What is VPS Hosting?
VPS hosting provides web hosting services via a virtual private server (VPS). A virtual private server is often considered a middle-of-the-road option for web hosting, as it offers some clear advantages to more basic shared hosting, yet isn't quite as advanced as dedicated hosting. Virtual private servers rely on the internet to run their own copy of an operating system, and are a software-defined approach to web hosting that uniquely allows for operating systems to be segmented and accessed privately by multiple users. In a sense, VPS hosting simply improves upon the concept of shared hosting; multiple parties access a single server, but this server affords them the opportunity to use their own private operating systems and in turn, achieve a higher degree of flexibility.
Many mid-size companies find VPS hosting to be an ideal solution for their corporate or e-commerce websites, as VPS hosting offers a higher level of privacy, software, technology, and resources, yet is more cost-effective than dedicated hosting. If you're currently a customer of shared hosting, you'll want to consider upgrading to VPS hosting when you find that your website traffic is growing, speed has slowed, security is of greater important, your resources are expanding, or that you'd like full server root access.
What to Look for in VPS Hosting
Now here's the hard part: what to look for in a VPS hosting company? If you've already started exploring web hosting, you know there are a multitude of options on the market for hosting levels, and VPS hosting is no exception. There are many criteria to keep in mind as you shop for a VPS hosting package, however, you'll want to make sure a package:
• Can accommodate your preferred operating system: Windows or Linux?
• Meets your management preferences. VPS hosting can be managed by the hosting provider, or it can be fully managed by the purchaser. Both offer advantages, but your decision will likely be influenced by your level of technical expertise, your availability to manage, and money.
• Offers an adequate amount of server RAM. You'll need at least 1 GB of RAM for sure, but estimate how much more you'll need generously. As the needs of your website grow, ensure that you have enough resources by asking about "burstable" memory. Companies that offer burstable memory can draw on a pool of reserved, shared memory for users to access when a website experiences an unexpected spike in traffic.
• Details a specific backup plan. The best VPS hosting companies will detail the guarantees they have in place for backing up your virtual operating system and its accompanying data onto a physical, secure server. Don't sign on with a VPS hosting company without feeling confident in their backup protocol.
• Offers the level of customer support you feel you'll need. Even if you opt for an unmanaged VPS plan, there may be a time in which you'll need the immediate help of a hosting expert; if you find customer service doesn't offer the 24/7 live access you're looking for, move on.
Our Top 3 VPS Recommendations
There are many adequate VPS hosting companies that can meet the specific needs of customers, so our top recommendations certainly don't encompass every viable option. However, our customer reviews and ratings indicate that these three companies offer some of the best service around. Here's why.
InMotion hosting is one of the oldest and most widely-used hosting providers on the market, so if you prefer purchasing from a company with experience, InMotion is a safe bet. InMotion Hosting offers three different hosting plans: the VPS-1000S, the VPS-2000S, and the VPS-3000S; even its smallest plan, the VPS-1000S offers a sizable amount of RAM (4GB). If speed is of importance to your website (as it should be), InMotion offers free SSD Drives that are 20 times faster than HDDs, and a Max Speed Zone option that allows users to choose the location of their data center to ensure faster speeds. InMotion also affords a lot of key conveniences to site managers, such as free website transfers, application optimizations, and complete system administration, and is the only company of our top 3 recommendations to provide SSD hosting.
iPage is another highly successful VPS company that's built a loyal base of customers since its founding in 1998, thanks to its emphasis on offering supremely easy VPS hosting. iPage offers a basic plan for those new to VPS hosting that offers a somewhat minimal amount of resources, yet also provides an "Optimum" plan with resources that can also meet the needs of a larger site. Should a site need more resources, iPage guarantees cloud-based flexibility to make scalability quick and seamless. iPage is also one of the more affordable VPS hosting options available, so if working within a tight budget is of concern to your company, iPage's low, flat monthly rates will be a key advantage.
If you seek a hosting package more tailored to your specific needs, Bluehost offers 4 different VPS packages that are designed for hosting customers with increasing levels of resource needs. If you anticipate needing a hefty amount of resources, Bluehost's Ultimate Plan provides an impressive 240GB of SAN storage, 8GB of RAM, and 4TB of bandwidth. Though Bluehost isn't necessarily known for its bottom dollar rates, it is known for its quality of service, in which Bluehost itself is confident given that the company offers a money-back guarantee. The company also relies on a KVM hypervisor virtual machine, which means resources are guaranteed to be available around-the-clock. Bluehost also doesn't place any limits on the number of domains users can purchase, which affords a valuable degree of flexibility.
Begin your search for a top VPS hosting provider today!