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Best VPS hosting providers 2021: how to pick the right plan?

Best VPS hosting

In this post, you’ll find the 6 best VPS hosting providers ranked based on their testing results. In the end, there’s also a section with tips to help you choose the right one.

Did your website get so needy that shared hosting can no longer handle it? Well done! It means you did something right. However, while shared hosting is the most commonly used form of hosting, it can only take you so far. That’s where VPS intervenes.

VPS (Virtual Private Server) is the middle ground between shared and dedicated hosting. 

This means that while your account shares the same physical server with several other users, you get the resources separated thanks to virtualization. This makes your instance work as if it’s a dedicated server – much more powerful and flexible than shared hosting.

Why is that good?

The price can get pretty low, and more server power can be added easily. It’s a flexible option for medium to big projects.

But high-quality VPS requires professional management. That’s why I did extensive testing and research to find the providers that are doing the best job. So without any further ado, let’s get straight into it.

Best VPS hosting: ranked 

  1. Hostinger – best VPS hosting overall
  2. Liquid Web – best premium class VPS
  3. ScalaHosting – best beginner-friendly VPS provider
  4. DreamHost – affordable VPS hosting services
  5. A2 Hosting – best VPS for developers
  6. InterServer – best flexible month-to-month VPS
  7. InMotion Hosting – enterprise-level VPS solution

Also, if you don’t know how to pick the right option for you, feel free to jump to the bottom of this article to find out what’s important when choosing a VPS host.

1. Hostinger

Hostinger
Price$3.95/mo
FeaturesSemi-managed, VPS control panel, auto-installer
Uptime100%
Best forBudget-friendly and flexible hosting

Hostinger is known for high-quality services at incredibly low prices. The provider’s semi-managed VPS hosting can be used for anything from online stores to web-based apps. The performance is great, and the provider ensures ease of use. Plus, full server control is in your hands.

Apart from the low entry price ($3.95/mo), one of  Hostinger’s primary selling points when it comes to VPS hosting is that it’s semi-managed. You get full root access and a VPS control panel.

This means that you can go both into the deep-end with custom configurations and control your virtual server just by clicking around. You can reboot it, power it on and off, install a new operating system or a web script, trace stats, and you can change VPS hosting resources in an instant. Don’t worry, there’s a ton of resources in Hostinger’s knowledge base just in case you’re feeling lost.

What does this mean to you? If you are a pro developer, there’s enough space for custom configurations. If you’re a regular user and VPS sounds scary – Hostinger is easy enough to use on its own.

As for performance, Hostinger is very reliable and stable. 

Over more than 2 weeks, my Hostinger server stayed up and running the entire time. 0 outages whatsoever.

Hostinger VPS uptime and response time

The response time is also very stable, averaging at 540ms. The fluctuations between min and max times are very small, with no high peaks. This means that VPS is well-balanced and maintained.

By the way, you can also select where your account will be hosted from 7 data center locations: the US, UK, Netherlands, Lithuania, Indonesia, Singapore, and Brazil. This way, you’ll get optimal performance results for your audience particularly.

So relatively easy to use, powerful, and reliable, Hostinger tops this list as the best virtual server hosting provider. But what about the price?

Hostinger pricing

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the cheapest VPS provider of them all? That would be Hostinger. Its VPS plans start at only $3.95/month. I’m willing to bet that you won’t find anything cheaper than this. Even so, there are enough resources to go around.

Hostinger VPS pricing

There are 6 VPS plans, and all of them come with a dedicated IP, full root access, a 100Mb/s network, and support. What makes each plan different is the server resources:

  • VPS 1 ($3.95/month) – 1 core, 1GB RAM, 20 GB SSD storage, and 1TB bandwidth
  • VPS 2 ($8.95/month) – 2 cores, 2 GB RAM, 40GB SSD storage, and 2TB bandwidth
  • VPS 3 ($12/95/month) – 3 cores, 3 GB RAM, 60GB SSD storage, and 3TB bandwidth
  • VPS 4 ($15.95/month) – 4 cores, 4 GB RAM, 80GB SSD storage, and 4TB bandwidth
  • VPS 5 ($23.95/month) – 6 cores, 6 GB RAM, 120GB SSD storage, and 6TB bandwidth
  • VPS 6 ($38.99/month) – 8 cores, 8 GB RAM, 160GB SSD storage, and 8TB bandwidth
Best Value

