This VPS hosting review explores the options for those who want to host websites on a virtual private server (VPS). Cloud computing is becoming a standard strategy for infrastructure nowadays and if your business is switching to offsite resources located in data centers, then ditching your own web server and moving to cloud hosting makes a lot of sense.

The concept of the virtual private server, or “virtual server,” offers you a remote server as though it was in your own offices. This virtual private server definition refers to the rental of space on a server rather than the rental of an entire server. Virtual private server software creates separate operating systems for each account so that it seems to each of the customers occupying space on it that they actually have an entire server to themselves.

Whether you are starting up a new website or reassessing the provision of existing sites, your VPS options are not just down to which virtual server provider to go with. VPS web hosting packages include all of the webserver software that you need to successfully run your site. So, there is more to VPS web hosting than just the rental of space on a remote server.

Managed VPS services go one step further. These include a team of experts to run the server’s software as well as the actual hardware and software.

So, rather than opting straight away for the big-name VPS providers, such as AWS, consider a specialized web VPS hosting provider for your web hosting solution. This hosting review focuses on those hosting options.

Why you need VPS hosting services

Virtual private servers are increasingly popular because they are less expensive than on-premises servers. You don’t have the cost of buying a server outright and you don’t need to provide secure premises, a regulated power supply, or environmental controls for it. A virtual server in a data center doesn’t require you to hire maintenance technicians and a managed service built around a VPS server cuts out all of the server management issues, such as ensuring constant uptime,? that you would face onsite.

The “software as a service” model provides all of the necessary software and services needed for a particular business function. Web hosting is one such area of operation and so VPS plans fit into the category of SaaS providers.

You can get a shared hosting plan, which means several customers have their web sites run from the same server with a standard list of software. A dedicated server hosting plan gives you an entire server to yourself. This gives you the advantage of being able to get down to the operating system and install your own software. An unmanaged VPS hosting service is a compromise between those two hosting options. It gives you the flexibility of dedicated hosting with full root access, but with lower costs that are much closer to those of a shared hosting plan. A managed VPS service gives you flexibility with support.?

When you need VPS hosting services

The constant need to reduce costs provides any business with its own web servers to consider switching over to a VPS provider. Competition from leaner new contender rivals needs to be met with more competitive cost structures.

Those new small businesses should also grasp the opportunities offered by VPS hosting companies. With a cloud VPS, a startup doesn’t need to buy hardware, doesn’t need to hire technicians, and doesn’t even need premises. A virtual office can rely on a VPS web server and other office software can also be provided by other specialist cloud SaaS providers.

The removal of the need for premises means that a new business can start out without any permanent staff and use home-based freelance human resources instead. Cloud VPS hosting providers contribute to a new business model.

The new business can get a website up and running with very few upfront costs. This is because VPS providers charge by subscription and don’t expect a deposit. So, all of the resources needed to run an e-commerce business can be accessed for a fraction of the purchase cost.

How to choose VPS hosting services

The prices of VPS hosting plans vary widely. The biggest influences on price are the amount of RAM and disk space needed, what software is included in the hosting plan, and whether a support team of technicians is bundled in with the VPS service.

The first thing you need to do before searching for a VPS hosting provider is to write down your minimum requirements in terms of RAM, CPU cores, storage space, software, and expertise. Once you know the minimum level of these server resources, you can start comparing prices. If one VPS provider includes extras that another does not, but still charges the same, then that VPS solution will probably be your winner. However, don’t shell out for a lot of services and features that you don’t need.

The best VPS hosting plans

In this VPS hosting review, we recommend the VPS hosting plans offered by the following six cloud VPS hosting providers that offer the best web hosting plans.

  1. InMotion Hosting
  2. Liquid Web
  3. A2 Hosting
  4. Bluehost
  5. HostGator
  6. Hostwinds

You can read more about these hosting options in the following sections.


 

1. InMotion Hosting

InMotion Hosting is a web hosting company that offers shared hosting plans, VPS hosting solutions, and dedicated server options. The company’s VPS services are provided by two cloud hosting plan categories: Managed VPS Hosting and Self-Managed Cloud VPS.

Managed VPS Hosting

The Managed VPS hosting plans of InMotion Hosting are VPS-1000HA-S, VPS-1000HA-S, and VPS-1000HA-S. All of these hosting plans include a free SSL certificate, options of Linux with a cPanel control panel, or a Windows server with the WHM control panel, root access, and free site migration. InMotion Hosting provides fast solid-state drives (SSD storage).

