You come across a lot of different names and words that you wouldn’t see anywhere else when you start off on your journey to find hosting for your website. VPS hosting is one of such words and you can find it everywhere, no matter which hosting company’s site you look at.
So what is VPS hosting? Why is it important? That’s what we’re here to explain!
VPS hosting has numerous operating systems on a single server. Each operating system has a certain amount of server resources allocated to it. A single powerful server is divided into multiple VPS servers that run on its resources. This way, every operating system functions like it is running on a dedicated server. From your perspective, the user’s perspective it certainly seems that way too.
This is why VPS is short for Virtual Private Server. You’re using a virtual machine within an actual machine. You use it like it’s a private server, leveraging the speed and the amount of flexibility you get from it.
For more information on web hosting you can take a look to Web Hosting Media, a website dedicated to provide information on various hosting providers, hosting types and other website building related topics.
Is VPS Hosting Right for You?
Using a VPS plan is usually the next step for any website that started out small. It grants more speed and flexibility, since you don’t have to share its virtual space with anyone. You also get a certain amount of guaranteed resources to use, so it will be your own little island on the sea of the internet.
If you suddenly require more RAM, CPU power, disk space or bandwidth, you can add it to your virtual server with a few clicks and continue conducting business as usual.
The main benefits of using VPS is the increased stability, speed and control it gives you. You can get the same benefits you would get from using a dedicated server for a much lower price than it would actually cost to rent one.
VPS is a really simple and cost effective way to have a high powered hosting plan.
Let’s sum up how you will use VPS in practice:
- You can always customize a VPS server to meet your exact needs, but you will be the one responsible for managing it, installing new software and any other feature you might require.
- You’ll only have to pay for the resources you add to your virtual private server.
- You can use scripts that you otherwise couldn’t in a shared hosting environment.
- You can choose a semi managed hosting plan that will handle a lot of the maintenance tasks you have to face.
Advantages and Disadvantages of VPS Hosting
Although VPS hosting is awesome, it has a clear set of advantages and disadvantages, just like any other technology in the world. Let’s see what VPS hosting has to speak for it and against it.
Advantages of VPS Hosting
Here are all the goodies that differentiate VPS hosting from the rest. You probably noticed some of these above if you were paying attention.
- Flexibility – You can always upscale your VPS hosting plan if your business needs dictate it. You can just add memory upgrades when you need them or any other resource for that matter. It’s a simple process, done with a few clicks. What’s even better is that you can just decide to leave your hosting plan when you don’t need it anymore. You don’t have to sign long term contracts like you would with a shared hosting plan.
- Powerful Performance – Those who care about their website’s speed, are very satisfied with the power of VPS hosting. You can get much more out of the server because you have guaranteed resources most of the time and you simply don’t have to share them with anyone else.
- Cost Effective– VPS hosting is the middle ground between shared hosting and dedicated hosting. You can use it at a low price and get the benefits of running your website or web app on a dedicated server.
- VPS is more powerful than shared hosting but more expensive as well. It’s also less powerful than dedicated hosting but a lot cheaper.
- Better Security – With shared hosting, there’s the “bad neighborhood” effect that can cause your website to run much slower than it’s supposed to. You can also get malware and all sorts of bad stuff from the users you’re sharing the server with. So it’s best to move your site to its own little space and make it free from any hackers and malware that might be lurking around on your provider’s server.
- Absolute Control – It’s like running your own PC on the other side of the planet. You get full access to a virtual server, to which you can install any software or framework you wish to use. You can also configure the server the way you like it, because you’re the only one using it.
Disadvantages of VPS Hosting
Nobody said VPS hosting was perfect. Using it does come with a couple of down sides, but they can be handled too.
- The Need For Technical Knowledge – Since you are completely in charge of the server you’re using, you have to have the technical knowledge required to configure it and install the software you need. Also, if you have any security and maintenance issues, you’ll have to handle them yourself.
- Resource Limitations – You definitely won’t get as much power from VPS hosting as you would have with dedicated hosting. Who would provide dedicated hosting plans if you would?
You have your own set of resources to use, but they are shared by other virtual private servers on the same machine.
How To Choose a VPS Hosting Plan?
If you find yourself hooked on using VPS hosting for running your website, you’ll have to go out there and get yourself the best one possible. We’ll tell you how to do it and share the current best VPS hosting providers out there.
Even though the word “VPS” means the same thing for every hosting provider, the services and features they offer aren’t remotely the same. The pricing isn’t either. The same amount of resources you would get from one company, might cost twice as much at the other. Some companies also use various pricing tricks, so it’s worth doing a bit of homework before you choose a VPS hosting plan. So, let’s get down to it!