My advice is to pick the cheapest or second cheapest plan and scale as needed – this is easy, thanks to the VPS technology. Also, even the most expensive plan is cheaper than some providers’ mid-tier offers, so scaling is affordable.
Check Hostinger Pricing Now

At the same time, to get the advertised price, you’ll need to stick with Hostinger for 48-months. 24-month, 12-month, and even monthly plans are available, but monthly rates for shorter terms are higher.

Overall, I’d say that Hostinger does a wonderful job in the VPS department. The prices are low, the VPS control panel makes it easy to use, and the performance is better than I would have expected for the money I spent. 

Pros

  • Cheap prices
  • Data center location choice
  • Reliable 100% uptime

Cons

  • Prepayment is needed

2. Liquid Web

Liquid Web
Price$15/mo
FeaturesFully managed, free SSL, automated backups, control panel
Uptime100%
Best forMission critical projects

If you’re looking for the best-in-class VPS, Liquid Web is the one to cater to large-scale projects and businesses. It offers fully managed services with its own InterWorx control panel. It’s a powerful option for mission-critical projects. Plus, the 24/7 customer support guarantees to reply in 59 seconds.

Generally, VPS is complicated. But Liquid Web promises ease of use and delivers. It sets up the server for you. You can do as little as just install WordPress and go on with your website creation. Yet full configuration possibilities are also there. So depending on your needs and skill level – Liquid Web has it all. Sure, if this is your first time using a VPS service, a learning curve is to be expected. But it’s very much manageable. 

InterWorx control panel is included, but you can also opt for cPanel or Plesk at an additional charge.

Another point for Liquid Web lies with its performance. The provider has a 100% uptime agreement backed by SLA (service-level agreement). And it delivers. Counting 3 weeks, there were zero outages.

Liquid Web uptime and response time

The average response time was 521ms, which is slightly better than Hostinger’s. It was also very stable – no higher peaks at all. 

So in all, Liquid Web delivers top-of-the-class performance. Combine it with professional server management, and you have a winner to host your most important projects.

Liquid Web pricing

Surprisingly, Liquid Web is not the most expensive option on the list. Prices can get as low as $15/month with introductory discounts. 

Liquid Web managed VPS pricing

All Liquid Web’s plans include 10TB of bandwidth, free SSL, DDoS protection, firewalls, and monitoring. Your server can be configured completely according to your needs. But there are also 4 pre-set plans that you can choose from:

  • 2GB RAM ($15/month) – 2 CPUs and 40GB of SSD storage space.
  • 4GB RAM ($25/month) – 4 CPUs and 100GB of storage space.
  • 8GB RAM ($35/month) – the number of CPUs goes up to 8, and the SSD storage space to 150GB.
  • 16GB RAM ($95/month) – the number of CPUs is still 8, but you get 200GB of SSD storage.

I should also mention that Liquid Web offers 4 Bundle & Save plans as well. That’s the same plan, but you get additional site security, premium business mail, and 100GB storage for backups. You can get this for $5/mo extra to the 2GB RAM bundle plan.

Best Value

Just like with everything – if you don’t know how much you need, pick the cheapest plan and scale as needed. Other than that, the Bundle & Save addons are very helpful if you’re building a business website or an online store.
Check Liquid Web Pricing Now

At the same time, keep in mind that the low prices are introductory. You can choose them with 1-month, 12-month, and 24-month billing cycles. But when it comes the time to get your second bill – the monthly rates will be higher for each. 

In general, Liquid Web is an easy-to-use and affordable VPS hosting provider. InterWorx makes it easy to manage the server, and the performance is reliable. Plus, you’re free to scale it up and down as you see fit.

