How to Choose the Best VPS Hosting
Before we take a look into the features and packages of popular VPS hosting services, it’s vital to understand what actually VPS hosting is and whether your website needs it or not. We’ll also show you a few other popular hosting options available in the market and explain how they differ from VPS hosting.
What is VPS Hosting?
A Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting is an in-between solution for sites that are either resource heavy or attract a significant amount of traffic. A VPS hosting gives you more control and flexibility than a shared hosting server without the high costs of leasing an entire server for your sole use.
VPS is basically an independent partition of a physical server. With virtualization, it creates multiple virtual partitions of a physical server in a way that you can effectively control your own resources and configure them the way you want.
VPS hosting could be the best choice in the following cases.
- Control and flexibility: You need more control and flexibility than shared hosting but can’t justify having your own server.
- Scalability: You need a scalable hosting environment, which enables you to increase the size based on your evolving needs.
- Multiple control panels: You need to set up multiple control panel accounts for multiple websites so that you can easily manage the files and sites the way you want.
Keep in mind that great control also comes with greater responsibility, so you’ll need to possess technical skills to administrate and maintain a server on your own or you need to have someone on your team who can handle it.
The good news is that web hosting companies also offer managed VPS hosting that doesn’t require you to possess the technical skills to administrate a server.
Although VPS hosting has its own advantages, it’s not the right solution for every website owners. For instance, beginners don’t need the flexibility and scalability that a VPS can offer. And for sites that attract extremely high traffic than a VPS can handle, leasing an entire server could be the right solutions.
Before you jump into choose a VPS hosting plan, it’s worth taking a moment to understand other hosting options available in the market and how they differ from VPS hosting.
VPS Hosting vs. Shared Hosting
Shared hosting is the best option for beginner level users who don’t want more control or resources similar to what VPS hosting offer.
Shared hosting is the cheapest hosting option available in the market, which makes it the most popular hosting service among personal and small website owners. With shared hosting, you share resources with other users hosted on the same server but there’s nothing to be concerned because no other users can see or access your site files.
While shared hosting doesn’t offer you the flexibility like VPS, it still comes with all the necessary features you need to build a small website or blog. It also allows you to install different types of software for building a site.
If you have minimal traffic and are looking for an affordable hosting solution that’s easy to maintain, shared hosting could be the best bet. The best part is that you can always upgrade to VPS hosting without hassle as your site grows.
VPS Hosting vs. Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting could be the best solution for those who want to run a resource heavy WordPress site or site that attracts heavy traffic. Left unoptimized, WordPress could consume a lot of your resources, which necessitates the need to operate a WordPress site in an optimized, managed hosting environment that ensures high performance.
Wondering what makes VPS differ from managed WordPress hosting?
Obviously, with managed WordPress hosting, you can operate only a WordPress site. But the main difference is that VPS gives you endless opportunities to configure the server the way you want but you have to manage it on your own. Whereas with managed WordPress hosting, you can operate WordPress sites without worrying about maintaining a server. Out of the box, the server offers a highly optimized and secure environment to run blazing fast WordPress sites without having you to mess with system administration tasks.
VPS Hosting vs. Dedicated Server Hosting
Dedicated server hosting is the best choice if you want to lease an entire server for your sole use. As you’re leasing an entire server, you get full control over it and its configurations.
Here’s the difference between VPS and dedicated server.
Unlike VPS, dedicated server lets you choose the equipment, including the RAM, hard drive and processor used in the server. As 100 percent of the server’s resources are allocated to your site, it costs more than VPS hosting. However, a dedicated server hosting is the best hosting option for you if you don’t want to share resources with other websites any means.
Every website doesn’t need the bells and whistles offered by a dedicated server but choosing it instead of VPS is the right decision in following conditions.
- Your website’s gaining rapid traction among your audience so you think your site might outgrow your existing hosting service in near future.
- You want to host large files that require extensive amounts of storage space and bandwidth.
- You need to process resource-heavy scripts and applications than a VPS server could handle.
With a dedicated server hosting, you don’t have to worry about other sites slowing down your site. Of course, you can scale up your VPS, but there’s always a limit for the resources you’ll have access to this type of hosting.
Factors to Consider When Choosing VPS Hosting
Now that you have an idea about different hosting options available in the market, we’ll take a look at factors that should be non-negotiable in any VPS hosting plan.
It’s a no-brainer that when choosing a web hosting server, you need to choose the one that offers maximum uptime. While no host can provide 100% uptime guarantee (some hosts even promise it though), anything below 99.9% is unreliable.
There are a lot of factors that can affect your web hosting server’s uptime such as:
- Security threats
- Hardware failures
- Natural disaster
- Human error
- Backup disk corruption
- Power outage
Some hosting offers refund if they fail to meet their uptime guarantee, but that doesn’t cut it because every single second of downtime is going to cost you visitors, sales and revenue.
