VPS Hosting: Cheap Dedicated Server Solution for Growing Websites
Just about every hosting provider you visit, will have a service called VPS hosting. It incorporates a lot of things other than a high price. It is a much more powerful hosting plan than shared hosting and it also gives you more control over the server you rent. A shared hosting plan offers limited server resources, such as CPU, RAM, Bandwidth and storage space, even if it says that it’s an unlimited plan.
If you’re just starting out with your site, it’s unlikely that you’ll require VPS hosting (though it can be beneficial to choose it) right of the bat, but it’s still useful to know what it is and when you should use it. Most users start using VPS hosting because their online presence has grew and it requires more server resources.
With great power comes great responsibility, which is why you’ll have to know your stuff with most VPS hosting plans. They give you full control over the server, but you’ll be the one who has to configure it. You’ll have to install an operating system and get everything to run nice and smooth.
What is VPS Hosting?
VPS is short for Virtual Private Server. It’s like you have a single server that has its own copy of an operating system. It uses the hardware and resources of a much larger server, but on a software level it seems like it is just one machine. Which is why it’s a virtual private server.
The major difference between shared hosting and VPS hosting is that it offers server root access, dedicated resources and an isolated environment. Your app or site will have its own set of resources and its own environment to function in. This is a great plus because you won’t be sharing any of your resources with other users and it will ensure that your site runs much better than it would on any shared hosting plan.
Every website hosted on VPS hosting comes the powerful hardware of a large server. That large server is spread into virtual compartments, which enables a VPS server to function independently. There will be other websites hosted in the same physical system, but your website will be hosted in one of the virtual compartments and will have access to its own set of resources. This means you’ll be getting the exact amount of server resources you’ve paid for and will have full control over them.
Why Use VPS Hosting?
Most websites start out with a shared hosting plan because they don’t have too much traffic at the start. That’s perfectly okay, because shared hosting is also the easiest and most comprehensive choice for beginners. It’s very cheap and doesn’t require you to have much of a technical background to be able to operate it.
As your site grows into what you want it to be, it will require more functions and will require more bandwidth as your traffic volumes get higher and higher. So VPS hosting will be necessary at some point down the road. If you don’t know exactly when, here are a few strong signs that it’s time to upgrade to VPS hosting.
When You Require More Security and Reliability – Shared hosting is the least secure type of hosting, because you’ll be sharing the same physical and virtual space with numerous other websites. It also isn’t completely stable for the same reason. If another website ends up having a large traffic spike, it will suddenly use more resources and it might end up taking them away from your website. If the server isn’t properly regulated, than it might cause some downtime to you as well. At some point, this becomes unacceptable and you’ll require something more stable and secure.
When Your Monthly Traffic Grows Much Higher – If your site has a high influx of traffic, your hosting provider will definitely email you that it’s time to pay them more money. If you consistently have a high amount of traffic, then your site will consume much more bandwidth. In that case, changing to something more powerful like a virtual private server with isolated resources and bandwidth will be your solution.
When You Need More Control and Root Access – If you have reached a point where you have to perform advanced actions like installing your own scripts or other custom software or have a custom server configuration, it might be time to make the change.
You don’t necessarily have to use VPS to have access to more server resources. Most hosts offer various different plans that you can upscale. VPS is mostly recommended when you need more control over your server. If you want to use additional software or make configurations and modifications that aren’t allowed on a shared hosting server, than it’s likely you’ll need it.
But to make it more comprehensive, here are a few basic needs that you can fulfill with a VPS hosting plan.
It Enables Mass Emailing – If you want to sell your products by launching an absolutely massive email campaign, you’ll need something that can support it. Most shared and reseller hosting plans limit your domain to 500 emails per hour. If that just isn’t enough for your needs, than you should upscale to VPS.
It Allows Custom Installations – If you want to have your own custom hosting environment or want to install a script or an app that isn’t compatible with a shared hosting server, than you’ll need VPS. Shared and reseller hosting plans won’t allow you to make big modifications to the hosting environment, because it would change the way you use the server’s hardware and software. That might make the server unstable or inconsistent for the hundreds of websites that are stored on it.