Pros

  • 100% uptime agreement
  • Big introductory discount
  • 59 second live chat response time guarantee

Cons

  • Higher renewal prices

3. ScalaHosting

ScalaHosting
Price$9.95/mo
FeaturesFully managed, free SSL, free domain, control panel
Uptime100%
Best forBeginners and small business sites

My guess is not everyone heard about ScalaHosting, and you know what they say. It’s always the quiet ones. With managed VPS and its very own SPanel control panel, ScalaHosting is among the easiest to use VPS hosting services. The prices are affordable too. In fact, the provider aims to make VPS an option not only for big projects but smaller websites and beginner users too.

VPS is often dreaded by beginners as it’s a more complex hosting solution. But with full server management and a straightforward control panel, ScalaHosting is a great transition into the powerful world of VPS.

Let me admit this – I’m not really good at setting up VPSs. It always takes a big chunk of time, and more often than not, I have to put the tail between my legs and go ask for help. 

And with ScalaHosting, I had absolutely 0 issues. Everything, from adding a domain to installing apps went smoothly. Sure, the server was already pre-configured, but that’s the main attraction, in all honesty. So if you think VPS is scary – ScalaHosting might be the one for you. It will cure your fear in 5 minutes.

And the performance is competitive too.

2 weeks and counting – 0 outages and the perfect 100% uptime score. 

Scala Hosting uptime and response time

As for response time, it beats both Hostinger and Liquid Web, averaging at 443ms. There was one higher peak when all the performance tests were performed, but overall, it’s very stable too.

The main takeaway here is that ScalaHosting is among the best VPS server hosting providers for beginners. It’s easy to use, and its performance is excellent.

ScalaHosting pricing

ScalaHosting managed VPS starts at $9.95/mo with a monthly or 3-year subscription. Just keep in mind that renewals are higher, so it’s best to pick longer to delay the next bill.

ScalaHosting VPS plan and pricing configuration

One of the best things about ScalaHosting is that it’s customizable. The provider allows you to build your own managed VPS according to your needs. You can choose from 1 to 24 cores, from 2GB to 128GB of RAM, and from 50GB to 2000GB of SSD storage.

No matter the server resources, all plans include a free domain, SSL certificates, the SPanel, daily backups, and unmetered bandwidth. That’s an all-included offer. No other expenses are needed to start your own website.

Best Value

The cheapest plan provides more than enough power and space to start a small-to-medium-sized website. Think of a popular blog or an eCommerce site. The good thing is, you can scale as needed.
Check ScalaHosting Pricing Now

By the way, the cheapest price is available with the monthly or 36-month plan. However, it will increase with your second bill.

The bottom line is that ScalaHosting would make an excellent option if you’re looking for a reliable VPS hosting provider that’s easy to use and doesn’t drain your bank account right from the start. It includes a full package for website start, and the performance is great.

Pros

  • Fully managed and beginner-friendly service
  • Affordable entry price
  • All-inclusive packages

Cons

  • High renewal prices

4. DreamHost 

DreamHost
Price$10/mo
FeaturesManged service, control panel, professional email
Uptime100%
Best forSmall business websites

While DreamHost is mostly known for its flawless managed WordPress hosting, it does offer some excellent VPS hosting options as well. With the ease of use, affordable prices, and decent performance, DreamHost deserves its place among the best VPS providers on the market.

When your website outgrows shared hosting, but you can’t quite handle the technicalities of VPS hosting, DreamHost is ready to jump in and help you out. It’s a managed VPS with updates, performance, and security in the hands of the provider.

You get a custom control panel to manage everything website-related, while DreamHost takes care of the backend. You won’t get root access with this solution – it’s designed with beginners in mind. So minimal effort is required to get the website up and running.

Along with ease of use, DreamHost delivers good performance too. 

I was promised 100% uptime, which I got. 2 weeks and counting, there was 0 downtime on my server.

DreamHost VPS uptime and response time

The average response time of 710ms, though, could have been better. It’s just average and nothing to hype about. At the same time, there’s a tendency for improvement.

Generally, DreamHost is best for small business websites that need more power than shared hosting can provide. It’s easy to use, so you won’t have to hire a developer to set everything up.

DreamHost Pricing

DreamHost keeps things affordable. There are 4 plans, and the prices vary between $10/month to $80/month. Plus, DreamHost keeps its prices relatively low for shorter subscriptions too, which is rare in the industry.

