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In a world filled with different web hosting options, VPS hosting has become a popular choice for websites that need more resources and control.
Upgrading to a virtual private server (VPS for short) will drastically improve your site performance if you’re currently on a shared hosting plan.
For those of you who are starting a new site from scratch and expecting tons of traffic, getting a VPS hosting plan out of the gate is a viable option as well.
There are literally thousands of providers that offer VPS hosting plans. It can be tricky to tell which one is going to work best for your situation.
Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place—this post will provide you with everything you need to know about VPS hosting. We’ll start off with in-depth reviews of my top picks and conclude with a brief buyer’s guide to help you select the best fit for you.
#1 – Bluehost Review — The Most Feature-Rich VPS Hosting Service
Bluehost is my favorite web hosting provider, so it’s no surprise they make the cut for best VPS hosting as well.
It’s an excellent choice if you already use Bluehost and want to upgrade to a better hosting solution. However, it’s also great if you’re looking for a feature-rich and affordable VPS hosting provider.
Each plan comes with dozens of powerful features, including:
- A free domain name for the first year
- A 30-day moneyback guarantee
- Free SSL certificates
- Root access via cPanel
- OpenStack and KVM open-source technology
- Immediate provisioning for instant server activation
- Guaranteed resource availability
- Dynamic resources for traffic spikes
- Multi-server management capabilities
- Advanced file management
So, not only do you benefit from award-winning customer support, but you also get a massive bang for your buck and tons of features not available with other similarly priced offers.
With that said, you will have to pay separately for domain privacy and protection.
Bluehost VPS hosting starts at $18.99 per month for two cores, 30 GB of solid-state storage space, 2 GB of RAM, and 1 TB of bandwidth.
#2 – Hostinger Review — The Best Semi-Managed VPS Hosting
Hostinger‘s well-known for their ridiculously cheap shared hosting plans. However, their VPS hosting plans are a smart choice for budget-conscious users looking for a semi-managed solution.
With semi-managed hosting, you handle the back-end stuff with your website, but Hostinger handles server management and other server-related issues.
So, you do get some help, but you get a discounted price in exchange for managing certain aspects on your own.
Plus, you also get dedicated resources and more control, which typically come with VPS hosting solutions. However, you’re getting them at much more affordable prices.
On top of that, Hostinger also providers:
- A 30-day moneyback guarantee
- Easy Web Script and an OS installer
- A dedicated IP address
- Data backups with double RAID protection
- An easy-to-use control panel
- Full root access
So, despite the lower cost, you still get the top benefits of VPS hosting.
Hostinger VPS plans start at just $3.95 per month. However, that plan’s pretty limited in space and RAM. So, you may want to start with their second-tier plan at $8.95 per month.
#3 – Liquid Web Review — The Fastest VPS Hosting Services
If you’re interested in improving site speed, upgrading to VPS hosting is an excellent place to start. However, Liquid Web‘s VPS hosting services are the fastest in the industry.
While that seems like a bold claim, a third party conducted various speed tests and found that Liquid Web outperforms the competition thanks to their cloud virtual machines.
In turn, your users get a better experience with snappy load times.
On top of blazing fast speeds, you also get:
- Up to 10 TB of bandwidth
- 100+ GB of solid-state drive storage
- Best-in-class 24/7 customer support
- Off-server backups
- Multi-level DDoS protection
- Proactive site monitoring
- Plesk or cPanel
Plus, you have complete control over your website with root-level access, one-click downgrading and upgrading, and total server control.
You can also choose between managed or unmanaged, with full management being an extra $10 per month. This is a smart and affordable choice if don’t want to worry about updates and continuous management on your part.
Liquid Web plans start at $80 per month for Windows and $35 per month for Linux. Use coupon code NEIL40 for 40% off 4 months. Sign up now.
#4 – HostGator Review — The Best For Reliable VPS Hosting
HostGator has been around for roughly two decades. The hosting provider powers 2+ million websites worldwide.