Gives You Dedicated Resources – Sharing bandwidth with multiple websites can sometimes get frustrating. It might end up affecting your website’s loading speed which can lead to further consequences. Believe me, nobody wants a slow website and neither do you. Which is why it’s good that VPS will give you the amount of RAM, CPU, Storage space and Bandwidth that you pay for with no one else having access to it besides you.
Gives You More Privacy – Since you don’t have to share the operating system with anyone else, there’s almost no risk of anyone else having access to your files. Unless a professional hacker tries to steal your files, you’ll be much safer with using VPS.
It’s Easy To Scale – Once you have your account all set up, you can always add more server resources to your plan. As your website and needs becomes more sophisticated, you can easily scale your hosting plan and have the additional resources you need to keep the show on the road.
Improved Stability – Your website will suffer virtually no downtime. If the server is well-managed, your website’s performance will be much more stable and reliable. Your connection is monitored around the clock, so your uptime will be 99.99% throughout the entire year. There might be minor hiccups, because no system is perfect, but as long as your VPS server is being managed properly, there will be no problem.
They’re Surprisingly Affordable – You would expect that dedicated resources at a commercial web hosting company would cost tons of money. But in reality, VPS plans are quite affordable. They usually cost around 30$ per month and can reach up to 200$ per month as well. It depends on what company, what plan and how much resources you choose.
Types Of VPS Hosting
There are different variations when it comes to VPS hosting. Companies offer different services attached to different plans, and it’s good to know what kind of benefits each provides.
Operating System: Linux or Windows
For starters, it’s important that you know which VPS environment you’ll require. Windows and Linux are managed completely differently. Both have their own perks and comfort levels, but it basically comes down to what your site will be running on. If it runs on ASP or ASP.net, you’ll need a Windows as your operating system.
Managed or Unmanaged VPS Hosting
As I mentioned, you’ll have full control over your server, which sounds nice, but you’ll have to have the technical background for it as well. Since you have root access to your server, you’ll have a lot of managing and configuring to do.
If you’re a developer or know how to administer a server to keep it running well, then you’re all set. If you can handle things when the server’s software needs patching or fixing, you can end up with a much cheaper plan. Being the only administrator of your VPS plan isn’t a walk in the park, and it’s near impossible for non-tech savvy people. Which is why a lot of hosting companies offer managed VPS hosting.
Managed VPS plans allow average users to reap the benefits of dedicated resources without having to spend their time with setting up and configuring their server. The hosting company will have one of its experts looking after the server and ensuring that it’s always performing at its peak. They’ll work on optimizing everything for you while not taking too much freedom out of your hands.
Although managed VPS hosting plans are more expensive than regular ones, they are definitely worth it for those who don’t have much technical knowledge to begin with.
Cloud Based VPS or Conventional VPS Hosting
Cloud technologies and cloud hosting has become a very popular phrase these days. The term cloud hosting and VPS hosting is often used in the same sentence, which confuses people. They think that every VPS hosting is cloud hosting.
In reality, a conventional VPS hosting server draws its resources from a single large server, while Cloud VPS draws its resources from a whole network of servers. Both use the same virtualized environments, but the way they treat their resources such as RAM, CPU, Storage Space and Bandwidth, is completely different.
Conventional VPS – In simple terms, a conventional VPS is a smaller virtual server within a larger physical server. The large server is split up into smaller parts that can be accessed from different VPS accounts. Though the large server is incredibly powerful, it will eventually hit a certain limit and won’t allow the user to expand further. This limits depends on how much hardware the large server uses, which is different from company to company.
Cloud Based VPS – On the contrary to conventional VPS, cloud based VPS offers an almost infinite amount of resources. A Cloud-based Virtual Private Server runs on multiple clustered servers that draw their resources into a single virtual machine.
Top VPS Hosting Providers
These are the big fish in the sea. They have made it to the top of the web hosting game for numerous reasons. Here I’m going to review some of my favorite and some of my not so favorite hosting providers that offer VPS hosting plans.
HostGator isn’t a big fish in the sea, it’s an absolute whale. The company has been around for more than 15 years now and has become one of the most successful commercial hosting providers. This is thanks to their great investments in advertisement and in cheap but powerful hosting plans.