DreamHost VPS pricing

Whatever plan you choose, you get access to DreamHost’s control panel, unlimited domains and traffic, an SSL certificate, and unlimited email accounts. Of course, if you need more resources, feel free to upgrade. 

  • Basic ($10/month) – 1GB RAM and 30GB SSD storage
  • Business ($20/month) – 2GB RAM and 60GB SSD storage
  • Professional ($40/month) – 4GB RAM and 120GB SSD storage
  • Enterprise ($80/month) – 8GB RAM and 240GB SSD storage
Best Value

VPS Basic is a great option to get accustomed to your needs. It can easily fit in a small high-traffic site. Other than that, the rest of the plans are great if you need to scale up.
Check DreamHost Pricing Now

Now, just as you’re accustomed, know that the prices above apply when you purchase a 3-year subscription. Nevertheless, even if DreamHost adopted the whole “the shorter the subscription, the higher the price policy”, the prices don’t actually go that high. 

Take VPS Basic for instance. If you want to pay for it on a month-by-month basis, you spend $15/month, which is not that bad. Other providers double or triple the cost. 

So pricing considered – DreamHost is a transparent and affordable option to start.

Overall, DreamHost is among the best VPS server options for beginner users. It’s a managed service that won’t make your hair go grey. The pricing is also good for the features offered, while the performance is reliable.  

Pros

  • Cheap entry plan
  • Easy to use control panel
  • 100% uptime guarantee

Cons

  • Scaling can get expensive

5. A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting
Price$4.99/mo
FeaturesManaged and unmanaged hosting available, full root access, enterprise-level hardware
Uptime99.98%
Best forProfessional users and developers

A2 Hosting provides both managed and unmanaged VPS hosting. Unmanaged hosting is an affordable developer-friendly option with full root access. Meanwhile, the managed option is designed for regular folks like me. Yet, ease of use will come at a price.

When you opt for A2 Hosting’s unmanaged VPS services, you get a butt-naked server. No interface, no maintenance, no nothing. That’s why beginners shouldn’t go anywhere near it. I always recommend this provider to advanced users. It affordably starts at $4.99/mo.

The managed VPS services, however, are easy to use. A2 Hosting handles the maintenance, security, and network performance. You pretty much get shared hosting-level ease of use with dedicated server capabilities. All you have to do is create and grow your website. For this, you’ll pay at least $39.99/mo.

But one thing that separates A2 from the rest is its Turbo-label plans. These more expensive and more powerful plans are hosted on enterprise-level gear. That’s NVMe AMD EPYC servers with much faster CPUs.

And it delivered. The average response time was 253ms, which is supersonic fast compared to the results of other providers’ bare servers.

A2 Hosting VPS uptime and response time

At the same time, A2 Hosting had 1 outage that lasted 5 minutes. That’s 99.98% uptime over around 2 weeks. Which is great, but still – the first provider to have any downtime on this list.

The take from this is that A2 Hosting is a very flexible provider, and it has performance-focused plans. Just be careful as unmanaged VPS will require tech know-how, but a managed option is available too.

A2 Hosting pricing

If you decide to choose A2 Hosting’s managed VPS services, I advise you to put one of your kidneys on Craigslist. While unmanaged service is cheap, starting at $4.99/mo, beginners should opt for managed VPS, starting at $39.99/mo.

A2 Hosting VPS pricing

I personally think that A2 Hosting is the option for developers, and beginners should look at other alternatives. Liquid Web, ScalaHosting, and even DreamHost are more affordable and easy to use.

So let’s focus on the unmanaged plans.

The plans can go from $4.99 to $79.99/mo, depending on the level of resources that you need.

  • Standard plans go from $4.99 to $11.99 a month. The resources range from 1 to 4GB RAM, 150 TO 450GB SSD storage, 1 to 4 CPU cores, and 2TB to 4TB of bandwidth.
  • Turbo plans range from $35.99 to $79.99 a month. They come with even more resources: from 2 to 8 CPU cores, 8GB to 32GB of RAM, 150GB to 450GB NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) storage, and 2TB to 8TB of bandwidth.
Best Value

For general use, standard plans offer more than generous server resources. But if you need the fastest performance possible, Turbo plans are the best-in-the-industry.
Check A2 Hosting Pricing Now

But once again, we’re getting into pricing need-to-knows. First, the shorter the subscription, the higher the fee. However, A2 Hosting doesn’t do that whole big jump thing. For instance, the monthly subscription for Runway 1 ($4.99/month) is just $2 more than the 3-year subscription.

