Is your website traffic growing?
Is your shared host crashing more and more frequently?
Or are you planning to launch a big website? An ecommerce store maybe?
It sounds like it’s time for something more powerful, and virtual private servers are the next logical step.
This article examines the best VPS hosting providers, how to determine the one that suits your needs, and what to consider before choosing a virtual server host.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn about:
- The benefits of VPS over dedicated and shared services
- The support you can expect from a Managed VPS deal
- The investments involved in quality VPS hosting
…then you are definitely in the right place.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at some of the best managed providers in the VPS hosting niche.
1. Liquid Web
Here is one company that is all about the personal touch.
Liquid Web started as a shared provider but soon realized that, with so many clients, it would be hard to provide adequate assistance for everyone. So it decided to focus on high-end VPS, Cloud, and Dedicated services.
Today Liquid Web provides upkeep and maintenance for over 30,000 clients in 130+ countries. The company utilizes about 250 engineers, administrators, developers, and support operators to make right on its promises.
|Fully managed solutions||Not very cost-effective|
Hardware & Features
Liquid Web’s VPS services take the best of two worlds — the server power of a dedicated solution and the freedom of customization associated with any good cloud service.
Even the starter VPS package comes with 2CPU cores, 2GB RAM, and 40GB SSD storage, which is quite a lot. The bandwidth cap is even higher, with 10TB set as a monthly limit on all plans.
Feature-wise things are only getting better.
Each account comes with a ton of goodies for both small and large-scale projects. Just imagine — free CDN, a dedicated IP address, integrated firewall and advanced security, DDoS protection — you have it all with Liquid Web.
But wait, there’s more…
The company is so confident in its services that it boldly offers a 100% network and power SLA guarantees.
And then there is root access.
I get how this can be a good selling point, but here is something to consider. The whole idea of a Managed VPS service is that the provider’s staff will be doing all the tinkering.
After all, they know best how the system works, right?
If you give root access to the client, they can also make changes to the server, and the whole thing becomes a mess.
That defies the whole point of a managed server — you are paying more to get this extra support. So why not leave the technicalities to your host and just supervise the results?
Speaking of support, let’s see how well Liquid Web ranks among some of the best VPS hosting providers out there.
When in need of assistance, Liquid Web is always there.
Like, literally always.
The company advertises 24/7/365 support via phone, live chat, and email, and as far as my tests went, they are determined to keep that promise.
I tried the chat assistance on a few occasions, at a different time of day, and my impressions were extremely positive.
The operators were very kind and helpful, always ready to get into details when a certain reply wasn’t clear enough.
No wonder the Liquid Web website praises them as “the most helpful humans in hosting.”
Liquid Web might not be the best VPS web host for startups, but if you can afford the monthly bill and you like a fully customizable, feature-packed environment — you should definitely give it a go.
2. A2 Hosting
Ever wondered what the “A2” in A2 Hosting stands for?
As it turns out, CEO Bryan Muthig was so proud of his hometown, Ann Arbor, MI, he decided to name his startup hosting business after it.
Another wink to his birthplace, also known as The Tree Town, is the fact that A2 is very keen on green initiatives, battling climate change and helping with reforestation.
That’s all praiseworthy, but do the services match the expectations?
|Two free dedicated IPs||Highest plans not very robust|
|Solid State Drive speed boost|
|Free SSL certificate|
Hardware & Features
A2 Hosting makes use of 4 data centers, strategically spread across the globe — Michigan and Arizona in the US, Amsterdam in Europe, and Singapore in Asia. This way, wherever your customers are, they will still get optimal load speeds.
Speaking of speeds, this is something this VPS provider takes very seriously. From the free SSD boost options to their paid Turbo feature — making your web projects lightning-fast is a prime mission for A2.
One thing that really stands apart is that, in addition to Windows and Linux VPS hosting, you can choose from Unmanaged, Managed, and Core VPS services.
The list of free extras coming with each account is quite impressive as well.
SSL certificates, Cloudflare CDN, dedicated IPs, site migration, firewall, DDoS protection — and you are not paying a dime for anything.
The plans are reasonably priced, starting from $32.99/mo with the introductory discount. That being said, your room for growth is rather limited. Even with the most powerful package, you are still looking at a virtual private server with just 8 CPU cores and 8GB RAM.
