Getting Started with Managed VPS Hosting

Learn How to Setup VPS Hosting

Managed VPS is a highly-customizable Linux VPS server hosting subscription with a great balance of features and pricing for most use cases. With the introduction of WebHost Manager (WHM) comes a lot more possibilities than when starting with Shared Hosting, all available in a graphical user interface (GUI). Below we’ll cover how to setup VPS Hosting for your needs with:

Account Management Panel (AMP) and cPanel

The Account Management Panel (AMP) is the central location for managing your hosting account with InMotion. AMP is the hub from where you accomplish billing and basic server administration tasks such as:

  • Update your billing and primary contact information
  • Register, transfer, and manage domain names
  • Log into cPanel and WHM
  • Purchase additional services (e.g. dedicated SSL certificates and hosting subscriptions)

You may refer to the Technical Details section of AMP to find important web server information including your server username, hostname, IP Address, and Temporary URL.

To get started with AMP, click the link in your “Welcome To InMotion Hosting!” email or the “Login” button in the upper-right corner of any page. Get familiar with where everything is located between the navigation bar, account section, and hosting section. Then, enable AMP security features such as two factor authentication (2FA) to protect against DNS tampering and other cyber attacks.

2FA adds a second step to the login process where, along with your username and password, you must also enter a code that is retrieved using the Google Authenticator app or sent to your phone via text message. This helps confirm that you are the valid owner of the account and makes the likelihood of someone accessing your account extremely low.

AMP for VPS users

VPS Snapshots

A notable addition to AMP for VPS users is snapshot management and the Manage My Cloud Server section. Snapshots are cloud backups you can quickly restore to maintain High-Availability (HA). More than just a backup of your files, snapshots save the state of your entire container including running processes. So, instead of recovering individual files, a snapshot will restore your entire VPS to its previous state. The best part: it doesn’t take away from your VPS SSD space.

A snapshot will prove beneficial in any scenario where you need to recover from a misconfiguration or cyber intrusion quickly. Anyone who has lost data can testify to the power of that peace of mind.

Other related cloud management features include restarting your VPS and monitoring server bandwidth.

Managed VPS snapshot scheduling

Need a breakdown on the difference between different plans? Check out our article on the differences between Shared, VPS, and Dedicated Hosting!


Quick recap of cPanel vs. AMP: AMP is the customer panel for your InMotion Hosting account. cPanel is the control panel software installed on your Linux server. It is one of the most popular Linux control panels available today. cPanel is where you’ll complete the most common tasks for managing:

  • Addon domains and subdomains
  • Email
  • Secure File transfer protocol (SFTP / FTP)
  • DNS records and propagation speed
  • SQL Databases
  • Server and website files
  • Server logs and basic analytics
  • Website securing methods

InMotion cPanel

Shared Hosting consists of a single cPanel account. A cPanel-managed VPS is a container of multiple connected cPanel accounts. If you upgraded from a shared server, your primary cPanel account configuration should remain the same. If you’re new to Linux web hosting, start with recommended steps for shared hosting:

  1. Learn how to upload and download server files
  2. Build your website, applications, and content management systems (CMSs)
  3. Configure your email
  4. Consider a website analytics application (Google, Matomo, etc.)

WebHost Manager (WHM)

WHM is the software that governs multiple cPanel accounts on cPanel-managed VPS and dedicated server plans. WHM also handles your VPS server configuration:

  • Restarting Apache, MySQL, and other server processes
  • Server security protocols for user access, email, antivirus solutions
  • AutoSSL certificates, the free SSL that’s auto-enabled forever
  • System backups
  • DNS clustering
  • cPanel server updates
  • Monitor Disk Space and Bandwidth Usage
  • Purchasing additional cPanel plugins
Main WHM screen

You can log into WHM with your primary cPanel user credentials for basic tasks. 

VPS Hosting with Root Access

Root access is a major addition when upgrading from a shared server account. If you need full server management capabilities, to install server-level software, for example, you’ll first need to enable root access in AMP. You’ll then be able to log into WHM as user root to complete advanced tasks.

If you’re unable to do something in WHM, there’s always the command-line interface (CLI). You can always use desktop terminal software for Secure Shell (SSH) or the WHM Terminal. For example, you can limit CPU usage of intensive tasks via SSH.

Htop in WHM Terminal

Start with learning how to accomplish essential tasks in WHM:

  • Migrate cPanel accounts and non-cPanel data
  • Configure automatic cPanel backups
  • Install the latest PHP versions with EasyApache 4 (EA4)
  • Configure AutoSSL certificates
  • Harden VPS security

Please use Launch Assist. You can use it for many tasks that will save you time, including website transfer requests.