The renewal fees, on the other hand, are almost double. And sometimes more than double. It depends on the plan. Runway 1, for instance, costs $8.99/month on renewal. That may not seem much, but if you purchase a more expensive plan, trust me, it’s a lot.

So, it all depends on your needs. Generally, you can score some cheap deals on unmanaged service, but A2 tends to get expensive in the long run.

Overall, A2 Hosting caters to clients from all experience backgrounds. However, it will cost you a lot more if you’re a beginner. Advanced users, on the other hand, will get a lot of resources and excellent performance at a relatively low price.

Pros

  • Very cheap unmanaged plans
  • Completely customizable
  • cPanel with managed plans

Cons

  • Higher renewal prices
  • Managed plans are expensive

6. InterServer

InterServer
Price$6/mo
FeaturesUnmanaged service, full root access, DirectAdmin control panel
Uptime100%
Best forFlexible month-to-month hosting

InterServer is the most flexible option on the list that allows you to configure the server on your own and pay monthly. This makes it an affordable and scalable option. The catch is that it’s an unmanaged service mainly catering to professionals.

InterServer comes with full root access for full configuration. So it’s like having your own server, albeit remote.

Also, you can add a control panel – cPanel is paid, but free alternatives such as DirectAdmin can be pre-installed for you. This makes it slightly more friendly VPS hosting but not entirely beginner-friendly.

As for performance, this is where things get a bit tricky. When I tested InterServer, the performance was reliable with its 100% uptime. 

InterServer VPS uptime and response time

The average response time, however, was a complete bust. Nobody looks at a response time of 1.01s and says: “hey, that’s great!” Of course, this is a bare server with no configurations on it – you’re free to optimize.

So InterServer is a bare-knuckles solution for tech-savvy people who know how to manage a server. It’s reliable, but speed optimizations will be needed.

InterServer pricing

InterServer pricing structure is very simple – it’s $6/mo for 1 slice. One slice is 1 CPU, 2GB RAM, 30GB SSD, and 1TB of bandwidth. You can multiply the resources as needed.

InterServer VPS pricing

Generally speaking, that’s an average level of resources you can get for a very cheap price.

More to add, if you buy 4 slices or more, InterServer will add server management as a bonus. The tech staff will help you with security, issues, and updates upon request.

Best Value

So for the best value, the smartest decision is to go with 4 slices or more. But if you don’t need that many resources, choose as many slices as you need – there’s no point in paying for what you don’t use.
Check InterServer Pricing Now

Plus, the conditions are very good – it’s billed monthly at the same rate for as long as you needed. This commitment-free option is very budget-friendly.

The bottom line is that InterServer is among the most flexible and cheapest choices, thanks to the month-to-month billing. It might not be the fastest service out there, but you do get full control over it.

Pros

  • Free control panel included
  • Month-to-month billing
  • Straightforward and scalable plans

Cons

  • Slow server response times

7. InMotion Hosting

InMotion Hosting
Price$17.99/mo
FeaturesFully managed, cPanel, free domain, SSL
Uptime100%
Best forBusinesses and agencies

InMotion Hosting is a business-level VPS provider focusing on larger projects and websites. It takes care of server management and gives you an easy way to manage the website. At the same time, prices are on the steeper side. 

A major selling point for InMotion is that it uses cPanel. This control panel is included by default with all VPS plans. cPanel is perhaps the most liked control panel you can find – it’s easy, functional, and fast. Beginners don’t have problems with it, and pros like how functional it is.

There’s also Web Host Manager that you can use to slice your VPS even more and provide hosting for your clients yourself. This makes the provider excellent for agencies and developers.

As for performance, I have no complaints. InMotion Hosting delivered 100% uptime over more than 2 weeks.