And then there is the question of support — how safe do you feel in A2 Hosting’s hands?
It’s not always fast and easy to find the A2 support via the live chat, but when you do — you’ll quickly forget that inconvenience.
I brought up certain technicalities in a couple of pre-sales conversations,and the operator was always competent and up for the task.
Apart from the live chat, you can always count on support tickets for advanced technical queries.
Looking around the knowledge base, things appear to be a bit barren. I guess that’s somewhat understandable, as A2 is not a particularly famous provider with a large community.
What makes A2 Hosting one of the best VPS hosting companies is the balance of its offerings. While the accounts are not supercharged with a lot of resources, they are affordable and prove good value for the money.
Nothing too flashy or too forgettable — just the right amount of hosting magic!
FastComet has been around for only a few years, but the core team does not lack hosting experience.
The long years collaborating with other providers were certainly time well-spent. The FC team already had a good idea of what worked well and what issues needed addressing.
So they got to work.
Today, more than 70 employees ensure all 50,000+ startup, medium, and enterprise projects under the FastComet belt get the excellent performance they bargained for.
|Robust plans||Not very cheap|
|Observer proprietary monitoring|
Hardware & Features
We are not talking about any ordinary cPanel VPS hosting provider here.
FastComet combines virtual servers and cloud computing in one hybrid of a service. This means you are still getting vast customization and optimization options without relying on the confines of a single server.
Would you like to host as many websites as you wish on an SSD-powered server, ensuring their optimal performance?
Yeah, thought so.
The pricing might seem a bit high at first, but you have to consider how much you are saving with the free extras included. You can take advantage of a free domain or site transfer, free cPanel license, free Cloudflare CDN, free daily backups…
Yep, there is a lot of “free” going on with the FastComet plans.
Keeping a watchful eye on every single project is something FC takes very seriously. The company is very proud of the monitoring system Observer it developed. It is a lightweight platform which uses predictive and proactive mechanisms to keep your server healthy and secure at all times.
Sounds perfect, but will support be there for you in times of need?
The answer to the question above is a resounding “yes!”
For starters, the host likes to keep all communication channels open — you can contact them 24/7 in a live chat, by phone, email, support tickets, whatever works best for you.
The support team’s level of knowledge is beyond amazing.
None of those templated responses and unnecessary links without the operator checking your case in detail. Such knowledge and attitude is something you don’t see every day, even from top VPS hosting providers.
To make the deal even sweeter, you have a bunch of extra guides.
FastComet’s knowledge base doesn’t look particularly rich in content until you find the list of tutorials. It gives you a selection of very useful step-by-step guides that take you through the ABC’s of hosting, domains, various applications, and whatever any starter might need.
Overall, an A+ experience.
FastComet has it all — fast servers, feature-rich accounts, phenomenal support — everything you can expect from the best VPS hosting providers in 2019. The only downside to that well-rounded deal is the cost — starting from $59.99/mo, it’s not exactly a bargain, especially if you are just starting off.
4. Media Temple
Media Temple started as Intergress Technologies back in 1998, the early days of the hosting industry. Founder Demian Sellfors had a design background, and that had a strong impact on the decision to choose a specific niche — B2B internet services.
Tech leader GoDaddy acquired Media Temple in 2013 in a mutually beneficial deal. GD added more insight on developer and designer-oriented services, while MT got a much-needed cash stream.
So did Media Temple retain its positive reputation after the GoDaddy switch?
Let’s dig a bit deeper in their VPS deals.
|Wide range of server plans||Low on features|
|Tech support over chat||Costly|
Hardware & Features
One thing Media Temple certainly doesn’t lack is versatility. There are six distinct VPS packages:
The plans are pretty robust, especially for a low-demanding project, but there isn’t much you can do to scale your resources. Let’s say you choose the Level 1 plan.
- 2GB RAM
- 30GB SSD storage
- 2TB bandwidth
At some point, you may realize you are quickly running out of RAM while other resources are way below their cap. Naturally, your best bet would be to simply pay for some extra RAM and continue growing.
With Media Temple, you don’t have that option — you can only upgrade to the next level plan.
At a glance, the provider seems mainly focused on perfecting its hardware instead of packing the accounts with a lot of features a client might never try.
