How to Choose the Best VPS Hosting Provider

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.

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.

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.

Consult Reviews

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 Hostmarks 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.