InMotion VPS uptime and response time

As for the response time, it averaged at 585ms, which is on par with other hosts on this list. At the same time, look at that straight line! InMotion response times were as stable as it gets, fluctuating within the 100ms range.

In all, InMotion is very reliable and stable – exactly what you should expect from an enterprise-level host.

With the ease of use and reliable performance, InMotion is yet another VPS provider that delivers what it promises. However, it’s best to reserve it for business needs as pricing is not the friendliest.

InMotion Hosting pricing

InMotion Hosting has 4 plans, and they start at $17.99/month. This looks quite affordable, but renewals are higher. 

InMotion Hosting VPS pricing

All plans include a free SSL certificate, a dedicated IP, free website transfers, security configurations, and server setup. cPanel and Web Host Manager are included as well. Now, if the entry-level plan is not enough, feel free to upgrade.

  • 2GB RAM ($17.99/month) – 2 CPU cores, 2GB RAM, 45GB SSD storage, and 4TB bandwidth.
  • 4GB RAM ($32.99/month) – 4 CPU cores, 4GB RAM,75GB SSD storage, and 5TB bandwidth.
  • 6GB RAM ($52.99/month) – 6 CPU cores, 6GB RAM, 105GB SSD storage, and 6TB bandwidth.
  • 8GB RAM ($72.99/month) – 8 CPU cores, 8GB RAM, 140GB SSD storage, and 7TB bandwidth.
Best Value

The packages are very powerful in terms of CPU and RAM, yet storage could be bigger. The best bet is to pick the second plan (conveniently recommended by InMotion) if you’re planning a big project.
Check InMotion Pricing Now

However, there are conditions.

Usually, the shorter the term, the lower the price. But no, InMotion wanted to be special here. Each subscription has different monthly rates, with 6-month being the cheapest. 

Renewal fees go higher too. If you renew the 2GB RAM, for instance, you’ll pay full price, which is a whopping $66.99/month. My wallet hurts just by writing this. 

Needless to say, InMotion is pricey. Even so, it targets large-scale projects that need this sort of power and management tools. 

The bottom line is that InMotion is not your everyday VPS hosting provider. It’s a business option to help you scale.

Pros

  • Fully managed and all inclusive service
  • cPanel control panel
  • High server security

Cons

  • Premium-level prices
  • Complex pricing structure

Best VPS hosting: final recommendations

Good VPS will make your web life easier – with the right configurations, it’s a powerful and flexible option at quite affordable prices. And I’m pleasantly surprised how many good options are there. As a quick recap, here are our top providers and their main strengths:

  • Hostinger is the best VPS hosting provider overall: it’s easy to use, delivers good performance, and prices are very low. 
  • Liquid Web is a premium managed VPS option for mission-critical projects. Great performance, ease of use, and big introductory discount make it very attractive.
  • ScalaHosting is an all-inclusive VPS choice for beginners. It’s an affordable managed VPS with domain, SSL, and control panel included.
  • DreamHost is a great middle-ground for when you need to scale from shared hosting. It’s a managed and affordable service.
  • A2 Hosting is a speed-focused host if you pick one of the Turbo plans. Managed service is expensive, so it’s an option for pros who can manage their own VPS.
  • InterServer is the most flexible web hosting with cheap month-to-month billing. Servers are configurable, and you can opt for a free control panel.
  • InMotion Hosting is a business and agency option. Generous resources, cPanel, and Web Host Manager make it excellent to host your clients’ websites.

How to choose the best VPS provider?

Choosing VPS is, first of all, choosing a quality service. Because VPS technology requires serious expertise to run well, one of the main signs that you’re picking a quality option is performance. For this, I monitor servers over a period of time to see how reliable (uptime) and stable (response time) they are. Then it all boils down to your skill level, project needs, and budget.

Virtual Private Server performance

Because you get resources dedicated entirely to your account, there should be no issues in terms of how much traffic your host can handle. That’s left to the CPU, RAM, and bandwidth that you get. So 2 main metrics in terms of performance remain uptime and response time.