The support operator confirmed I would be able to get a free SSL from the cPanel, but that’s about it. Even a free CDN is off the table.
Speaking of support, do Media Temple has what it takes to compete with the best VPS hosting providers?
Round-the-clock assistance is a standard in the hosting world, and MT makes no exception — phone, email, chat, tutorials — this host has got your back.
The chat operator was polite and on point when answering my questions. It wasn’t the fastest chat connection or conversation, but I got everything I needed, which makes me forget those minor hiccups.
VPS hosting reviews of Media Temple around the Web are not all flattering. What struck me most, though, was that most negative reviews were old and most probably outdated. MT’s customer support seems to have improved in recent years.
Overall, the support seems well-versed in the particulars, which is something you should expect from a niche-specific provider.
Enterprise users are the best audience for Media Temple’s services. SMB’s can still take advantage, but the higher initial investments and limited feature set can easily be a turn-off for the small business owner.
If Media Temple is more of a designer-oriented provider, DigitalOcean is the #1 choice for developers, way ahead of the competition.
DigitalOcean popped up on the hosting screen just a few years ago, in 2011, but founders Ben and Moisey Uretsky already knew what course they wanted to take. The company quickly made its name as masters of cloud technology and server provisioning.
DigitalOcean hosts client projects in 12 data centers, spread across New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Amsterdam, London, Frankfurt, Singapore, and Bangalore.
|Remarkable scalability||Limited support|
Hardware & Features
DO is much more than your average hosting provider. You can expect to find database management, Kubernetes containers, simple object storage, and developer tools in the long list of offerings.
If you expect to find a page called “VPS hosting” on the company website, you better look elsewhere
DigitalOcean’s virtual servers are called Droplets, and you have the broadest choice when it comes to resource allocation. You can find anything between
- 1 to 32 CPU cores
- 1GB to 192GB RAM
- 25GB to 3.8TB SSD space
- 1TB to 32TB monthly bandwidth
The cherry on top is the pricing structure. Aimed at a tech-friendlier audience, DigitalOcean is cutting on all unnecessary features and subsequently — monthly charges. Smallest VPS servers start at just $5/mo, which is peanuts, especially for this type of hosting service.
Five bucks for a whole month — less than a McDonalds Happy Meal!
And that’s the regular price – renewals keep the same low rate.
Developers don’t need a lot of free stuff as long as the hardware and infrastructure are reliable enough. DigitalOcean promises 99.99% uptime guarantee, pre-defined firewalls, pre-built open source apps, and API/CLI support.
DO’s online reviews reveal mixed customer feelings. While some are overly ecstatic with the service, many are appalled by the company’s support (or lack thereof).
For starters, you can forget about phone and chat assistance — all communications go through a ticketing system.
Again, I get that.
Developers only need support when there is a server issue outside the scope of their expertise.
But, as it turns out, DO’s ticket support is not very fast and not always efficient. Some clients report waiting for over a few days for a response to a server down issue.
Now THAT is something I can’t justify.
DigitalOcean has a very niche-specific set of services and doesn’t exactly cater to the wider audience. If you are a techie and know your way around virtual servers — that might be the perfect choice in terms of cost and customization. But if you often rely on support from your host and VPS hosting is terra incognita for you — much better options await.
For almost a decade, Hostwinds has been providing all types of hosting services — shared, business, VPS, cloud, dedicated, reseller. The company headquarters are in Seattle, WA, with three data centers in the US and Europe.
When it comes to VPS solutions, Hostwinds likes to appeal to every need — you can find both managed and unmanaged services on Linux and Windows operating systems.
So the host has its bases covered, but does it have what it takes to secure the match?
|Extremely affordable plans||Shady billing policies|
|Full server management|
Hardware & Features
The best thing about Hostwinds is undoubtedly its accessibility.
Whether you are merely looking for a cheap VPS server or have a resource-hungry project in need of a lot of processing power — you can find something suitable here.
Let’s say you’ve only tried shared hosting before. Your website is outgrowing its current home and you are ready for the next step. But a virtual server is an entirely new experience and often substantially more expensive.
Hostwinds makes it effortless to do the switch.
The entry-level VPS deals give you 1 CPU core, 1GB RAM, and 30GB SSD space to play around with.