As one of the most trusted names in the web hosting industry, you really can’t go wrong with a HostGator VPS plan. Here’s a look at the different plans and price points:
The VPS hosting plans from HostGator come with full root access and dedicated resources. You’ll also benefit from features like:
- Complete customization and total control of your virtual server
- Free off-site backups of your server data every week
- Script installers, site templates, and development tools
- Unlimited domains, databases, email addresses, and FTP accounts
- Ability to scale CPUs, RAM, and disk space
- Exceptional customer support, 24/7/365
In addition to traditional web hosting, HostGator’s virtual private servers are commonly used for ecommerce sites, testing environments, gaming, and heavy application use.
All plans are backed by a 45-day money-back guarantee.
#5 – InMotion Review — Best VPS Plans For Ecommerce Sites
InMotion has a wide range of VPS hosting plans for you to choose from. They offer managed VPS hosting and self-managed cloud VPS hosting, both powered by Linux SSD servers.
Managed plans start at $29.99 per month, and the entry-level self-managed VPS starts at $5 per month.
Most of you will benefit from the managed plans, as these virtual servers are optimized for ecommerce out of the box. These plans are configured for speed and reliability with ecommerce platforms like WooCommerce, Magento, Prestashop, and more.
Other advantages of using InMotion for VPS hosting include:
- Free private SSLs and scheduled snapshots
- Update databases, email, and domain settings with cPanel
- Security updates and server management (with a managed plan)
- DDoS protection and secure SSH keys (with a self-managed plan)
- Fast and automatic software installs, like NGINX
Overall, InMotion’s virtual private servers are fast and reliable. Even the managed plans come with full root access. InMotion’s 90-day money-back guarantee is arguably the best in the hosting industry.
#6 – GoDaddy Review — Best Self-Managed VPS Hosting
GoDaddy is a name that’s usually synonymous with domain registration and controversial marketing strategies.
But if you’re in the market for a self-managed VPS plan, this will be a top option for you to consider.
Standard RAM VPS plans from GoDaddy start as low as $4.99 per month. The high RAM plans start at $9.99.
The self-managed plans are perfect for developers and system admins. Features and benefits of using GoDaddy’s virtual private servers include:
- Full root access with SSH keys
- Command line for complete power and flexibility
- Scalable performance options and a wide range of custom server configurations
- Unlimited hosting accounts with easy administration
- Easy monitoring and alert notifications
- DDoS protection and free SSL certificate
- Ability to choose your data center (North America, Asia-Pacific, EMEA)
- Backups and recovery console
These plans are great for testing environments, database servers, resource-heavy apps, email servers, and admins running multiple websites.
GoDaddy does have fully-managed VPS plans starting at $99.99, but the self-managed option is definitely the standout from this provider.
#7 – Media Temple Review — Best Managed VPS Hosting Plans
For businesses, ecommerce websites, agencies, and resellers, Media Temple is my top recommendation for managed VPS hosting.
The pros at Media Temple will handle all of the technical aspects of managing your server. So you can spend more time focusing on your website and business.
In addition to the best customer support team in the world of web hosting, your managed VPS plan comes with benefits like:
- Ability to choose your control panel (cPanel or Plesk) and version
- MySQL, PHP, Python, and Perl come pre-installed
- Customize your virtual server with any Linux-based app, software, or OS component
- Easily resell your hosting to clients with built-in reseller tools
- 99.99% uptime guaranteed
- Scale your server resources on-demand with just a few clicks
Media Temple’s servers are fast and reliable. These managed VPS hosting plans start as low as $55 per month.
#8 – InterServer Review — The Best Cheap VPS Hosting Plans
InterServer definitely isn’t the most well-recognized name in web hosting. But for those of you who want a cost-effective VPS plan, InterServer is worth taking a closer look at.
This hosting provider offers managed and unmanaged VPS hosting, starting at just $6 per month.
Let’s takes a closer look at some of the features, benefits, and highlights of using InterServer for VPS hosting:
- 450+ cloud apps supported with one-click installs
- No limits on accessing or updating data
- Full root access with total control of your OS and control panel
- Automatically redirect server issues to another node
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- No fees for incoming or outgoing site transfers
- Remote backup service to keep data safe and secure
Unlike other hosting providers on the market today, InterServer doesn’t offer a free trial or any money-back guarantees. However, they do offer month-to-month pricing, so you can cancel at any time.
The performance of these servers won’t be as high as some of the other plans on our list. But when you’re paying rock bottom rates, top of the line performance probably isn’t your first priority.
