We’ve provided our specific recommendations for WordPress hosting on shared and managed environments, but there are a number of excellent VPS hosting providers out there. If you are looking for a VPS hosting company these options are all worthy of your consideration…
We recommend these WordPress VPS Hosts
|Bluehost are undeniably one of the largest hosting providers around and they also do a nice line in VPS hosting, including some hot prices!||From $19.99/mth||Visit Host|
|Hostgator are one of the big names in shared hosting but they also do a great line in VPS.||From $19.95/mth||Visit Host|
|A2 Hosting are one of our favorite low cost hosting providers and they also offer great VPS options for WordPress users, including managed and unmanaged VPS.||From $32.99/mth||Visit Host|
|If the green credentials of your hosting provider are important then GreenGeeks’ VPS options would be a good choice||From $39.95/mth||Visit Host|
|Arvixe offers fully managed and unmetered VPS plans with all the usual features including cPanel/WHM which makes it super easy to manage multiple domains.||From $43.00/mth||Visit Host|
What is VPS Hosting?
In many ways, VPS hosting is like dedicated hosting and shared hosting combined. Think of it as dedicated hosting for people on a budget. Unlike dedicated hosting, in which you rent your own entire server, you technically share one with other users. Unlike shared hosting, where all of the resources are shared among all users, your files are stored on a separate operating system that acts as your very own virtual server.
Who should Use VPS Hosting?
VPS hosting makes sense for people who don’t need–or can’t afford–the vast resources of renting their very own servers but who’d rather not deal with the potential downsides of shared hosting. If you’re just getting your website off the ground, for instance, VPS hosting is a cost-effective and convenient choice.
How to choose the best VPS hosting company for your needs
When your site outgrows a shared hosting environment, VPS hosting is the next logical step. VPS hosting divides physical servers up into multiple virtual environments, and you get one of these all to yourself when you sign up for a WordPress VPS plan. Although you’re still sharing physical resources with other users on the same server, each site has its own virtual resources to draw on. This provides greatly increased performance and control compared to shared hosting.
Before making the switch, look into what each VPS host has to offer. The right balance of features and services delivers the power that you need to run your site at its most optimal level.
Windows vs. Linux
The operating system a VPS runs dictates the programs and scripts that can be used on the server. You’ll find two main options when looking for a host:
- Linux is a low-cost, open-source application that offers a choice of several different OS platforms. It supports the cPanel interface and MySQL databases, and it’s compatible with a number of other open-source programs.
- Windows is a little more expensive thanks to licensing fees, but it’s easier for those with less technical knowledge to manage. Windows hosting supports ASP.NET for building dynamic websites and offers features such as MS Sharepoint and remote desktop access.
For WordPress sites you are better off with Linux. WordPress can run on a Windows server, but in my experience there are more configuration challenges getting PHP and MySQL running smoothly on a Windows server.
There are two types of WordPress VPS hosting: managed and unmanaged. In a managed WordPress hosting environment, the hosting provider takes care of server “housekeeping” tasks such as updating software, optimizing performance and handling hardware problems. This leaves you free to focus on building and overseeing your website and is valuable if you’re not familiar with the ins and outs of server management.
Unmanaged hosting leaves the upkeep of the server to the user. That means you need a working knowledge of how to handle any problems that might crop up and have an understanding of what needs to be done to keep the server running well on a daily basis. The advantage of unmanaged hosting is that, if you have the necessary background, you can fix problems as soon as they arise rather than having to wait for tech support.
Regular data backups to a remote location are essential for preserving the integrity of your website. Without a backup, one disastrous event could result in massive data loss that may take days or weeks to correct. Check on the backup policies and typical restoration times that a VPS host offers, and make sure that resources are in place to recover and restore data as quickly as possible if something goes wrong. The best VPS hosting companies offer automatic backups so all of your updates and changes get saved without you having to consciously think about the process.
Space and Bandwidth
A VPS will typically provide more more disk space than a shared server. You want enough space to not only handle your current website but also provide room for future growth.
The same rule applies to bandwidth. The best WordPress VPS hosting offers a great deal more data transfer capability than shared, but there’s still a limit on how much of a load a server can take before site performance starts to suffer. Consider your current daily number of visitors and how much of an increase you expect over time. Choose a provider with enough bandwidth to handle your highest projected visitor count.
Memory and CPU Capacity
The number of regular visitors to your site also has an impact on the amount of RAM you need from a VPS. The more memory-intensive programs and applications you’re running, the more RAM is required to support your site’s infrastructure. Having a high number of people accessing the site means these programs will run more and require more memory. Some providers offer “burstable RAM,” which is an extra amount of RAM set aside to guarantee uptime during unexpected spikes in traffic.
Sufficient CPU capacity is another requirement for ideal site performance. The CPU makes sure that all functions take place when they should, delivers requested pages as visitors arrive and decides how to allocate resources from the OS. As with bandwidth and storage space, you want to look for a VPS that offers more than you need so that your website can expand as necessary.