Take a Look At The Server Specifications
You’ll want to know what you’re paying for, right? The amount of server resources you get with a VPS hosting determines the speed, reliability and efficiency of the service. The more resources you get, the better.
Take a look at how much CPU clocks, RAM, Disk Space and Bandwidth your perspective hosting plan will offer.
With more data on your site and more visitors coming to download it, the bandwidth you’ll be working with becomes increasingly important. Some VPS hosting plans offer ‘unmetered’ bandwidth that can cover a wide variety of things, but it definitely isn’t “unlimited” bandwidth. You’ll have to read the company’s terms of service to understand what kind of limitations you will be facing.
Sometimes, it’s much better to have a specific amount of bandwidth, let’s say 4 TB, because you know your exact limits and that bandwidth will definitely work at high speed.
Bandwidth works in a similar fashion to mobile credits. Let’s say you have 1GB of bandwidth every month. If there is a 1MB file on your website that a user downloads, you’ll have 999MB of bandwidth remaining. If two users download that 1 MB file, you’ll have 998MB of bandwidth remaining. It’s as simple as that.
Managed and Unmanaged Hosting
Like I mentioned, it’s important that you have the necessary technical knowledge to manage a virtual private server.
A shared hosting service doesn’t have this kind of responsibilities coming along with it, because the server is monitored by the company’s maintenance group. But with VPS hosting, you have root access, so you’ll have to do everything yourself.
However, you can get the best of both worlds with some providers. You can have them manage your server for you, while all you have to do is upload your site and do a few administrative tasks. This is called a managed hosting service.
So if you don’t know much about server administration, you can just go for a managed hosting service and rest peacefully at night.
You can either choose from Linux or Windows, at 99% of the hosting providers. It’s usually more expensive to have a VPS plan running on Windows, but it’s required if you want to use ASP or ASP.NET for development.
Linux is a lot cheaper to use, which is why most people use this open source operating system on their server, unless they have a specific reason to choose Windows.
Every VPS hosting plan comes at a different price. You of course, will want to get the maximum value for your money, so it’s best to compare the best one’s you’ve found. First, consider their price, then the amount of resources you get for that price, then check out the rest of their features and their customer support.
The company that provides you with the servers, has their experts working 24/7 to maintain those servers and help their clients get the best out of them.
You’ll definitely want someone to call when an issue or a question arises. Don’t settle for anything less than 24/7/365 customer support. Make sure that they respond as fast as possible. Your perspective company’s support team has to be consistent and reliable all the way.
The best way to find out is calling or texting them yourself once you’ve subscribed to one of their plans (you can do this through the trial period). Another good way is check out other people’s reviews who have tested them or simply by reading user submitted comments.
Users have no reason for not being upfront and honest, so read what they have to say about a specific company’s customer support and how they perform.
3 Best VPS Hosting Providers
We’ve looked through the top VPS hosting providers in the game and reviewed the top players. Here they are!
BlueHost is renowned among WordPress users. It’s one of the hosting companies recommended by the developers of WordPress itself. Although their shared hosting service isn’t the best with 1000ms loading times, they make up for that with their VPS plans. You don’t have to share the resources with anyone else, so you won’t face such problems with it. Not to mention that BlueHost is known to provide some very cost effective solutions too.
Their service is made faster and more stable with SSD’s. Their entire architecture uses solid state drives to store data, which give it a real speed boost.
BlueHost’s support team is very friendly and they work pretty hard as it seems. You can reach them day in and day out and they’ll respond relatively quickly. They didn’t take more than half an hour, most of the times we checked and customers seem to have a positive opinion about them too.
You also have a large knowledge base at your disposal. You can visit the FAQ page, where any problem you might come across has already been solved by someone else. Maybe you can read a little while you’re waiting for the support representative to respond.
BlueHost also offers their official videos on YouTube, where they explain certain concepts and share other kinds of educational material to help their users.
When it comes to VPS hosting, BlueHost does a good job. They offer some solid VPS plans with enough resources and at low prices.
Their first VPS plan, the Standard plan costs only $19.99 / month. That’s an awesome price, considering that some hosting providers demand double for the same amount of resources.
With BlueHost’s Standard VPS plan, you get to use 2 CPU cores and 2 GB of RAM to power your system. You also get 30 GB of fast SSD Disk Space, which isn’t much, but it should be enough for most users. The Unlimited Bandwidth ensures that you can handle all of the incoming traffic, so there’s no need to worry about that.
Along with this, you’ll be granted one IP Address and a free domain name, which cuts about 10$ -50$ off your website’s initial costs.