Though HostGator has become a household name for almost anyone who has a website, it’s worth analyzing the company’s services in detail. It is indeed a good place to start a website and its VPS plans also do the job. You can expect a solid technical performance and the customer service is also quite decent. Although it is important to mention that the reviews HostGator’s customer support received are very inconsistent. Some people say that they had a representative working with them within 2 minutes and there are even ones who ended up completely frustrated because the amount of time they had to wait. On average, we can conclude that it takes them around 15-30 minutes to respond.
If you have an already existing website on another hosting company’s server, you can have one of HostGator’s experts migrate it to their server for free. If you’ve decided to spend some extra cash on using VPS hosting, you’ll be glad to know that this part is for free. Also, keep in mind that some hosting providers charge $150 for it.
HostGator is full of cost effective solutions that get the job done. They got really popular thanks to their extremely low prices. Their first VPS plan costs only $19.95 per month and it provides plenty of horsepower to work with. It’s the Snappy 2000 plan and it offers 2 GB of RAM, 2 CPU Cores, 120 GB of SSD storage space and a 1.5 TB bandwidth.
The next plan is the Snappy 4000 and it provides 2 CPU cores, 4 GB of RAM, 160 GB of SSD storage, 2 TB of bandwidth and you can get it for $29.95 per month. Finally, you can get your hands on the Snappy 8000, which will give you 4 CPU cores and 8 GB of RAM and 3 TB of premium bandwidth. It will make your website fly at the speed of light for $39.95 per month.
HostGator is a pretty solid choice when you don’t want to go too hard on the old wallet, but would still like to use a much more powerful option than you did before. For more information, check out HostGator’s official site.
The company has won many awards, thanks to their outstanding customer service. In fact, they are the industry leaders in quality of customer support. They even state it on their website. So you’ll have some of the friendliest humans on earth to call when a problem emerges for your website. It won’t take longer than 2 minutes for a customer support representative to respond to your request. People all around the internet are throwing positive reviews and comments on various forums. So you can rest assured that you’ll have the support you need to have everything running smoothly.
InMotion doesn’t fall short in other departments either. In fact, they far outperform numerous other companies that seek to provide the same services as they do. They state that they are 60% faster than the rest of the competition and as far as I could tell, that statement remains to be true. Their shared hosting plans are one of the fastest with 500 millisecond loading times, and their VPS plans are even more powerful. They are also quite inexpensive, considering how much power they provide you with.
The first plan costs $29.99 per month, providing you with 4 GB RAM and 75 GB of SSD storage along with 4 TB of premium bandwidth. Not to mention that you’ll have full control over your server. You’ll have access to only one IP address.
The second plan costs more and offers more, asking for $49.99 per month. It provides 6 GB of RAM, 150 GB of SSD storage, 5 TB of premium bandwidth and you’ll have access to 4 IP addresses.
Finally, the most powerful VPS plan comes at $74.99 per month, providing you with 260 GB of SSD storage, 8 GB of RAM, 6 TB of premium bandwidth and 5 IP addresses.
You’ll also have free access to plenty of other features that other hosting providers ask money for. For example, you’ll have access to a free website migration, free automated website backups and enhanced security measures that keep your website much safer.
Overall, InMotion will definitely give you what you pay for and more. It’s company that has a history of good reviews and satisfied customers. If the price for a VPS server suits you, than go on and check out their official website!
BlueHost is a big star among WordPress users, because it provides an inexpensive start for them. It is one of the hosting providers with the cheapest plans and they offer some pretty solid hosting plans. If you have your WordPress site running on their servers, it would definitely be a smart move to just upgrade to a VPS plan. That is, if you need it, of course. Otherwise you’ll have to pay BlueHost $150 to migrate your site for you from another server. They are one of the few companies that charge for site migrations, which I really don’t like.
BlueHost also has a pretty good customer support team, filled with friendly agents who work pretty hard on bringing a pleasant experience to their clients. You can reach them 24/7/365 and they’ll respond within 20 minutes. They aren’t the fastest, but will definitely help you out when you need it. It’s important to mention however, that some customers have reported to wait for more than an hour before they would get a response on live chat. It isn’t the end of the world, but longer than usual waiting times do occasionally occur.
