Setting up a VPS for a Beginner

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#1
I am looking for some kind of beginners guide for setting up a VPS. I have searched here and on Google but much of what I have found is a little technical and there are some parts of the information I am finding that are not really for a complete beginner at setting up a VPS.

I know how to do things in cPanel and a few other control panels but my experience is only with shared web hosting and everything is all setup when I have gotten my services.

I am looking at getting a VPS setup to move all of my websites to eventually so I need to set it up to have the capabilities to run both WordPress and a few other types of websites. Mostly php sites for the most part.

I am really a complete newbie in this area so I was hoping that someone here would be able to help point me to some helpful information and maybe a guide on how to do this. It just needs to be for a beginner, so please keep that in mind.

At first I will probably just move some of my WordPress websites and then later some others.

I will be looking to use a free control panel so any recommendations there will also be greatly appreciated. If there is a free option that is somewhat similar and easy to use like cPanel then that might be best.

I need to know how to basically start from scratch and setup everything including the control panel.

I will probably just get some kind of starter VPS somewhere to start out and then upgrade as my needs change.

Any help, guidance or other helpful information will really help me out.
 

HostBastic

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#2
Since you are currently hosted on cPanel my suggestion would be to install CentOS Web Panel on the VPS, its a free cPanel look-a-like. Not to mention under the "User Account" section there is a built in feature called "cPanel Migration" which will help you migrate your cPanel account onto the CentOS Web Panel.
There are quite a few tutorials which explain how to install and configure CentOS Web panel, that would be a good starting point. After that you should lookup some hardening settings for your OS.
 
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#3
You need to follow some basic step like:

1. Obtain your VPS from any provider as per your requirement.
2. Install CentOS Web Panel (Free) or cPanel/WHM
3. Setup the mail server/web server/dns server and all other security setup including CSF Firewall and Kernel Optimization
4. Move your website to the VPS through migration process.
 
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#4
Since you are currently hosted on cPanel my suggestion would be to install CentOS Web Panel on the VPS, its a free cPanel look-a-like. Not to mention under the "User Account" section there is a built in feature called "cPanel Migration" which will help you migrate your cPanel account onto the CentOS Web Panel.
There are quite a few tutorials which explain how to install and configure CentOS Web panel, that would be a good starting point. After that you should lookup some hardening settings for your OS.
Thanks for the information HostBastic. I was looking a little into different panels and was trying to figure out which one would be best for my particular needs and knowledge. Since you say that CentOS is a little like cPanel then that would be a good choice since I am familiar with that one.

Is there anything else that is required to use that particular panel? Any special server requirements?


You need to follow some basic step like:

1. Obtain your VPS from any provider as per your requirement.
2. Install CentOS Web Panel (Free) or cPanel/WHM
3. Setup the mail server/web server/dns server and all other security setup including CSF Firewall and Kernel Optimization
4. Move your website to the VPS through migration process.
Thanks UltratechHost. It seems like CentOS is what will probable be best for my needs based on your opinion and that of HostBastic. Is there anything else the server would need to support that panel?

Also, in #3 of your list is there anywhere that has any kind of guide as to how to do those or is that done through the CentOS panel?
 

HostBastic

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#6
HostBastic
With that panel you should use CentOS Minimal edition, which should be made available by your provider. Regarding the server configuration I would recommend atleast 2 GB of RAM, 2 IP's for the nameservers and SSD drives since the I/O performance will be noticable. Look for upgradable VPS solutions, that way you can always upgrade or downgrade your service depending on your needs.
 

hfav

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#5
First secure your VPS.

  • Use a strong Password
  • Enable Firewall
  • Change SSH Port (Search google)
  • Use /etc/hosts.allow and /etc/hosts.deny and allow only your IP address for SSH access.

I will recommend you to use VestaCP with IPTables + Fail2ban
 
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#7
First secure your VPS.

  • Use a strong Password
  • Enable Firewall
  • Change SSH Port (Search google)
  • Use /etc/hosts.allow and /etc/hosts.deny and allow only your IP address for SSH access.

I will recommend you to use VestaCP with IPTables + Fail2ban
I am a complete beginner with VPS's, so do I do all of these security measures before installing the OS and Control Panel that I would be using or do I do these after those are installed?

With that panel you should use CentOS Minimal edition, which should be made available by your provider. Regarding the server configuration I would recommend atleast 2 GB of RAM, 2 IP's for the nameservers and SSD drives since the I/O performance will be noticable. Look for upgradable VPS solutions, that way you can always upgrade or downgrade your service depending on your needs.
Thanks for the information about this, this is really helpful.