The best thing is:
The package comes at just $5.17/mo with the introductory discount, a price most hosts can’t match even on a shared environment.
But what if you are at the other end of the spectrum?
What if you have a big project with an elaborate setup?
How does 16 CPU cores, 96GB RAM, and 750GB SSD space sound?
Impressive, I know!
You can be sure you’ll always get a bunch of things with Hostwinds — SSD storage space, free website transfer, an enterprise firewall.
Not much, but enough to get you going.
Hostwinds is not shy when it comes to helping a client in need. You can find a helping hand via live chat, phone, email, and support tickets. In fact, it’s incredibly easy to contact support, as the chat window kept popping up while I was browsing the host’s site.
Alright, let’s give it a go.
It was quite refreshing to get a polite operator who wasn’t in a hurry to finish the conversation. We had a nice, long chat about the possibilities I had with the new VPS environment and how I should proceed once my project started to grow.
It was easy trusting them at this point.
The online reviews were not as flattering as I expected, though. One common issue that seems to arise occasionally concerns the company’s billing policies. More than a few clients seem to have had troubles with their cancellation requests, refunds, and hidden charges popping up on their credit card bill.
That’s one thing you can easily miss in a sales conversation, so keep it in the back of your mind when starting a new venture with Hostwinds.
HW is a provider of both Linux and Windows VPS hosting, and that’s just one example of how versatile the company is. This is also the best VPS hosting in terms of scalability options. Adding up to 96GB RAM seems like an unreachable bar for the other hosts.
As long as you don’t jump headfirst and try the service before committing with Hostwinds long-term, you should be absolutely safe on their virtual servers.
InMotion Hosting is a 300+ employee company with substantial experience in the industry. Starting off in 2001, it has accumulated hundreds of thousands of happy customers and some prestigious awards from CNET and the Better Business Bureau.
InMotion might be a hosting behemoth, but is it all because of the long company experience, or is there more to it?
|Affordable plans||Average support|
|Unlimited websites||Not many features|
|Free SSL certificate|
Hardware & Features
Why do clients usually choose VPS hosting?
To get faster service?
To increase their online sales?
To handle much more incoming traffic?
All of these are key goals for hosting clients, and InMotion makes sure to address them all.
The managed VPS plans pack everything needed to run a project of a formidable size. The cheapest plan comes with 4GB RAM and 75GB SSD space, as well as 4GB of bandwidth, a very cost-effective solution for SMBs.
InMotion unlocks CPU cores on its virtual servers, meaning you can evenly spread your traffic in times of high load and avoid service interruptions.
There is an added benefit for all ecommerce shops in need of hosting. The virtual servers are tweaked to provide optimal performance for some of the most popular shopping carts — Magento, WooCommerce, OpenCart, PrestaShop, and more.
Price-wise, there is a noticeable difference between introductory and renewal deals. So if InMotion looks like the host for you, you better prepay for a longer period and secure the lower price.
It is practically a risk-free experience, as there is a 90-day money back guarantee.
InMotion Hosting does not seem to support ticketing, but they try to keep pretty much every other communication channel open. We are talking about phone support, live chat, emails, knowledge base, and community support.
My past experiences with chat support had always been a hit or a miss. This time, unfortunately, it was another miss.
Even though my operator was reasonably competent, the whole conversation felt rather awkward. It felt like I was a teacher who gave a surprise pop quiz, and the company rep was a student desperately trying to remember the lesson he learned by heart.
The tutorial base is quite extensive but still accessible for a novice user to get around.
I thoroughly enjoyed the section with web hosting infographics, an excellent method to visually represent complex technical terms.
InMotion Hosting is a versatile host that likes to cater to small companies and large enterprises alike, ensuring a cost-effective service with an optimized setup for ecommerce users. While support can be a little frustrating at times, there are enough additional resources to keep you in the loop.
Hostinger is a full range hosting service provider with deep roots in Lithuania. The company saw birth in 2011, but the core team started a few online businesses long before that.
Hostinger enjoyed massive growth in the last few years, now hosting over 29 million clients worldwide who create more than 15,000 new web projects every day.
That’s beyond impressive, but most of these customers reside on Hostingers’ free and shared services.
What about the company’s virtual server clients?