As Google continues to emphasize page speed on their algorithm, it goes without saying you can’t rely on a web hosting server that compromises on page speed. Page speed can have a significant impact on your overall online business.
For example, studies reveal that your visitors expect your site to be loaded in 2 seconds or less. And if it fails to meet their expectations, they’ll abandon yours and likely go to your competitors’ sites.
If you want to have a blazing fast website, the most important thing you need to consider is choosing a hosting provider that doesn’t compromise on speed. In fact, it doesn’t matter how well you optimize your site for boosting page speed unless you’re on a fast web hosting server, your optimization tactics won’t help you.
When you’re reading the best VPS hosting reviews, you’ll need to have a basic understanding of what features you could expect as standard from the outset.
- RAM: 1 GB to 8 GB
- Disk storage: 30 GB to 240 GB
- Operating system options: CentOS, Ubuntu, or Debian operating system.
Pricing for VPS hosting services is set primarily based on RAM and allotted disk storage. Based on your requirements, it can be tricky to compare different pricing options provided by different hosting companies.
Some hosts, for example like Dreamhost, offer as low as 1 GB RAM and 30 GB storage in their basic plan whereas other hosts like HostGator provide 2 GB RAM and 120 GB disk space.
That means, rather than making a blind comparison of different pricing plans offered by popular hosting providers, you need to keep an eye on important parameters like RAM and disk storage in each plan. Then figure out how each plan resonates with your requirements.
You never know when you’re going to get in trouble with your web hosting server. As your visitors expect your site to be up around the clock, you need to ensure that your hosting provider offers 24/7 support with your hosting plan.
24/7 technical support is a standard feature in the web hosting industry. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when comparing the technical support:
- Support modes: Ensure whether your hosting provider offers free support via live chat, phone and email throughout the day.
- Response time: Understand on average, how much time it takes to get a response and get your request resolved when a support ticket is opened.
- Documentation: Having an extensive documentation is compulsory. With a great knowledge base, you don’t have to waste your time on live chat because in most cases, you can get it sorted out on your own.
Having helped over thousands of users to choose the right web hosting account for their needs, we’ve found that people used to ask the same sort of questions again and again. This is why we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions, so you can find the best VPS hosting service for your site.
How does VPS hosting work?
With VPS hosting, a physical server is divided into several virtual compartments. While several websites may be hosted on the same physical server, a single compartment would be allotted for your use, which makes it more controllable, flexible and reliable than a shared hosting.
What type of technical skills do I need to manage VPS hosting?
With a fully managed VPS hosting, you only need to know the basic knowledge of file transfer and application management since you get an easy to use custom control panel.
With unmanaged VPS hosting, you need to have a deeper knowledge of administrating and managing a server for optimized performance.
What are the differences between unmanaged and managed VPS hosting?
With managed VPS hosting, your hosting company will be responsible for keeping your server environment secure, configuring it and doing routine maintenance.
With unmanaged VPS hosting, you’ll need to have the technical expertise to operate your hosting server. You’ll also be responsible for server admin tasks, configuration, routine maintenance and keeping the environment secure.
How do I know whether my site needs VPS hosting?
If your site is rapidly gaining traction among your audience and you think you’ll soon outgrow your shared hosting server, it’s probably the right time to switch over to VPS hosting.
How much does it cost to start a site on VPS hosting?
VPS hosting plans typically start at as low as $15 per month. The best thing is you can easily scale up your VPS server as you grow.
What type of software can I install on VPS hosting?
Unlike shared hosting, you have full control over the software you use on your VPS hosting account except for the operating system. If you need even more control over your server and want to decide the operating system as well, you might need to choose a dedicated server hosting.
Is my VPS hosting scalable?
Absolutely! You can easily scale up the capacity of your VPS to meet your needs. If you’re anticipating growth in near future, you can easily switch over to larger servers.
Why does hosting support matter?
When it comes to website hosting, you never know when you’re going to get in trouble.
In fact, just because a web hosting provider has a satisfactory uptime score, doesn’t necessarily mean your site will be 100% secure and up around the clock.
When you find any issue with your hosting server, you’ll want to contact your hosting provider instantly and get it resolved in no time. It can only be done if your hosting provider has an excellent track record of resolving support requests with no trouble.
Do I get a dedicated IP address with my VPS account?
Most VPS hosting providers provide you with at least one IP address that you can use to run your own web, email and FTP servers.
How many emails can I send out per hour from my VPS server?
While there is not an official limit, it’s often advised to limit 500 emails per hour or you might risk being your IP blacklisted.