While running a website may be one of the most popular reasons for using an independent server, there are actually many other things they can be used for too. Pretty much anything you can run on your PC can be done on a Cloud instance (assuming it isn’t anything against our Terms Of Service). Here are just some of the things we’ve seen people do with our Cloud Servers plans.
Run A Website
A server instance provides you with dedicated resources for you site (RAM, CPU, etc…) that you don’t get with any of the shared or shared business plans. So of course, you get better performance and it can handle more traffic and more processes running at once.
You also have much more control, as you have root access. This means you can install whatever software, apps or scripts you want as needed. With shared hosting, you’re limited to what’s available.
- Note: cPanel is not included on our VPS’s and would be an additional $13.00/mo upon purchase for Linux servers only. It would include WHM/cPanel with full root access to assist with the management of your website(s) and is recommended to purchase a tier 3 or higher because of the cPanel Minimum Requirements.
Run Private Analytics
On top of running your site, you can also run your choice of private analytics for it. Instead of relying on Google Analytics or other 3rd party services, you can install Piwik (Just one example of self-hosted analytics you could choose to install).
Or maybe you need something even more. Maybe you need larger-scale business analytics. There are actually lots of applications that you can choose from to fit your needs. Some you can use them for data mining. Some are helpful for drawing up data-driven, easy to understand reports. And there are some pretty powerful ones that you let you do both… and more. In the quickly growing age of big data, having a powerful tool like this at your disposal can be tremendously helpful.
Keep Private Copies of Backups
Some people simply use their server for storing remote backups. Even if you already have a place where you keep backups, having multiple backups of your site, databases and other information is vital for quickly recovering from any mishap.
Setup Your Very Own RSS Reader
Do you rely on 3rd party RSS readers like Feedly to keep up with your favorite sources of information? What would you do if they announced tomorrow that they’re shutting down? Lots of people were taken by surprise a while back when Google Reader did just did that. They were left scrambling to find a replacement.
Well with your own server you don’t ever have to worry about it. You setup your own RSS reader to feed you your daily info. Possibilities, depending on the app/script/software you choose to use, includes:
- Sync to any device you want to access feeds from
- Customize the look and feel
- XBMC for big-screen viewing
- Plugins that let you use keyboard shortcuts or add the ability to share
Create Your Own Bookmark Keeper
Services like Pocket are awesome, but again, what happens if the site goes down or they close down? All those articles you saved are gone. Would you be able to remember, let alone find them all again?
You don’t have to worry about it if you setup a similar service on your own server. And there are also apps and software you can install to do just that. Just find the one that fits your needs (many are free and open source), which may offer things like:
- Stripped down versions of saved articles that make reading easier
- Easy to share links for social
- Bookmarklets to make saving articles a breeze
- RSS feed for your bookmarks that can be read from an RSS reader
- Mobile viewer for when you’re on the go
Manage Your Own Game Server
Minecraft. Ark Survival Evolved. Miscreated. Terraria. Conan Exiles. 7 Days to Die. The list goes on…
Many games today let you run your own private server. But it’s super frustrating jumping from server to server trying to find one you can call home. You finally find one that’s run with the kind of settings you enjoy playing on, but you’re constantly lagging or getting disconnected. Or you might find one that runs super smooth for you, but find out it’s PVP and full of higher lvl players who are bored and have nothing better to do than kill you over and over before you ever have a chance.
Why not run your own server where you’re in control?
Sure, you can set many game servers up to run right from your PC (if you have a decent computer). But unless you’re going to leave it running 24/7, players are going to get frustrated when you’re ready to leave and need to shut the server down.
Using a server means you can leave it running 24/7 with no worries. Yes, some of them would be best run on a dedicated server. But if it’s only going to be you and a few other people and it isn’t a super resource-intensive game, then a cloud server instance might be just perfect.
Safely Test New Software, Apps, Etc…
Why risk installing something on your main server or adding something to your live website? Using a cloud server instance as your testing grounds can save you from a lot of headaches and very possibly from spending unnecessary money. Test everything out, make sure it works and ensure it isn’t going to screw anything up. Then add it to your main server or site with peace of mind knowing nothing wonky is going to happen.
Forex Trading Or Gunbot Trading
Are you into Forex trading? If so, a cloud server could be very beneficial. Here are just a few reasons you might want to consider using a cloud server instance for trading:
No Power? No Problem: Many traders rely at least somewhat on automation. If you do so and you’re running it on your PC when you lose power, what happens? If it was running on a cloud server and a storm takes out your power for the night, your trading keeps on going.
Trade Anytime, Anywhere: Your trading time isn’t limited to when you’re at your PC or when you can access a broker’s interface. It’s available to you anytime, anywhere as long as you can connect to your server.
Say No to Slippage: Unless you run a monster of a computer, your server will be able to transmit orders quicker. That means reducing the delay and ultimately, reducing costly slippage. This holds true even if you’re the type to manually place all your orders.
Hostwinds offers pre-configured Gunbot servers that can be examined here.
This is definitely not a complete list of what’s possible with a cloud server, but hopefully it opens your eyes a bit to what can be done other than running a website. If you have any questions as to if as cloud server can do what you need, just use our live chat to talk to a friendly team member who’d be happy to answer your questions.