Are they in for a treat or utter disappointment?
|Very affordable||Limited resources|
|30 days money back||Not scalable|
|Chat available for paying clients only|
Hardware & Features
It won’t take you much time to notice that VPS services are not really Hostinger’s priority.
Sure, they support it, just as they support cloud hosting. But you can quickly tell that free and shared hosting is where most of the provider’s effort went.
Hostinger won’t try to wow you with powerful servers — its highest deal gives as much as 8CPU cores and 8GB RAM. The incredibly low prices are the company’s selling point.
And they do look amazing.
Check this out:
The best server coming as low as $29.95/mo? That’s less than what some hosts on this list charge for their entry-level machines.
The devil is in the details, though, and here it lies in the remarkable discounts for new clients.
So the seemingly amazing $29.95/mo will quickly bump your bill up to $129.95/mo after the initial period.
Now that sounds more realistic.
The problem is you are not getting much for your money, apart from the allocated server resources. You can’t scale up or down or enjoy some free goods.
Daily backups, SEO tools, support priority — the extra fees for essential add-ons can quickly stack up.
When you click the “Contact Us” link on the Hostinger website, you get to a page with a big button which cheerfully reads “Let’s Chat!”
Think it will take you to a live chat?
You and me both, buddy.
We would both be wrong, though.
Live contact with company employees is only available for existing clients, as confirmed with a rep over the email.
Then why go to all the trouble to mask your services to appear you offer something you actually don’t?
Email responses were not impressive either, but at least they gave me the basic info I needed to understand the capabilities of the VPS hosting.
Hostinger is a good choice for low-demanding projects with a smaller hosting budget. It will give you a good feel of how VPS hosting works, and you can always get your money back after the trial period if you feel that’s not the right host for you.
HostGator is probably the biggest hosting company acquisition of tech holding Endurance International Group (EIG). Valued at $300 million at the time of sale in 2012, this move was just the first of many that included similar companies.
Today HostGator is still one of the biggest players on the hosting market. In fact, it holds the #4 spot, preceded only by GoDaddy, Amazon AWS, and 1&1 IONOS.
Still, shared hosting clients are HG’s biggest asset. Can we expect proper care and quality on the VPS hosting servers as well?
Let’s have a look.
|Multiple layers of security||Low resource allocation|
|Steep renewal fees|
Hardware & Features
A lot of shared hosting users are understandably confused when it comes to making out the differences between shared and VPS solutions, especially if the time has come for an upgrade. Perhaps a few questions might help.
Are you frequently running out of system resources on the shared plan?
Do you need to access a setting which is not possible with your current permissions?
Are you in desperate need of more freedom for customization?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you should seriously consider moving up one step on the hosting ladder.
HostGator has three fixed VPS plans, but they don’t shine with a lot under the hood.
The most expensive plan, the Snappy 8000, comes with only four cores, eight gigs of RAM, and 240GB HDD space.
Not even SSD? Well, that’s a bummer.
If the prices were reasonable, maybe those plans would make sense.
But they really aren’t.
The seemingly reasonable prices can quickly turn into a nightmare when you realize this is just the introductory rate, with the renewals proving much steeper.
So HostGator is rather poor feature-wise and not that affordable. How about its customer assistance?
One thing you need to know about EIG-owned companies is they all share their support operators. So you can forget about the personal touch and in-depth assistance.
HostGator offers help via chat, phone, email, and fax, but my previous experiences were less than impressive.
Still, I always start a new review with an open mind, so it was time for a new test.
I would like to say HostGator has been improving, I really do. But sadly, it seems some things will never change. My operator was rather slow and struggled even with the most straightforward questions.
Here’s an example:
Me: Do you have SSD on your VPS servers? (a simple yes/no question)
*two minutes of silence*
Operator: As I understand you want to know if there is SSD on your VPS hosting services. I would be glad to help you with that. (basically repeating my question).
*five more minutes of silence*
Operator: We offer SSD storage on our Dedicated Servers
*the operator pushes me a link to their DS deals*
So I spent about 10 minutes with a single yes/no question only to be pushed some irrelevant link for a service I never mentioned.
Thanks, but no thanks.
Hostgator might have millions of clients on shared servers, but when it comes to the best VPS hosting providers, the HG services are not up to par. Bare-bone accounts with a handful of features and dubious support backing — you wouldn’t have to look hard to find a better deal.