However, if you didn’t manage to reach BlueHost’s support team, you can just navigate to their FAQ page or their YouTube channel. Most of the questions you would have with starting up or understanding how the cPanel functions, can be answered there. They have plenty of useful resources that explain everything you need to know in a comprehensive manner.
If you’re considering to buy a VPS hosting plan at BlueHost, you can get off pretty inexpensively. You’ll get your first VPS hosting plan for $19.99 per month. It’s a pretty low price and you’ll get enough resources and control to take your website to the next level. The best thing about it is the fact that it’s a managed VPS plan, so you can take advantage of it, even if you’re not geeky enough.
BlueHost’s Standard VPS plan offers 2 CPU cores and 2 GB of RAM to power your system, along with 30 GB of SSD storage, to make everything fast and easily accessible. Though 30 GB isn’t much, but it will be enough if you’re not launching a large video gallery or something. Also, you’ll get unlimited bandwidth in the same package, so you don’t have to worry about ever running out. You can have as many downloads on your site as you want. You’ll also have access to one IP address and will also get a free domain name.
The Enhanced plan comes at $29.99 per month and provides 2 CPU cores, 4 GB of RAM, 60 GB of SSD storage along with 1 domain name and 2 IP addresses. Finally, the Ultimate VPS plan comes at a much heftier price. It costs $59.99 per month and offers 4 CPU cores, 8 GB of RAM and 120 GB of SSD storage, along with a free domain name and 2 IP addresses.
You can try all three of these plans for a 30 day money back guarantee period and can get a full refund if you’re not satisfied with the service.
GoDaddy is one of the world’s most famous domain registrars. Since it got really popular, the company figured out that they should move into the web-hosting market as well. They have been serving clients for almost 10 years now and continue to do so to varying degrees of success. I’m saying that because I have seen some inconsistent reviews in numerous comment sections. Some people seemed to be more satisfied with GoDaddy 5 years ago, than what it is now. Still, there are plenty of others who are perfectly fine with what they got out of the company so far. No hosting company performs perfectly and as long as you get what you paid for, along with some slight frustration, you’ve made a good deal.
I also found to important things to mention. One being the fact that the prices are listed in British pounds, which can get confusing, considering that 90% of commercial hosting providers list them in US dollars. The second thing is something that is worthy of respect. I have yet to see a hosting company that is so up front about its pricing. GoDaddy admits that the prices you see are only introductory prices and will only last for your first period of service. They also show you the price of your plans after they got renewed. Each of them costs about 25% more and that’s it. No hidden fees and clauses or pricing tricks to worry about. You’ll get what you see, which will allow you to think in the long term.
GoDaddy has a fine customer support team as well. They took 16 minutes to respond to our query and they also got numerous positive reviews on various blogs and other sites. I also came across a 3 frustrated individuals who just couldn’t reach support and had to solve the issue themselves. My experience was positive, so I really can’t speak negatively about them.
GoDaddy offers some pretty solid VPS plans at impressively low prices. In fact, it’s one of the most inexpensive VPS hosting plans we’ve reviewed so far. Their first plan costs £11.99 (16.68 USD) per month and it provides a really good value. For that money, you’ll get 1 GB of RAM, 40 GB of storage, unlimited bandwidth, 3 IP addresses and a free SSL certificate. It’s a pretty solid deal to say the least.
GoDaddy’s second plan, the Value plan offers an even better deal. It costs £15.99 (22.24 USD) per month, which is still quite inexpensive. For that amount, you’ll get 2 GB of RAM, a 60 GB storage space, unlimited bandwidth, 3 IP addresses and an SSL certificate. Basically, you’ll get an additional 1 GB of RAM and 20 GB of HDD space, for about $5 more.
There are two other larger plans as we move up the scale. For £19.99 (27.80 USD) per month, you’ll get the Deluxe plan, which offers more than you would at the previous hosting companies I’ve mentioned. For that amount of money you get 4 GB of Ram, 120 GB of hard disk space, unlimited bandwidth, 3 IP addresses and a free SSL certificate.
