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If you previously read our post about the fiasco we had with the Managed Wordpress Pro hosting with GoDaddy, this is more of a follow up on that and out review of the services that Vultr provides for having a Virtual Private Server to host websites.
After looking into Vultr, we have to admit that the price point was quite appealing (but we know cheaper does not necessarily mean better).
We compared the specs to DigitalOcean, and found that we would be receiving more by using the services through Vultr. At the time of writing this post, we looked at the prices again, and Digital Ocean had matched the price and specs which were selected at Vultr.
After registration, we were taken to a page to complete information for billing. Once all that was setup, we were ready to get started.
The first step in the process was selecting a server location. There were several to choose from in the US, plus locations such as France, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore and Australia. Sadly, there are no servers in Canada (we hope that add this later!).
The second step in the process is selecting the server operating system you intend to use. Vultr provides several options here, including Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2016. If you have a requirement to upload your own ISO, you may do so by placing it on a public server somewhere and transfer it to Vultr.
With Windows ISO packages, you must slipstream VirtIO drivers into the ISO package to be able to utilize it.
After the operating system was selected (we used Cent OS 7 64-bit), we selected the $10 package (40 GB SSD, 1 CPU, 2 GB Memory, 2 TB Bandwidth).
Vultr provides additional features you can add to the server. If you are ok with paying an extra $2.00 a month for backups, you can do so here. We didn’t use this as we would be implementing our own cloud backup solution. In addition, you can add DDOS Protection for $10 a month. As we were using Cloudflare, this wasn’t going to be necessary.
If you’re courageous enough, you can start managing your Firewall during the setup. We decided to look into that after we got the server configured, and ready to go.
We labelled our server hostname, and started the deployment process. After a few minutes, we received and email notification saying it was complete.
When we went to the server management page, we found that it was quite intuitive. Everything was easy to locate. Server options were presented here such as opening a web console, power options, operating system reinstall, and a delete option.
Once we logged into our server we proceeded with the configuration of the server. During this time we decided to look into how many root hacking attempts there were…and there were several. None the less, we would have locked that down anyways to our IP address.
After the configuration of our server was complete, we locked it down with the IP tables within Cent OS. We only kept port 80 and 443 open to the public. The rest of the ports had been blocked to the public.
We then started the configurations of the firewall presented. Once we created a new firewall group, we set the same rules as the Linux server to have ports 80 and 443 open to the public. When we selected SSH (Port 22), and MySQL (Port 3306), we had the option to use “My IP” which automatically detected where we were using the firewall from.
After all this was configured, things were good to go! We linked the virtual server to that firewall group, and performed testing to ensure the server was locked down from hacking attempts.
In two weeks of utilizing the Vultr hosing, we haven’t experienced any issues and have been very grateful for that! Now, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any issues down the road.
We tested the performance of our webserver through external tools and found the performance was under 2 seconds for loading times (this was our target).
Overall, we were very satisfied with the process and how simple it was to get a virtual server running with Vultr. We hope that others reading this have the same experience as us!