To learn more, see our WHM Education Channel.

Softaculous Instant Installer

Softaculous provides “one-click” installations for over 280 web applications from the popular WordPress and Drupal CMSs to more obscure apps like Kanboard project planner and Dolibarr enterprise resource planner (ERP). It also handles migrating supported apps from another server and backups for migration to external systems.

InMotion Shared Hosting customers may already be familiar with the cPanel installer plugin. But with WHM you have the ability to control how apps are installed and managed from WHM. Managed VPS Hosting customers receive Softaculous free of charge.

Customize Softaculous Top Scripts

Managed Dedicated Server customers can purchase Softaculous in AMP. If you’re unsure if it benefits you, review this list of questions to decide whether you need Softaculous.

Find and select email client

Additional DNS Features

You likely already understand that domain nameserver DNS records are set in AMP and how the other most common DNS records (A, MX, TXT, etc.) are added in cPanel Zone Editor. VPS hosting with WHM offers some less discussed DNS features that you should consider implementing for better overall network performance.

A PTR / Reverse DNS Record reduces the possibility of your emails being marked as spam. Mail server configuration is an email authentication method not possible with shared hosting.

Custom nameservers allow resellers to white label their hosting from InMotion Hosting nameservers. This will usually require an additional dedicated IP address to set up.

Dedicated IP addresses provide your websites with it’s own unique address. All InMotion Hosting VPS hosting plans include three (3) dedicated IP addresses. However, they are not assigned by default and must be requested.

DNS security extensions (DNSsec) authenticates DNS records for a particular domain to prevent DNS tampering and related man-in-the-middle (MITM) cyber attacks. Integrating DNSsec authentication with a DS DNS record doesn’t negatively affect user experience. If a visitor uses a DNS resolver that authenticates DNSsec, and there have been changes to your DNS records since you’ve last configured DNSsec, the webpage won’t show. This protects users on more security-conscious networks.

Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) is basically an image that displays alongside your name in sent emails to prove they’re not spoofed. It enhances branding efforts as well. For some, the biggest challenge will be creating a BIMI-validated SVG Tiny file.

Load Balancers use different methods for spreading web server requests across multiple servers for better performance. Load balancing isn’t a native feature in cPanel, yet. However, you can install Apache Load Balancer or HAProxy on VPS hosting with root access.

DNS clustering builds redundancy by sharing DNS records between nameservers.

Managed VPS Performance

Website speed optimization is always a hot topic in the web hosting industry. We generally recommend two server caching applications to assist optimization goals.

NGINX caches web pages onto another location for faster loading time. We have a Cache Manager cPanel plugin to ease caching configuration.

Example Cache Manager settings

PHP-FastCGI Process Manager, or PHP-FPM, improves performance for PHP applications. We have guidelines for optimal PHP-FPM settings depending on your average server load.

Set PHP Version per Domain with checkbox for domain: selected, drop-down menu for PHP-FPM On option selected, and Apply button highlighted.

Learn more about how long it takes to set up a VPS. If you have any further questions, contact our 24/7 Live Support to create a ticket or ask a question in our Community Forum.

Available PHP Versions When Working with AlmaLinux

If you are using AlmaLinux 8 or and RockyLinux 8, then only the following versions of PHP are available through EasyApache 4:

  • PHP 7.2
  • PHP 7.3
  • PHP 7.4
  • PHP 8.0
  • PHP 8.1
  • PHP 8.2

The following versions PHP will not be available when using AlmaLinux 8 or RockyLinux 8.

  • PHP 5.4
  • PHP 5.5
  • PHP 5.6
  • PHP 7.0
  • PHP 7.1

In order to see the most recent PHP versions available, you can run the following command:

repoquery --repoid=EA4 --queryformat="%{name}" | grep -Eoh "ea-php[0-9]{2}" | sort | uniq

AlmaLinux 8 does not provide support for loading the legacy versions of PHP (pre-version 7.2). Support for these earlier versions can loaded using CentOS.

Upgrade to VPS Hosting for Peak Performance

Upgrade to InMotion VPS Hosting today for top-notch performance, security, and flexibility, and save up to $2,412 – a faster, stronger hosting solution is just a click away!

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2 thoughts on “Getting Started with Managed VPS Hosting

  1. Is there a separate firewall provided by inmotion? If so is that turned on and what’s restricted there ? 

    1. Hello Steven,

      Yes there’s a firewall. By default it is on and what it allows or doesn’t allow is not something that is discussed in open forums. If you are an InMotion Hosting customer, then please contact our live technical support team for details regarding the operation of the firewall(s) that protect your account.

      If you have any further questions, please let us know.

      Kindest regards,
      Arnel C.

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