The difference between these hosting plans lies in the memory, storage space, and bandwidth each offers. Plan details are:

  • VPS-1000HA-S: 4 GB RAM, 75 GB storage space, and 4 TB of bandwidth
  • VPS-2000HA-S: 6 GB RAM, 150 GB storage space, and 5 TB of bandwidth
  • VPS-3000HA-S: 8 GB RAM, 260 GB storage space, and 6 TB of bandwidth

All three packages include NGINX load balancing software plus server management and security software, all of which get updated automatically. These managed services also include a team of technicians to run the virtual server. The support team is experienced in managing commonly used web server software, such as the WordPress CMS platform.

Self-Managed Cloud VPS

The Self-Managed Cloud VPS service, which can also be termed an unmanaged VPS plan, is available in eight variations:

  • cVPS-1: 1 GB RAM, 1 CPU core, 25 GB storage space, 1 TB of bandwidth??????????
  • cVPS-2: 2 GB RAM, 1 CPU core, 50 GB storage space, 2 TB of bandwidth?????????
  • cVPS-3: 3 GB RAM, 1 CPU core, 60 GB storage space, 2 TB of bandwidth
  • cVPS-4: 4 GB RAM, 2 CPU cores, 80 GB storage space, 4 TB of bandwidth
  • cVPS-6: 6 GB RAM, 3 CPU cores, 120 GB storage space, 4 TB of bandwidth
  • cVPS-8: 8 GB RAM, 4 CPU cores, 160 GB storage space, 5 TB of bandwidth
  • cVPS-16: 16 GB RAM, 6 CPU cores, 320 GB storage space, 6 TB of bandwidth
  • cVPS-32: 32 GB RAM, 8 CPU cores, 640 GB storage space, 7 TB of bandwidth

All of these plans include high availability through redundancy, creating 100 percent operational uptime, leaving you to choose the downtime for your maintenance routines. All Self-Managed Cloud VPS plans also include DDoS protection.

Pros

  • Free SSL certificate
  • 100% uptime
  • Technician support team for managed VPS plans
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Linux with Cpanel control panel or Windows with WHM control panel
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • Free site migration
  • High-performance SSD storage

Cons

  • No free domain names

 

2. Liquid Web

Liquid Web logo

While most of the web hosting providers in this review cater both to individuals and to businesses. Liquid Web is the exception to that rule because it only provides hosting services to businesses. It provides dedicated servers for all purposes and managed VPS hosting services.

The Managed VPS web hosting system includes a control panel that enables you to set up domains, but few other web-related software. Each hosting account gets a fully isolated operating system even though it shares a physical server with other customers. This is created through a hypervisor, which is a virtual machine system identical to the VMs that you possibly implement on your office network.

The Liquid Web plans offer either Linux or Windows servers. Linux servers have a choice of control panel: InterWorx, Plesk Web Pro, or cPanel. The Windows server customers can only have the Plesk Onyx control panel. All plans include 100 GB of SSD storage space for backup in addition to the plan disk space.

The following Linux Plans are available:

  • ??2 GB RAM, 2 virtual CPU cores, 40 GB SSD storage space, 10 TB of bandwidth
  • ??4 GB RAM, 4 virtual CPU cores, 100 GB SSD storage space, 10 TB of bandwidth
  • ??8 GB RAM, 8 virtual CPU cores, 150 GB SSD storage space, 10 TB of bandwidth
  • 16 GB RAM, 8 virtual CPU cores, 200 GB SSD storage space, 10 TB of bandwidth

The Windows VPS hosting plans are:

  • ??4 GB RAM, 4 virtual CPU cores, 100 GB SSD storage space, 10 TB of bandwidth
  • ??8 GB RAM, 8 virtual CPU cores, 150 GB SSD storage space, 10 TB of bandwidth
  • 16 GB RAM, 8 virtual CPU cores, 200 GB SSD storage space, 10 TB of bandwidth

All plans include Cloudflare CDN for speedy load times and DDoS protection. They all also include ServerSecure data protection, malware, and access monitoring software.

Pros

  • Free managed site migration
  • Expert support team
  • Fast load times
  • A professional hosting environment

Cons

  • No money-back guarantee
  • Email accounts are a paid addon
  • No stated uptime guarantee
  • No free SSL certificate
  • No free domain name

 

3. A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting offers a range of web hosting plans including shared hosting plans, virtual private servers, and dedicated servers. The hosting company offers three types of VPS services: unmanaged VPS, managed VPS, and core VPS. The difference between managed VPS and unmanaged VPS services is clear. However, the core VPS plan is unique to A2 Hosting. This is a variation of the managed VPS services that allows root access, which the standard managed VPS plan doesn’t have.

The managed VPS service doesn’t permit root access, but the other two plans do. The managed VPS and core VPS plans both include the cPanel control panel, but the unmanaged VPS service doesn’t. All plans include a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee. All VPS services run on Linux servers and customers of the unmanaged VPS plans can choose between CentOS, Debian, Fedora, and Ubuntu Linux flavors.