Finally, there’s the Ultimate plan, which is the most expensive and offers the most server resources. It costs £24.99 (34.75 USD) per month. It will give you 8 GB of Ram, 240 GB of HDD space, unlimited bandwidth, 3 dedicated IP addresses and a free SSL certificate. Needless to say that this is a quite powerful VPS server, so you should first make sure that you’ll use it to the fullest before you start using it.
Overall, GoDaddy is definitely a company that’s worth checking out if you want a cost effective solution for your new VPS server.
KnownHost is a privately owned American hosting company. They have 15 years of web-hosting experience, as they claim. The company’s CEO is Justin Sauers who owns other hosting companies as well. With numerous hosting brands, he can easily cover all the needs of the hosting market. He’s a guy with a winning strategy and some winning companies. One of them is KnownHost, which covers VPS hosting solutions.
KnownHost focuses mainly on Managed VPS and managed dedicated hosting. They allow their clients to leverage the power of their own servers without a technical background. KnownHost’s employees are always working on optimizing the servers and providing the best experience to their customers, which I find very exciting. You don’t have to know how to install an operating system or configure a VPS or a dedicated server to leverage its benefits.
KnownHost has been known (pun intended) to provide a very solid and satisfying performance. Their servers don’t suffer from any downtime, so you can expect the uptime to be 99.99% throughout an entire year. They have about 200 servers and numerous backups in case anything fails. The company’s experts are monitoring the servers 24/7, to ensure that all of them are working in correct order and boasting the speed and reliability that their clients require. They’ll also make plenty of backups of their websites, as an additional security measure. To make it easy for their users to handle their servers, KnownHost has a variety of different control panels to choose from. You can have whichever suits your needs and whichever you can handle most easily.
It’s hard to get overwhelmed with KnownHost’s services. You can find plenty of downloadable resources on the company’s site, that you can learn from. You can also reach their staff 24/7, in case you have any questions. It is important to know that the company’s support representatives aren’t necessarily near the data center. A lot of them are spread all around the world and it’s hard to know which advisor you’re connected to at the moment. But that is by no means bad.
So far, I didn’t come across any negative news or reviews regarding this company, so it seems that they’re safe to try. You’ll have a 30-day money back guarantee, during which you can try their services and get a full refund if you’re not satisfied.
KnownHost’s managed VPS hosting plans are targeted at users who have already outgrown their shared hosting plans and need a serious upgrade. KnownHost offers four different hosting plans, to satisfy every customer’s exact needs. They allow each of their plans to be further customized with further upgrades, depending on what the user requires. Also, they have made them easy for any kind of client to use, which is awesome.
Their first plan the MVPS-1 is quite reasonable. It costs $28 per month, providing 2 CPU cores, 2GB of RAM, 50 GB of SSD storage, 2 TB of premium bandwidth and 2 IP addresses. You’ll also get a WHM/cPanel or DirectAdmin, depending on what you require.
The second plan, the MVPS-2 costs $49 per month. It provides 2 CPU cores, 4 GB of RAM, 100 GB of SSD storage, 3 TB of premium bandwidth and 2 IP addresses.
The third plan the MVPS-3 comes at $63 per month, offering 4 CPU cores, 6 GB RAM, 150 GB of SSD storage, 4 TB of premium bandwidth and 2 IP addresses. This is quite an amazing amount of resources that you would have to pay $100 for at other companies.
Finally, there’s the MVPS-4 plan which will provide you with a beast of a virtual private server for $80.50 per month. It will have 6 CPU cores, 8 GB of RAM, 200 GB of SSD storage, 5 TB of premium bandwidth and 2 IP addresses.
As far as I’m concerned, KnownHost is a quite trustworthy company with fast and responsive servers and a good customer support team. Their prices are also very reasonable, so you can rest assured that the upgrade you’re going to purchase will only elevate your website’s success, not cause frustration.
There you have it. With more technologies hitting the web-hosting scene every year, prices are steadily dropping. Thanks to this, you can upgrade your online business to the next level in a pretty cost effective manner. You don’t have to pay more than $20 – $30 per month to break out of the limitations of shared hosting. So, it’s time to upgrade to VPS if your site is getting a large amount of traffic every month.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and that we have helped you learn something new and interesting today!