  • Uptime shows how much (percentage) the server stays up. Ideally, it’s close to 100%. Everything below 99.91% should be questioned. Reliable providers guarantee at least 99.9% uptime and back it with their Service Level Agreements (SLA).
  • Response time shows how long servers take to respond to a request (just any “ping” sent their way). In this metric, I’m looking for stability and speed. The faster, the better, but everything up to 600ms is considered a good result on a bare server.

Of course, you can only see these metrics by monitoring the service. So you’d need to search VPS reviews (like this one right here). Or, you can see if providers have good money-back terms and try out the services yourself.

Ease of use: managed vs unmanaged VPS

While VPS is often regarded as a developers-only solution, there are ways to make it as simple as shared hosting. So what are your options here?

  • Unmanaged VPS: all you get is a bare server and SSH details to reach it. All the setups, from databases to security and applications, are in your hands. The server is managed through the console.
  • Semi-managed VPS: provider might or might not launch a server for you. In most cases, you’ll get the most basic setup and some sort of control panel. You get complete freedom in terms of server configuration, yet the server is ready for work from the moment the provider launches it for you.
  • Fully-managed VPS: provider launches and sets up a server for you, and you get a graphic interface to manage it. Usually, the control panel is split into two: server and website management. This is an option that even beginners can easily use with a tutorial or two by their side.

Quite naturally, the more server management you get, the bigger the price. At the same time, there are affordable managed VPS options like ScalaHosting. So consider your skills: do you have time and knowledge to manage VPS on your own, or do you need at least some help?

Project or website needs

Whether you host an app or a website, it will only be alive if it has enough server power. So before you pick a plan, you need to know how big of an appetite your project will have.

Here I compiled some examples and ideal starting points of each resource:

  • Storage space: it’s the easiest resource to know. The smallest of sites take up to 5GB, while regular eCommerce sites can eat up to 50GB easily. Web-based applications, membership sites, huge online stores – 200GB and more is not unheard of. 
  • Bandwidth: each visitor takes some amount of this resource, as the server has to transfer data back and forth with the visitor’s browser. It’s not difficult to calculate how much of it you need: Average page size (GB) x Average number of visitors x Average number of pages visited x 30 (number days in a month) = Bandwidth required in GB. In any case, most VPSs start at around 1TB, which is a lot.
  • CPU: it’s the main resource that shows how powerful the server is. It’s needed to process information so the apps on your server can keep running and visitors can get the website delivered to their browser windows. For the smallest of sites on shared hosting, not even a full CPU allocation is needed. But then again – it’s shared hosting on a server with many CPUs, so websites “take” as much as needed. A good place to start is 2 CPUs when it comes to VPS – it should be able to handle 100-200 visitors on the site simultaneously alongside running all the processes smoothly. 
  • RAM: this piece of hardware stores bits and pieces of data temporarily, so it can be delivered quickly. The server won’t need to send requests to the database to get data compiled and fetched. Imagine driving 100 miles through the city and the same 100 miles on a highway. RAM is a highway, and the more of it you have, the more you’ll drive on the highway. Basic WordPress sites need around 512 MB of RAM, while 1GB is the minimum for VPS to function properly. So again, the ideal starting place leaving some wiggle room is 2GB, from which you can scale as needed.

Usually, entry plans have enough resources for medium-sized eCommerce sites with medium levels of traffic. 

In the end, there are many options to get a service that suits your needs. So be critical about your skills, make sure that your chosen provider knows how to properly run VPS, and don’t pay for the resources that you don’t use. After all, the main VPS attraction is that you can start low and scale whenever needed easily.

Best VPS FAQs

Is VPS hosting reliable?

Yes, well-managed VPS hosting is very reliable. In fact, more reliable than any shared hosting you can get. That’s because you get dedicated server resources at all times, no need to share them with anyone.

Do I need VPS hosting?

If you’re are planning on starting a high-traffic or content-heavy website – VPS is a smart choice. The same goes if you need to upgrade your shared hosting plan to a more expensive one – everything above $10/mo for shared hosting is better of on VPS.

What’s the fastest VPS provider?

On this list, A2 Hosting is the fastest VPS provider. It has Turbo-labeled plans that come with significantly more server resources and are hosted on enterprise-grade hardware, making it the fastest option available.

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