Hooray! Name.com has VPS servers! For me, the day we launched VPS was better than the day I learned that Mark Zuckerberg wasn't going to starting charging for Facebook and I didn't need to share all those posts after all! So, now comes the all important question... what can I use VPS for, exactly? Over the next few weeks, I'll start sharing some ideas on what you can use a VPS server for. Some of them are great ideas, others, probably not so much. But hey, I'm trying here, ok?
In 2004, some friends and I learned about this brand new game called World of Warcraft. You may have heard of it? It was kind of a big deal. Either way, we decided to all chip in on a VPS server so we could all have some guild essentials like a voice server and a website. Rather than go through a bunch of different providers and worry about limits imposed by voice hosting providers, having to deal with slow loading websites, etc, we decided to host it ourselves. Hey, when you're worried about killing virtual bears with your e-buddies, the less time you spend setting up different accounts at various hosts, the more time you can spend eating Doritos and upgrading your staff to add +25 intelligence.
But Ryan, you cry out, I have no idea how to do anything like that. Never fear, young one. I didn't either when I first started. All you need a tiny bit of technical ability (knowing how to type helps a lot), and, an hour or so of your precious time. Here are some ideas!
Hosting a website.
Alright, so, you and your buddies want a website and forum so you can share hilarious videos and pictures of cats wanting cheeseburgers. If you're not comfortable with setting up Apache and PHP along with MySQL all via command line (ick...), be sure to opt for cPanel. Having cPanel will essentially take care of the nitty gritty background work on your server. Instead of having to configure everything, you'll get a pretty looking user interface, access to email, website stats and, of course, all the things needed to run your website. Plus, you can host an unlimited number of sites, really, as long as you have the resources. Want to impress that new girl who is also into your crazy gaming habits? Host her website on your server! That's guaranteed to get you to at least first base!
On your site, try something like WordPress to show off your awesome boss killing skillz. WordPress is open source and had a myriad of plugins and themes to make your site as badass as possible. To communicate with guildies while you're at work, start up a forum using Vanilla Forums or phpBB. All, again, free and open source. Slick!
Running a voice server like Ventrilo.
Ventrilo is a necessity when you and your buddies go head first into a group of ghouls. If you're interested in hearing the only girl guild mate scream "HEAL ME" into your headset, you should definitely get a Ventrilo server online. The cool thing? It's free to host your own! To get it running, pop over to their site and download the Linux Server tarball. Done? Cool. Now, check out their docs on installing the server and get crackin on the install for Unix systems. Once you're done, hand out the IP to your friends (or create a subdomain that points to the IP in DNS) and get crackin'!
If Ventrilo isn't your style, try Mumble out. The server is called Murmur and installs pretty quickly on your server. Best part? It's free and open source! See a trend here?
The possibilities of your VPS are endless. Even if gaming isn't your thing, keep tuned into the blog for more ways to use your brand spanking new server with Name.com.