The Ultimate VPS Beginner’s Guide

VPS beginner's guide

The goal of this VPS beginner’s guide is to inform you about what a virtual private server (VPS) is, its many uses, which VPS to purchase, how to log in, and how to get started installing your first applications and services. Think of it as an owner’s manual to your SSD Nodes VPS.

This guide is in progress, which means I will update it as we publish new pages and other relevant content.

Table of contents: The SSD Nodes VPS beginner's guide

For immediate information on how to connect to your SSD Nodes VPS, visit our SSH guide.

1. Understanding the web hosting landscape

1.1 - What is a virtual private server (VPS)?
1.2 - What’s the difference between a VPS, shared hosting, and dedicated hosting?
1.3 - Analyzing the many uses of a VPS
1.4 - How do I find the best VPS for me?
1.5 - Shared hosting to VPS: What to expect in the migration

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2. Getting started on SSD Nodes

2.1 - Buying your first VPS
2.2 - How to choose a Linux distro that's right for you
2.2 - Navigating the SSD Nodes dashboard
2.3 - Enabling two-factor authentication for my SSD Nodes dashboard

3. A Linux crash course

3.1 - Connecting to your server for the first time with SSH
3.2 - Unix and command line basics
3.3 - Understanding Linux permissions
3.4 - Learning Linux package managers
3.5 - Improving the security of SSH connections

4. Hosting your first website

4.1 - What is a web server, and how does it work?
4.2 - Installing a LAMP stack
4.3 - Installing a LEMP stack

5. Content management systems

5.1 - What is a content management system?
5.2 - How to install EasyEngine to create SSL-enabled WordPress blogs
5.3 - Installing Ghost as a WordPress alternative)
5.4 - 10 flat file alternative CMSs

6. VPS administration and control panels

6.1 - 6 free cPanel alternatives to empower your VPS
6.2 - Installing Webmin in Ubuntu 16.04
6.3 - Installing CentOS in CentOS 6/7
6.4 - Installing VestaCP in Ubuntu 16.04
6.5 - Installing Ajenti in Ubuntu 16.04
6.6 - Installing Froxlor in Ubuntu 16.04/18.04

7. Diving into the world of self-hosting

7.1 - What the Heck is Self-Hosting? A Guide to ‘Owning’ Your Webapps
7.2 - Self-hosted alternatives: Ultimate guide to cheaper SaaS
7.3 - Self-hosting with Docker: The definitive handbook

8. Advanced Linux administration

8.1 - Make your development and sysadmin tasks better with dotfiles
8.2 - Perk up your VPS and terminal with Zsh and more
8.3 - Audit your VPS security with Lynis
8.4 - 9 tips for maintaining your VPS


Bookmark this VPS beginner's guide and follow us on Twitter or Mastodon to get updates. Or, you can subscribe to the weekly Serverwise newsletter, where I’ll let you know as soon as this guide expands.

About SSD Nodes

In case you don't yet have a VPS with us, let me take a moment to explain what and who we are.

We’re the first honest-value cloud computing platform. Instead of overcharging our users for features they don’t need, we’ve created a simple-but-resilient infrastructure that dramatically lowers your VPS hosting costs.

After 7 years in business, our team is a dozen people strong and growing. We're the digital launchpad for tens of thousands of websites and hundreds of businesses large and small. And even after everything we've built, we're just getting started.

Learn more about what we do ⚡