What I Looked at to Find the Best VPS Hosting Plan
Although the list of web hosting providers is seemingly a mile long, there are only a few dozen really dependable providers. When it comes to VPS hosting specifically, the list is even shorter.
There’s also a fairly short list of factors you need to take into account as you make your decision. Let’s walk through each one now and talk about why they’re important.
Site Performance Metrics
Site performance needs to be the top priority for everyone seeking a VPS plan. The term “performance” can be pretty subjective, but there are two metrics that matter the most:
Most people searching for a VPS are upgrading from a shared hosting plan that they’ve outgrown. Uptime and speed are the first two things to be affected when you’re sharing server resources with other sites.
You want to make sure that your VPS plan can accommodate your traffic needs. If performance is affected at scale, then you need to look elsewhere.
Lots of web hosting providers will give you a guaranteed uptime rate. However, those offers typically come with some contingencies (like planned outages).
Some sites can’t afford any downtime or slow loading times. If you fall into that category, make sure you get a premium VPS plan. For those of you who would rather save some money, just know that your site performance might be affected.
Technically speaking, you’re still sharing server resources with other websites on a VPS hosting plan. However, the number of sites on the same main server is much lower compared to shared hosting. Plus, each virtual server will have its own dedicated resources.
As you’re evaluating plans, consider the following:
These resources will have a direct impact on your site speed and uptime. If you’re maxing out your resources, you can’t expect your site to run at peak performance.
Optional Root Access
Not everyone needs root access. This feature only really matters if you’re a developer or need the ability to make custom changes to your virtual server at an advanced level.
If that’s the case, then you should be looking for a self-managed VPS plan.
Most other people will be better off with a fully managed plan (no need for root access here). It’s also worth noting that you can find fully managed VPS plans with optional root access, but that feature won’t really be utilized by the average user.
On the technical side, there are two main options for VPS hosting—Windows VPS and Linux VPS.
A Windows-based platform will provide you with access levels and performance that’s similar to a dedicated server. If you’re on a self-managed plan, you would be able to install common windows databases and applications like Microsoft SQL, ASP, SharePoint, and ASP.NET.
With a Linux VPS, your virtual servers will support web features like PHP, MySQL, and POP3. Since Linux is an open-source OS, these hosting plans are usually more cost-effective.
You could eventually convert your Linux server into a Windows server, but doing the opposite would be much more complex.
You want to make sure that your web hosting provider has your back. What happens if something goes wrong? Who do you contact if you have a problem or question? How do you resolve a time-sensitive issue?
If your site crashes at 10:00 PM on Friday night, waiting to contact a customer support representative at 9:00 AM Monday morning isn’t going to cut it. Look for a VPS provider with 24/7/365 support via phone and live chat.
Features like free migrations from another provider or hosting type to your new VPS plan would also fall into the support category.
Some hosting providers are undoubtedly better than others when it comes to customer service. Once you’ve found a few options you like, check out some reviews to see which providers follow through on their promise to serve customers.
The price for VPS web hosting varies significantly from provider to provider and plan to plan. We’ve seen VPS hosting plans starting as low as $6 per month. Other plans start at $250+ per month. Most of you will likely fall somewhere between these two extremes.
Like any other product, you can expect to get what you pay for.
If you’re signing up for the cheapest VPS hosting plan that you can find, don’t expect to have extremely high uptime rates and fast page loading speeds. For those of you who want as many dedicated resources as possible, just know that they come at higher price points.
So you’ll have to weigh your performance and resource needs against your budget.
Virtual private server hosting is an excellent option for sites that have outgrown a shared hosting plan. To recap my top picks for VPS hosting:
- Bluehost — The most feature-rich VPS hosting service
- Hostinger — The best semi-managed VPS hosting
- Liquid Web — The fastest VPS hosting services
- HostGator — The best for reliable VPS hosting
- InMotion — Best VPS plans for ecommerce sites
- GoDaddy — Best self-managed VPS hosting
- Media Temple — Best managed VPS hosting plans
- InterServer — The best cheap VPS hosting plans
Which VPS is the best? Naming just one as the top pick is a tough call, because people have such a wide range of hosting needs.
To find the right one for you, follow the methodlogy described above. It will help you make sense of all the options available, and find one that has the features and support you need.
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