A2 Hosting offers three unmanaged VPS plans:

  • Entry: 512 MB RAM, 20 GB SSD storage, 1 CPU core, 2 TB of bandwidth
  • Mid: 1 GB RAM, 30 GB SSD storage, 1 CPU core, 2 TB of bandwidth
  • Elite: 1 GB RAM, 50 GB SSD storage, 4 CPU cores, 2 TB of bandwidth

The managed VPS hosting plans and core VPS hosting plans of A2 Hosting have the same list of options:

  • Power+: 4 GB RAM, 75 GB SSD storage, 4 CPU cores, 2 TB of bandwidth
  • Prestige+: 6 GB RAM, 100 GB SSD storage, 6 CPU cores, 3 TB of bandwidth
  • Pinnacle+: 8 GB RAM, 150 GB SSD storage, 8 CPU cores, 4 TB of bandwidth

Pros

  • Free site migration with core and managed VPS plans
  • Free SSL certificate with core and managed VPS plans
  • Free Cloudflare CDN and DDoS protection with core and managed VPS plans
  • Two dedicated IP addresses with core and managed VPS plans
  • Expert support team with core and managed VPS plans
  • Malware protection, firewall, and intrusion prevention
  • 24/7 customer support for all plans
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Complicated menu of web hosting options
  • No free domain name

 

4. Bluehost

Bluehost logo

Bluehost has a much simpler plan menu than most of the other VPS providers on this list. However, it just advertises these as VPS hosting and doesn’t say whether they are managed or unmanaged. The VPS service runs on Linux servers with CentOS and is available in three plans: Standard, Enhanced, and Ultimate. The features of these plans are:

  • Standard: 2 GB RAM, 2 CPU cores, 30 GB SSD storage, 1 TB of bandwidth, 1 IP address
  • Enhanced: 4 GB RAM, 2 CPU cores, 60 GB SSD storage, 2 TB of bandwidth, 2 IP addresses
  • Ultimate: 8 GB RAM, 4 CPU cores, 120 GB SSD storage, 3 TB of bandwidth, 2 IP addresses

All plans get a free SSL certificate, a free domain name, a cPanel control panel, and free site migration.

Pros

  • Free domain name
  • Free SSL certificate
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • No uptime guarantee

 

5. HostGator

hostgator logo

HostGator, like Bluehost, has only three VPS plans. These are all managed VPS services. All VPS accounts have full root access and HostGator will supply a cPanel control panel on request. The service also includes a long list of popular web server software that you can install, plus an installer to make that work easier. These servers run on Linux and support MySQL, PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby on Rails, and FFMpeg.

The three plans are called Snappy 2000, Snappy 4000, and Snappy 8000. Here are their characteristics:

  • Snappy 2000: 2 GB RAM, 2 CPU cores, 120 GB disk space, 1.5 TB of bandwidth
  • Snappy 4000: 4 GB RAM, 2 CPU cores, 165 GB disk space, 2.0 TB of bandwidth
  • Snappy 8000: 8 GB RAM, 4 CPU cores, 240 GB disk space, 3.0 TB of bandwidth

HostGator offers a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee. If the system fails this benchmark, the company will give you one month of service for free.

Pros

  • Two IP addresses with each account
  • Free firewall
  • Free DDoS protection
  • Free site migration
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • No free domain name
  • No free SSL certificate

 

6. Hostwinds

Hostwinds offers shared hosting plans and dedicated server plans as well as its VPS services. This hosting provider has unmanaged VPS and managed VPN hosting plans. And either is available with both Linux and Windows servers.

The plan menu of Hostwinds is very long and there are too many hosting options to list here. There are ten plans each for Linux managed VPS and unmanaged VPS hosting and ten hosting options and the same number of both managed VPS and unmanaged VPS services utilizing Windows servers.

The variations in the plans offer 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, or 16 CPU cores; 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 16, 32, 64, or 96 GB RAM; 30, 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, 300, 400, 500, or 750 GB of SSD storage; and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,v 6, 8, or 9 TB of bandwidth.

All plans include a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee, load balancers, nightly backups, a firewall for malware protection, and free site migrations.? Both the unmanaged VPS and managed VPS hosting services based on Linux servers allows you the option to choose between Debian, Fedora, CentOS, and Ubuntu as the operating system.

Whether you choose the managed or unmanaged service, popular web server facilities are available for install. These include cPanel and WHM control panels and WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.

Pros

  • A technical support team for the managed plans
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Firewall included
  • Web software included

Cons

  • No free SSL certificate
  • No free domain name