Here is a name y’all already know.
GoDaddy is one of the forefathers of web hosting and by far the most prominent provider and domain registrar on the market.
Just look at the numbers:
18.8+ million clients worldwide, 78+ domains managed, over 9000 employees in 17+ office locations.
There isn’t a hosting-related conversation where the GoDaddy name won’t pop up, regardless of the context.
So what’s the hot gossip about VPS web hosting in particular?
|Free dedicated IPs||Awful support|
Hardware & Features
GoDaddy utilizes 2x Intel E5-2620v3 servers with 15M cache for its VPS solutions. You can take your pick between four managed service plans:
Looking closer, you will notice there isn’t much added value when it comes to features and extras. The free SSL is available only for the first year. Storage space is HDD instead of the much faster SSD. Bandwidth is unmetered, but you can be sure you will hit various other limits as you start growing.
The three dedicated IPs seemed like a nice touch, but then I dug a little deeper in the service level agreements.
As it turns out, if you don’t start using them until 90 days after your VPS activation, GoDaddy reserves the rights to take the unused ones back.
It seems anything remotely good with GoDaddy comes with a catch…
I really can’t determine which customer support I find more useless — GoDaddy’s or the one from EIG-owned hosts. Every time I think I’ve seen everything, they manage to find a new low.
Think I’m exaggerating? Just check out my latest case.
A week ago, I bought a few domains from NameCheap and pointed them to different hosts for testing purposes. It’s a simple procedure really — point the nameservers, create an addon domain in Cpanel, install WordPress, and wait for a short propagation for everything to resolve.
It’s not rocket science, and it worked smoothly with nine out of the ten tested hosts…
The tenth was GoDaddy.
For three days, I went in-and-out of their chat, trying to figure out why my site was not working. They kept repeating “propagation is not over, it takes 24-48 hours,” even though I am well aware that in 90% of the cases it takes much less.
My personal experience dealing with such cases is that, more often than not,a couple of hours are absolutely enough for the nameservers to find their new location.
But OK, let’s say I am among the unlucky 10%.
After a second day with no website, I was back in the support chat. The operator first tried the “propagation” gimmick, but this time 48 hours were over, so I sent him back to double-check. He was now back with a new version — my nameservers were wrong!
I was furious!
If any of the previous operators ran the simplest whois check, they could’ve saved me three days of frustration. As it turns out, my addon nameservers were different than my account NS. There was no way to check them myself, and the operator needed an admin to figure out a 1-minute fix.
It will be best if you imagine you’re on your own and never contact what passes for support.
The GoDaddy VPS services are generally acceptable but nothing more. You can easily find providers with more features, fewer restrictions, and better support. Still, GoDaddy is not going anywhere, so if you are after an experienced, reliable host — this might be a suitable match.
Another one of EIG’s prized possessions, Bluehost ranks just after HostGator in terms of market share. Standing proud at 2.26%, the Utah-based provider powers over 2 million websites.
BlueHost has been operating on the shared hosting market since 2003, but it wasn’t until 2013 that it added VPS and Dedicated hosting to its list of offerings.
So, were the last six years enough time for the provider to excel in the virtual server market?
Let’s have a look.
|Experienced in WordPress||Limited resources|
Hardware & Features
Just as HostGator (and every other EIG spawn), Bluehost is not very keen on providing a rich feature set or a big bundle of extra goodies. When you are that big, you let your name work its magic and bring in new clients.
A typical case of quantity over quality.
As you can see, the plans are deceivingly similar to the HostGator VPS deals (what a surprise, huh). The only major difference comes with space allocation on the most expensive plan — while HG offers 240GB, Bluehost caps at only 120GB.
At least it uses SSD instead of HDD, so you can expect a much faster performance.
What else can you expect from your VPS package?
Not much, really. Apart from the free domain and SSL certificate, everything else is either paid or unavailable. The company terms reveal that even backups are entirely up to the client, and the host cannot be held responsible for any loss of content.
There isn’t much good to say about the EIG…pardon…Bluehost support. Time and time again, I enter their chat with a clear mind, trying to objectively test them, even with newbie-level questions.
I suffer a bitter disappointment on every occasion.
The operator never reads or comprehends what you are saying. Instead, they utilize a limited set of replies and links, no matter how relevant.