Administrator Control Panel
Seek out a WordPress VPS hosting provider that includes an intuitive, user-friendly interface such as cPanel. This interface is what you’ll use to manage files, install scrips, work with databases and set up programs for your website. The easier it is to understand, the less time you’ll wind up spending on administrative tasks. It’s possible to install a control panel yourself if you come across a host that doesn’t offer one as part of its packages, but you’re better off going with a service that provides a pre-installed solution for its users.
Support and Service
Customer service should be prompt and come in many forms. If a VPS doesn’t offer 24/7 support through at least phone and email, you run the risk of being left hanging when you have a problem with your site. Live chat is an even better option since it allows you to connect with a service representative the moment an issue arises. Live chat also gives you a way to test out response times and get a feel for what kind of service you would receive as a customer. Alternatively, you can call the company with any questions you have about customer service and hosting features.
Room to Grow
A WordPress VPS hosting company should offer the option of upgrading resources as necessary so that your site can continue to deliver the best user experience well into the future. This ability to scale is vital if you’re running a business website and are planning to expand your enterprise and grow your customer base through online marketing. If you’re going to max out the resources of even the most generous VPS host you can find the minute your site goes live, you might want to consider dedicated hosting instead.
Take the time to shop around, do you homework and test features before upgrading to a VPS. Look for a provider that can support the vision you have for your website and ensure the best possible performance at all times.
If you need web hosting, you have three main options: dedicated hosting, shared hosting or VPS. If you’ve decided on a VPS, or virtual private server, one step is out of the way. Now, you must pinpoint the right VPS hosting provider. There are tons to choose from, so it can be pretty confusing. By keeping a few points in mind, however, you’ll find the right VPS hosting service in no time. Want to know more? We’ve also written about choosing the best web hosting company here.
Considerations to Make when Looking for VPS Hosting
After deciding to use VPS hosting, you need to find a VPS hosting provider. A quick online search reveals there are dozens–or possibly hundreds–out there. Each typically has several VPS hosting plans too, which only adds to the confusion.
Fortunately, you can whittle things down fairly easily by taking a handful of things into consideration:
- Disk Space – The ideal VPS hosting service will have more than enough disk space to support your website. More importantly, you should be able to easily upgrade your disk space if needed to keep your growing website up and running properly. Most hosts measure disk space in GBs, and you’ll find plans offering anywhere from 5 GB to more than 1,000 GB. Naturally, the more space you get, the more you’re likely to pay.
- Bandwidth – In the context of VPS hosting–or any web hosting, for that matter–bandwidth refers to the number and size of uploads and downloads that must occur to keep your site running. Like disk space, bandwidth is commonly measured in GBs. Most VPS hosting providers have basic plans starting with around 350 GB of bandwidth. Advanced plans offer upwards of 2,000 GB, and some even offer unlimited bandwidth.
- Control Panel – The best VPS hosting plan in the world won’t do you a lot of good if it’s too clunky to use. If you’re not particularly tech-savvy, this point is especially valid. The best VPS hosting providers have cPanel built in, which ensures an intuitive, user friendly interface. Put simply, you shouldn’t have to jump through a bunch of hoops to handle everyday tasks related to your hosting.
- Customer Support – To make the most of your hosting plan, you need to be able to get help when you need it. This isn’t a situation where you can easily wait around for assistance. Therefore, it pays to choose a hosting provider that offers several customer support options. At the very least, look for one that offers live chat support and email support. 24/7 telephone support is really nice too. Also, self-help options like FAQs, user forums and the like are very helpful.
- Scalability – This was mentioned previously but is worth repeating. Don’t have tunnel vision when selecting a VPS hosting providing. Sure, the plan may work now, but how will it work as your site grows? Your site could easily outgrow the first plan you choose; then what? Look for a provider that offers scalable hosting to avoid having to switch elsewhere down the road.
In addition to comparing hosting companies based on their offerings, do some quick online sleuthing to see what others have to say. In fact, try getting a personal recommendation from someone you trust first; a quick post on Facebook could elicit some good suggestions. Be wary when reading online reviews, however, as many aren’t moderated at all and can easily be written by hosting providers themselves–or their competitors. Here at WP Dev Shed we manually verify the authenticity of all reviews.
Don’t Be Swayed by Ultra-Cheap Pricing
Incredibly, some VPS hosting plans cost as little as $2 per month. Needless to say, you’re not likely to get much for such a price. The average going rate for a solid VPS hosting plan is around $15 per month; some cost upwards of $500 per month. Remember that the fate of your site largely depends on the quality of the hosting you use, so don’t skimp too much.
The Bottom Line on Finding VPS Hosting Providers
As nice as it would be, there’s no way to instantly find the perfect VPS hosting provider for your site. You’ll need to dedicate decent amounts of time to researching the various options. Your hard work will pay off when your site is up and running with minimal downtime, lightning-fast speeds and superior reliability.