To top this plan (and all the others) off, BlueHost provides 24/7 management, so you don’t have to worry about maintaining the server you rent.
Their Enhanced VPS plan costs $29.99 / month. It also provides 2 CPU cores, but comes with 4 GB of RAM and 60 GB of SSD storage space. You also get 1 domain and 2 IP addresses.
The Ultimate VPS plan, has a hefty price of $59.99 / month, offering 4 CPU cores and 8 GB of RAM. You also have 120 GB of SSD storage, 1 domain name and 2 IP addresses.
All three of these hosting plans are managed and you can demand your money back within 30 days if you’re not satisfied with the service.
InMotion Hosting is one of the few hosting companies that I can wholeheartedly recommend without any regrets. They follow through with everything they promise and make sure that their customers are always satisfied to their fullest.
InMotion ensures the quality of their service with outstanding hardware and an (actually) award winning customer service. Their services is 60% faster than all of their competitions’, so I haven’t seen anyone who hosted their website with them and left without a very specific reason.
Their entire architecture uses SSD drives which adds a lot to their speed. You can expect websites to load within 500 milliseconds on a shared hosting plan. They load much faster on VPS servers, which is great news for us.
Contacting their customer support team is a great experience, because they got their awards for a good reason. They will only take about 5-20 minutes to respond to your request and they’ll be working on helping you out immediately. Most of the reviews they received are positive and their active customers are thrilled to be working with them. What more would you need?
A great free feature they offer are automated backups for any website under 10GB. So just keep your site under 10 gigs and you’ll be set up pretty well. Other hosting providers demand quite a few bucks for this service, so this only proves that InMotion does it all to be in their customers’ favor.
In my opinion, InMotion offers the best VPS hosting services too, but their first plan costs $10 more compared to BlueHost’s VPS plan. Though it’s very reasonable, considering that you get more resources and more reassurance as well.
InMotion’s first plan costs $29.99 / month and offers 4 GB RAM and 75 GB SSD storage space. Along with this, you get 4 TB premium bandwidth, support for an unlimited number of websites, domains, MySQL databases and emails. You can use 1 IP address.
Their second plan offers a bit more. You get 150 GB of SSD storage space, 6 GB of RAM, with access to 4 IP addresses. This costs $49.99 / month.
Finally, their most powerful plan comes with 260 GB of SSD storage, 8GB of RAM, 5 IP addresses and 6 TB of premium bandwidth. This monstrously powerful plan comes at $74.99 / month.
HostGator has become one of the biggest names in web hosting, thanks to their relentless advertising efforts and the fact that they have been around for more than 15 years now. They have plenty of experience and expertise to provide some of the best hosting services on the internet. Right now, they have about 9 million domains hosted on their servers. This number pretty much speaks for itself, but let’s see what HostGator’s plans have going for them!
HostGator is most well-known for their cost-effective services and their user-friendliness. No matter how much technical knowledge you have, HostGator is a good place to start a website. One of the reasons for this is their user friendly cPanel and the other is their good customer support.
If you have an already existing website at some other hosting provider’s servers, you can request HostGator to migrate your website to their servers and they’ll do it for free.
HostGator’s customer support team is quite good, taking no more than 30 minutes to respond or to get in contact with you. Though we did come across a few negative testimonials and comments on the internet, stating that they were not fast enough or they didn’t solve the user’s problem. It varies according to user I guess.
As I mentioned, HostGator has really cost-effective solutions. Their first VPS plan costs $19.95 / month and offers as much you already came to expect from a VPS plan. It’s called the Snappy 2000 plan and provides 2 CPU cores, 2 GB of RAM, 120 GB of SSD storage and 1.5 TB of bandwidth.
Their second plan, the Snappy 4000 comes with 2CPU cores, 4 GB of RAM, 160 GB of SSD storage and 2 TB of bandwidth which costs $29.95 / month.
HostGator’s most powerful VPS plan, the Snappy 8000 provides 4 CPU cores and 8 GB of RAM, adding up to an incredible speed. With 240 GB of SSD storage and 3TB of bandwidth, I doubt you’ll have any problem with sharing your files. You can start using this plan for $39.95 / month.
Here are all the main reasons it’s beneficial to use VPS hosting for your website. Among the hosting providers we’ve reviewed, we find InMotion to be the most favorable, because of their robustness. Their service might cost a few dollars more, but you’ll be getting a lot more value with them than you would with any other VPS service.
If you need it, you’ll find a lot more content that will help you understand various concepts or find the best hosting for the website you have planned. I hope that you have enjoyed reading through this article and that we’ll see you in the upcoming ones!