter for the PHP script language)
More: XAMPP (cross-platform, Apache, MySQL, PHP, Perl), LLMP (Linux, Lighttpd, MySQL, PHP), LEMP (Linux, Nginx, MySQL/MariaDB, PHP), LYME (Linux, Yaws, Mnesia, Erlang), MEAN (MongoDB, Express.js, Angular.js, Node.js), MAMP (Mac OS, Apache, MySQL, PHP), WISA (Windows, IIS, MSSQL, ASP.NET) и други
Upon setting up your virtual server, there are several options to choose from when installing the server apps.
Once the virtual server already has its operating system, there are several options for the follow-up apps installation.
Option 1: Using a web panel/control panel
The web panel, or the control panel of the server takes care of the installation of various components required for different software collections.
When using such panel, the installation of a collection can be done with just a few mouse clicks.
Some of the most widely used control panels are cPanel, ISPConfig, Webuzo, Webmin, Vesta.
In the next article from the ‘Getting started with VPS’ series we have prepared a comparison between several control panels to choose from for your virtual server. Bear in mind that for some of them you will only need to have an operating system on the server. All other web applications may be installed through these control panels.
To make that alternative work for you, you will need to have basic knowledge on the operation of the various applications – Apache, PHP, and others. That knowledge will allow you to make the right decisions when setting up the software through the web panel.
Option 2: Simplified manual installation through the package manager of the operating system
That alternative is aimed at a simplified manual installation of the necessary packages from the software collection using the package manager of the respective yum/apt-get distribution yum/apt-get.
You will need to choose, install and set up a web server, database, script languages interpreter and everything else.
You can find detailed help information on the installation of each app on the developer’s site.
That alternative is suitable when you want to install specific applications that are not included in any collection.
To make that alternative work for you, you will need basic knowledge of Linux management.
Option 3: In case of very specific app requirements
If you choose this alternative, you will need a sufficient system administration skills and experience.
That extra alternative allows you to use a server template for the installation which would contain everything you need – the operating system, the specific software collection and a few other server apps.
The VPS services provide a ready-made server template, “Recommended by SuperHosting.BG“ that includes CentOS (Linux), Apache web server, MySQL data base, PHP, mail server, webmail and more.
All server templates for the VPS services, except for the recommended template, only contain an operating system, and no additional services and configurations are included.
If you opt for the recommended server template, you will have a ready-made virtual server, not just because the software would be pre-installed, but because its settings would be modified for optimal results in general.
For that option, if a control panel is installed as well, you will need much less system administration knowledge.
Fun fact: The most used web technologies and website apps:
- Programming/script language: PHP, ASP.NET (Microsoft), Ruby, Java and more.
- Here’s what is used by some of the most popular websites on the web: Programming languages used in most popular websites.
- Web server: Nginx, Apache, Cloudflare Server, LiteSpeed, Microsoft-IIS, Node.js and more.
- Databases: Oracle, MySQL, MSSQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB and more.