On the bright side, Bluehost’s lack of adequate assistance can easily push a customer towards self-help guides and tutorials. There are plenty you can make use of so you don’t have to rely on support unless there is a server issue outside your control.
Even though Bluehost holds a large chunk of the shared hosting market, it can’t compete with the best VPS hosting providers. It might be simplified and comprehensive enough for first-time virtual server users, but in the long run, it’s neither cheap nor powerful enough.
This completes our top 11 choices for the best VPS hosting provider.
But don’t just take my word for it.
If you want to rely on your own unbiased opinion, here are a few things to consider before you choose your VPS host.
- RAM — operating memory is just as essential for your server as it is for your personal computer. More RAM on your machine means your website will load faster and perform better.
- CPU cores — another performance booster, CPU speeds things up when your site loads. It’s often intertwined with the amount of RAM on the server. Make sure to check if the host shares the CPU processing power or dedicates it to your VPS hosting account.
- Bandwidth — this represents your monthly traffic consumption, the amount of data that passes between your website and its visitors. Many hosting providers like to advertise unlimited/unmetered bandwidth caps. However, this often means you will run out of other resources (like RAM and CPU) long before you gain massive traffic.
- Disk space — as your website expands, so does the need for more space. SSD storage is gradually becoming an industry standard because of its superior read/write speeds and reliability.
- Uptime — this one is a no-brainer. Downtime can result in severe financial losses and even bring a business down. Make sure your new VPS hosting provider is known for its dependability and perfect uptime.
- Dedicated IP — sharing an IP address with other users or reusing old IPs brings many outside risks to your website. Having your own IP comes with increased stability and security. Furthermore, this feature is essential for adding other extras, like an SSL certificate.
- Scalability — having your own VPS server comes with certain perks, and one of them is definitely scalability. Adding the right amount of resources as your website grows will give you great customization freedom without going hard on your monthly bill.
- Datacenter locations — many web projects target an international audience, so you need to ensure your new VPS host has reliable worldwide coverage. The closer you are to most of your visitors, the better user experience you can deliver.
- Security — one of your top priorities. You can have the most amazing and most popular website, but there isn’t much point to your excellent metrics if anyone can breach the site and make a mess. Check what security measures your potential host applies on its VPS servers and see if it has any additional options to make your website impenetrable.
- Support — the best VPS hosting providers will also have the best support to back up their clients. Even if you are a website building guru, chances are you will need assistance at some point. Strong confidence at the support level of your host is a must.
Seems like a lot to take in, but don’t worry — it’s easier than it looks once you understand the basics.
Is shared hosting different than VPS hosting? Yes, it is.
How is it different? Fewer clients on the server, more dedicated resources, and increased freedom.
How to choose my VPS plan? Check your current resource consumption and add some growth room.
From there on, it’s a matter of specific project needs and personal preferences.
This should cover just about everything to get your website on the road to fame and fortune.
Think something is missing? Let me know, and I will be glad to enrich this guide.
Q: Do I get a cPanel with my VPS hosting account?
A: Most providers will give you the option to use a cPanel or Plesk control panel, but that doesn’t necessarily come for free on virtual servers as it does on shared hosting. Make sure the final price includes all licensing fees.
Q: What are the operating systems used by VPS hosting providers?
A: Hosts support various OS options depending on your website setup. If you are looking to run a WordPress site or an OpenCart ecommerce shop, you will best fit with a Linux host. But if your project relies on .Net technology, you will be better off searching for the best Windows VPS hosting providers.
Q: How important is the factor of scalability in choosing a VPS hosting provider?
A: One of the key benefits of VPS vs. shared hosting is the level of freedom over every aspect of your site performance on a virtual server. Being able to fine-tune your RAM or CPU consumption at any given point is an excellent selling point for a potential VPS provider.
Q: How can I measure the uptime and speed of my VPS hosting easily?
A: Uptime stats can easily be found in the logs of your control panel or monitored additionally with tools like StatusCake. Many of the best VPS hosting providers would also assist in reading and analyzing this data.
Speed is a bit trickier to measure, as it fluctuates and depends on many outside factors. You can get a basic idea of your site speed with third-party tools like GTMetrix, Pingdom, and WebPageTest. Still, these will not take into account vital factors, like how your server performs under stress.