I was looking on the CentOS site and I saw that they have both the "Minimal" edition as you stated and also one called the "Everything" edition. Is there any reason I would need the "Everything" edition, maybe future needs or is that just a bunch of extras I would not need?

Please forgive what probably seems like a basic question but this VPS stuff is all new to me.
 

VirtuBox

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#8
VirtuBox
You will probably not have to install centos yourself, all vps provider provide templates to deploy the operationg system of your choice in few minutes.
Centos minimal only include necessary components for a server, when the full include a live version, and all packages related to the desktop version.
 
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#9
Gazoo
Great, thanks for the information on this. That will be one less thing that I have to worry about.

I was asking about the full version because I didn't know if the minimal version was like some kind of "Lite" version that is stripped of many features like they do on some types of software and apps. I just wanted to make sure what it was that would be in the versions and exactly what I would need. Thanks for clearing things up.

I will catch on to this stuff eventually but for now it's just a learning experience and getting good information on this site helps. :)
 

24x7serverman

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#10
You can setup the VPS using the various tutorials available on internet. You can go with cPanel as it is very easy to use and has multiple options to manage the all the things without command line. You can easily migrate the sites using Transfer tool. You can install firewall, antivirus and many other security tools on the cPanel server.

You can install various CMS for developing the websites which are just one click installation. You can install the free themes too.
 
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#11
Gazoo
Thanks for your input. I was actually looking to use one of the free control panels that are available to try to keep my costs down so I can have a bigger budget for the actual VPS.

CentOS was mentioned above as a good option and it's supposed to be similar to cPanel in looks/design. I checked around a little on it and it seems to be one that has good reviews and a lot of information around the web about it.

Is there something different that you would recommend other than CentOS or is that the best free option for a control panel?
 
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#15
Waqass
Another free control panel with CPanel look alike is www.zpanelcp.com. But in the end there is no true alternate for CPanel.Trust me I have been to this road and in the end you left with only option either going with CPanel. Sentora is also another popular control panel that has almost all the bells and whistles of CPanel but in the end it gets more difficult to manage than CPanel.
 
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#16
Gazoo
Great, thank you for sharing that one. I haven't heard anything about it or even seen it mentioned so I will go and take a look at it.

I know that there is really no true cPanel free alternative that is free but I was mainly just looking for something close or at least a little similar in function. I can usually figure out a control panel but I just don't know which ones are good and which ones might give me problems down the road.

I am just in foreign terms when dealing with VPS stuff and I know that I have a lot to learn so every bit og information that I can get will help make that learning process a little bit easier.

Thanks again for sharing that. :thumb:

P.S. Do you know what OS that one works on?
 

Sonwebhost

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#13
I would go to u tube and get the instructions for setting up a new vps. Security would be first on the list.
 
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#14
Gazoo
I did try that bit the videos I found on there about setting up a VPS were not very good or at least not very good for a beginner. I only checked a few of them but they seem to be more for someone with intermediate knowledge as far as setting up servers.

I only have knowledge in shared hosting with cPanel and a few host-specific control panels. I am pretty much a complete beginner when it comes to VPS stuff.

Do you know of any specific videos on Youtube or do you know of any that are geared for complete beginners?
 
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#17
Thanks for the thumbs up. I have also been into VPS thing few months and also in learning phase. So I can better understand your position. Now back to the question. They will all work with most popular linux distributions but I will suggest Centos 6 or 7 as it's the most popular linux when its come about hosting. All other will work just fine its just that you will find ton of material for CentOs if you are stuck anywhere. The second one I found the most used was Ubuntu being popular for being easy. However again go for CentOs and every script out there will support this os.
 
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#18
Gazoo
Of course, you are welcome. You are giving me helpful information and I appreciate that. Many people on this site have been helpful to me and for a newbie to VPS stuff that really helps.

It seems like many people seem to like CentOS the best and I have been doing a little research on it. If I do go with it I am not sure about using 6 or 7. I saw some things around that said that there are a few things in the 7 version that some people don't like (I can't remember what it was) but I usually like to go with the newer versions of things so the need to upgrade later comes farther down the road.

To be honest this whole thing about learning how to setup a VPS and which softwares and control panels is giving me a headache sometimes but I know it's something I need to learn and at least if I have questions I can come here and ask them.

I have been taking notes on everything I learn here and elsewhere and that helps a little.

Thanks for all your help and information Waqass. :)
 

neckom

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#19
hi,

there is a large number of tutorials on this topic ... However, as a beginner...it may be better for you to get a VPS from company with customer support ....

They help you and explain everything you need... I can recommend some companies like: turnkeyinternet or vpswebserver
 
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